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Supreme Court Rejects Kevorkian's Appeal for Doctor-Assisted Suicide

Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Dr. Jack Kevorkian's claim that the Constitution permits doctor-assisted suicides, opening the way for Kevorkian's prosecution on as many as 10 counts of murder for helping terminally ill patients end their lives.

The retired Michigan pathologist popularly known as "Dr. Death" had been charged with murder in the deaths of two patients and with assisting the suicide of three others. Michigan authorities are weighing additional charges in light of Monday's high court action.

The justices refused without comment to hear Kevorkian's appeal of a 1994 Michigan Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution contains no right to assist another person's suicide.

Kevorkian, defiant in defeat, said through his attorney that he fully expected the adverse high court ruling and would not be deterred from helping other terminal patients kill themselves.

Since 1990, the retired pathologist has helped 21 people end their lives with lethal injections or carbon monoxide poisoning in his specially rigged "suicide van."

In his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kevorkian argued that there is a constitutional right to "end intolerable pain, suffering or debilitation" through assisted suicide.

Appeals Court Hears Testimony In Microsoft Anti-Trust Case

Los Angeles Times

Microsoft Corp. and a team of Justice Department lawyers defended their controversial antitrust settlement before a federal appeals court panel Monday, arguing that a lower court judge exceeded his authority when he rejected the pact in February.

They faced off against a trio of industry attorneys, who asked the three-judge panel to uphold a February decision by U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Sporkin to reject the decree, which would force Microsoft to change the way it licenses its MS-DOS and Windows personal computer operating system software.

The short hearing, during which all sides were sharply questioned by the appeals panel, gave no indication how the judges might rule.

The appeals court has several options. It could overrule Sporkin and direct him to sign the agreement; uphold Sporkin and thus force the Justice Department to either re-open the case, drop it, or reach a new settlement; or uphold certain elements of Sporkin's ruling and request modifications in the agreement.

Windows NT's growing popularity has fueled concerns that Microsoft could circumvent the proposed consent decree by migrating computer users to NT. Critics say falling prices for the relatively advanced PCs needed to run NT mean that it will soon be be marketed much more broadly.

Bosnian War Criminals Investigated

Los Angeles Times

The U.N. war crimes prosecutor, surprising diplomats with his boldness, announced Monday that he is investigating Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic on suspicion of genocide, murder, rape, torture and "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The announcement by prosecutor Richard Goldstone, a former South African justice, was welcomed immediately by U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, who has been the most outspoken diplomatic supporter of the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal. "We consider this a clear sign about what a very good and tough prosecutor Justice Goldstone is turning out to be," she said.

But other diplomats and officials wondered privately whether Goldstone's action will make Bosnia's protracted and confused peace process even more difficult to navigate. Karadzic and Mladic might now demand the abolition of the tribunal, set up in 1993 by the U.N. Security Council, or at least the clearing of their names before they sign any peace agreement.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said the Clinton administration will continue its contacts with Karadzic and Mladic unless they are convicted of war crimes. But he warned Serbia that it must cooperate with the tribunal if it hopes to escape diplomatic isolation