MS3 Byrd remembered AUSTIN, Texan - Two dozen protesters Monday marked tfie one year anniversary of the dragging death of a black man by praying at the Capitol and demanding a special session of the Legislature to enact a tougher law against hate crimes. The James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act. which would have toughened Texas' hate crimes law, died in the state Senate earlier this year. The demonstrators were particularly critical of Gov. George W. Bush for not taking a position on the bill. White supremacist John William King, 24, was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to death. The other defendants are awaiting trial. ? Democratic lawmakers have pointed to Bush's own White House ambitions as one reason the hate-crimes bill failed. Bush spokesman Scott McClellan noted that Texas already has a hate-crimes law and added, "Those who commit violent, heinous crimes in Texas will be held accountable." New Hampshire approves King Day CONCORD, N.H. - The son of Martin Luther King Jr. stood next to the New Hampshire governor on Monday as she ended the state's dis tinction as the only one without a holiday named for the slain civil rights leader. ' Martin Luther King III said it was fitting that Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. New Hampshire's first female governor, was the one to sign the legisla tion. "My,father believed that democracy ought to be inclusive of every one. and I think your signature on this bill signifies the progress we've made," he said. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day will be officially observed for the first time in New Hampshire on Jam 17. 2000. The change, approved by the state House and Senate last month, ends 20 years of attempts to put his name on the holiday, which had been cel ebrated as Civil Rights Day under a compromise passed in 1991. Opponents had argued that singling out King would detract from other American heroes such as George Washington and Abraham Lin coln. z., ? m "" ' Clayton introduces Agriculture Credit Bill WASHINGTON, D.C - Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, D-N.C., recently introduced a bill to relieve a debt forgiveness restriction enacted by the 1996 Farm Bill. That law made anyone who had ever received any kind of debt forgiveness ineligible to receive another loan from the Unit ed States Department of Agriculture. The proposed bill, the Agriculture Credit Act of 1998, will all6w farmers to remain eligible for USDA loans in three instances: 1. follow ing a loan consolidation," rescheduling, reamortization, or deferral of a , loan; 2. following a loan write-down due to a financial problem related to a natural disaster orimedical condition of the borrower or an immediate family member of the borrower; and 3. following a loan write-down pro vided as a part of a resolution of a discrimination complaint against the secretary of the USDA. "The changes made in 1996 placed an unfair and unreasonable bur ' den on farmers who must seek help from the USDA," Clayton said. "This bill will restore fairness and perhaps help to restore the confidence of farmers in the USDA loan programs." * , ? " CBC urges FCC to link poor schools to Web WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Julia Carson, D-Ind., recently joined w ith other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in strongly urging the Federal Communications Commission to fully fund the E-rate program. "Every child in America must have the opportunity to log on to the information superhighway." Carson said. "The E-rate will ensure that even schools with tight budgets will be able to afford the basic telecom munications services needed to link to the Internet." In response to basic wiring needed by inner city and rural schools to access the Internet, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 included provi sions for a discounted E-rate to allow schools and libraries to install improved telecommunications infrastructure for Internet links. The E-rate is financed by changes in existing telecommunication reg ulatory fees. Under the program, eligibly schools and libraries can receive di^unts ranging from 20 to 90 percent. ? The FCC recently approved 52.25 billion for the E^fate. nearly $1 bil lion more than the current funding. Former Sudanese president to meet with rebel officials KHARTOUM, Sudan - The former military ruler-?f Sudan. Gaafar Mohamed Nimeiri. has announced plans to hold talks with Sudanese combatants in an attempt to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in the northeast African country that has claimed more-than 2 million lives dur ing the past 16 years . Nimeiri returned home from exile on May 22 after spending 14 years in Cairo. Egypt. r * "I am ready to risk my life because I was the cause of half the prob lems in the Sudan." he told supporters recently in the capital of Khar toum. "I will contact government officials, opposition leaders and the (Sudan People s Liberation Army) to try to fipd a peaceful solution to the conflict." Nhial Bol for IPS Army worm invades Somalia's main crop NAIROBI, Kenya - Army worms, which since last month have devas tated parts of East and Central Africa, have now invaded Somalia, wors ening the precarious food situation in the Horn of African country. An assessment report says an outbreak of the African army worm, a Set' Bfwfs on A8 INDEX OPINION A6 SPORTS 1 _??1 RELIGION B6 CLASSIFIEDS S11 HEALTH C3 ENTER. C7 CALENDAR CIO Thia Week In Black History... June 10,1794 - Richard Allen founds Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the first AME church in the UA June 18, 1971 - The UA Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of closing Jackson, Miss., pools rather than integrating them. Five years later, Simpson struggles with infamy By LINDA DEUTSCH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LOS ANGELES - O.J. Simp son would rather not mark the fifth anniversary of his ex-wife's slaying, but he says, "The media won't