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"Somebody . . . do something'

Published Oct. 7, 2005

In a funeral parlor starkly illuminated by bare light bulbs, Toni Morse leaned into a coffin and gently kissed the lips of her 5-year-old son.

Six days after Eric Morse was pushed to his death from the 14th floor of a housing project after refusing to steal candy for other boys, his family on Wednesday searched for a measure of hope and meaning in his death.

"We hope that somebody, somewhere, somehow will do something about the conditions which are causing our children to kill each other," said Lela Morse, Eric's grandmother.

Two boys, 10 and 11, have been charged with murder as juveniles in Eric's death. They invited Eric and his brother, Derrick Lemon, to their "clubhouse" Sept. 13 in the vacant apartment, police said. Eric, originally identified by police as Eric Morris, was pushed out the window and fell.

Man who helped father die charged

WESTPORT, Conn. _ A 65-year-old man who confessed to a reporter that he had helped his 88-year-old terminally ill father commit suicide has been arraigned on a manslaughter charge.

William Meyer III last month told Connecticut magazine that in July 1991 his father, dying of colon cancer, put a plastic bag over his own head to try to commit suicide. But Meyer had to hold his father's arms to keep him from tearing the bag off before he suffocated, the magazine article said.

Meyer faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

Immigration measure criticized

WASHINGTON _ A California ballot measure that would eliminate most public services for illegal immigrants drew its first opposition from national Republican leaders Wednesday, as conservatives Jack Kemp and William Bennett denounced it.

The former Republican cabinet secretaries issued a joint statement criticizing Proposition 187 as contrary to conservative principles and likely to encourage discrimination. "For some, immigrants have become a popular political and social scapegoat," the statement said. "But concerns about illegal immigration should not give rise to a series of fundamentally flawed, constitutionally questionable "solutions.' "

The measure would deny illegal aliens public schooling, welfare, non-emergency health care and other public benefits.

BCCI executive sentenced

WASHINGTON _ Former BCCI executive Swaleh Naqvi was sentenced to more than eight years in prison Wednesday and ordered to pay $255.4-million in restitution for his role in a conspiracy to infiltrate American banks.

A British citizen of Pakistani origin, Naqvi pleaded guilty in July to three counts of bank fraud that involved conspiracy, wire fraud and racketeering.

The large international bank was seized by regulators in 1991, after auditors' reports disclosed massive losses from illegal loans to corporate insiders.