2 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Andersen fires top Enron auditor
NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON (AP) - Arthur
Andersen LLP said yesterday it is firing
a senior auditor who organized a
"rushed isposal" of Enron documents
last fall after federal regulators had
requested information about the failing
It was the first time that the account-
ing firm has acknowledged that the doc-
ument destruction occurred after Enron
received requests from the Securities
and Exchange Commission for informa-
tion on its financial reporting.
Andersen also said that four partners
in its Houston office would be stripped
of management responsibilities and that
three auditors had been put on adminis-
One of the four Houston partners, D.
Stephen Goddard Jr., an Andersen man-
aging partner, was a major fund-raiser
for President Bush's 2000 campaign and
was one of the "Pioneers" who raised at
least $100,000. He also personally con-
tributed $1,250 to Bush's earlier races
for Texas governor, campaign finance
Enron was Bush's largest corporate
contributor in the 2000 race.
The lead auditor, David Duncan,
ordered the destruction of documents
during an Oct. 23 meeting.
Two weeks later, in a desperate e-
mail, his assistant said, "Stop the shred-
ding." A day before that, Andersen had
received a federal subpoena for the doc-
The law firm of Sullivan &
Cromwell, which is representing Dun-
can, said he is cooperating with investi-
Andersen's chief executive officer,
Joseph Berardino, did not rule out the
possibility that wrongdoing reached
higher into the accounting firm than the
auditors being disciplined.
"We're not quite sure yet;" he said in
a telephone interview. "We want to
make sure we have enough facts to
make a call."
The company said it is replacing the
management of its office in Houston,
where Enron is based. Four Andersen
partners in the Houston office "have been
relieved of their management responsi-
bilities," the accounting firm said.
The Chicago-based firm said it will fire
any other employees found to have partic-
ipated in the improper destruction of doc-
uments, which it disclosed last week.
Its statement said it had "discovered
activities including the deletion of thou-
sands of e-mails and the rushed disposal
of large numbers of paper documents."
The SEC has been investigating
Andersen's role in Enron's complex
accounting, including questionable part-
nerships that kept about $500 million in
debt off the energy company's books
and allowed Enron executives to profit
from the arrangements.,
The SEC's enforcement director,
Stephen Cutler, said last week the
agency was widening the scope of its
investigation to include Andersen's
destruction of documents.
The Justice Department is pursuing a
criminal investigation of Enron, which
became the biggest corporate bankrupt-
cy in U.S. history on Dec. 2.
Walker will not get death penalty
NEW YORK ~
Two shot in New York City high school
A teen-ager opened fire in the hallway at a high school near Lincoln Center
yesterday, seriously wounding two fellow students in what authorities said may
have been a dispute over a girl.
The shooting on Manhattan's Upper West Side occurred at Martin Luther
King Jr. High School on what would have been the 73rd birthday of the apostle
of nonviolence. The public school has 3,000 students.
Schools Chancellor Harold Levy at first said the shooting may have been
gang-related, but later said authorities believed the shooting was because of a
dispute concerning a girl. He said the suspect was an 18-year-old who had not
been attending school.
No arrests had been made in the case by yesterday evening, police spokesman
Lt. Brian Burke said.
"We were in schobl and we heard two gunshots," said senior Romain Morri-
son. "They were telling everyone to get out of the hallways."
Authorities said Andrel Napper and Andre Wilkins were shot from behind in a
fourth-floor hallway. One was shot in the back and the other in the buttocks, and
both were listed in serious condition.
Wilkins' father, Wadell Parks, said he was grateful his s6n wasn't paralyzed.
Palestinians detain suspected assassin
Palestinian police yesterday detained the leader of a faction that claimed responsi-
bility for the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister - a move that appeared to
be aimed at defusing spiraling tensions.
The move came just hours after gunmen shot and killed two Israelis in the West
Bank: a 72-year-old Israeli-American man shopping for building supplies and a 45-
year-old woman driving to a wedding.
