- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 29, 2001

House deadlocks on reform committee

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Missouri Democrat, announced yesterday they have been unable to reach an agreement on a select committee on election reform.

"Just because House leaders cannot agree doesn't mean the issue is dead," said Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat.

Mr. Hoyer, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Administration Committee, said that he and the committee's chairman, Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican, already had agreed to hold hearings into the matter.

Bomber calls victims 'collateral damage

BUFFALO, N.Y. Timothy McVeigh calls the children killed in the Oklahoma City bombing "collateral damage," regretting only that their deaths detracted from his bid to avenge Waco and Ruby Ridge, according to a new book.

The book represents the first time McVeigh has publicly and explicitly admitted to the crime and given his reasons for the attack.

"I understand what they felt in Oklahoma City. I have no sympathy for them," McVeigh told the authors of "American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing."

McVeigh told Lou Michel and Dan Herbeck he did not know there was a day care center inside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the authors told ABC News for an interview to be broadcast tonight on "PrimeTime Thursday."

Congress seeks scholar's release

Members of Congress hope to hasten the release of an American-based scholar accused of spying in China by granting the woman U.S. citizenship.

Matt Raymond, a spokesman for Sen. George F. Allen, Virginia Republican, said yesterday that Mr. Allen and other lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next week that would grant citizenship to Gao Zhan, a political scientist at American University.

Mrs. Gao and her husband, Xue Donghua, were detained, along with their 5-year-old son, at Beijing's airport last month during a family trip.

N.J. official denies role in 'profiling'

TRENTON, N.J. Former New Jersey Attorney General Peter G. Verniero denied yesterday that he directed anyone to withhold from the U.S. Justice Department evidence that state police were engaging in racial profiling.

Now an associate justice on the state Supreme Court, Justice Verniero said he agreed voluntarily to appear before a state Senate committee investigating racial profiling so the public could have a full understanding of events that transpired during his tenure as attorney general.

Couple indicted in dog-attack death

SAN FRANCISCO A San Francisco grand jury returned indictments Tuesday against a husband-and-wife team of lawyers whose dogs fatally mauled a young woman in the hallway of her apartment building.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan told reporters that Robert Noel, 59, had been charged with involuntary manslaughter and failure to control a mischievous animal. His wife, Marjorie Knoller, 45, was charged on those two counts as well as one count of second-degree murder.

The Jan. 26 attack occurred after Mrs. Knoller lost control of the two massive attack dogs that killed 33-year-old lacrosse coach Diane Whipple.

Texas killer's son gets life for murder

HOUSTON The 22-year-old son of an infamous Texas death-row inmate executed in June was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for murdering a longtime friend last year.

Prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty against Gary Lee Hawkins, who will be eligible for parole in 2040.

Hawkins is the son of Gary Graham, who was put to death last year for a 1981 robbery-murder. Hawkins was convicted of shooting Melvin Ray Pope.

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