Nation briefs 5/22/02

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Harvard faculty to revisit sexual misconduct policy

BOSTON -- Harvard professor Everett Mendelsohn didn't hesitate to vote for a change in the student handbook making those who allege being victims of sexual misconduct provide witnesses or evidence up front before the school launches an investigation.

After all, colleagues had already approved the change, and there seemed to be more pressing issues before the faculty.

The new policy -- believed by some to be the first such requirement in the nation -- sparked soul-searching among faculty who approved it, a protest from angry students and women's groups, and fierce debate over Harvard's responsibility to investigate difficult-to-prove claims.

The Harvard faculty met Tuesday and unanimously approved, again without discussion, a new faculty committee to study the university's overall sexual misconduct policy, said Harvard Assistant Dean David Fithian.

Slain sixth-grader had two sides, police say

DANBURY, Conn. -- At her Catholic school, sixth-grader Christina Long made good grades, led the cheerleading squad and was an altar girl. On the Internet, she used provocative screen names and routinely had sex with partners she met in chat rooms, police said.

Police said 13-year-old Christina was strangled by a married restaurant worker she met on the Internet. Her body was found early Monday in a remote ravine in Greenwich.

Saul Dos Reis, 25, an undocumented immigrant from Brazil, confessed Sunday to the killing and led law officers to the body, U.S. Attorney John Danaher III said.

Police, media outlets receive computer virus

WASHINGTON -- The State Department's e-mail identity was forged by a computer virus that sent itself to law enforcement and media outlets across the country, a department official said Tuesday.

Variants of the virus, called Klez, have been spreading since the late 1990s and are transmitted through e-mails and attachments. Klez does not destroy computer files but can clog up mail systems and corporate networks.

Saturday, the virus sent hundreds of e-mails with the return address of the State Department's public affairs office.

Prosecution rests its case in Skakel trial

NORWALK, Conn. -- The prosecution in the murder trial of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel rested its case Tuesday after playing a tape in which Skakel described his attraction to Martha Moxley and his activities the night she was killed.

Skakel, 41, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, is charged with beating Moxley to death in October 1975 with a golf club.

-- From wire reports

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