Monument supporters pray at judicial building

Friday, August 29, 2003

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- More than a thousand supporters of suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore rallied at the state judicial building Thursday to pray for the return of the justice's Ten Commandments monument to the building's rotunda.

At the rally, Christian radio talk show host James Dobson blamed the monument's removal from public view on the tyranny of the federal courts.

He said the fight is about "an unelected, non-accountable, arrogant, imperialistic judiciary determined to shove their beliefs down our throats."

A group that sued to have the monument removed said Dobson and other religious leaders were trying to fan the United States into a full-scale culture war.

"It won't work," said Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "Very few people have any interest in starting political fights with their neighbors over religion."

Michigan university OKs new affirmative action

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan unveiled a new affirmative action policy for undergraduates Thursday, dropping a point system thrown out by the Supreme Court in favor of a less rigid process that still takes race into account.

Applicants will be given the option of identifying their race, but the answer will be considered "holistically" with the rest of the application and will not be assigned a point value, Provost Paul Courant said.

"We continue to believe in gathering a group of students that are very bright but different from one another," Courant said. "Students from all walks of life and backgrounds."

In a 6-3 ruling in June, the high court struck down the point system for undergraduate admissions as too rigid. The system gave a 20-point boost to minority applicants, greater weight than it gave for some measures of academic excellence.

Survey: One in five female cadets reported assault

WASHINGTON -- Nearly one in five female Air Force Academy cadets said they had been sexually assaulted during their time at the academy, according to a survey underscoring the extent of the problem at the scandal-plagued school.

Although the results of the Defense Department survey are preliminary, Air Force and academy officials acknowledged the severity of the issues of culture and climate that led to the sex assault scandal.

"I've seen the numbers, and we have a problem," Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida, commandant of cadets, told a reporter after a stern address to 4,000 cadets at the academy near Colorado Springs.

The survey is part of an inquiry by Pentagon Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz into how academy leadership handled allegations from female cadets who said they were reprimanded after they reported being sexually assaulted.

Moonshine in inner-city Atlanta called common

ATLANTA -- You don't have to travel to the backwoods of the rural South to find moonshine: Plenty is being brewed in the heart of Atlanta, and it's making people sick, according to a new study.

Moonshine -- known as "corn liquor" -- is made in inner-city stills and sold in "cornhouses," or makeshift bars, for $1.25 a shot or around $2.50 a pint, said Dr. Brent Morgan of Emory University.

University researchers conducted a survey at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital after doctors noticed emergency room patients were turning up with lead poisoning from moonshine.

The survey, reported in the September issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine, found that nearly 9 percent of emergency room patients said they had consumed moonshine in the last five years.

The 581 patients surveyed were at the hospital for various reasons. The hospital largely serves the poor.-- From wire reports

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