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Thursday, October 7,1999__ Page 2
WASHINGTON (AP) - An
expert retained by a House committee
has concluded that videotape of the
1993 Waco standoff shows the FBI
fired shots on the siege’s final day,
contrary to the bureau’s insistence its
agents did not fire a single round.
Separately, Waco Special Counsel
John Danforth has been briefed by
another expert who reached a similar
conclusion that the government and
Branch Davidians exchanged gunfire
FBI officials on Wednesday
repeated their position. “There has
been no evidence developed to date to
indicate that any FBI agents fired any
rounds during die standoff at Waco,”
said FBI spokesman Tron Brekke.
Allegations of government gun
fire during the 51-day standoff have
circulated for years.
The issue was revived by a report
Wednesday in The Washington Post,
in which Carlos Ghigliotti, who has
been hired by the House Government
Reform Committee to review siege
footage, said he determined the FBI
fired shots on April 19, 1993.
“I conclude this based on the
ground-view videotapes taken from
several different angles simultane
ously and based on the overhead ther
mal tape,” Ghigliotti said. “The gun
fire from the ground is there, without
Ghigliotti said the tapes also con
firm the Davidians fired repeatedly at
FBI agents during the assault, which
ended when flames raced through the
compound. About 80 Branch
Davidians died that day, some from
the fire, others from gunshot wounds.
Ghigliotti, who did not return
calls Wednesday from The Associated
Press, did not assert that any casual
ties were caused by FBI gunshots.
His review was based on video
tapes shot by media crews and audio
from an infrared aerial surveillance
tape recently released by the FBI.
Ghigliotti has not seen all of the
footage compiled by the FBI nor done
an official analysis for the committee,
FBI and congressional officials said.
Ghigliotti, who has performed
thermal imaging analysis for the FBI,
is scheduled to go to the FBI on
Friday to review the tapes.
The House Government Reform
Committee chairman said the find
ings are “troubling, but we think it is
premature to make any final determi
“We don’t want to go off half
cocked,” Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.,
said. “As soon as we get all the neces
sary information, we will hold hear
We don’t want to go off half-cocked. As soon
as we get all the necessary information, we
will hold hearings and present the
information to the American people.”
• / * Ban Burton | '
' jHousemembeR v
ings and present the information to
the American people.”
Ghigliotti’s views coincide with
those of a retired Defense Department
thermal imaging analyst who, in a
1997 documentary about Waco, said
infrared surveillance footage shot by
an FBI plane offers definitive proof
that government forces unleashed a
barrage of automatic weapon fire on
The FBI has explained the light
bursts on the infrared footage as
reflections of sun rays on shards of
glass or other debris that littered the
scene, a view shared by some thermal
imaging experts who reviewed Waco
footage for the Post in 1997.
Edward Allard, who was a super
visor at the Army’s night vision lab at
Fort Belvoir, Va., has been hired as an
expert in the Davidian survivors’
wrongful-death lawsuit. He said the
infrared footage reflects “the govern
ment pouring machine-gun fire into
the budding, and the Davidians firing
here and there.”
In his briefing for Danforth,
Allard said, he explained why he dis
counts FBI and Justice Department
claims that die bright bursts captured
by the “Nightstalker” surveillance
plane represent solar flashes on
shards of glass or other debris around
“It’s impossible for the Waco (for
ward-looking infrared) to detect solar
radiation because the equipment they
used is simply not sensitive enough to
detect it,” Allard said.
Death tolls may exceed 70 in rail wreck
LONDON (AP)—Searchers working their way
through a train carriage that was transformed into an
inferno in a rush-hour Collision reached a grim con
clusion Wednesday: The death toll may exceed 70.
Twenty-eight people are known to have died
when die two commuter trains collided at the height
of rush hour Tuesday morning near London’s
They are likely to be some of the missing 70, but
police have not yet identified the bodies recovered.
Authorities also haye received reports from
friends and relatives about another 100 people, who
may have boarded the trains. \
Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant
Commissioner Andy Trotter was asked at a news
conference if the final death toll would be as high as
“I don’t think it is going to be as high as that.
What I can say at the moment is that it is 70-plus,” he
The blaze reached temperatures estimated as
high as 1,800 degrees, burning a first-class carriage
so J>adly that emergency services have not yet fin
ished examining it.
At least 14 of the 150 people taken to local hos
pitals were seriously hurt.
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott announced
an urgent independent inquiry into train protection
systems designed to prevent trains passing through
signal lights when they are red.
The assessment of the available systems will be
carried out independently of the public inquiry
Prescott announced Tuesday.
Police and firemen continued Wednesday to
search through the widespread, mangled and burnt
wreckage of Britain’s worst rail disaster in a decade.
“We are sure that no other survivors will be
found,” Trotter said. “It is increasingly clear that
there is very little else to recover from the scene.”
One passenger who escaped, 38-year-old Steve
Jones, said he got out when another man in the car
riage used a table to break a hole in the window.
“It was pretty horrific. I feel incredibly lucky,”
said Jones, who was hospitalized with burns.
The train companies said their investigation
would focus on the outbound Thames Trains service,
which may have gone through a red light
The London-bound Great Western train had a
green light to proceed, according to a statement
Wednesday by Great Western, Thames Trains and
Railtrack, die company which operates the rail infra
structure. Signals in the vicinity were in working
order, the statement said.
One of two data recorders from the Thames train
was reported found, but it was believed no data
recorders were on die Great Western train.
