- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2002

Agent Orange veterans win court battle
SAN FRANCISCO Vietnam veterans suffering from diabetes and prostate cancer after being exposed to Agent Orange won a round yesterday in their court battle against the federal government.
A federal appeals court ruled that the Department of Veterans Affairs must pay retroactive disability payments to thousands of Vietnam vets.
The payments must date to when the veterans initially applied for benefits under a law that allowed them to do so beginning Sept. 25, 1985.

Court invalidates anti-swearing law
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. A state appeals court struck down yesterday Michigan's 105-year-old law against using vulgar language in front of women and children, throwing out the conviction of a canoeist who let loose a stream of curses after falling into the water.
Enacted in 1897 and slightly reworded in 1931, the law says that anyone using "indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."
The three-judge panel unanimously overturned the 1999 conviction of Timothy Joseph Boomer, saying it would be "difficult to conceive of a statute that would be more vague."

Trade Center flag flies over City Hall
NEW YORK The American flag that was lifted above the wreckage of the World Trade Center and then flown aboard Navy ships deployed in the war against terror was raised above City Hall yesterday.
City officials and Navy officers stood at attention in a solemn, wordless ceremony as an honor guard of police officers and firefighters lifted the flag and bagpipers played "America the Beautiful."
On September 11, firefighters Dan McWilliams, George Johnson and Billy Eisengrein were photographed as they raised the flag above the smoldering rubble.

Man pleads guilty to supporting terrorists
CHARLOTTE, N.C. A man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to funnel money, weapons and supplies to the Hezbollah terrorist group and will testify against other defendants, prosecutors said yesterday.
Said Mohamad Harb, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiracy Feb. 25, and a charge of providing material support to a known terrorist organization was dropped, U.S. Attorney Robert Conrad said. Mr. Conrad said the plea was kept secret because Harb agreed to testify against other defendants in exchange for the removal of some of his relatives from Lebanon to the United States. They arrived yesterday.
The case stems from an investigation into a group accused of smuggling cigarettes from North Carolina to other states for resale and funneling the profits to the Islamic militant group.

Authorities: Boy stole Internet-account data
MILWAUKEE A 16-year-old boy stole Internet-account information from 200 people and bought items worth $1,643, including a bong and computer equipment, after obtaining the victims' credit-card numbers, authorities said.
The boy, who was not identified, was charged with two felony counts of misappropriation of personal identification. He was placed in a juvenile facility and ordered to avoid computers while his case is pending.

Network courting Donahue for show
NEW YORK MSNBC is courting Phil Donahue to return to television as the host of a topical prime-time hour.
Although the network would not comment on its search for new programming, a source close to the negotiations who spoke yesterday on the condition of anonymity said Mr. Donahue wants to make a comeback.
Mr. Donahue, 66, has been having "ongoing discussions" with MSNBC, said his spokeswoman, Jill DeVincens. There has been no agreement, she said.


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