- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 29, 2001

Judge sets deadline for death penalty bid
The U.S. government has until March 29 to say whether it plans to seek the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, the first person indicted in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks, District Judge Leonie Brinkema has ruled.
Mr. Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent who was detained a few weeks before the attacks, has been indicted on six counts of conspiracy. He will be tried in Alexandria.
Mr. Moussaoui's mother, Aicha el-Wafi, arrived in Virginia on Thursday to see her son and said on several talk shows yesterday that her son can prove his innocence.
Four of the counts are punishable by death.

Death toll rises in van accident
NEW YORK The elderly driver of a commercial van that mowed down pedestrians near the flagship Macy's department store was questioned by investigators but has not been charged, police said. The death toll in the accident rose to seven yesterday.
Police said an officer had ordered the 76-year-old driver to move his vehicle because it was double parked during evening rush hour on 34th Street, a midtown street filled with tourists and shoppers. He was making a delivery to a nearby shoe store.
The van moved forward abruptly, striking several pedestrians, before it crashed into a bus.

Drunken drivers offered free burial
ATLANTA For revelers determined to drink and drive on New Year's Eve, a group of U.S. funeral homes is offering a sobering incentive to think again free burial service.
In an effort to drive home the dangers of the lethal mix of drinking and driving, six funeral homes in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina will pay for the coffin, embalming and burial of people who sign up for this offer.
"We hope [the offer] makes people stop and think," said Dan Ewton, owner of Ewton Funeral Home in Dunlap, Tennessee. "Even if it saves one life, it would be worthwhile."

Three teens accused in bombing plot
CRAIG, Colo. Three boys are accused of plotting to blow up their rural high school and a courthouse.
Investigators said the three, ages 15, 16 and 17, planned to carry out the attack when Moffat County High School reopens in January after the winter break.
Police Chief Walter Vanatta said Friday that investigators have arrived at a possible motive for the attack, but he would not disclose it.
Another student reported the threats, Chief Vanatta added.

High court vacates Kansas death sentence
TOPEKA, Kan. The state Supreme Court threw out the death sentence Friday of the first person condemned to die since Kansas reinstated capital punishment in 1994.
The court faulted the wording of the form the jury used to weigh the death penalty against Gary Kleypas, who was convicted in 1997 of fatally stabbing a 20-year-old Pittsburg State University student.
The ruling also affects the three other men in the slaying who have been sentenced to die. State prosecutors said they will again seek the death penalty against the four men, using a rewritten form.

Sex poll without consent violated federal law
TRENTON, N.J. A school district violated federal law when it surveyed students on sex, drugs, suicide and abuse at home without getting parental consent, the Department of Education said.
In making the decision, officials appeared to rely heavily on sworn statements from four Ridgewood students who said they believed the survey was mandatory, the Record of Hackensack reported yesterday. Schools Superintendent Frederick Stokley said in a sworn statement that it was optional.
The ruling, included in a Dec. 18 letter to Mr. Stokley, carries no penalties. It requires the district to remind officials about the need for parental consent.

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