- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Lawmakers defend campaign-finance law
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and five other lawmakers filed papers in federal court yesterday in defense of the new campaign-finance law.
The lawmakers, in a statement, said their defense team was filing intervention papers in response to lawsuits brought by the National Rifle Association and Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, "to defend the constitutionality of all aspects of the new campaign-finance law."
The NRA and Mr. McConnell, a longtime foe of the legislation, filed lawsuits before a three-judge court in Washington just hours after President Bush signed the legislation into law March 27. They contend that the law's restrictions on the use of money in political campaigns violates First Amendment free-speech rights.

Man convicted of killing Indian 'terrorist'
DALLAS A Dallas jury took less than an hour to convict a man yesterday of capital murder for shooting an Indian immigrant gas station owner out of anger at the September 11 attacks on the United States.
Mark Stroman, 32, had told police and a Dallas TV station that he killed naturalized U.S. citizen Vasudev Patel, 49, last October because he thought the Indian man looked Middle Eastern and he wanted vengeance for the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

'Vampire rapist' commits suicide
MIAMI A prisoner dubbed the "vampire rapist" for drinking his victim's blood committed suicide at a Florida prison, where he was serving a life term, corrections officials said yesterday.
Guards at the Hardee Correctional Institute in central Florida found John Crutchley, 55, in his cell Saturday with a plastic bag over his head. Doctors were unable to revive him, and he died of asphyxiation, state corrections officials said.
Crutchley kidnapped a 19-year-old hitchhiker in 1985 and raped her repeatedly. He tied her to his kitchen counter and used needles and tubing to drain her blood into a jar, then drank from it.

Study: Pot doesn't affect a person's IQ
Smoking pot may leave you stoned, but it apparently won't make you stupid.
Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa have found that people who smoke moderate amounts of marijuana, even over several years, do not experience decreases in IQ.
Although the IQs of current heavy smokers (more than five joints a week) dip slightly, those losses do not seem to last over time. Former pot smokers, no matter their intake, show no long-term decreases in intelligence quotients.

Plan heads off default on national debt
Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill yesterday put into motion a plan to avert an unprecedented default on the national debt, two weeks after a deadlocked Congress avoided an election-year vote on extending the government's authority to borrow.
To dodge a default for now, Mr. O'Neill was moving federal retirement funds into a non-interest-bearing account, freeing room for more borrowing.
Without shifting the funds, Treasury would not have been able to borrow the money it will need in coming weeks to keep the government operating, including making payments on debt that is coming due.
If it had missed those payments, the government would have been technically in default on the $5.95 trillion national debt, something that has never happened.

Training collision kills Navy pilot
A U.S. Navy pilot was killed yesterday and three other persons injured when two aircraft collided while taking off from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Southern Maryland, the U.S. Navy said.
Lt. Cmdr Christopher Tragna, 32, a flight instructor from Long Island, N.Y., died when two Extra 300L propeller planes collided during a formation takeoff at 2:50 p.m.
Another pilot, Lt. Kevin Quarderer, 35, and two civilians, Karl Schlimm, 37, and Paul Molnar, 38, were released from the Air Station Medical Clinic after treatment.The cause of the accident is being investigated.

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