- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Maureen Reagan returns home from hospital

LOS ANGELES — Maureen Reagan, the cancer-stricken daughter of former President Ronald Reagan, returned home yesterday from a hospital where she had been receiving radiation for two brain tumors.

"She is thrilled to be home," her husband, Dennis Revell, said by telephone. "She has been very inspired and appreciative of all the cards and good will from friends and total strangers. She's taking every day as it comes."

Mrs. Reagan, 60, will undergo weekly chemotherapy at her Sacramento-area home. She completed brain radiation treatments Thursday. Her husband declined to characterize her condition.

"It's good to be home," said Mr. Revell, who had been with her almost constantly at Mercy San Juan Hospital.


Astronauts to testify to Congress from space

Two U.S. astronauts will be beamed live into the halls of Congress tomorrow to testify before a scientific committee, NASA said yesterday.

James Voss and Susan Helms, aboard the International Space Station since March, will have a video feed piped in from their orbit 236 miles above the Earth, giving the lawmakers a tour of the space complex, which recently completed its first phase of construction with the installation last week of an aluminium airlock to serve as a front door.

The 17-story station, now the size of a four-room apartment, is the largest permanent structure ever built in space.


Father sentenced for bullying children

AKRON, Ohio — A man accused of bullying his five home-schooled children to win spelling bees and other competitions apologized yesterday and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Judge James R. Williams suspended a yearlong jail sentence for Thomas Lavery, 57, who admitted to attempted child endangering, a felony, and misdemeanor child endangering.

Two of his daughters had been expected to testify that Lavery forced his children to study for long periods without sleep or bathroom breaks.

Marjory Lavery, 19, said that after she placed second in the National Spelling Bee in 1995, her father jumped on her and threatened to kill her.


Senators listen to voter complaints

ATLANTA — Two Democratic senators listened yesterday to complaints from voters who said they waited in long lines and were turned away from the polls on Election Day.

The hearing was the first ever outside Washington for the Senate Rules Committee, which is considering a bill to provide federal money to states to improve voting technology and to better educate voters and poll workers by 2004.

The only committee members present were Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, the panel's new chairman, and Max Cleland of Georgia, both Democrats.

Congressional committees occasionally take their meetings on the road, but the hearing was unique for the Rules Committee. However, Mr. Dodd has said he wants to discuss election reform in every region of the country.


Ashcroft halts bid to deport Thai boy

LOS ANGELES — Attorney John Ashcroft said yesterday that he would halt efforts by immigration officials to deport an HIV-infected 4-year-old Thai boy who was brought to the United States as a pawn of smugglers.

Mr. Ashcroft said at a Los Angeles press conference he would grant Phanupong Khaisri — the boy nicknamed "Got" who spent much of the last year at the center of an Elian Gonzalez-like international tug of war — a special "humanitarian parole" to remain in the United States.

The attorney general said he would also order the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officials, who denied the boy asylum last year and have fought in court to deport him over the objections of local Thai activists, to begin processing a special visa for victims of human trafficking.

The boy's father committed suicide, and his mother is a prostitute who reportedly "rented" him to members of an organized smuggling ring.

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