News BriefsGuerrillas in Kosovo Establish Deal Implementing Temporary Cease-Fire
THE WASHINGTON POST
The commander of an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group that has been attacking government police forces signed a temporary cease-fire Monday, a key concession that Western officials hope will ease the return of Yugoslav army troops to a buffer zone near the Kosovo border.
The commander signed the agreement shortly after NATO forces in Kosovo and Yugoslav officials reached final terms for Yugoslav reoccupation of a section of the buffer zone, created after the 1999 Kosovo war to keep NATO and Yugoslav troops apart. The Yugoslav troops could move in several days.
Inside the zone, where most of the population is ethnic Albanian, many residents said they would leave if Yugoslav troops arrived. And rebel soldiers said that despite the temporary cease-fire negotiated by their leaders, they would eventually resume their fight for freedom from Yugoslavia, which is predominately Serb.
“We will not let them come here, that’s why we have uniforms and guns,” one 18-year-old rebel said after the cease-fire agreement was announced on radio. “We started down this road, and we will follow it to the end.”
Clinton Administration’s Clemency Probe to Include Last-Minute Cases
LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Rejecting the idea of an independent counsel, the Justice Department has created a special prosecution team to investigate all the last-minute clemencies granted by outgoing President Clinton, including the commutation for convicted Los Angeles drug dealer Carlos Vignali, officials said Monday.
The decision by Attorney General John Ashcroft, described by Justice Department officials as unprecedented in its scope, empowers U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White of New York to vastly broaden her review of three controversial cases to encompass all 177 pardons and commutations granted by Clinton on his last day in the White House.
“She is going to be doing the investigation of all of these cases,” a Justice Department official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It is yet to be decided if she will refer some evidence to other jurisdictions for prosecution, if that develops.”
White’s office already is investigating three cases with direct ties to her Manhattan-based district: the pardon of fugitive commodities broker Marc Rich, commutations for four Hasidic Jews convicted of fraud, and the allegation that the president’s brother received up to $200,000 for promising to help a Texas man win a pardon.
Experts Question Why Cheney Didn’t Get Radiation Angioplasty
LOS ANGELES TIMES
In the aftermath of Vice President Dick Cheney’s most recent hospitalization for heart troubles, some cardiology experts are questioning why he was not treated with a new radiation technology that they say could reduce his chances of a recurrence by more than half.
The technology, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November, is not yet available in many hospitals -- including George Washington University Medical Center, where Cheney was treated March 5. But he could have been sent to neighboring Washington Hospital Center, which has performed more of these procedures than any facility in the world.
Dr. Ron Wacksman, director of experimental angioplasty at Washington Hospital Center, said that “almost all” patients with Cheney’s condition are treated with radiation. “We know it works,” he said.
However, he added, because it is such a new technology, most patients “are treated conventionally,” as Cheney was, rather than with radiation.