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News Briefs

Indiana Factory Worker Kills Co-Worker, Self in Shooting


An employee who had gotten into an angry dispute Thursday with a co-worker at a milling factory here returned with a gun, shot the man to death and wounded six others before turning the gun on himself.

A dozen nearby plants were evacuated during the gunfire, and students at a grade school and a small college were told to stay inside. Emergency workers were asked to prepare for more than 30 casualties.

But when a SWAT team entered the Nu-Wood Decorative Millwork plant on the edge of town, it discovered the shooter with a self-inflicted wound, officials said. “He was dead when they found him,” said Capt. Julie Dijkstra of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting prompted several emergency measures in this quiet, northern Indiana community of 29,000. Some students at the nearby elementary school already had gone home by bus, but others were held indoors until the gunman was found.

New Afghan Government Unstable as Politicians Threaten Boycott


A landmark Afghan power-sharing agreement began fraying Thursday, just a day after it was signed in Germany, as prominent political leaders left out of the new interim government vowed to boycott it or try to reopen negotiations.

With copies of the 10-page document still churning out of fax machines, several key figures, including a powerful northern warlord and the current de facto finance minister, complained that the U.N.-brokered pact did not include all the factions in Afghan society. Without broad support, they warned, the agreement could be doomed to failure.

The swift denunciations underscored the challenges involved in building a new government in Afghanistan to replace the once-dominant Taliban militia. Attempts to fashion compromise Afghan governments in recent years have unraveled, with bloody consequences. Much of Afghanistan has returned to the days when tribal leaders ruled their own turf regardless of the leadership in Kabul.

Senate Struggles Over Homeland Security, Recovery Spending


The Senate Thursday headed toward a showdown over attempts by Democrats to increase spending on homeland security and recovery by $15 billion more than President Bush is willing to accept.

Despite a veto threat from Bush, Democrats pressed ahead with plans to increase funds for domestic security by $7.5 billion and to provide $7.5 billion more for New York and other targets of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The money would be added to the spending bill for defense and anti-terrorism efforts for the current year.

But behind the numbers was a broader political fight in which Democrats sought to portray themselves as the champions of homeland defense and confront the Republicans with the pain of choosing between supporting their president and voting against popular programs to fight bioterrorism and other domestic threats.

Republicans rejected the $15 billion additional spending proposed by Democrats but proposed to provide $5.65 billion more for homeland security by reshuffling the $20 billion in anti-terrorism spending that Bush is willing to accept. To accommodate this, Republicans had to cut amounts allocated to military and other programs.