Feinberg named fund overseer
Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday named Kenneth R. Feinberg, a Washington lawyer, as head the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund program.
Mr. Feinberg, former administrative assistant to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, served as special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and is a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York City. He also served as a special settlement master in the Agent Orange litigation.
Mr. Feinberg will lead the effort to develop regulations governing the administration of the fund President Bush signed into law Sept. 24 and oversee personnel within the program.
“I know that under his leadership, the program will be administered in a manner that is sensitive and fair to the needs of those who have suffered as a result of the events of September 11,” Mr. Ashcroft said.
Hillary’s brother testifies in case of assault
FACTORYVILLE, Pa. Tony Rodham, the brother of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, testified yesterday that he may have smoked marijuana with a man who reportedly assaulted him hours later.
“I might have, but I don’t recall,” Mr. Rodham said.
He testified at a hearing for Daniel Coyne, 45, who is charged with assault, burglary and trespassing for an Aug. 19 incident at the Rodham family’s cottage in Lake Winola. He was ordered to stand trial after the hearing.
Mr. Coyne has told police he climbed onto the porch of the cottage around 3 a.m. and saw Mr. Rodham having sex with a woman Mr. Coyne said was his girlfriend.
Authorities said Mr. Coyne then broke into the cottage and kicked Mr. Rodham, 47, in the face, head and body.
Man accused of shipping nuclear parts to Israel
LOS ANGELES A 72-year-old engineer from the Los Angeles area who has been on the run for the past 16 years pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of illegally shipping nuclear triggering devices to Israel.
Richard Kelly Smyth faces 15 counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act and 15 counts of making false statements to the U.S. government. If he is found guilty at his January trial he could face life in prison.
Mr. Smyth, a former Air Force and NATO adviser, disappeared from the United States in 1985 three weeks after pleading not guilty to charges that he exported 800 devices that could be used as nuclear triggers, worth about $60,000, to Heli Trading Corp. in Israel. He was arrested last July in Malaga, Spain, after filling out a bank application, and extradited to the United States last week.
Drug seizures rise in fiscal 2001
The amount of illegal drugs stopped at the U.S. border rose 16 percent in the past year, the Customs Service said yesterday.
Customs inspectors confiscated 1.79 million pounds of illegal drugs in fiscal 2001, which ended Sept. 30 and does not include the hallucinogenic drug Ecstasy. During the previous year 1.54 million pounds were seized.
Killer of baby released from prison
CLINTON, N.J. A woman who gave birth in a bathroom stall at her high school prom, then killed the infant before returning to the dance floor, has been freed from prison. Melissa Drexler, now 23, was released early yesterday after serving just over three years of the 15-year sentence she was given after pleading guilty in 1998 to aggravated manslaughter, said Deidre Fedkenheuer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
Schaffer aide reiterates term-limit pledge
DENVER Rep. Bob Schaffer said yesterday that he would not seek re-election next year, keeping a promise to limit himself to three terms.
“He gave his word. He’s living up to his term-limit pledge,” press aide William Mutch said.
Mr. Schaffer, Colorado Republican, made the pledge when he first ran in 1996, which he later described as a mistake. He said the pledge cost him House leadership positions and plum committee assignments