- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 7, 2000

Gunman surrenders after taking hostages

WESTMINSTER, Calif. A gunman held about 20 people hostage during a bungled bank robbery yesterday before surrendering to FBI agents, authorities said.
During the two-hour siege, the gunman, described as Asian and in his late 20s, fired one shot into the ceiling, but it didn't appear anyone was seriously hurt in the takeover, police Officer Robin Kapp said.
After telephone negotiations, the gunman came out of the Bank of America branch with his hands up and dropped spread-eagle to the asphalt.

Court to hold hearing on jailed scientist

DENVER A federal appeals court will hold a closed-door hearing on Monday to decide if former government scientist Wen Ho Lee should be set free on bail while he awaits trial on charges he mishandled U.S. nuclear-arms secrets, the court said.
"For security reasons, the hearing will be closed," the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said in a three-sentence order.
On Friday, the appeals court here intervened and stopped the jailed former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist from being freed on $1 million bond.
Federal prosecutors have argued that Mr. Lee, 60, who was indicted in December on 59 counts of illegally copying what prosecutors called "the crown jewels" of U.S. nuclear-weapons design, would endanger national security if he were freed on bail because he may have seven tapes still hidden and because he acted deceptively in the past.

Woman, transsexual get marriage license

SAN ANTONIO A woman and a transsexual who was born a man obtained a marriage license yesterday, taking advantage of a court ruling that defines gender only by chromosomes.
Jessica Wicks and Robin Manhart Wicks, who took Jessica's surname this year, were allowed to pay $36 to get their license, even though they consider themselves a same-sex couple. Had Jessica Wicks been born a woman, their marriage, set for Sept. 16, would be illegal under state law.
However, because of a state appeals court ruling that said chromosomes, not genitals, determine gender, the two will be able to wed.

Five teens charged with killing deliveryman

NEW YORK Five teen-agers called in a $60 order for Chinese food and then beat the deliveryman to death to avoid paying for the food, police said yesterday.
The four boys and one girl, ages 14 to 17, are accused of taking food from Sheng Jin Liu, 44, after covering him with a sheet and beating him with their fists and a brick. They reportedly fled the abandoned house in Queens where the food was delivered, leaving behind food and several hundred dollars in cash he was carrying.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, "It was a shocking crime, which leaves us all shaking our heads as to why these kids would do what they are accused of doing."

NASA extends space-station deadline

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA has extended its deadline for completion of the International Space Station to 2006, a space-station official said yesterday.
The new schedule reflects NASA's fading confidence in the ability of the United States and Russia to complete the next 35 assembly missions on a schedule that would require a launch every month or so.

Reputed mob figures among N.Y. indictees

NEW YORK Reputed members of the Lucchese organized-crime family were among 38 persons indicted yesterday on racketeering charges after a three-year investigation into mob influence in the construction industry, officials said.
The 57-count indictment charges the Lucchese Construction Group engaged in labor bribery, bid rigging and other anti-competitive schemes that systematically siphoned millions of dollars from both public and private construction projects.

Judges dismisses suit over Newsweek report

A federal judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit against a Newsweek reporter accused of disclosing a source's name in stories about a woman who said President Clinton made a pass at her.

The source, Julie Hiatt Steele, contended magazine reporter Michael Isikoff broke his promise not to print her name.

The lawsuit said Mrs. Steele, at the behest of her friend Kathleen Willey, lied to Newsweek in early 1997 by saying Mrs. Willey had confided that she had been the victim of a sexual advance by Mr. Clinton.

Mrs. Steele said she later told Mr. Isikoff she had lied and said her conversations with Newsweek were "off the record."

In 1998, Mrs. Steele sued Mr. Isikoff, Newsweek and The Washington Post Co., which owns the magazine, claiming breach of contract and emotional distress.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly dismissed the case under D.C. law, ruling that the relationship between reporter and source is not contractual and even if so, Mrs. Steele's admitted lie invalidated the contract.

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