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Army women pressed
to make rape claims
NAACP claims there
was a racial motive to
ABERDEEN, Md. (AP) — Five
women Army recruits accused inves
tigators Tuesday of trying to coerce
them into saying they were raped by
superiors in the scandal that has civil
rights advocates calling for an outside
The women said they refused to
make the rape allegations, and al
though several servicemen were
charged as a result of the women’s
sworn statements, none were charged
with rape, an Army spokesman said.
“They pushed me and pushed me
and tried to make me sav rape and I
wouldn’t do it because it’s not the
truth,” said Kathym Leming, 22, of
Officials at Aberdeen’s ordnance
training school, where the alleged
sexual misconduct occurred, denied
that investigators tried to coerce the
women into making false statements.
“That is certainly not a technique
that is used,” Lt. Col. Gabriel Riesco
The NAACP, which organized the
women’s news conference, called for
an independent investigation into how
the military handled the Aberdeen
scandal, which prompted investiga
tions into sexual conduct at U.S. mili
tary bases worldwide.
The National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People has
claimed the Army has unfairly tar
geted black soldiers based on com
plaints of white female recruits. The
five women who spoke out Tuesday
are white, and the seven men charged
with sexual misconduct are black.
But the Army says the alleged vic
tims also include black women. Riesco
denied race was a factor.
“Race has never been an issue in
this investigation at all. It is an inves
tigation of sin, not skin,” he said.
Pvt. Toni Moreland, who last week
became the only recruit to disavow her
statement, told reporters she felt pres
sured into agreeing with allegations
made by the military’s Criminal In
“I would just agree. They put it
down on paper. All I did was sign it,”
said Moreland, 21, of St. Louis.
Pvt. Darla Homberger, 30, of Okla
homa, said she never told investiga
tors she had been raped, but while
being questioned, they told her the
sexual misconduct she described was
rape under the uniform code of mili
i nave a ioi, a lot to lose oy oerng
here,” Homberger said. “I have a fam
ily, I have children. And I could just
keep my mouth shut and this would
all go over, but something really
wrong has happened.”
A retired Navy investigator said
the women’s statements could cast a
shadow over the validity of all the
claims made since the scandal broke
“Now they have a dual scandal
going on. Are investigators inflating
their charges? And they still have the
original sexual harassment scandal,”
Tony Palm said.
The military sex scandal broke last
November at Aberdeen, a base north
of Baltimore. Seven drill instructors
at Aberdeen have been charged with
sexual harassment, rape or consensual
sex with recruits. Three face courts
martial, and the others have been dis
charged or dealt with administratively.
About a dozen others were sus
pended as well and are either under
investigation or have already faced
Police identify store clerk killed in Cozad
COZAD — The police are still searching for the man who gunned
down a store clerk at an Amoco Service Station along 1-80.
A surveillance camera captured the chilling crime Monday morn
ing, giving police some clues. Killed was Leah Rowlands, 41, of Cozad.
The police were searching for a white male in his early 20s, about 6
foot 3 inches tall and about 225 pounds, possibly driving a red Pontiac
Grand Am with California plates.
Palestinians, Israelis clash over foreign involvement
JERUSALEM — Yasser Arafat infuriated Israel on Tuesday by invit
ing foreign diplomats to Gaza to discuss the latest Mideast crisis,
prompting an Israeli warning that outside intervention could destroy
the peace process.
At the same time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came under
new pressure to resolve the impasse, with Arafat suspending most con
tacts with the Israeli leader, and the king of Jordan, one of Israel’s
closest friends in the Arab world, saying his trust in Netanyahu had
The Palestinian invitation for the weekend conference went to local
diplomats from the United States, Europe, the Arab world and Japan.
“Any attempt for international, intervention ... will lead to a freeze in
the peace process,” Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said. “I call on
all sides ... not to be dragged into this.”
Rebels move north as Albanian army continues retreating
TIRANA, Albania—Armed unrest spread for the first time to north
ern Albania on Tuesday, and outgunned soldiers pulled back closer to
the capital, showing little will to fight.
With more than a third of Albania in armed insurgents’ hands,
President Sali Berisha made more concessions to opposition parties to
try to cling to power. He agreed to give the prime minister’s post to
Bashkim Fino of the main opposition Socialist Party, a move welcomed
by U.S. diplomats. Fino is a former mayor of Gjirokastra, a southern
city rebelling against Berisha.
Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said Berisha told him he
would set up a new government in the next 24 hours in Albania, a
Balkan nation slightly larger than Maryland.
