Briefs

By Compiled from Post-Dispatch news services. | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), August 1, 1997 | Go to article overview

Briefs


Compiled from Post-Dispatch news services., St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


NATION

WISCONSIN

Attempt To Unionize Wal-Mart Store Fails The first attempt by a union to organize a Wal-Mart store in the United States failed when employees of the Wal-Mart in Merrill, Wis., voted 54-27 against representation by the United Steelworkers. Union officials said they would keep trying. The vote Friday was "a very sad day for all retail workers across America," said Peggy Boehm, a pro-union employee. But another employee, Danette Woodward, said, "The message it sends is we don't need a union in retail." Only in Windsor, Ontario, does a Wal-Mart store have a union. The retail giant, based in Bentonville, Ark., otherwise portrays itself as one big, happy family made up of blue-aproned workers called associates. The union said it had filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board of unfair activities to influence workers' votes. Wal-Mart denied the activities and said it anticipated more union efforts because of Wal-Mart's large number of employees - 670,000 in the United States. Wal-Mart has 2,308 stores and 439 Sam's Club outlets worldwide. ARIZONA Symington's Fate Now In Hands Of Jury A federal jury in Phoenix began to deliberate fraud charges Saturday against Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, portrayed by a prosecutor as a con man who tricked bankers into lending him millions of dollars by misrepr esenting his financial condition. If convicted on any one of the 21 charges against him, Symington, a two-term Republican, would automatically be removed from office and could face prison. Symington's lawyers maintained that bankers relied on Symington's reputation and experience, not his financial statements, when lending him money. Prosecutor David Schindler said lenders were impressed by Symington's heritage - a blue-blood upbringing as the great-grandson of a founder of U.S. Steel, educated at the best prep schools and Harvard - and his financial statements reporting robust wealth. Symington, 51, is a distant cousin of the late Sen. Stuart Symington of Missouri. l GUAM Agents Unsure Human Error Caused Crash Investigators into the crash of a Korean Air jetliner in Agana, Guam, early Wednesday do not have enough evidence to conclude that human error was to blame, federal agents said Saturday. The crash killed 225 people. Experts still are trying to determine, for example, whether driving rain the night of the crash blinded the pilot. The plane crashed on a wooded hillside. WORLD ALGERIA Rebels Will Lose, Prime Minister Says Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said in a visit to Paris Saturday that he was determined to defeat Muslim guerrillas and promised fair local elections in October. Ouyahia said government forces, backed by ever-increasing numbers of Algerians opposed to Muslim militants, had the upper hand against the guerrillas, who have been fighting the government since 1992. "Terrorism, which has suffered a defeat at the hands of the nationalist forces, was the result of a wide-ranging conspiracy against the nation," he said in an address to the French National Assembly. In the latest violence, suspected Muslim guerrillas killed 14 people by decapitating them or cutting their throats in four attacks across the cou ntry this week. About 60,000 people have been killed in the North African country since early 1992, when the authorities canceled a general election in which the fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front had taken a huge lead. Winners of October's elections will take over local government offices that have been occupied by appointees since elected officials were fired for backing the guerrillas. CAMBODIA Sihanouk Lashes Out At New First Premier King Norodom Sihanouk accused Cambodia's new first premier Saturday of being a puppet and said he would refuse to participate in what he called the country's political comedy. He said he was powerless to intervene and still regarded his ousted son, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, not former Foreign Minister Ung Huot, as a legitimate prime minister, "I presently suffer morally a great deal, as much as the innocent people of our country," the king said. …

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