- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Labors Chao fails to disclose board link
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao failed to reveal on her financial disclosure form that she was a board member of privately held Multa Communications Corp., which operates a high-speed Internet backbone, according to documents examined yesterday.
The California-based corporation said it operates in the United States, China and Taiwan and offers high-speed Internet access, virtual private networks, data centers, Web hosting and Web development services.
Mrs. Chao, a Taiwanese immigrant, was sworn in as the labor chief on Jan. 31, but a company spokesman said she resigned her board position on March 1, a month after she took the reins of the agency.

Waddle says civilians were distracting

The skipper of the USS Greeneville has changed his view of the collision with a Japanese fishing vessel and now says that civilian guests aboard the submarine played a role in the accident, his attorney said yesterday.
Cmdr. Scott Waddles civilian attorney, Charles Gittins, said the skipper believes the Feb. 9 collision between the Greeneville and the Ehime Maru would "not have happened if the civilians were not on board."
The presence of 16 guests, including business figures, has angered Japanese officials and raised questions in the U.S. military over the practice of allowing civilians aboard Navy vessels as a public relations tool.
"First, the ship only got underway at all that day to take the distinguished visitors on a day sail, " Mr. Gittins said in an e-mail response to questions from the Associated Press. "Second, absent civilians on board, even if the ship was out for training that day, they would not have done an emergency main ballast blow to surface. So to the extent that civilians were embarked, their presence certainly contributed to the accident."
During the 12-day court of inquiry at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Cmdr. Waddle was asked if civilians were a factor and replied, "No."

Nichols hearing set for May 21

OKLAHOMA CITY A judge yesterday set a May 21 preliminary hearing date to determine whether convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols should be tried on state murder charges.
State District Judge Ray Dean Linder said he wants to conclude the hearing by June 15. Nichols is charged with 160 counts of first-degree murder in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which resulted in 168 deaths.
The date was set after defense attorney Brian Hermanson said it would be inappropriate to begin May 17, because it would be the day after the scheduled execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.
Mr. Hermanson also said he is appealing Judge Linders refusal last month to dismiss the charges. Nichols claimed he should not be tried on state charges because he already has been convicted and sentenced in federal court.

Rain cancels Easter Egg Roll

Intermittent rain canceled President Bushs first Easter Egg Roll at the White House, forcing lines of children outside to settle for a tour of the White House.
Instead of rolling painted eggs down the South Lawn, the children and parents who stood outside in the rain waiting for the festivities would tour the mansion and receive a commemorative Easter egg, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
"Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about the rain, but the president and the first lady are doing the best they can to make it up to the little kids, " White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

Living organ donations spike in 2000

The number of living organ donors climbed by more than 16 percent last year, the largest one-year increase ever, with more than 5,500 people giving away a kidney or a piece of their liver.
Meanwhile, donations from the dead edged up by less than 3 percent in 2000, continuing the slow pace of recent years, the Department of Health and Human Services said yesterday.

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