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News Briefs

Bush Blasts Gore on Fund-Raising

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.

Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush charged Thursday that his Democratic rival, Vice President Al Gore, “may have crossed a serious line” by soliciting campaign donations allegedly tied to a presidential veto.

Bush’s latest effort to raise doubts about Gore’s ethics came in the midst of a three-day swing through Southern California to campaign and raise money for the Republican Party.

In a speech beamed by satellite to a National Guard conference in Atlantic City, N.J., Bush promised to “restore the bond of trust between the president and all Americans.”

“Just today there are new revelations about the potential misuse of the White House for fund-raising purposes, new evidence that my opponent may have crossed a serious line, solicitation of campaign contributions linked to a presidential veto,” Bush said from his hotel here.

“The appearance is really disturbing. Americans are tired of investigations and scandal, and the best way to get rid of them is to elect a new president, who will bring a new administration, who will restore honor and dignity to the White House.”

Drug Leader Charged With Murders

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- HOUSTON

Federal officials on Thursday charged the alleged leader of a powerful Mexican drug cartel with killing a Mexican police official and nine other people, many of whose bodies were unearthed last year in a massive excavation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Authorities describe Vicente Carrillo Fuentes as overlord of the Ciudad Juarez drug cartel and allege he orchestrated the slayings to prevent informants from helping drug agents. He is already a fugitive from a 1997 drug trafficking case.

Authorities in El Paso, where Thursday’s 46-count indictment was returned, said they believe Carrillo Fuentes is in hiding in Mexico and may have altered his appearance with cosmetic surgery.

“Stepping up the pressure definitely affects Vicente Carrillo Fuentes,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Blagg at a joint news conference with a representative from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office. “Eventually, he’ll be captured or he’ll be killed by his rivals.”

The murder charges were the denouement of a highly publicized drama last fall, when scores of FBI agents, Mexican soldiers, and Mexican federal police descended on three ranches in the Chihuahuan desert.

Feds Move to Eliminate Video Piracy in Digital Television Era

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- WASHINGTON

Spurred by the copyright issues raised in the Napster music case, federal regulators Thursday moved to prevent video piracy in the age of digital television.

The Federal Communications Commission announced it will require consumer electronics makers to include technology in their next generation of VCRs, televisions and set-top boxes that would prevent viewers from automatically copying digital cable TV shows, such as Home Box Office and other cable networks.

The agency also approved three new categories of cable-ready digital TV sets that won’t be required to receive over-the-air digital broadcasts of TV shows. But the consumer electronics makers, who have adamantly opposed copyright protection, say they are considering going to court to block the new FCC rules.

Consumer electronic makers also said Thursday that if forced to comply, it would take them six to nine months to deliver equipment with this new piracy-prevention technology.