Texas Court to Rule On Anti-Abortion Protests
A JURY in Houston is trying to decide whether anti-abortion protests during the 1992 GOP National Convention were part of a conspiracy to put 10 women's clinics out of business. A court order restricted protests at clinics during the convention, but abortion opponents tried to break through barriers created by arm-locked clinic volunteers at entrances. After the Texas Supreme Court ruled the temporary restraining order too vague, Planned Parenthood, nine other clinics that perform abortions, and eight doctors filed suit for a permanent injunction. They claim Operation Rescue, Rescue America, and several members were in a conspiracy to hamper clinics' business.
``No one has the right to block an entrance,'' said Kathy Patrick, a lawyer for the clinics. ''
The Harris County jury began deliberations Wednesday after a three-week trial. Defendants claim they were exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. ``We're also arguing that nonviolent demonstrative acts in opposition to unjust laws is part of the American tradition,'' said James Pinedo, lawyer for the Operation Rescue in Dallas. Mock military training
ABOUT 44,000 international soldiers are participating in a three-week training exercise in North Carolina and Arkansas. ``Agile Provider 94'' will include mock airborne assaults and amphibious landings using more than 13,000 Marines and 7,000 soldiers from North Carolina bases, France, the Netherlands, and Surinam, The Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer reported Thursday.
Agile Provider will be the first large-scale training for the US Atlantic Command combined combat force. Units will train to work together in a scenario similar to events in Somalia and elsewhere. Coast Guard workers and vessels will join naval forces in exercises like combat search and rescue missions. Disneyland rides out stormy days
THE earthquake toppled attendance. A proposed theme park next door was put on hold. The ``space age'' uniforms worn by Tomorrowland People Mover attendants look more like ``Star Trek'' rejects.
Disneyland, the progenitor of Walt Disney Company's empire, has seen better days. Yet it remains a remarkably reliable moneymaker, particularly in contrast to Euro Disney's debacle of $900 million in losses last year.
Though the Anaheim, Calif., park keeps figures private, attendance appears to have tumbled by 15 percent to 20 percent after the Jan. 17 earthquake, Seidler Companies analyst Jeffrey Logsdon said. He cited the ``Four Horsemen'' that have hit southern California - ``fire, floods, riots, and earthquakes.'' Add to the mix recessions here and in Japan, and the slayings of two Japanese students in nearby Los Angeles.
Nevertheless, Disneyland spokesman Lindsay Schnebley is optimistic. ``We have continued to rebound toward the pre-quake level.'' Amusement Business magazine put 1993 Disneyland attendance at 11.4 million, down slightly but still second among US theme parks. Only Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida attracted more, with 12 million. (Disney's other Florida parks, Epcot Center and Disney-MGM Studios, were Nos. 3 and 4 with 10 million and 8 million visitors each.)