Column on Mideast might have prompted theft of college paper in Las Vegas

NEVADA -- A controversial column is being reprinted in today's issue of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas' student paper after about one-third of the 3,000 copies of the March 10 issue were stolen Tuesday.

The papers were stolen from the main newspaper racks on campus and dumped into recycling bins. UNLV recycling center officials informed The Rebel Yell staff Tuesday afternoon they found the papers in two large garbage bags. The recovered papers were not redistributed, Rebel Yell Editor in Chief Nur Kausar said.

The column, titled "Attack shocks, doesn't surprise" and written by Opinion Editor Sharief Ali, commented on last week's shooting at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and criticized Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip. Kausar said she believes the papers were stolen because the column drew some heated responses from students. The paper decided to reprint the column today, along with reactions from readers and a news story about the theft.

"We try to be as balanced as possible when it comes to opinion," Kausar said. "It's kind of disturbing that someone would go that far when there was other avenues they could've taken."

One issue of the paper, which is published twice a week, costs between $800 and $1,000 to print, Kausar said. The paper plans to report the theft to UNLV police. 

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