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Hundreds Reported Slain As Violence Escalates in Burundi

The Washington Post
BUJUMBURA, Burundi

Reports circulated Monday that as many as 400 Hutu civilians have been massacred in northeastern Burundi, dramatizing the mounting death toll in this small Central African country's increasingly bloody civil war.

The violence, which was reported to have occurred last week in northeastern Muyinga province near the Tanzanian border, raised new fears that Burundi's persistent tribal killing could explode into another genocidal conflict like the one that engulfed neighboring Rwanda one year ago.

Like similar slaughters in the last several months, the killings involved men, women and children of Burundi's Hutu majority, allegedly slain by members of the Tutsi-led army and their tribal allies. It differed, however, in the larger-than-usual numbers of victims, who aid workers and diplomats said, were concentrated in the Muyinga region.

Western diplomats here in the capital have estimated as many as 1,500 lives were lost country-wide in each of the last three weeks in fighting pitting the army and allied Tutsi militia against increasingly aggressive Hutu armed bands.

Aramony Convicted of Using Charity Money to Support Playboy Lifestyle

The Washington Post
WASHINGTON

William Aramony, who built the United Way into the nation's most successful charity, was convicted Monday in federal court of recklessly using contributors' money to support a playboy lifestyle of luxury travel, fancy restaurants and young girlfriends.

Aramony, 67, who headed the United Way of America for 22 years before resigning in disgrace in 1992, stood impassively as jury verdicts were read convicting him of 25 felony counts, including charges of conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns. He said nothing afterward, continuing a silence he maintained throughout his four-week trial.

Two former associates - Stephen J. Paulachak and Thomas J. Merlo - were convicted with Aramony of conspiring to cheat the United Way of America of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a long-running scheme.

"A charity is a special institution, and Mr. Aramony had a responsibility as chief executive officer of United Way of America to protect its assets," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy I. Bellows. "Instead of protecting those assets, he diverted some of them to his personal purposes. This verdict says that society won't tolerate that."

Judge Claude M. Hilton said he will sentence the three men June 14. Under federal sentencing guidelines, all three could face 10 or more years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

Clinton, Gore Open Week of Attacks On GOP's Contract With America'

The Washington Post

President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore joined forces Monday to open a week of attacks on the GOP "Contract With America," warning that Republican cuts in education programs would cripple he nation's ability to create jobs in the global economy of the next century.

Speaking to a sun-drenched crowd on the campus of Arkansas State University, Clinton said he supported efforts to reduce "unnecessary, wasteful, bloated government" in Washington, but asserted that cuts in education funding "will be just as dangerous as it would have been for us to disarm in the middle of the Cold War."

Gore, playing the attack role traditional for a vice president, was far more biting. In a speech to the National Press Club, he criticized the Republicans on a number of fronts and said the GOP Congress "spent most of their first 100 days establishing a reputation as the most anti-education Congress in the history of this country."

Clinton, who returns to Washington Tuesday from a weekend visit to his home state, recalled his years as governor in arguing that investments in education programs are as important to the nation's future economic health today as they were in lifting Arkansas from its chronically low economic standing among the states.