The Nation and World in Brief

Coalition airstrikes kill 14 road workers

KABUL, Afghanistan &

U.S.-led coalition troops killed 14 road construction workers in airstrikes in eastern Afghanistan after receiving faulty intelligence, Afghan officials said today.

The coalition said it was looking into the incident in Nuristan province, but did not immediately comment. NATO's International Security Assistance Force said it has conducted airstrikes against Taliban fighters in the area, but did not say when.

"ISAF was engaged in Nurgaram and Du Ab (districts), and in those places we used airstrikes against (Taliban)," ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen. Carlos Branco told a news conference. "The situation is not clear at all at this stage. We are carrying out the investigation and trying to get a clear picture."

The engineers and laborers had been building a road for the U.S. military in mountainous Nuristan province, and were sleeping in two tents in the remote area when they were killed Monday night, said Sayed Noorullah Jalili, director of the Kabul-based road construction company Amerifa. There were no survivors, he said.

"All of our poor workers have been killed," Jalili said. "I don't think the Americans were targeting our people. I'm sure it's the enemy of the Afghans who gave the Americans this wrong information."

$70M pledged to Oral Roberts University

TULSA, Okla. &

Oral Roberts University, the debt-ridden evangelical institution riven by scandal, has been handed a $70 million lifeline.

Mart Green, founder of the Christian office and educational supply store chain Mardel, said Tuesday he would immediately give $8 million to the university, with the rest to come after a 60-to-90-day review of the university's financial records.

Green said his family must approve the financial review before the $62 million is given and is requesting at least two seats on the board of regents for his family members.

"Let's straighten the ship," Green said, four days after the school's president stepped down amid accusations that he misspent funds to support a lavish lifestyle. "Let's get integrity. Let's get trust built back and the rest will go away."

Green said he has never attended the university and had no ties to the Oral Roberts family. He said he has been following the university's story in the media in recent weeks and decided he wanted to help.

Sarkozy calls rioting 'unacceptable'


French President Nicolas Sarkozy said today that rioters who shot at police would be brought to justice and called the violence that rocked Paris suburbs "absolutely unacceptable."

It was the first time Sarkozy, who had just returned from China, entered the fray since the rioting broke out Sunday night. The violence ebbed Tuesday night after police were deployed in force and quickly rounded up youths lobbing Molotov cocktails and setting cars ablaze.

The violence has drawn comparisons with riots that raged through suburbs nationwide in 2005, and has shown that anger still smolders in poor housing projects where many Arabs, blacks and other minorities live largely isolated from the rest of society.

"We will find the shooters," and they will "be brought to account before justice," Sarkozy said after meeting with a wounded police captain hospitalized in Eaubonne north of Paris.

The violence erupted Sunday after the deaths of two minority teens whose motorscooter collided with a police car in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town on Paris' northern edge.

Mixed feelings about Ecuador reform

QUITO, Ecuador &

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and two of his regional protDegDes are rewriting their nations' constitutions, following a Latin American tradition of using the fundamental charter to attempt radical breaks from past regimes.

Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia are promoting constitutional reforms as ways to root out corruption, redistribute wealth to the poor, and in the case of Bolivia, reverse centuries of discrimination against an Indian majority.

But opponents call them bald-faced power grabs by leftist presidents seeking to crown themselves with limitless authority.

"The impression is that little emperors are being formed in the Andes with excessive power in the executive branch," said Luis Verdesoto, a political scientist in Quito.

A special assembly convenes Thursday to draft a new Ecuadorean constitution, the country's 20th since declaring independence from Spain 195 years ago. President Rafael Correa has promised a document that will wrest power from the country's traditional political parties, which many Ecuadoreans blame for their chronically unstable nation's ills.

"" The Associated Press

O.J. Simpson and 2 co-defendants to be arraigned on kidnapping and armed robbery charges


Two weeks after O.J. Simpson and two other men were ordered to stand trial on kidnapping and armed robbery charges, the former football star and his co-defendants face arraignment.

The three men were due in court Wednesday to enter a plea and have a trial date set for the alleged armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers.

Simpson and co-defendants Clarence "C.J." Stewart and Charles "Charlie" Ehrlich were expected to plead not guilty to 12 charges. Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, said his client's arraignment should be brief &

but added, "There's nothing in this case that has been standard."

A 31/2-day preliminary hearing offered a nationally televised glimpse of what could come at trial &

with sometimes stunning testimony from witnesses including the two men who say they were robbed at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel room and three former co-defendants who accompanied Simpson but took plea deals in return for their testimony.

Simpson, Stewart and Ehrlich each face kidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, coercion and conspiracy charges. A kidnapping conviction could bring a life sentence with the possibility of parole. An armed robbery conviction carries mandatory prison time.

Tests show no one got tuberculosis while on international flights with infected attorney


Tests of hundreds of airline passengers show that no one caught tuberculosis while flying earlier this year with an infected man who caused an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding.

About 250 U.S. passengers aboard a May 12 Air France flight from Atlanta to Paris have been tested for tuberculosis, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. None &

including 25 sitting nearest to TB patient Andrew Speaker &

appear to have been infected during the flight.

Canadian health officials, who were responsible for investigating Speaker's return flight from Prague, Czech Republic, to Montreal on May 24, also found no evidence Speaker, an Atlanta attorney, spread the disease.

"We are six months out now from the time of exposure and there still continues to be no evidence of transmission," said Dr. Tom Wong, director of the community acquired infections division of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Canadian agency focused on the 29 passengers seated closest to Speaker on the Czech Air flight, Wong said.

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