- The Washington Times - Friday, April 26, 2002

Prosecutors seek death in child's murder

SAN DIEGO Prosecutors said yesterday they will seek the death penalty against the neighbor accused of kidnapping and murdering Danielle van Dam, the 7-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom in February and was found dead along a rural road three weeks later.

David Westerfield, 50, is set for trial May 17.

Prosecutors filed a statement detailing their reasons, but a judge ordered the document sealed.

Emory expands Bellesiles probe

ATLANTA Emory University says "further investigation" is needed to determine if a professor was guilty of misconduct in his research into the history of guns in America.

Critics have accused Emory history professor Michael Bellesile of falsifying and misrepresenting data in his award-winning 2000 book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture."

Emory Dean Robert Paul said the university has completed an internal review it began in February and "concluded that further investigation would be warranted by an independent committee of distinguished scholars."

Connecticut Senate OKs millionaires' tax

HARTFORD, Conn. The state Senate approved a budget plan this week that would make Connecticut the only state to impose a special tax on millionaires.

The $13.5 billion budget plan approved by the Democrat-controlled Senate includes a two-year, 1 percent surcharge on people who earn more than $1 million per year. About 6,500 taxpayers would be affected by the surcharge.

The 20-16 vote was decided largely along party lines. The House is expected to take action on the proposal as early as today.

Patriot missile system 50-50 in latest test

A new-generation Patriot missile defense system hit only one of two target missiles yesterday in a test at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the U.S. Army said.

The test was designed to match the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile defense system against two different types of tactical ballistic missiles simultaneously.

"The first PAC-3 missile failed to launch and the missile system launched the second missile," the army said in a statement. The second missile hit the tactical ballistic missile it was targeting, it said.

Helms stable after heart surgery

Sen. Jesse Helms, 80, a North Carolina Republican and conservative stalwart, was in stable condition after having a heart valve replaced yesterday, his office said.

"He did very well and is stable in the postoperative Cardiac Intensive Care Unit," Mr. Helms' chief of staff, Jimmy Broughton, said in a statement.

The surgery was performed at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

Mr. Helms had a pig valve fitted into the left side of his heart in June 1992.

David Boies settles wage bias claims

David Boies, who represented Al Gore during the fight over the 2000 Florida presidential results, has settled wage bias claims filed by two female employees.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner admitted no wrongdoing in settling with Rachel Baird and Bonnie Porter, who worked as junior lawyers in the firm's office in Armonk, N.Y. Each woman will be paid $37,500 and reimbursed for attorney's fees, according to a settlement offer accepted by the two women.

The women sued the firm in January, saying Mr. Boies segregated all but one of the firm's female associates into a "nonpartnership track," while their male counterparts were groomed for partnership.

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