let it go." Neither will the American public, still fascinated by a man acquitted in court but convicted in the minds of many. , Forget the glory days of his gridiron triumphs, the Hertz com mercials and the movies that endeared him to millions. Now the defining event in Simpson's life is the case that many called the Trial of the Century - a legacy that leaves him dismayed with both the media and a public he sees as mor bidly attached to the crime and its aftermath. "Everyone used this as their cause, and I've learned to live with it." Simpson said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It isn't about me anymore. It's about hav ing a scapegoat." "People need something to argue about," he says. "I listen to these talk shows and 1 think our country is bored. How else can they keep these stories going for so long? I guess we can't deal with our lives, so we sit arqund talking about someone else's life." In a moment of reflection, Simpson adds, "The O.J. case evi dently has become part of people's lives." On June 12,1994, Simpson's ex wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, was slashed to death along with a friend, Ronald Goldman. Their bodies were found in a river of blood outside her Brentwood con dominium. Simpson, tried for the murders, was acquitted in 1995 and released from jail to begin his life anew amid a backlash from those who believed he got away with murder. j Both victims' families sued him in civil court and won judgments of $33.5 million in damages in 1997 from a jury which held him liable under a different standard of proof. That verdict is still on appeal. v> Afterward, Simpson successful ly challenged paying the award and lives well today on a hefty pension plan he set up when he was making millions. Such pensions are exempt I from civil court judgments, although any money Simpson earns would be seized immediately by the court. His life today is shaped by those boundaries. But Simpson, who exudes a cheerful personality, has a different take: He refuses to - acknowledge that his life is not the life he would have chosen, "My , pre mature retire ment is not as bad as it's cracked up to be," he says. But the years of his super stardom are a dim memory. "I play golf. I raise two kids. I don t go out. I live the simplest, most regulated life, not the life I imagined for myself. But I find it rewarding," he says. "I have two terrific kids. I have friends." There is a girlfriend named Christie, but he avoids discussing the relationship. His priority now, he says, is caring for Justin, 10, and Sydney, 13. He drives them to and from school and attends their ath letic events. The children live with him while his in-laws, Lou and Juditha Brown, battle for custody. "Recent reports have indicated an amicable settlement is near,;but nei ther side wants to comment. Simpson, whose Brentwood home was sold in foreclosure and torn down by the buyer, rents a Pacific Palisades home for $6,000 a month, drawing $25,000 a month on his $4 million pension. In another spectacle last February, lawyers for the Goldmans and Browns auctioned personal proper ty seized from the home, garnering $430,000, more than half of it from a man who bought Simpson's Heis man trophy to impress his girl friend. His older children, Jason and Arnelle, visit frequently and his sis ter, Shirley Baker, spends large amounts of time with him and the children. His longtime housekeeper and secretary remain loyal employ ees. Simpson adamantly maintains he did not kill .his ex-wife and her friend, and he insists that the case will be solved eventually. Asked about the likelihood of someone else being arrested, Simp son says, "I have no doubt it's going to happen." A few private detectives are working on their own time, he says, following leads which they occa sionally bring to him. "If one day there's a new D.A., my goal is to take this stuff to him and tell him to look into it," Simp son says. "If tomorrow I was able to solve this case, I wouldn't spend one day at the trial of those peo ple," he adds. "They (messed) up my life, but I don't feel the disgust people displayed toward me." Those public displays have become rare, he says, part of what Simpson believes is the potential for a normal life. He was able to take his children to see the "Star Wars" prequel at a local theater. "I signed about 100 auto graphs," he says. "People were hug ging me. They very nice except for one guy who yelled something. I know if the media was there that's all they would have reported." A golfing enthusiast, Simpson is forced to play on public courses because the exclusive country clubs See Simpson on A9 ??? n OJ.Simpioa vm*m, laJMdtyd?rfdWiwmMwHtwIafcyMtidiihiHbCwfcunJ^wwfcaihiifciiM, I not gudhy in the rent ational murder trial of hit wMmandhm hhndtenaWflotAiwn. In the Hvm)*mt tohnwpq<i?d\j sine* the double murder, Simpson toy* he hoe become a "tcapegoat." 1 As a former teacher, ift no surprise LozelK'De Luz, Ph.D., helps prepare neighborhood students tor college Although she owns three McDonald's in Wilmington. Delaware, she alsb finds time to get involvec in the community on a state and national level Lozelle mentors minority student athletes for college and helps to feed the homeless through annual programs she helped establish as External Vice Presided of the National Black McDonald's Operators Association Her faith in the potential of every person \' makes a difference in the lives of everyone Lozelle touches Reggie Webb makes a world of difference in people's lives everyday As Presidenf of the National Black McDonald's Operators Association, he helps get minority vendors into the McDonald's system, helping African-American businesses to succeed. Owning five McDonald's in southern California keeps Reggie busy too. but he* never too busy to help someone else achieve their dream ot success sofneMy>?y(^)? I McDonald's*is an equal opportunity harxaiisor by choiceFor information. call Harry Coaxum, Asst VP. at 888/800-7257. r-mnMninonn ? ? ? * * .