News Briefs

Sharon next Prime Minister after landslide victory

Conservative party leader Ariel Sharon is set to become Israel’s next prime minister with a formidable victory over incumbent Ehud Barak. “It’s a critical time,” said one Israeli in the Jerusalem Post, echoing the nation’s growing concern with the Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed of recent months-the worst in decades. Tuesday’s elections are seen as the next step in Mideast peacemaking, as Israelis choose between the former general Sharon, who refuses to relinquish any more territory to Palestinians, and Barak, who offered Palestinians control of most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip along with parts of Jerusalem. Palestinian leaders declared a “day of rage” to coincide with the voting, resulting in dozens of clashes and injuries in the West Bank. By Israeli standards the voter turnout was low, with less than 70 percent of registered voters casting their choice compared with the usual 80-plus percent. This election marks the first time in history that voters were choosing only a prime minister; no seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, will change.

National News: Hoyt, Kansas

Three students arrested for plot to bomb high school

Three students at Royal Valley High School in Kansas were arrested Monday in connection with a plan to carry out a Columbine-style attack on their school, including the use of firearms and explosives, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. Officials seized a hand-drawn floorplan of the school marked with “strategic locations,” firearms, ammunition, white supremacy paraphernalia and reference material, including instructions on how to make and detonate explosives, the sheriff’s office said. It is believed that the suspects planned to coincide their attack with a major school event such as the prom. Superintendent of Schools Marceta Reilly credited a crisis plan-put into place after the 1999 attack at Columbine High School that left 15 dead-for the interception of the plans. However, many students were fearing their return to school on Tuesday. One mother said, in a report by CNN, “At this point [my daughter is] so very upset, she doesn’t want to return to school; she’d rather do home schooling.”

Local News: Springfield, Massachusetts

11-year-old fatally stabbed in movie theater

Shortly after the conclusion of the new horror movie “Valentine” at the Regal Cinemas on Saturday evening, 11-year-old Nestor Herrera, a fifth-grader at Rebecca Johnson Middle School, was fatally stabbed. According to Springfield Police Lt. William Nonnan it was unclear why the two boys involved in the conflict were arguing. However, according to the victim’s cousin, Raquel Alamo, it was not the first time the two had exchanged words, although they did not attend the same school. The suspect, whose name was not released, fled on foot after the attack and was arrested Sunday afternoon with the cooperation of his mother. The attack came less than ten minutes after Herrera called his mother to assure her things were going well on his first evening out without an adult. It is unclear how the underage children got into the R-rated film, but eyewitnesses placed them there. “It’s shocking, there’s no other way to describe it,” Springfield Major Michael J. Albano told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “If the allegations are true, it’s as shocking as it gets.”