World News
By YUNNY CHEN, Staff Writer
Asians Allege Racism In Lee Trial

Following Taiwanese-born Wen Ho Lee's release last Wednesday from nine months of solitary confinement, Asian-American leaders pressured the White House on Monday to investigate whether racism was a factor in the nuclear scientist's prosecution. Judge James Parker apologized to Lee and criticized the government for "embarrassing our entire nation" with accusations of espionage regardless of evidence. Under a plea bargain, Lee pleaded guilty to copying U.S. nuclear weapons designs to a non-secure computer at the Los Alamos laboratory, a felony. Although President Clinton said that he did not believe Lee was singled out because of his ethnic background, he called for an investigation to determine if the government was justified in holding Lee without bail.

Koreas Move Towards Unification

In a gesture to reconnect the "divided fatherland," South Korean President Kim Dae Jung on Monday officially launched a project to reconstruct the rail line and road that connect North and South Korea. Transit between the North and South ended with the outbreak of war 50 years ago. Kim said that the broken rail link has been a symbol of division and the Cold War ever since. Agreement to rebuild the rail line took place at the summit meeting in June between Kim and North Korea's Kim Jong Il. The rail line will serve North Korea economically by allowing it to haul freight by rail line instead of by sea. However, South Korean government officials said that they are concerned about clearing the heavily mined areas at the border.

Biotech Corn Found In Taco Shells

Critics of the biotech firm Genetic ID reported on Tuesday that a form of genetically-altered corn called StarLink, which has not been approved for human consumption, had been detected in Taco Bell taco shells sold in grocery stores. The taco shells were made in Mexico for Taco Bell and were distributed by Kraft Foods, Inc. StarLink was approved in 1998 as an animal feed but, because it was genetically modified to contain plant pesticides, it was not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption. FDA officials said that they have already begun an investigation.

Colombian Rebels Release Hostages

Kidnappers on Monday released 15 of the 40 people kidnapped from two restaurants in Colombia. Authorities say that on Sunday, 50 armed men, probably members of the ELN (National Liberation Army), barged into restaurants and seized 36 people. They also took with them four people from a farm. The group has not made any demands, but Helena de Lima, a U.S. citizen among the freed hostages, said that she was freed to deliver ransom demands for her husband's family. According to Colombian police, rebels sought both ransom and government concessions in past kidnappings.

Issue 03, Submitted 2000-09-20 19:33:16