People talk 6/23/03

Monday, June 23, 2003

Sharpton has sharp words for Ohio city leaders

LORAIN, Ohio -- The Rev. Al Sharpton paused from his presidential campaign duties to chastise city leaders for backing off of their decision to rename a street for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

City Council voted 9-2 last week to leave the name 21st Street on one of the city's busiest arteries while adding an honorary name of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, effective in January.

Businesses and homeowners on the street had complained for more than a month about an earlier vote to change the name outright, saying it would be expensive and inconvenient.

Sharpton wrote to Mayor Craig Foltin on Thursday, saying the compromise "is precisely the kind of second-class treatment that Dr. King fought against his entire life."

Cousteau's son decries pollution of oceans

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico -- The son of the late ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau toured Puerto Rico's northeastern coastline by helicopter Saturday, saying much of the area's coral reefs appeared to be dead.

"We continue using the ocean as a trash can," Jean-Michel Cousteau told environmentalists and reporters after the tour. He was basing his assessment of Puerto Rico's reefs on appearance and existing data.

Cousteau said ignorance about coral reefs and the hundreds of species they support was contributing to a worldwide trend in coral depletion.

Pollution, chemicals, erosion, diseases and physical contact are factors that can lead to coral depletion, he said.

Cousteau has followed in the footsteps of his late father, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who until his death in 1997 led ocean expeditions throughout the world and popularized marine issues through films.

Celebrities guest star at Special Olympics

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela and boxing champion Muhammad Ali were the main guests of honor as more than 70,000 spectators cheered mentally disabled athletes participating in the Special Olympics Summer World Games.

Saturday's opening ceremony for the nine-day competition featured concert sets from Irish pop groups U2 and The Corrs, speeches by movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and a performance from the largest-ever Riverdance troupe.

Ireland became the first country outside North America to host a Special Olympics, a movement founded in 1968 to promote physical fitness and social opportunities for the mentally disabled.-- From wire reports


WAUSAU, Wis. -- A prosecutor who gained attention as a cast member on MTV's "The Real World" is eyeing a new kind of real world challenge -- national politics.

Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy, 31, said he will decide by mid-August whether to seek the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, a Democrat, in 2004.

"I am considering it," he said.

Duffy was a cast member on MTV's "The Real World Boston" in 1997 when the pop culture phenomenon of reality television was just getting started. His wife, Rachel Campos, 31, was a cast member in "The Real World San Francisco." They have two children.

He said his television experience didn't factor in to his considering a run for Congress.

"It is part of my past. I have moved beyond that," Duffy said.

Duffy has won one election -- for district attorney in Ashland County last November.

-- From wire reports

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