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Chinese girl found safe with relatives



Published: Sun, August 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Chinese girl foundsafe with relatives

SAN FRANCISCO -- A 12-year-old Chinese girl missing for two days was found Saturday with relatives on the East Coast after disappearing from her youth tour group, authorities said.

Yukun Jia is "safe with relatives, and in good spirits," said Bronwyn Hogan, spokeswoman for the San Mateo County sheriff's office. She would not release the city where Jia is staying to protect the girl's privacy.

Hogan said Jia's relatives met her at San Francisco International Airport on Thursday and they flew east together. Adult leaders of the youth group had told investigators Jia signed a document claiming she had no relatives in the United States.

Hogan said she was not sure why Jia abruptly disappeared from her fellow travelers or whether the girl hoped to defect from China, an angle investigators had pursued. Hogan referred other inquiries to State Department officials who did not immediately return a call Saturday.

Jia arrived from Beijing with nearly 30 Chinese youths for an overnight layover en route to space camp in Alabama.

Navy divers discoverskeleton on Monitor

HATTERAS, N.C. -- Navy divers preparing to raise the 160-ton gun turret of the ironclad USS Monitor from the bottom of the Atlantic have found what is believed to be the skeleton of one of the Civil War ship's sailors.

Expedition leaders hoped to raise the turret today despite roughening weather.

Divers planned to remove as much of the skeleton as possible from inside the turret before the raising.

"We have a fairly complete skeleton," said John Broadwater, manager of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and chief scientist for the Monitor expedition.

Archaeologists said last month they had found apparent human remains in the sediment inside the turret, but they consisted only of two bone fragments.

Additional digging revealed a skeleton as well as buttons and scraps of cloth that may have been part of a uniform, Broadwater told reporters Saturday during a conference call.

The lower part of the skeleton was pinned beneath one of the two cannons inside the turret, he said.

"We will make every attempt to identify this crew member," Broadwater said.

Sixteen officers and crew members died Dec. 31, 1862, when the Monitor sank during a storm.

Fla. Democrats: Ballotinstructions confusing

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The ballot for the high-profile Democratic gubernatorial primary has confusing instructions that could cause the same problems that marked the 2000 presidential election, Democrats said Saturday.

The ballot instructs voters to "Vote for One Pair," meaning a combined entry of governor and lieutenant governor, though none of the candidates has chosen a running mate.

Voters who took the instruction literally would "overvote" and nullify their choice, Democrats said.

Under the names of gubernatorial candidates Daryl Jones, Bill McBride and Janet Reno, the ballot reads "Not Yet Designated" in place of a lieutenant governor candidate.

Party chairman Bob Poe said Saturday he would ask Secretary of State Jim Smith on Monday to change the ballot language. Smith's office was closed Saturday and phone messages were not returned.

Poe also said the party is considering court action.

"This confusing language poses a serious threat to the integrity of the primary ballot," Poe said.

Turkish parliamentapproves rights reforms

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Turkey's parliament passed new legislation Saturday morning to abolish the death penalty and establish language rights for the Kurdish minority, keeping alive its bid to become the first Muslim member of the European Union.

The measures, which also relax prohibitions on public meetings and criticism of the powerful military and other state institutions, signal a watershed change in the way the country views itself, analysts and lawmakers said.

"Here, everything is based on the state, the existence of the state," said Bulent Akarcali, whose Motherland Party championed the reform package, which was approved by a comfortable margin after a marathon session. "This concept, this mentality, is changing."

The founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, put the assertion of national identity before all else, and the country for eight decades has hewed to a course that subjugated individual and minority rights. In recent years the approach hit Turkey's 12 million ethnic Kurds hardest; the Kurds' desire to keep alive their own language has been equated with militant efforts to create a separate state.

Combined dispatches




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