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At least 366
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SANTA TECLA, El Salvador—With the ground
settling and time passing, rescuers said Monday that
the chance of finding survivors from an earthquake
that killed more than 400 people is slipping - though
one man was freed after using his cell phone to call for
Hundreds of people remained buried beneath a
mountain of rock and earth in the Las Colinas neigh
borhood here, some three miles west of the capital.
Residents complained that the government
allowed land owners over the years to dear trees from
the hillside, alleging that the lack of ground cover
could leave those below vulnerable to landslides.
Saturday’s magnitude-7.6 quake loosened the
hillside, burying the middle-dass neighborhood at its
base and bringing down some of the mansions above.
Although the largest number of deaths appeared
to be in Las Colinas, the quake caused landslides
across El Salvador, burying workers and blocking
roads. Numbers from official sources varied wildly.
The national emergency committee said at least
403 people were confirmed dead. But the emergency
committee for the Santa Teda region said 436 were
dead here alone. The local committee said 366
remained missing - hundreds less than the figure
given Saturday t»y the Kea Cross.
Six other people were killed in neighboring
Guatemala, and three more were feared dead.
With nearly 5,000 houses destroyed and tens of
thousands more damaged in El Salvador, many peo
ple were living with relatives or in shelters.
Others who still had homes lacked basic services.
Water service was cut to as many as half of the coun
try's 6 million people, the Pan-American Health
The World Food Program began distributing food
to 13,000 people and had enough to last two weeks.
Officials planned to seek more donations.
Aftershocks continued to rock the country on
Monday, frightening residents and knocking more
debris onto highways. Many towns were reachable
only by helicopter, and little was known about dam
age or deaths in isolated communities.
In Las Colinas, the city, environmentalists and
residents had sued landowners and construction
companies to stop the deforestation of the hillside. A
judge had ruled against them, and angry residents on
Monday argued that the resulting development had
caused hundreds of deaths.
“What good does money do us if we are subject
ing our children to something like this?” asked Santa
Tteda Mayor Oscar Ortiz.
After two days of rescue efforts, officials pulled
Sergio Moreno from beneath a pile of cinder blocks
and earth late Sunday, raising hopes that more may
be found alive. But kidney and heart failure left
Moreno fighting for his life on Monday.
While buried, Moreno had used his cell phone to
call for help. After 31 hours waiting to be freed, he
began to lose faith. At one point, anguished, he told
rescuers; “You stayed here to watch me die.”
Army Maj. Jose Miranda said there was little
chance more survivors would be found, adding that
the majority of those under die rubble who weren’t
killed instantly had already likely suffocated.
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ALL MATERIAL COPYRIGHT 2001
Ashcroft faces conflicts
■ Other nominees also are
questioned for their views on subjects
dealing with their offices.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — With 10 of
President-elect Bush's 16 Cabinet nom
inees facing senators this week,
Attorney General-designate John
Ashcroft spoke out Monday against the
practice of racial profiling by police on
the eve of his confirmation hearing
which is expected to focus sharply on
his civil rights record.
“I certainly would like to find a way
to be absent that kind of practice,"
"It’s wrong, inappropriate. It
shouldn’t be done." He said Bush "is
sensitive to this problem."
Ashcroft and Gale Norton, as
Interior secretary, are meeting opposi
tion not seen since the 1991 Clarence
Thomas hearings during the adminis
tration of Bush’s father.
Ashcroft, mostly silent while liberal
groups have assailed his record, con
fronted one controversial issue - racial
profiling - in a conversation with Bush
officials in the presence of reporters.
Ashcroft, who appears before the
Senate Judiciary Committee starting
Tuesday, also faces questions about
other hot-button issues: judicial selec
tions for the Supreme Court and other
federal court seats; his unyielding anti
abortion stance; his opposition to con
firming a black Missouri judge, Ronnie
White, to the federal bench; his com
ments praising Southern war heroes;
and allegations that he improperly
used state government employees in
his 1984 campaign for governor of
The hearings for all nominees will
be chaired by Democrats, who control
the Senate until Bush is inaugurated on
Saturday. The Senate is split 50-50, and
after Bush becomes president, Vice
President Dick Cheney can break a tie.
