News Brief

Statue of Liberty reopens
NEW YORK (AP) – The Statue of Liberty, once again hailed as “abeacon of hope,” welcomed tourists inside on Tuesday for the firsttime since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with hundreds of visitorsreturning despite warnings of terrorist threats.

Visitors found tightened security measures at the 117-year-oldnational monument, including a new anti-bomb detection device thatblasts air into clothing and then checks for particles of explosiveresidue.

Now, tourists can go only as high as the statue’s feet, wherethey can gaze up through a glass partition at the steel girdersbracing the landmark’s hollow interior.

The reopening went ahead despite warnings over the weekend ofpossible terrorist attacks on financial centers in Manhattan,Newark, N.J., and Washington.

The statue and Liberty Island were closed after Sept. 11;although the island reopened to the public two months later, thestatue remained off-limits.

Accused “diploma mill” suesstate
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A Wyoming university has sued the state ofOregon, saying an Oregon law which prohibits listing diplomas fromits institution on a resume is unconstitutional, saying the lawviolates graduates’ free speech rights and interferes withinterstate commerce.

Kennedy-Western University offers an array of online degrees toits nearly 9,000 students, but it is one of hundreds ofunaccredited institutions nationwide and it has been accused inSenate committee hearings of being a “diploma mill” which does notoffer a rigorous course of study.

The Oregon law prohibits people from putting a diploma from anunaccredited school on a resume.

Kennedy-Western was the subject of withering testimony beforethe U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, which heldhearings on the problems of diploma mills in May.

Halliburton fined for accountingviolations
HOUSTON (AP) – Halliburton Co. will pay $7.5 million to settle aSecurities and Exchange Commission probe that it failed to disclosea change in its accounting procedures in 1998 when the oil servicesconglomerate was run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Besides the company’s fine, former Halliburton controller RobertC. Muchmore Jr. will pay a $50,000 penalty, the SEC announcedTuesday.

Neither the company nor Muchmore admit nor deny the SEC’sfindings that the company didn’t properly disclose the accountingchange, which recognized revenue from unapproved claims onlong-term construction projects.

The SEC has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court againstHalliburton’s former chief financial officer, Gary V. Morris.

The commission says the undisclosed accounting change causedHalliburton’s public statements regarding its income in 1998 and1999 to be materially misleading.