- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2000

Armey questions Reno over surveillance tool

In a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, House Majority Leader Dick Armey yesterday criticized the independence and scope of the Justice Department's review of its "Carnivore" e-mail surveillance tool.

The Texas Republican cited recently released documents that indicate Carnivore is just one of a group of snooping devices known to Justice as "DragonWare."

The department hired the Illinois Institute of Technology's Research Institute to conduct an independent review of Carnivore to calm the fears of civil liberties groups and Congress.

Mr. Armey wants the review to encompass DragonWare, too. He also expressed concerns about the loyalties of the reviewers, some of whom have strong ties to government, including one who has donated the maximum legal amount to Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign.

Dumbbell hospitalizes Anna Nicole Smith

HOUSTON A wayward dumbbell has put former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith in the hospital and out of the courtroom where she is seeking half of her late 90-year-old husband's billion-dollar estate, her attorney said yesterday.

Miss Smith, 32, dropped the dumbbell on her left hand while lifting weights last week and injured a nerve that extends the length of her arm, lawyer Tom Cunningham said.

"The doctors have told her that she must take medication and therapy and must stay in the hospital. Nobody has said how long [she must stay], but there's no prognosis for her release at the moment," he said.

Surgeon Mark Henry has ordered her hospitalized because she could lose arm movement without proper treatment.

Astronauts finishing space station mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Space shuttle Discovery's astronauts entered the International Space Station one last time yesterday to test newly installed equipment, check for mold and drop off supplies for the three men who will move in soon.

Commander Brian Duffy said the astronauts took great care to make sure everything is perfect when the space station's first full-time crew arrives in November.

Discovery and its seven astronauts are scheduled to pull away from the space station today after a week of construction work.

With Mission Control's help, the astronauts tested the four motion-control gyroscopes they installed earlier in the mission. The gyroscopes checked out fine. And there were no signs of mold or mildew anywhere on board.

Radar equipment fails at L.A. airport

LOS ANGELES Hundreds of flights in and out of Los Angeles International Airport were grounded, canceled or severely delayed yesterday after a radar equipment outage at one of the nation's busiest air hubs.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said computer software equipment processing radar information went down at about 6:50 a.m. PDT during an upgrade. It came back briefly but then went down again around 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT). The computer coordinates high-altitude traffic in, out and across the Southern California region.

"There is a national ground stoppage of flights leaving Southern California," the spokesman said. An automatic backup system came into force ensuring the safety of planes already in the air.

Father pleads guilty to killing 13 persons

SPOKANE, Wash. A man pleaded guilty yesterday to killing 13 persons dating back 25 years, taking a place among the nation's most prolific serial killers.

Robert L. Yates Jr., a 48-year-old father of five, will be sentenced next week to spend the rest of his life in prison. He still could face the death penalty if convicted of two Tacoma-area slayings and an additional killing in Spokane County.

Yates pleaded guilty to 10 Spokane-area slayings from 1996 to 1998, the murders of a young man and woman in southern Washington in 1975 and the murder of a woman in the state's northeastern corner in 1988.

He also pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Christine Smith, the only victim known to have escaped his attacks.

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