-- The family of a Marine corporal from New York who was killed in Saudi Arabia by a fellow soldier accused the military yesterday of whitewashing an investigation into the death and pressed for a federal probe. The U.S. Marine Corps, in a 105-page report issued Monday, concluded that Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony D. Stewart, 19, of Yonkers, was accidentally shot and killed Dec. 29 by Lance Cpl. Steven Quiles, 19, of Manhattan in New York City. Quiles pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and dereliction of duty for accidentally firing his M-16 while cleaning the weapon. Quiles was sentenced to 15 months at hard labor and was demoted to private. His sentence is pending a further review by his superiors.
-- Pope John Paul II has made a last-minute appeal to President Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in a bid to avert a Persian Gulf war, a Vatican spokesman said today. Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Angelo Sodano handed the Pope's message to the the U.S. and Iraqi ambassadors to the Holy See on last night, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters. Details of the pope's appeal were not immediately available.
-- Jordan yesterday barred access to the 250-mile-long valley that borders Israel and put its military on its highest state of alert. King Hussein announced the ``highest state of preparedness'' for the military in an television address to Jordanians, saying the Middle East was ``facing a deep abyss'' and ``imminent catastrophe.'' Since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis, Hussein has unsuccessfully tried to mediate between Saddam and the outside world. His statement appeared to indicate he had given up hope of a peaceful settlement.
Times staff and news services