- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2001

Convicts riot at California prison

LANCASTER, Calif. About 300 inmates rioted at a crowded state prison yesterday, prompting a crackdown by guards using tear gas and wooden bullets, authorities said. Seven inmates were seriously injured.

Fighting broke out in a prison yard about 10:45 a.m., said a prison spokesman. No guards or staff were hurt. The prison is in the Mojave Desert about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.

Judge orders trial in 1969 killing

YORK, Pa. A judge yesterday ordered two black men to face trial in a 32-year-old murder case involving a white police officer who was slain during riots in the summer of 1969.

York County Common Pleas Judge John Chronister bound defendants Leon "Smickle" Wright, 53, and Stephen Donald Freeland, 49, over for trial in the murder of York officer Henry Schaad, who was shot July 18, 1969.

In a related case, nine white men are accused of killing a black woman during the riots.

N.Y. probe targets fake charities

ALBANY, N.Y. The state said yesterday it is investigating groups that may be posing as charities collecting money for New York City police and firefighters in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

"We have received a number of complaints and are aware of a number of organizations that are using the name of the police and fire department that appear to have no connection," said Juanita Scarlett, spokeswoman for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Widow sues airline over hijacking

DERRY, N.H. A woman whose husband died aboard one of the jetliners that slammed into the World Trade Center sued the airline yesterday, claiming company negligence led to the September 11 hijacking.

Ellen Mariani of Derry filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the southern district of New York. Her husband, Louis Mariani, 58, was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center.

Justice spokeswoman will take RNC job

Justice Department spokeswoman Mindy Tucker will leave her post next month for a job at the Republican National Committee, the department said yesterday.

Miss Tucker, who served as the department's director of public affairs, is expected to leave Jan. 5.

"Mindy has been a valuable member of the Department of Justice and a trusted friend. Her success can be attributed to her commitment to integrity and pursuit of the truth. She is principled and dedicated, and she will be missed," said Attorney General John Ashcroft.

House warns Iraq on weapons inspectors

The House yesterday called on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to allow the unrestricted return of U.N. weapons inspectors, warning his continued refusal poses a mounting threat to the United States.

Lawmakers endorsed 392-12 a non-binding resolution that stressed the urgency of resuming U.N. monitoring of Baghdad's weapons program.

Suit claims corpses were dug up, dumped

MIAMI A funeral company is accused in a lawsuit of digging up bodies and dumping them in the woods to make room for new burials.

Families filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday in a state circuit court in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., accusing Menorah Gardens and Funeral Chapels and its parent company, Service Corporation International, of desecrating graves and destroying human remains.

The lawsuit claims cemetery workers broke open burial vaults and dumped the bodies in the woods, and crushed coffins to make room for new coffins on top of them. The lawsuit claims that people who bought side-by-side plots were buried head-to-toe or on top of each other.

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