Still, the political talks in Tirana had little practical effect Tuesday
on die insurgents, who seiz^Tihore military weapons, looted a state
owned hotel and several army bases and killed a man in southern Al
Yeltsin overhauls cabinet
market soars on news
MOSCOW (AP) — President
Boris Yeltsin ordered his Cabinet over
hauled Tuesday, following through on
promises to shake up a government
that has been unable to pull Russia’s
fledgling market economy out of its
The newly invigorated Yeltsin,
who last week castigated his govern
ment for lying “motionless” while the
economy drifted, only guaranteed the
jobs of two Cabinet members- Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and his
new top deput, Anatoly Chubais.
Yeltsin gave Chernomyrdin a week
to reorganize the government He said
it should be trimmer, with a smaller
Cabinet and fewer ministries, al
though it was not clear how many of
ficials would lose their jobs.
The Russian government has
seemed rudderless since at least July,
when an ailing Yeltsin won re-elec
tion to a second term and then dropped
largely out of sight because of heart
trouble and a bout with pneumonia.
Only in recent weeks has he appeared
to be fully back in control.
In the meantime, the economy has
stalled on the difficult road from com
munism to capitalism. Millions of
Russian President Boris Yeltsin began overhauling his
government Tuesday, giving Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin one week to appoint a smaller Cabinet.
Anatoly Chubais, deputy premier in charge of economic
Valentin Yumashev, chief of staff
Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, aide to Yeltsin
Likely on the way out:
Defense Minister Igor Rodionov
workers, both in government and pri
vate industry, have gone for months
without pay. Taxes have gone uncol
lected and public disgust has grown.
While Yeltsin will be seeking quick
improvements to social and economic
problems, he also has stressed the ur
gency of military reform. That could
result in the ouster of Defense Minis
ter Igor Rodionov, who already was
rumored to be on the way out.
The Russian stock market soared
Tuesday, rising 3.3 percent after news
of the government reshuffle was an
nounced. However, with the effect of
Yeltsin’s actions still unclear, other
reactions were somewhat muted.
Chernomyrdin, a reliable but col
orless premier who has demonstrated
strong survival skills, told reporters
the changes would lead to “the deep
ening of reforms in all directions.”
“Everything will be all right,” he
By sparing Chernomyrdin, Yeltsin
may be trying to circumvent the hard
line parliament, which must approve
the president’s choice of a prime min
With Chernomyrdin staying,
Yeltsin can make changes in the Cabi
net without seeking approval from
Communists and other opponents in
Can women marry for love?
Pakistani court says maybe
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP)—Saima
Waheed, a conservative Muslim who
has worn a veil outside the home since
puberty, never thought she’d fall in
love. She did though, and when she
got married her parents took her to
This week, Pakistan’s High Court
ruled that Waheed can stay with her
husband. But the court made no solid
ruling on whether women can marry
for love, avoiding a decision on
whether a woman can defy the strong
Pakistani tradition of arranged mar
Waheed always assumed she would
marry the man her parents chose for
her, whether she loved him or not.
That all changed when she was 20,
and her parents hired an English-lan
guage teacher to tutor her younger
Waheed fell in love with Ershad
Ahmed, and after a brief, secret court
ship, he asked for her hand in mar
riage. Waheed’s father refused; he al
ready had decided that she would
marry her first cousin.
Last year, in a show of indepen
dence that is rare in Pakistan, Waheed
defied her father’s wishes and mar
Her parents were enraged. Her fa
ther, whose land holdings made him
a relatively rich man, accused Ahmed
of abducting his daughter, and Ahmed
was thrown into jail for four months.
Waheed moved into a women’s
shelter, where die has lived for a year.
Her parents went to court to try to
have the marriage declared invalid.
They argued that the tenets of Islam
forbid “love marriages” and require a
woman’s parents to consent before she
The case went to Pakistan’s High
Court. Pakistan’s legal system, a mix
of British common law and Islamic
Shariat law, allows the high court to
decide on some religious questions.
On Monday, the court handed
dowh its decision: Waheed’s marriage
is legal. But the judges disagreed over
whether a woman can choose her own
One of the three judges on the
panel said the marriage should be an
nulled. Another said it was legal. The
third came out somewhere in the
middle, saying women normally need
their parents’ permission to marry, but
that Waheed’s parents gave their tacit
consent by allowing Ahmed into their
“I feel as if I am reborn,” Waheed
“This verdict proves that one can
still get justice in Pakistan and that
the rights granted to women in Islam
and our constitution are genuine.”
Questions? Commsnts? Ask for the appropriate section
editor at472-2588 or e-mail dn O unlinfo.unl.edu.
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