Grenades, new violence mark riots in Belfast

Monday, October 22, 2001

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Rival groups of Catholics and Protestants pelted each other with homemade grenades Sunday in Belfast, and one man was hospitalized with a gunshot wound, police and residents said.

More than 100 Catholics and 50 Protestants had to be driven apart by police in full riot gear during the confrontation in the Limestone Road area of north Belfast -- a sectarian front line plagued by rioting in recent months.

Residents said shots were fired throughout the area and homemade grenades were thrown. An army bomb disposal team defused an unexploded homemade grenade after the unrest.

The violence came amid mounting speculation that the Irish Republican Army was planning to offer a disarmament gesture to ease the current crisis facing Northern Ireland's joint Catholic-Protestant government.

North Korea calls military alert as U.S. maneuvers

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea said Sunday it needs to bolster its military to counter a U.S. plan to deploy more fighter jets to South Korea.

The U.S. military said early this month that it will deploy an additional unspecified number of fighter jets in the South to fill in for a U.S. aircraft carrier that left the region to support Washington's anti-terrorism campaign.

North Korea condemned the plan, saying it heightened tension on the divided peninsula.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries announced the redeployment plan following the dispatch of the USS Kitty Hawk, usually based in Yokosuka, Japan, to the war zone.

Texas murderer to die for teen-age killing

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- Lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to block the execution of a man whose lengthy rap sheet culminated with a capital murder conviction at age 17, arguing that the penalty would violate international law.

Gerald Mitchell, 33, was condemned for robbing and fatally shooting a man with a sawed-off shotgun in 1985.

The Supreme Court has ruled that a defendant's rights were not violated when the death sentence was imposed on a murder convict who was at least 16 at the time of the offense. But in asking for a review of the case by the high court, Mitchell's lawyers argued that customary international law is law in the United States and that a "clear international consensus" has developed against execution of people under the age of 18 at the time of their offenses.

States' tobacco money used to balance budgets

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Faced with a ballooning budget deficit, Gov. Bob Taft has proposed borrowing $100 million of the state's share of the national tobacco settlement to balance the books.

His proposal has disappointed anti-smoking advocates who saw Taft as a strong voice for using the money on health-related programs.

Governors and lawmakers around the country have been turning to the tobacco money, part of a $206 billion national settlement in 1998, as budget deficits grow in the face of a downtown in the economy, made worse by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Cuban boy's U.S. home turned into a shrine

MIAMI -- The small home where Elian Gonzalez lived while at the center of an international custody battle opened Sunday as a shrine to honor him.

Elian's wooden swing set and a picture of his mother, Elizabeth Brotons, who died while trying to bring him to the United States, greeted nearly 500 people who passed through the front door of Unidos en Casa Elian, or United in Elian House.

Delfin Gonzalez, the boy's great-uncle and the Little Havana home's owner, said some people might not agree with opening the shrine shortly after last month's terrorist attacks, or even having a site dedicated to the boy. But he said it filled a need in the community.

--From wire reports

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