- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 1, 2001

Six convicts break out of Alabama prison

ST. CLAIR SPRINGS, Ala. Six convicts, including three murderers, escaped from a maximum-security prison by using a broom handle to slip under a 5,000-volt electric fence.
The men escaped from the St. Clair Correctional Facility after dark Tuesday. They got past a series of three fences: a 12-foot interior chain-link fence topped with razor wire, an electrified fence and another razor-topped fence.

Republican committees raised $500 million

Republican Party committees raised more than $500 million to finance their successful effort to keep control of Congress and win back the White House, Federal Election Commission filings show.
Although figures for Democratic fund raising are incomplete, that party's committees also set a record with $366 million through Nov. 27, in excess of $110 million more than they raised for the 1996 election cycle.

Billy Graham leaves hospital

ASHEVILLE, N.C. Evangelist Billy Graham, hospitalized for almost three weeks for fluid buildup on his brain, was released yesterday.
Mr. Graham, 82, was released from Mission St. Joseph's Health System and allowed to return to his home nearby in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The evangelist was admitted Jan. 11 when tests showed a shunt inserted last summer to stabilize pressure in his brain was not functioning properly because of a blockage. Doctors originally thought they would need to remove the shunt, but Mr. Graham's condition stabilized and tests showed no signs of infection.

Witness denies seeing Combs with a gun

NEW YORK A former corrections officer who moonlighted as a bodyguard for Sean "Puffy" Combs testified yesterday that he had never once seen the rap impresario carrying a weapon.
Prosecution witness Leonard Curtis Howard said he would never have associated himself with Mr. Combs, 31, if the defendant had carried a firearm.
The rapper and hip-hop businessman was arrested on Dec. 27, 1999, after he fled a nightclub with his girlfriend, actress-singer Jennifer Lopez.
Mr. Combs was charged with gun possession and bribery. Prosecutors say he offered his driver $50,000 to take the rap for having a gun found in their vehicle.

Space officials plan asteroid landing

Mission controllers, in history's first attempt to land a spacecraft on an asteroid, hope to drop the NEAR Shoemaker craft to a soft landing on Eros, a barren space rock. The Feb. 12 maneuver will not be easy: The craft was not designed to land.
If all goes perfectly, the 1,100-pound craft will drop from its asteroid orbit and slide gently onto Eros' rocky surface, perhaps bouncing slightly before resting on its side.

Man gets 90 days for skiing death

DENVER A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 90 days in jail yesterday for a deadly collision at Vail four years ago.
Nathan Hall, who was convicted of negligent homicide, wept in court as he apologized to the family of Alan Cobb, the 33-year-old Denver man who was killed in the collision.
Hall had just ended his shift as a lift operator and was heading down the mountain when he struck Mr. Cobb on April 20, 1997. Hall admitted he was skiing too fast.

Police cleared in Diallo shooting

NEW YORK Four police officers cleared of state criminal charges in the shooting death of an African immigrant will not be tried for federal civil rights violations, the Justice Department announced yesterday.
The officers were cleared of murder and other state charges last year.
Amadou Diallo, 22, died two years ago in a hail of bullets outside his Bronx apartment. A special police squad searching for a serial rapist opened fire when the man reached for his wallet.

Liddy lawsuit goes to jury

BALTIMORE The defamation lawsuit against G. Gordon Liddy went to the jury yesterday.

Former White House Counsel John Dean is trying "to enforce his own official story of Watergate," Liddy attorney John Williams said in closing arguments.

Mr. Liddy told jurors he believes burglars were sent to find photos of call girls, kept in the desk of Ida Wells, who is now suing Mr. Liddy for $5.1 million.

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