- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 31, 2000

Laser knocks down rockets simultaneously

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. An experimental laser that someday may protect Israel's northern border blew up two rockets in simultaneous flight during a test in the New Mexico desert, the U.S. Army said.
The Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) blew up a single artillery rocket in June. Monday's test was closer to conditions the THEL could face on the battlefield: multiple rockets coming from different directions.
"It's certainly a milestone for the program," said Gerda Sherrill, a spokeswoman at the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command at Huntsville, Ala. The command oversees the $200 million program being developed jointly by Israel and the United States.
The biggest technical challenge for THEL lies in tracking the incoming rockets.

Susan Smith, guard said to have sex

COLUMBIA, S.C. Susan Smith, serving a life sentence for drowning her two young sons in a lake, apparently had sex with a guard four times while in prison, corrections officials said yesterday.
Officials learned of the reputed encounters while investigating a tabloid newspaper report that she had been beaten.
The guard, 50, was suspended and could be fired, a prison spokesman said.
Smith reportedly had sex with the guard at the Women's Correctional Institution in May and June. There was no evidence she was beaten and no indication that the guard forced her to have sex, officials said.

INS to address treatment of Asians

The Immigration and Naturalization Service said yesterday it will take steps to address complaints about the mistreatment of Asians who attempt to enter the country at the Portland International Airport in Oregon.
INS spokeswoman Maria Cardona said the agency takes seriously the criticism and problems that have occurred in Portland, with the latest incident involving the recent jailing and strip search of a 36-year-old Chinese businesswoman.
"We need to see results, and we need to see them quickly," she said, adding that the INS regional director had promised a "comprehensive management review" of the procedures used in Portland.
Statistics show INS officials in Portland have refused foreign travelers mainly Asians entry into the country at rates far higher than at other airports on the West Coast. The rate of people detained on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant also is higher.
Oregon's two U.S. senators sent a letter Tuesday urging INS Commissioner Doris Meissner to remove the director of the Portland office because of years of persistent problems and complaints.

Seton Hall fined for having no fire plan

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. The government has fined Seton Hall University $12,600 for failing to have a fire plan in place to protect its employees during a deadly dormitory fire last January.
The Jan. 19 blaze killed three students and injured 58.
Seton Hall said it will institute a new fire-safety plan within the next few weeks. Classes start on Sept. 6.

Actor, friend charged with stealing yacht

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Actor Brad Renfro was charged with grand theft after reputedly trying to steal a yacht the day before filming was to begin on his latest movie.
Two persons sleeping in a nearby boat were awoken by the sound of an engine at about 4 a.m. Monday. They saw Mr. Renfro, 18, and a friend trying to maneuver the 45-foot yacht away from the dock, police said.
But they didn't untie the dock lines and the $175,000 boat was yanked back into the dock, damaging its stern, authorities said. The two persons called authorities and held Mr. Renfro and Harold Bond, 24, until police arrived.
Mr. Renfro was released from jail Monday night after posting $10,000 bail. Filming of the movie "Bully" began Tuesday. Mr. Bond remained in jail yesterday on $10,000 bond.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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