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News Briefs

Clinton Suspended From Practicing Law Before Supreme Court

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- WASHINGTON

Amid a thick list of orders issued Monday by the Supreme Court, one stood out:

“Bill Clinton of New York, New York, is suspended from the practice of law in this Court ... requiring him to show cause why he should not be disbarred.”

Court officials said the action was the automatic result of the former president’s five-year disbarment in Arkansas, a condition he agreed to last January as part of his settlement with the Whitewater independent counsel’s office.

Under terms of that deal, struck with independent counsel Robert W. Ray on Clinton’s last day in office, Clinton ensured he would not be criminally prosecuted for making false statements about his affair with former White House intern Monica S. Lewinsky.

The former president agreed to give up his Arkansas law license for five years and to pay a $25,000 fine to resolve a scandal that had shadowed his last three years in office. Most critically, he acknowledged formally that he had given false testimony under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky.

Monday, the Supreme Court justices gave Clinton 40 days to convince them that he should not be permanently disbarred from practicing law before them. Clinton’s private attorney, David E. Kendall, said he would argue that permanent disbarment would be too harsh a penalty.

Terrorist Attacks’ Impact Felt In Developing Nations

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- WASHINGTON

Developing nations are seeing their fragile economies undermined by the Sept. 11 terror attacks that have worsened endemic poverty and famine half a world away from the United States, the World Bank reported Monday.

In one of the first looks at the economic ripples from the attacks, the World Bank warned that as many as 10 million people could lose their chance to escape poverty, and tens of thousands more could starve to death as a direct consequence of the attacks in New York and near Washington, D.C.

The impact will be felt in all regions of the world, especially in countries dependent on tourism, foreign investment, remittances from citizens living abroad and exports of agricultural commodities, according to a preliminary assessment by World Bank economists.

The World Bank did not cite specific nations, but economists said the list would include countries in the Middle East, South Asia and Northern Africa where anti-American sentiment runs high.

Sub-Saharan Africa particularly will be hard hit because of continuing falling prices for cocoa, cotton and coffee, reduced income from tourism and the lack of significant personal savings or social safety nets, the World Bank said. With increased demands on funds to rebuild the western economies, the third world could also lose out on money needed for economic development. While more than 6,000 people were believed to have perished in the Sept. 11 attacks, including citizens of some 80 nations, economists expect the ultimate casualty count to be far higher.

Tech Volunteers Help in Recovery

NEWSDAY

It’s not often that one is grateful to be jobless, but in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, that’s what Eileen Shulock found herself thinking.

While she job hunts, Shulock volunteers as the head of the New York City chapter of Webgrrls International, a networking organization for women in technology and new media. Immediately after the attack, she phoned the Red Cross and offered to contact the 4,000 local Webgrrls members about volunteering to help in the rescue and recovery effort.

From there, other local tech companies and organizations got involved, and the consortium snowballed into Silicon Alley Cares (www.siliconalleycares.org), a project that has helped mobilize hundreds of volunteers, many from the tech community.

Two days after the attack, Shulock got the OK from the Red Cross to begin soliciting volunteers. She distributed an e-mail via the Webgrrls list and soon was deluged with about 600 phone calls from people wanting to help. She then began sending people to the Red Cross in round-the-clock groups of 10 to 20 to assist with such tasks as putting together computers and entering data to streamline record-keeping. One anonymous person donated an automatic rubber-stamping machine, which costs about $500, she said.

Guru Proposes ‘Yogic Flying’ As Antidote for Global Terrorism

NEWSDAY

The Indian guru who brought transcendental meditation to America says he has the antidote to global terrorism.

In his first public remarks in seven years, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said he is summoning 40,000 yogis in India, who are trained in meditation as well as the practice of “yogic flying,” to create a spiritual force field that will produce world peace and harmony.

All he needs to pull it off, he says, are a few “peace-loving billionaires in America” willing to donate $1 billion to build housing for the group and pay their expenses.

“Today I’m challenging America,” said the guru, who taught meditation to the Beatles and Mick Jagger 30 years ago. “If I had the support of money, I have all that is needed to ... completely stop all this violence.”

The fund-raising campaign, which began more than a year before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, had raised $40 million by late last week, said Mario Orsatti, a spokesman for the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfax, Iowa.