The train companies said they were studying a
specific signal that the train drivers’ union had com
plained was invisible at some points to drivers leav
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San Francisco rated most livable bis city
■ Money magazine rates
the Golden Gate city as
the best in its annual list.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -
Money magazine says San Francisco
is the best big city in the country to
live in - but that doesn’t mean it’s the
best city for you.
So, for its annual selection of the
nation’s most livable locations,
released Wednesday, Money is offer
ing a way for you to find your own
Instead ot ranking the nation s
largest 300 metropolitan areas, as it
did in past years, die magazine’s edi
tors picked a winner and a few run
Then they built into their Web site
(www.money.com) an interactive
method of entering your own criteria.
The site measures your needs against
what those 300 metro areas offer and
gives you mi in-order list of cities to
“The reason we didn’t rank the
300 cities? We felt people would be
better served by picking a city best
suited to them,” Patti Strauss,
Money’s public relations director,
“The Web has been a part of the
story for a couple of years. On the
Web site, you can rank die criteria that
are most important to you.”
So what fait San Francisco - and
Rochester, Minn., in the small-city
category - in first place?
“San Francisco has wonderful
things to offer,” Strauss said. “We
know housing is very expensive,
there’s die threat of earthquakes - but
basically you have so many things we
feel far outweigh that.”
The magazine says the City and
environs rank in the top 5 percent for
air quality, offers first-rate museums,
sports and more restaurants per resi
dent than any other city in the country.
Finally, it s the city’s wide range
of recreational opportunities. Great
places to swim, sail, hike and ski are
easy to reach. That clinched it,”
But those things aren’t important
to everyone. Money’s searchable Web
database lets you find your ideal in
two ways - a short form and a lengthy
search form that asks detailed ques
tions on a wide variety of items.
You get 15 questions on weather,
including your ideal temperature,
rainfall, snowfall and altitude above
sea level. There are five questions on
economic factors, five more on hous
ing and health, two on crime and 13
on leisure activities, among other cri
After you fill in all the blanks, the
database will find the cities among
the 300 that best meet your needs.
It wasn’t hard to find officials to
applaud Money’s choice.
“Money Magazine confirms what
we San Franciscans have known all
along,” Mayor Willie Brown crowed
Wednesday. “This is the best city in
America for one reason - its people.
This is the greatest collection of peo
ple ever found in any one city. I know
that after 40 years. They’re compas
sionate, progressive and adventur
Money did point out the city’s
flaws - the threat of earthquakes, a
high student-to-teacher ratio and “the
extraordinary cost of living.”
“It’s not surprising to me that
Money has selected San Francisco,
but it’s also ironic, because San
Francisco increasingly is becoming a
better and better place to live for peo
ple who have money,” said Gabriel
Roth, city editor ofThe San Francisco
Bay Guardian, an alternative weekly
that’s highly critical of how the city is
Roth sees a city in which officials
consciously cater to new residents
“earning six figures.”
Four men arrested eight
years after slaying, robbery
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Authorities
in Texas and West Virginia arrested f
four men Wednesday in one of
Texas’ most sensational unsolved
crimes: the slaying of four teen-age
girls at an Austin, yogurt shop nearly
eight years ago.
. ; On Dec. 6, 1991, the girls were
shot in the head in an apparent rob
bery at the I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt!
shop where two of them worked. The
store was then set on fire in a crime
that horrified the community
because of its random brutality and
the youth of the victims.
In Charleston W.Va., police Maj.
Pat Epperhart said Robert Burns
Springsteen Jr., 24, was arrested
Michael James Scott, 25, of Buda,
Texas, was arrested in the Austin area.
Maurice Pierce, 24, was arrested in
Lewisville, north of Dallas, and
Forrest Wellborn, 23, was picked up
in Lockhart, southeast of Austin.
■ New York
South Pole doctor picked
up by National Guard
SCOTIA, N.Y. (AP) - Two
National Guard cargo planes took off
for the South Pole on Wednesday to
pick up a 47-year-old doctor who dis
covered a lump in her breast.
Dr. Jerri Nielsen, the only physi
cian at the South Pole research station,
is believed to have been treating herself
with chemotherapy since mid-July.
Drugs and medical equipment
were air-dropped for her in a risky
. emergency flight during the middle
of the howling Antarctic winter.
Antarctic pzone depletion
smaller than ill past years
WASHINGTON (AP) - The^
Antarctic ozone “hole” is smaller\
than last year, NASA scientists
^ The hole, actually an area of
depleted ozone concentration high in
the atmosphere, remains very large,
however, said researcher Richard
Satellite data show the depleted
area stretched 9.8 million square
miles on Sept. 15. The record area of
Antarctic ozone depletion of 10.5 ;
million square miles was set on Sept. !
Survivor of high school
shooting dies in gun accident
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) - i
After a bullet shattered his arm in a .
shooting at an Oregon high school
last year, Richard Peek Jr. suggested
a way to prevent such tragedies: “I’d
make it harder for kids to get guns!”
The 19-year-old escaped the j
deadly rampage only to die in a hunt- I
ing accident Tuesday when he was hit :
in the head from a bullet fired by a
fellow shooting survivor, his 17
Investigators said Robert Peek
crouched to listen for a deer when the
hammer on his cocked rifle either
slipped or got caught on his clothing,
firing off a round that killed his
The latest death stunned a cotn
munity still scarred by the May 21, j
' 1998, shooting rampage at Thurston
High School when 15-year-old Kip
Kinkel fatally shot his parents and
. - .. .. /
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