Norton, a former Colorado attorney
general, faces sharp questions on
whether she would weaken environ
mental protections in her stewardship
of public lands. She has advocated
more state, local and private involve
ment in environmental laws. She once
suggested that government recognize
property owners’ “right to pollute” and
that they be compensated for losses
when forced to protect the environ
When she appears Thursday before
the Energy and Natural Resources
committee, Norton also may be ques
tioned about the $270-per-hour fee for
legal work on behalf of the Alaska
Legislature, challenging the Interior
Department’s fishing regulations.
Others facing hearings this week
include Colin L Powell, die selection
for secretary of state; Paul O’Neill,
Treasury; Tommy Thompson, Health
and Human Services; Spencer
Abraham, Energy; Christie Whitman,
Environmental Protection Agency; Ann
Veneman, Agriculture; Mel Martinez,
Housing and Urban Development and
Anthony Prinicipi, Veterans Affairs.
Powell faces wide-ranging foreign
policy questions, Thompson will be
asked about the future of Medicare and
Social Security, O'Neill about the
nation’s recent economic troubles and
Abraham about his past support for
abolishing the department he would
lead if confirmed.
Whitman almost certainly will be
questioned about racial profiling, an
issue in New Jersey where she has been
Lobbying groups have been pour
ing through Ashcroft’s record as
Missouri attorney general, governor
and a term as U.S. senator. Ashcroft lost
his Senate re-election bid to the late
Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, who
received the majority of votes despite
his death in a plane crash. His widow,
Jean Carnahan, was appointed to the
seat and agreed to introduce Ashcroft
to the Judiciary Committee.
Democrats are scrutinizing allega
tions that Ashcroft improperly used
government employees in 1984 when
he was attorney general and running
for governor. Bush spokeswoman
Mindy TUcker, quoting Ashcroft, said
any political work was not done on gov
Opponents pointed to an Aug. 26,
1982 hind-raising letter from Ashcroft
on his official attorney general sta
Ashcroft also was deposed in a civil
lawsuit in which he declined to answer
questions on his fund-raising activities
while state attorney general.
Nagas, the most important in the hierarchy of Hindu holy men, rush to plunge into the water Sunday during the Maha Kumbh Mela gathering in
Allahabad, India. Over 70 million people are expected to bathe at the Kumbh Meia over a period of six weeks.
after hip surgery
■ difficult strug
gle to recovery backed by sup
port from family and friends.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SANTA MONICA, Calif. —
Two days after surgery to repair
his broken hip, former President
Ronald Reagan sat up in a chair
Monday and indulged in a dish of
ice cream in what his doctors
called a remarkable rebound from
a major operation.
"President Reagan remains in
stable condition and has
impressed doctors with his
progress in the last 24 hours,”
Reagan chief of staff Joanne Drake
said in her daily report from St.
John’s Health Center.
Reagan, who is 89 and has
Alzheimer's disease, fell Friday at
his Bel-Air home. A pin, plate and
screws were used to repair the
joint in a 65-minute operation
Saturday at St. John’s Health
“He sat up in a chair on
Sunday afternoon, has already
done so this morning and will be
encouraged to do so again this
afternoon,” Drake said. “His
appetite has increased, and he has
even enjoyed some ice cream, his
Former first lady Nancy
Reagan has been with Ronald
Reagan since the fall “and is
actively participating in his physi
cal therapy sessions,” Drake said.
She is encouraged by his progress
but has been advised by the doc
tors to remain cautious in her
There was no elaboration on
that point, but orthopedic sur
geon Dr. Kevin Ehrhart said hours
after the surgery that Ronald
Reagan faces months of difficult
physical therapy and a “long,
uphill struggle” to recovery.
Drake said Reagar>is taking
very little pain medication, and
his ability to sit in a chair quickly
after the surgery was seen as a
Get-well wishes have poured
in from around the world, Drake
said, including messages from
President Clinton, former
Presidents Bush and Ford,
President-elect Bush and Sen.
John McCain, R-Ariz.
Reagan’s son Michael and
daughter Patti Davis visited their
father on Saturday, and son Ron
was expected within a few days.
Maureen Reagan, the 60-year
old daughter of Reagan and
actress Jane Wyman, has been
undergoing cancer treatment at
the same hospital since Dec. 11.
Her husband, Dennis Revell, said
she was “hanging in there.”
Michael Deaver, a former
deputy chief of staff for Ronald
Reagan, told ABC on Monday that
Maureen Reagan had notyet visit
ed her father.
