- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2001

House panel postpones Ashcroft appearance

A House committee has postponed until next week an appearance by Attorney General John Ashcroft to explain why he refused to turn over documents outlining Justice Department decisions not to prosecute several high-profile cases.

Rep. Dan Burton, chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, had summoned Mr. Ashcroft before the panel, citing "no valid legal" reason why the documents were withheld.

He compared Mr. Ashcroft's decision to the "stonewalling" tactics of his predecessor, Janet Reno.

Mr. Burton said the oversight hearing, originally scheduled for today, was rescheduled for next Thursday because of conflicts in Mr. Ashcroft's schedule.


Bush ready to keep documents secret

President Bush is prepared to invoke executive privilege if Congress demands to see documents about prosecutors' decisions in three Clinton-era cases, administration officials said yesterday.

The claim, if made, would be Mr. Bush's first known use of executive privilege, a doctrine recognized by the courts to ensure presidents can receive candid advice in private without fear of it becoming public.


Oklahoma will pursue Nichols case

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma will not drop a state death penalty case against federally convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, despite a last-minute offer by Nichols to waive all appeals of his life sentence, the new Oklahoma County district attorney said yesterday.


Infection blocks AIDS virus

BOSTON — Researchers have found a seemingly innocuous virus is increasing the survival rate for people with AIDS by performing the medical equivalent of running interference against HIV, the deadly virus responsible for the disease.

In separate studies appearing in today's New England Journal of Medicine, scientists in Iowa and Germany have determined that those infected with the AIDS virus live significantly longer if they also have been infected recently with an unrelated virus known as GB virus C, or GBV-C.

Their studies suggest that GBV-C blocks the AIDS virus as it tries to attack the body.


Telescope yields evidence of black hole

A powerful new X-ray telescope has yielded evidence that just about clinches the case for the existence of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, astronomers say.

In the new study, led by Frederick Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, scientists used NASA's $1.5 billion Chandra X-ray telescope to observe a flare of X-ray energy produced where the lip of the black hole should be. The clear-cut image of the flare was the first of its kind.

The study appears in today's issue of the journal Nature.


Bookstores released from Torricelli probe

Federal prosecutors will not pursue subpoenas issued to three bookstores ordered to turn over information about books purchased by Sen. Robert G. Torricelli, an attorney for the booksellers said yesterday.

Daniel Mach, an attorney representing three bookstores subpoenaed by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White, said prosecutors "decided not to pursue the matter further" after learning that the bookstores could not comply with their request.


Parents arrested after students' party

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. — The parents of a high school football player were arrested for purportedly holding a team party with beer, marijuana and a stripper who let students as young as 15 lick whipped cream off her body.

Police responding to a noise complaint said they found the naked woman on the patio performing a lewd act.

Robert and Rochelle Wien were charged with endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child. The offenses carry up to a year in jail.


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