In WashingtonClinton offers new protections for elderlyThe...

National Digest

April 18, 1999

In Washington

Clinton offers new protections for elderly

The greatest threat older Americans face is not a gun-wielding thug but "a telemarketer armed with a deceptive rap," President Clinton said yesterday. He proposed legislation to shut down telephone scams aimed at the elderly.

The president said the sharply falling crime rate is a godsend to older people who once fearfully locked themselves into their homes, but new protection is needed for nursing home residents who "cannot lock the door against abuse and neglect by the people paid to care for them."

Clinton used his weekly radio address to promote the crime bill he will send to Congress next month. He said it will impose "tough measures to target people who prey on elderly Americans."

Abraham explains goals of GOP spending plan

A Republican-led budget plan passed by Congress would cut most Americans' taxes while spending more on Social Security, education and national defense, GOP Sen. Spencer Abraham said yesterday.

The Michigan Republican, delivering the GOP's weekly radio address, said the party's agenda "will help our families and our children face the future with optimism and confidence."

The $1.74 trillion spending plan for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 places overall limits on the detailed tax and spending bills lawmakers will write. Congress passed the legislation Thursday.

In the Nation

Murder conviction voided after 26 years in prison

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A man who spent 26 years behind bars was released from prison after a judge overturned his murder conviction due to suppressed evidence.

However, John Duval's legal troubles may not be over. After he was released Friday, prosecutors said they may retry him for the 1973 killing of a businessman.

"Our position is that he was certainly properly convicted of these crimes and guilty of these crimes," said Assistant District Attorney Robert Mastrocola. "That's still our position. But that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to re-try him."

Buffalo braces for new abortion protests

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Six months after the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, Buffalo is steeling itself for Operation Save America, a weeklong campaign of anti-abortion protests that is expected to draw hundreds of demonstrators to the city's streets.

Protest leaders say the demonstrations are not related to the doctor's death, but rather a reunion of the Spring for Life rally that overtook the city in 1992 when some 600 people were arrested.

The timing has been criticized, however, even from within the ranks of the anti-abortion movement.

Private plane skids off runway, over cliff

BECKLEY, W.Va. -- A private jet crashed upon landing yesterday in high winds at Raleigh County Memorial Airport, injuring seven people aboard, three critically.

The jet skidded off a runway and tumbled down a 150-foot cliff about 3: 45 p.m. Rescue crews had to rappel down a cliff to free those trapped in the wreckage.

Wind gusts up to 25 mph were reported in the area at the time, the National Weather Service said.

Clergy in Texas schools ruled unconstitutional

BEAUMONT, Texas -- A school program that brought local clergy to counsel students about morality and civic virtues was ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals panel.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, voting 2-1 on Friday to overturn a 1996 federal district court ruling, sided with seven students and parents who argued the Beaumont Independent School District program violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

In the "Clergy in the Schools" program, which began in 1996, religious leaders were invited to counsel elementary and secondary students at the schools during school hours.

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