“Maureen’s hoping she can go
up and see her father, too," Deaver
at large after
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
McALESTER, Okla. — Two inmates, one of
whom raped and murdered his 81-year-old
neighbor, broke out of a maximum-security
prison Monday by removing the toilets in their
cells, crawling through an air duct and scaling
two fences topped with razor wire.
James Robert Thomas, 25, and Willie Lee
Hoffman, 21, were discovered missing from the
Oklahoma State Penitentiary about 5 a.m., said
Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the Corrections
Department. A third inmate also tried to escape
but got caught in the wire.
It was the first escape from the high-security
area of the prison known as H Unit, which opened
in 1991, Massie said.
Thomas was convicted in the 1993 slaying of a
woman who had hired him to mow her lawn. He
was sentenced to life without parole and 400
years for rape. Hoffman was serving 20 years for
kidnapping and other charges.
The inmates apparently removed toilets from
the back of their cells, which gave them access to
a maintenance crawl space, prison spokes
woman Lee Mann said.
They crawled through an air duct, made their
way to the roof, reached the ground and climbed
over the fences, she said. There were no signs of
blood and no evidence that the fences were cut.
Authorities said the inmates are suspected of
stealing a car in the McAlester area for their get
away. “There haven't been any other sightings
since they left in that vehicle,” Massie said.
Authorities said Thomas escaped from the
Oklahoma Countyjail in 1994.
Hoffman brokeout of the Payne County Jail in
1998 and from a private prison in Cushing in
The Associated Press
■ Washington, D.C.
New presidential limousines
provide better workability
The Secret Service on Monday
rolled out a new presidential lim
ousine - a roomier, boxy-styled
vehicle that President Clinton
said still carries the city’s new
license plate with the slogan:
"I get to ride around in it for
five days,” Clinton said at the
University of the District of
Columbia where he gave a speech
marking the Martin Luther King
He noted that the newest in
the fleet of presidential limos “is
an enormous improvement in
terms of the workability of the
inner space.” He didn't elaborate.
Clinton decided last month to
put the new license plates on his
official limousines to show his
support for full voting rights for
the District’s lone delegate to
Congress. The White House says
the plates will remain through the
end of Clinton’s term on Saturday.
New chief justice a believer
in following'God's law1
to “restore and preserve the moral
foundation” of the law, Roy Moore
- known around the country as
the “Ten Commandments Judge”
-was sworn in as Alabama’s chief
Moore gained recognition in
the mid-1990s when he
embarked on a crusade to display
the Old Testament laws in his
Etowah County courtroom,
inspiring Christians to fight for
similar displays in other states.
Although his famous plaque
wasn’t on display Monday, he said
it would be unveiled in due time.
“God’s law will be publicly
acknowledged in our court,”
Outgoing Chief Justice Perry
Hooper Sr. administered the oath
of office to Moore in a chamber of
the Supreme Court, which now
has an 8-1 GOP majority.
■ New Jersey
Alcohol test kits introduced
to dissuade underage drinking
ing a night out with friends, some
teen-agers in Voorhees may come
home to find Mom and Dad wait
ing to swab their mouths with cot
ton to see if they have been drink
The township is giving alco
hol test kits to parents for free in
an effort to dissuade teen-agers
The township bought 1,000 of
the $7 kits, which are available at
the police station and a high
The kit consists of a cotton
swab and a device that looks like a
thermometer. After the swab is
saturated with saliva, it is inserted
into the base of the gauge. If alco
hol is present, a purple line rises in
the gauge, indicating a blood
Mad cow disease may affect
European fast food chains
ROME — Scientists have
found Italy’s first suspected case
of mad cow disease in a cow at a
slaughterhouse that supplies
meat to McDonald’s restaurants
in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
The slaughterhouse in Lodi,
in Italy’s northern Lombardy
region, belongs to the Cremonini
group. Cremonini is the only meat
supplier for the American fast
food restaurants across Italy,
Massimiliano Parboni said
Parboni couldn't immediately
say which other countries besides
Italy get beef from the company.
Until Saturday, when the case
was discovered, Italy had been
considered mad-cow free.
The only two cases reported
there were two cows in 1994
which had been imported from
McDonald’s, which has 295
restaurants here serving 600,000
customers daily, recently put up
signs in eateries across Italy to
reassure consumers about the
origin of its beef. It stood by its
Italian supplier Monday, saying
the “quality, traceability and safe
ty” of its beef protect consumers.
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