Officials flom the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine confirmed that
Ahmed Saadat had been detained. The Front had claimed responsibility for killing
Tourism Minister Rehavan Zeevi on Oct. 17.
Israel has said it would not lift its travel restrictions on Arafat, until those respon-
sible for the minister's death were in detention. The Palestinian leader has been
restricted to Ramallah for more than a month.
The detention appeared to be an attempt by the Palestinian Authority, led by
Arafat, to salvage the cease-fire that has become extremely tenuous and stop ten-
sions from spiraling out of control. Saadat's deputy, Abdel Rahim Mallouh, said
Saadat was detained during a meeting with an official of the Palestinian Authority.
WASHINGTON (AP) - John Walker Lindh,
the 20-year-old Californian who fought with the
Taliban in Afghanistan, was charged yesterday with
conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens. He will be tried in a
civilian court and could face life in prison.
After weeks of deliberations, the Bush admin-
istration opted against a military trial or charges
that would carry the death penalty.
Lindh, who converted to Islam at 16 and is
alleged to have trained at an al-Qaida camp in
Afghanistan, was charged in a criminal com-
plaint filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria,
Va. He will be transferred from a U.S. military
ship for trial in the United States.
Attorney General John Ashcroft said Lindh
admitted in interviews with the FBI that he met
Osama bin Laden and knew bin Laden had
ordered the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
"He chose to embrace fanatics, and his allegiance
"to those terrorists never faltered," said Ashcroft.
"Terrorists did not compel John Walker Lindh to
join them. John Walker Lindh chose terrorists."
Lindh learned in early June that bin Laden had
sent people to the United States to carry out sui-
cide operations, according to an FBI affidavit.
The document described an odyssey that began
with Walker's conversion to Islam in 1997, later
training in Pakistan and Afghanistan and a deci-
sion last year to join the Taliban.
Friends have described Lindh as an intelligent
young man who wore full-length robes to high
school and went by the name "Suleyman" after
his conversion to Islam. After his capture in
December, his parents, Marilyn Walker and
Frank Lindh, had asked the public to withhold
judgment about their son.
James Brosnahan, a lawyer for the separated
couple, could not be reached yesterday. A
spokeswoman at his law office in San Francisco
said he was "issuing no statements at this time."
Attorney General John Ashcroft speaks to reporters yesterday
on the indictment of John Walker Undh, the American Taliban.
Court grants EEOC new legal power
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Supreme
Court ruled yesterday that the federal
agency in charge of fighting job dis-
crimination may sue an employer for
alleged violations of an employee's civil
rights, seeking damages for an employ-
ee even when the employee has agreed
to submit job disputes to arbitration.
By a vote of 6-3, the court held that
a federal law designed to encourage
arbitration as an alternative to litiga-
tion does not impinge on the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commis-
sion's authority to fight legal battles
when employees claim on-the-job bias.
Writing for the court, Justice John
Paul Stevens noted that the EEOC
itself is not a party to the arbitration
agreement at issue, and that nothing in
federal law "authorizes a court to com-
pel arbitration of any issues, or by any
parties, that are not already covered in
Yesterday's decision is especially
important because it comes after a rul-
ing last year in which the court said
that an employee's signature on a job
contract containing an arbitration
agreement waives the employee's right
to go to court on his or her own behalf
Now, however, employers may still be
deterred from illegal discrimination by
the costly prospect of being taken to
court by the EEOC. Under the ruling
yesterday, the EEOC will be able to seek
not only a court order requiring an
employer to stop any illegal activity, but
also back pay, punitive damages and
other individualized relief for a worker.
"(P)unitive damages benefit the indi-
vidual employee (and) they also serve
Jamaica, Bahamas & S.Padre
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G E R E
L AURA LINNEY
an obvious public function in deterring
future violations," Stevens noted.
