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Selected news items by Hamida Ghafour


Bombs shake black university

FLORIDA – A bomb exploded at a historic black university in Florida, the second in less than a month. Many students at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee suspect the explosions are racially motivated. A pipe bomb went off Sept. 22 in a men’s washroom. Someone called a local television station before and after the explosion, yelling racial slurs and warning of more violence to come. No one has been hurt so far in the blasts.

Students condemned to death for critical comedy

TEHRAN – A satirical play has brought the wrath of Islam down on a group of university students in Iran. The playwrights used one f the holiest figures in Shiite Islam to make fun of campus conservatives — a crime punishable by death, the Ayatollah Hossein Mazaheri said last week. His call for blood was echoed by Iran’s powerful clerics in the city of Qom. Two other stuent playwrights at Amir Kabir Technical University have already been arrested by secret police for offending religious and political conservatives.

Real student protests

JAKARTA – Indonesia is still rocked by protesters — mostly university students — demanding democracy and freedom from military rule after parliament passed a bill allowing the military to revoke civil liberties in “emergency situations.” About 5,000 protesters turned out last week in the capital. Riot police carrying shields fired rubber bullets and tear gas as they clubbed demonstrators. At least three protesters died and many were injured. And the now-ousted Suharto thought he had it bad during his APEC visit in Canada.

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