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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Bush sends message to Cubans over radio WASHINGTON — President Bush declared that "dictatorships have no place in the Americas" in a brief radio address to Cubans on Tuesday, the 101st anniversary of the founding of the Cuban republic.

He also met privately with a small group of dissidents and former political prisoners of the Fidel Castro regime.

But the White House had nothing to announce in terms of possible new measures against Havana, disappointing some Cuban-American groups that had been pressing for steps ranging from increased economic pressure to legislation advocating "regime change" in Cuba.

U.S. officials noted that just last week the administration had expelled 14 Cuban diplomats for engaging in "inappropriate and unacceptable activities."

Bush's 40-second message to Cubans was aired Tuesday morning by Radio Marti, the U.S. government station whose signals are beamed to the communist island.

Mother arraigned in death of 3 infants MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — A woman was accused Tuesday of murdering three of her children and keeping the bodies for a decade or more before leaving them in a rented storage unit in Arizona, where they were found last week.

Diane O'Dell, of Rome, Pa., told investigators that between the late 1960s and 1984, while living in upstate New York, she gave birth to four children who died, including the three whose remains were found in Arizona, said Graham County, Ariz., Sheriff Frank Hughes.

She was arraigned in New York state on three counts of murder and ordered held without bail. Police would not disclose the cause of death.

According to State Police, O'Dell, 49, carried the remains with her from New York through several states before storing them in the shed in Safford, Ariz., when she lived there in 1991 and 1992.

State Police Maj. Alan Martin called the case "pretty bizarre."

"Think about carrying around three corpses, your own children, for over a decade. It's very hard to comprehend. Why? That's the $64,000 question," Martin said.

ChevronTexaco to drop Met Opera broadcasts NEW YORK — ChevronTexaco Corp. will drop its sponsorship of the Metropolitan Opera's Saturday radio broadcasts after next season, another sign of the troubled times for classical music in the United States.

The Met's Saturday afternoon broadcasts have been a staple on classical music stations since 1931. Texaco Corp., then known as The Texas Co., has been the sole sponsor since 1940, the longest continuous sponsorship in broadcasting.

"The Saturday broadcasts have introduced millions of people around the world to opera," Met general manager Joseph Volpe said in a statement Tuesday. "The Metropolitan Opera has already started actively seeking new sponsors for the broadcasts, which present a wonderful and unique opportunity for a sponsor with a global outlook."

The Lyric Opera of Chicago eliminated its Saturday radio broadcasts for the 2002-2003 season after United and American airlines, citing financial losses, dropped their sponsorships.

South Carolina pardons 'Godfather of Soul' COLUMBIA, S.C. — James Brown had plenty of reason to feel good on Tuesday as South Carolina officials pardoned the soul legend for his past crimes in that state.

Brown, who served a two-and-a-half-year prison term after a 1988 arrest on drug and assualt charges, and was convicted of a drug-related offense in 1998, was granted a pardon by the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Brown, 70, who appeared before the board, sang "God Bless America" after the decision, said his publicist, Dan Forman.

Brown, famous for countless hits, including "I Feel Good," "Sex Machine" and "Living in America," unsuccessfully tried to get a pardon for his crimes in 2001. Tuesday's pardon means he is fully forgiven from all the legal consequences of his crime and his conviction.

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