The stakes in the case were high for
employees-rights advocates, who
feared that a ruling against the EEOC
in this case, EEOC v. Waffle House,
No. 99-1823, would have given
employers an easy way to get around
all but the mildest legal remedies for
discrimination under federal civil
"This means the enforcement
scheme of the civil rights statutes is
still in place," said Thomas Osbourne
of the AARP Foundation, which filed
a friend-of-the-court brief in support
The Washington Post
U.S. Special Forces have begun
arriving in the Philippines to assist
Philippine troops in their fight against
Muslim guerrillas linked to Osama bin
Laden, a significant expansion of the
U.S. war on terrorism outside
Although the deployment is a training
exercise, the U.S. troops will accompa-
ny front-line Filipino forces on patrols
in guerrilla-threatened areas in the
southern Philippines. Approximately
650 U.S. soldiers, including 160 Special
Forces, will take part in the exercise,
defense officials said yesterday.
"It is not a modest number, it's sev-
eral hundred plus," Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in an
interview with radio journalists. "But
it is a group of people that are going to
be with the Philippine forces for the
purpose of training."
Even as Pentagon officials say the
focus of the war will remain on
Afghanistan, the dispatch of several
hundred U.S. troops to the Philippines
underscores the Bush administration's
intention to wage its fight against ter-
rorism on a global scale.
Having put aside such targets as Iraq,
at least for now, the administration is
working with friendly governments such
as the Philippines, Malaysia and Singa-
pore that are seeking help in rooting out
terrorist groups. It's also looking to such
countries as Indonesia, Yemen and
Somalia, whereaal-Qaida cells are
believed to be located.
The U.S. forces moving .to the
Philippines will help the Philippine
army in the fight against Abu Sayyaf, a
terrorist group that Washington says is
linked to bin Laden, whose al-Qaida
network is blamed for the Sept. 11
attacks against the United States.
PUENTE QUETAME, Colombia
Despite accord, no
peace in Colombia
Just hours after President Andres
Pastrana accepted an eleventh-hour
accord to salvage Colombia's three-
year-old peace process, leftist rebels
came out fighting yesterday..
Guerrillas from the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC,
exploded bombs in the town of Puente
Quetame. They also blasted into a
prison and freed 39 suspected rebel
members, authorities said.
"While the FARC was expressing
their willingness to have peace,
they were bombing a civilian
town," Defense Minister Gustavo
Pastrana had given a U.N. envoy
and 10 foreign diplomats until
Monday night to convince the rebels
to return to the negotiation table.
Troops were massed outside the
safe haven to retake the zone at his
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina
Argentina to deepen
ties within region
Amid renewed public protests and
violent attacks on foreign-owned
banks, President Eduardo Duhalde
declared yesterday that Argentina
would attempt to deepen ties within
Latin America and confront the
region's economic "domination" by
the industrialized world.
In remarks that signaled a shift away
from Argentina's decade-long stance
as Washington's closest ally in South
America, Duhalde called for the cre-
ation of a common currency with
neighboring Brazil, and for a united
front against "protectionist" U.S. trade
barriers blocking Latin American agri-
During the 1990s, Argentina
embraced U.S.-backed economic poli-
cies and received the coveted "non-
NATO" ally status reserved for
countries such as South Korea and
Plane had dmaged
tail fm, NTSB says
Federal safety investigators said yes-
terday they have discovered internal
damage in the tail fin of the American
Airlines jet that crashed last November
in New York, but further testing is....
needed to determine if it occurred
before or after the accident.
The National Transportation Safety
Board said NASA scientists examin-
ing the 27-foot tail fin found that some
layers of the advanced composite
material used to build it had peeled
apart from each other, a phenomenon
known as "delamination." It was the
first tentative indication of possible
flaws in the material.
The tail fin of the Airbus A300 jet
broke off shortly after takeoff from
John F. Kennedy International Air-
port, and Flight 587 crashed into a
nearby neighborhood, killing all 260
aboard and five people on the
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.
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