Nation digest 12/18/01

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Teen gets eight years for taking bombs to school

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- A teen-ager wept in his family's arms after being sentenced Monday to 8 1/2 years in prison for smuggling a duffel bag full of bombs and guns into his high school for a killing spree.

Jeremy Getman, 19, has admitted that he intended to kill when he brought weapons to Southside High School on Valentine's Day but realized he couldn't kill innocent people. He surrendered peacefully after students notified officials that he had passed someone a threatening note.

The teen had pleaded guilty to two weapons possession charges and criminal use of a firearm.

Four lesions removed from Bush's face

WASHINGTON -- President Bush had four lesions removed from his face last week, including two that are pre-cancerous but not a threat to the president's health, the White House said Monday.

Press secretary Ari Fleischer said the lesions were removed with liquid nitrogen during a brief procedure Friday at the White House. The president had one lesion on each cheek, his forehead and temple.

The two lesions on his cheek are actinic keratoses, a common ailment in people Bush's age that can develop into cancer.

The lesions were removed from Bush's cheek as a precaution, and are no threat to the president's health, Fleischer said.

Also on Friday, the White House doctor removed a lesion on Bush's forehead and another on his temple. Fleischer said they were seborrheic keratoses -- waxy- or scaly-looking growths that are not cancerous and become very common as people age.

Dozens of dead cats found in home of ex-cop

COOPER CITY, Fla. -- A former police officer and animal rescue volunteer was arrested after authorities found 67 dead cats and dozens of other neglected felines in her home.

Police said the dead cats were in the woman's refrigerator and freezer, some in plastic bags. Another 24 cats, many of them emaciated, roamed her residence.

"It was foul, believe me," said police Capt. Marvin E. Stoner Jr.

Audrey Weed, 50, a former animal control police officer, was charged Sunday with 92 counts of misdemeanor animal abandonment. She was released from jail Monday after posting a $100 bond.

Stoner said she did not live at the house.

Vivendi buys film assets from USA Networks

NEW YORK -- Vivendi Universal is buying the movie and TV businesses of USA Networks Inc. in a $10.3 billion deal that gives the French conglomerate bigger reach in the U.S. market and catapults Barry Diller back into a leading role in Hollywood.

The deal is part of an effort by Vivendi Universal to rapidly transform itself from a water and utility conglomerate into a global media player. Last week, Vivendi Universal announced it is acquiring a 10 percent stake in satellite TV provider EchoStar Communications Corp.

Under the latest deal, Vivendi will acquire USA Networks' USA and Sci-Fi cable channels and the TV production operation responsible for "Law and Order" and "Jerry Springer."

Vivendi already owns Universal, having acquired the Hollywood studio from Canada's Seagram a year ago. Universal Studios last year produced hits such as "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

-- From wire reports

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