- The Washington Times - Friday, June 20, 2003

Judge says U.S. can freeze assets of charity

A federal appeals court yesterday upheld the government’s decision to freeze assets of a Texas-based Muslim charity accused of financing the militant Islamic group Hamas.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the Treasury Department had enough evidence to link the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development to terrorism when it shut down the organization in December 2001.

“It was clearly rational for Treasury to consider HLF’s genesis and history, which closely connect it with Hamas,” Judge David Sentelle wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel. “There was no plausible evidence presented which showed that these ties had been severed.”

The ruling lets stand a lower court decision from last summer.

Opium plantation found in Sierra Nevada forest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tens of thousands of opium poppies have been seized in the Sierra Nevada, the first time the drug-producing plants have been found in a national forest in California, officials said.

No arrests were made after the 40,000-plant garden was discovered, although a suspect was questioned, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Sue Exline.

A hiker happened upon the plants, which serve as the main ingredient in heroin, Wednesday in a fire-ravaged area of the Sierra National Forest that has been home to illegal marijuana gardens in the past, Miss Exline said.

When officers arrived, three men dressed in camouflage fled into a steep, rugged section of the forest above North Fork, about 45 miles northeast of Fresno. The forest borders the south side of Yosemite National Park.

Judge dismisses request by Roe of Roe v. Wade

DALLAS — A federal district court dismissed a request by the one-time plaintiff known as “Jane Roe” to reconsider the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion 30 years ago.

The court said late Thursday that Norma McCorvey’s request wasn’t made within a “reasonable time” after the 1973 judgment in Roe v. Wade.

Miss McCorvey, who joined the anti-abortion fight 10 years ago, filed the “motion for relief from judgment” Tuesday, asking the court to reopen the case and conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into scientific and anecdotal evidence that she says shows abortion hurts women.

FDA approves drug for asthma sufferers

Millions of asthma sufferers are about to get a dramatically different treatment that promises to short-circuit some attacks: a drug named Xolair that won Food and Drug Administration approval yesterday.

It’s only for patients with serious allergic asthma, where the breathing problems are triggered by allergies — and then only if regular asthma medicines aren’t working. And it’s expensive, requiring monthly shots that will cost between $5,000 and $10,000 a year, depending on the dose.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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