May 27, 1999 – A Warrant For Milosevic – Shuttle Discovery Off To A Roaring Start – The Case Of The Missing Atheist.

Milosevic effigy
Arrest warrant for Milosevic – a first for a sitting President. (photo: Reuters)
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May 27, 1999 – CBS World News Roundup – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

May 27, 1999 – Big news from The Hague this day. An arrest warrant was issued by the World Court for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and five others accused of carrying out mass war crimes during the Bosnian War of 1995. In 1990, Serbia transitioned from a Titoist one-party system to a multi-party system and attempted reforms to the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution. The constituent republics of the country split apart amid the outbreak of wars, and the former Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro founded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Milošević negotiated the Dayton Agreement on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995.

During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection to the Bosnian War, the Croatian War of Independence, and the Kosovo War. He became the first sitting head of state to be charged with war crimes. During the 1990s, numerous anti-government and antiwar protests took place. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 200,000 people deserted the Milošević-controlled Yugoslav People’s Army, while between 100,000 and 150,000 people emigrated from Serbia, refusing to participate in the wars. The news was met with general relief and a sense of pending vindication for the forced deportation of 800,000 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, and the murder of hundreds of Kosovo Albanians and hundreds of non-Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia at the hands, or at least the consent of, Milosevic.

Meanwhile, Shuttle Discovery took off in the first launch of the year. The space shuttle Discovery was to become the first in the shuttle fleet to dock with the with the International Space Station. The ISS – described by American prime contractor Boeing as the “largest, most complex scientific project ever undertaken” – would eventually span the size of a football field when it was completed. On this launch, though, the station consisted of only two bare modules, called Zarya and Unity. One of major tasks of the shuttle Discovery’s crew was to transfer more than 1.5 tons of equipment to the inside of ISS.

And celebrated Atheist Madeline Murray O’Hair, who was kidnapped, killed and dismembered her along with her two adult children was the subject of an afadavit filed by the FBI on this day. In 1993, O’Hair fired an office manager, David R. Waters, for stealing $54,000 from the organization. Either unbeknownst to O’Hair or because she did not care, before his employment at American Atheists, Waters was actually a convicted murderer out on parole. But O’Hair believed everyone deserved a fair shake.

Two years later, 77-year-old O’Hair, her second-oldest son 40-year-old Jon Garth Murray, her granddaughter, 30-year-old Robin Murray O’Hair, and $610,000 in cash all went missing.

Texas officials were able to implicate Waters, along with two accomplices Gary Karr and Danny Fry, for the crime. But the bodies of the O’Hairs continued to be missing with agents believing the three were buried on a remote Texas ranch.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this May 27, 1999 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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