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Violence mars Kashmir election



Published: Mon, September 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Violence marsKashmir election

KUPWARA, India -- A 16-year-old boy was killed in rocket fire today at a polling booth in Kashmir, where hundreds of thousands of soldiers and police were on alert against militant attacks as residents of the Indian state voted in critical legislative elections.

Police said Muslim militants fired the rocket at a polling booth Seri Khwaja, about 120 miles northwest of Jammu, the winter capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state. The rocket fire created a scare among voters, but voting resumed.

But the first few hours of voting were far less bloody than many had feared.

Kashmir, a flashpoint between India and Pakistan for five decades, has seen increasingly violent attacks in recent weeks, with separatist militants opposed to the election stepping up their campaign of violence.

The militants have threatened to kill anyone -- voters, poll workers or candidates -- who participates in the vote.

The state elections are staggered over four phases -- Sept. 16 and 24, Oct. 1 and 8 -- with results expected Oct. 12.

Lawmaker targetschild modeling sites

NEW YORK -- The photos on the Web sites portray no nudity and no sex, yet men by the thousands pay to ogle them -- shots of preteen girls posing in bikinis and halter tops.

Defended as free speech by some, such pictures are being blasted as a "fix for pedophiles" by a congressman who is waging an uphill campaign to banish them from the Internet.

The pool of photos is growing "at an unabated pace," said U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla.

Foley has authored a bill, now before the House Judiciary Committee, intended to shut down the Web sites by outlawing "exploitive child modeling." Even he concedes, however, that the measure has potential loopholes, and anti-censorship groups say it would likely be struck down as an unconstitutional infringement of free expression.

At Florida-based Webe Web Corp., which runs one of the largest networks of child-modeling sites, co-founder Marc Greenberg says he can't vouch for the motives of his customers. But he insists that no child featured on his sites has suffered any physical harm.

Oldest person turns 115

TOKYO -- Kamato Hongo, the world's oldest person according to the Guinness Book of Records, turned 115 today.

Hongo slept through the morning of her birthday but planned to celebrate with her family in the afternoon, Japanese media reported.

Born Sept. 16, 1887, Hongo was reared on a farm and counts Japanese sake among her favorite things, along with black salt, pork, sashimi, and green tea, according to Guinness. She also likes traditional Japanese dancing.

Hongo has seven children and more than 20 grandchildren. She has outlived her eldest daughter, who died two years ago while in her 90s.

Hongo became the world's oldest person on March 20, after the death of Maud Farris-Luse, of Coldwater, Mich. Farris-Luse lived 115 years and 56 days, according to Guinness.

The world's oldest man is also Japanese. Yukichi Chuganji, who is 113 years old, also lives on Kyushu.

Gore, GOP trade barbs

WASHINGTON -- Al Gore questioned the Bush administration's policies on the economy. Republicans responded by questioning whether Gore is relevant to the nation's political debate.

The former vice president told the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation that President Bush's economic policies have helped reverse the successes of the Clinton-Gore administration.

"The surpluses are gone -- where'd they go?" Gore told the foundation's awards dinner Saturday night. "One year, boy that was fast work."

Republicans said Gore is criticizing policies without offering positive alternatives.

"We understand that Al Gore is having a tough time remaining relevant within his party, but these are different times that demand a leader with a plan," GOP spokesman Kevin Sheridan said Sunday.

Blast kills bus riders

MOSCOW -- A land mine planted at a busy intersection in the Chechen capital Grozny exploded as a passenger bus drove by today, and Russian news agencies reported that at least eight people were killed and 20 others wounded.

The ITAR-Tass news agency put the death toll in the midday blast at 11, citing an unidentified official at Russia's military headquarters in Chechnya who blamed the blast on rebels in the breakaway republic. One victim was 4 years old, ITAR-Tass said.

TVS television reported speculation that the mine was intended for a military vehicle.

Associated Press




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