- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 13, 2005

Pentagon upgrading troop body armor

The Pentagon for the second time since the Iraq war began is replacing body armor for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, citing a need for better protection that can withstand the strongest of attacks from insurgents, a spokesman said yesterday.

The effort, which began more than a year ago, would upgrade the protection used by more than 500,000 soldiers, as well as civilian employees and news reporters. The first upgrade installed ceramic protective plates in the vests and was completed in early 2004.

Defense officials acknowledge the replacement processes have been slowed in part by debates over what is best for the troops. The current replacement is expected to take several more months to complete, said an Army official, who requested anonymity.

Utah mayor eyes relationship registry

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Rocky Anderson wants to allow domestic partners to document their relationships, saying a registry would let people signify that “they are partners, that they formed a domestic partnership.”

But whether he can legally do that in Utah is up for debate.

Some critics say such a move would run afoul of a state law approved by the largely conservative Utah electorate last year. The city’s attorney is researching the law’s implications and whether it would block Mr. Anderson’s plan.

Mr. Anderson also is considering extending health benefits to partners of homosexual city employees.

Buttafuoco faces new charges

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. — Joey Buttafuoco, a car mechanic who made national headlines in the early 1990s when his teenage girlfriend shot and wounded his wife, has been charged with illegal possession of ammunition.

Buttafuoco, 49, pleaded not guilty Friday after a search two days earlier of his home by the probation department, said district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.

Authorities said Buttafuoco, who was sentenced in March 2004 to a year in jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to felony insurance fraud, violated probation by possessing ammunition.

Buttafuoco was a New York auto-body shop owner in 1992 when his lover, Amy Fisher, then 17, shot his wife in the face. She served seven years in prison.

Two in Wyoming killed in tornado

WRIGHT, Wyo. — Residents had just five minutes warning before a tornado tore into a mobile-home park Friday, killing two persons and destroying dozens of homes.

About a dozen people were injured, but only one remained hospitalized yesterday. Three persons who had been listed as missing Friday night were found safe.

The twister touched down Friday afternoon in this coal-mining town of 1,500 about 100 miles northeast of Casper. It was on the ground 10 to 15 minutes, destroying 40 to 50 mobile homes and scattering metal siding, furniture and debris throughout the town.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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