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The Associated Press and Knight-Ridder News Service

Nation and world in brief

Florida teen apologizes for shooting teacherWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A 14-year-old boy who could get up to life in prison for shooting his teacher to death told a judge Thursday: “Words cannot really explain how sorry I am, but they’re all I have.”

Nathaniel Brazill took the stand during a sentencing hearing at which the teacher’s mother and brother testified the boy would be a danger to society if he ever got out of prison.

Brazill insisted, as he did during his trial, that he didn’t mean to hurt his teacher, Barry Grunow.

Circuit Judge Richard Wennet said he will decide on Friday whether the teenager can be rehabilitated. Brazill faces 25 years to life in prison.

Brazill was tried as an adult and convicted in May of second-degree murder in the killing of Grunow, 35, at Lake Worth Middle School on the last day of the 2000 school year.Lieberman opponent arrested on sex chargesNEW HAVEN, Conn. — Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano, who lost the U.S. Senate race to Sen. Joseph Lieberman last year, was arrested Thursday on federal sex charges involving a minor.

Giordano, 38, was charged with using an interstate facility to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, and with conspiracy to commit that act.

FBI Special Agent Michael Wolf said there were multiple victims under age 16, but said the charges involved only one person. Investigators would not provide any other details.

If convicted, the Republican mayor of the state’s fifth-largest city could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Giordano, who is married and has three children, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport on Thursday and ordered held without bail. He was scheduled to return to court on Tuesday.

Giordano, who was first elected mayor in 1995, made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate last year against Lieberman, who sought re-election while running for vice president.Levy family attorney suggests suing Condit WASHINGTON — The lawyer for Chandra Levy’s family raised the possibility Thursday of a lawsuit against Rep. Gary Condit if police are unable to solve the former federal intern’s disappearance.

“It is clearly an option, and it is one that the family will consider at the appropriate time,” attorney Billy Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The suit would allow Levy’s family to seek answers in court about their daughter’s disappearance, but it won’t be considered while the police search for Levy continues, the lawyer said.

Martin, who represents Robert and Susan Levy, said the family is not accusing Condit of wrongdoing but that he cannot rule out Condit’s involvement in Levy’s disappearance.

“We’d hope to one day be able to do that,” Martin said. Police have said repeatedly they do not consider the California Democrat a suspect. Condit admitted an affair with Levy, 24, during his third interview with police earlier this month, police have said.Earth Liberation Front releases recruiting videoPORTLAND, Ore. — A radical environmental group known for torching and vandalizing resorts, factories, and research labs has released a promotional video explaining its views and encouraging people to join.

The video, called “Igniting the Revolution: An Introduction to the Earth Liberation Front,” shows burning buildings, oil spills, hillsides stripped of trees, anti-capitalist rhetoric and logos of corporations that the group opposes. A narrator encourages viewers to start their own “cells” and “do what needs to be done to protect all life on this planet.”

“With one night’s work, a few individuals can accomplish what years of legal battles and millions of dollars most likely did not,” the narrator says. The group is selling the video on its Web site for $10.

A main goal of the video is recruiting new members, said Craig Rosebraugh, who serves as the group’s spokesman from his Portland home but says he is not a member.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Peifer, based in Portland, said the video advocates committing serious crimes, including arson and extortion. The U.S. Department of Justice classifies the ELF as a domestic terrorist group.

world

Indonesian lawmakers pick new vice presidentJAKARTA, Indonesia — Political calm was further restored in Jakarta on Thursday as Indonesia picked a new vice president while deposed President Abdurraham Wahid left the country.

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After two days of balloting and horse-trading, the parliament selected Hamzah Haz, 61, the low-key head of the Muslim-based United Development Party, as the new vice president. Haz had served as one of Wahid’s senior Cabinet ministers until Haz was forced to resign in November 1999, after the president insinuated Haz was involved in graft.

Haz had originally blocked Megawati Sukarnoputri’s bid for election as president, arguing that no woman should lead a Muslim nation.

Ending a four-day political standoff that might have turned violent, Wahid finally left the grounds of the presidential palace and headed for the airport. From there he departed for the United States to seek medical treatment.Ethnic Albanian rebels move back positionsTETOVO, Macedonia — Insurgents withdrew from positions they had seized around the second-largest city Thursday, easing threats of sharper violence and allowing ethnic Albanian politicians and Macedonian leaders to resume peace negotiations.

Lord Robertson, NATO’s secretary-general, and Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, mediated talks between the two sides after they rushed to the Balkan nation Thursday to defuse the crisis. The military had threatened a major offensive around Tetovo until the rebels decided to pull back.

The ethnic Albanian rebels withdrew from villages around the northern city of Tetovo they occupied earlier this week during the worst clashes in months.Castro leads big march to observe revolutionHAVANA — Fidel Castro led more than a million of his compatriots on a march Thursday to celebrate the start of the Cuban revolution, trekking about 11/2 miles in a display of vigor after his fainting spell last month.

Wearing his olive green uniform and a less typical pair of white sneakers, the Cuban president, who turns 75 next month, vigorously waved a small Cuban flag as he stepped off down Havana’s coastal Malecon highway.

State television estimated the number of participants at 1.2 million.

Castro did not address the crowd.

July 26, known in Cuba as National Rebellion Day, commemorates the armed attack Castro led in the wee hours of July 26, 1953, on the Moncada army barracks in the eastern city of Santiago.

Marchers protested the long-standing U.S. embargo and other American policies toward Cuba, and demanded the release of five of Cuban agents convicted earlier this year in Miami on espionage charges.

Cuba contends the five men were merely gathering information about anti-Castro groups in Miami to defend their country against violent attacks.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press and Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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