- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2002

Preservation of evidence in Lindh case requested

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys for accused Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh proposed yesterday that the CIA, FBI, Defense Department and two other government agencies preserve all evidence in the case.

In motions filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the prosecutors and defense attorneys said the order would cover all material that referred to Lindh, including records, documents, notes, videotapes or photographs, in existence as of Jan. 24, when he appeared in court for the first time.

The order also would apply to the State Department and the National Security Agency.

Lindh, captured in Afghanistan in late November and brought back to the United States in January to stand trial, has pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiring to kill U.S. civilians and military personnel abroad.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. McNulty, in the motion, said the government had no objection to a defense request to keep evidence, saying the order "strikes the appropriate balance" between making sure pertinent evidence would be preserved without imposing an unreasonable burden on the government.

Study says homosexuals ignore AIDS warnings

SAN FRANCISCO A small but worrisome proportion of homosexual men in the Bay area are engaging in unprotected anal intercourse, knowingly putting themselves at risk for AIDS, a groundbreaking health study shows.

The study, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, demonstrates that despite years of programs promoting the use of condoms as a means of HIV prevention, some homosexual men nonetheless are actively seeking out partners who will have unprotected sex with them, elevating concerns about rising HIV infection rates.

Authors of the study said it underscored the need for a new approach to prevention.

Shuttle launch scrubbed because of fuel leak

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. A leak of hydrogen fuel at the launchpad forced NASA to call off yesterday's planned liftoff of shuttle Atlantis on a space station construction mission.

Officials said the leak occurred in a vent line outside the shuttle, at the base of the launch platform. The highly flammable fuel could be seen in a NASA videotape, streaming out in large, white clouds of gas and dissipating into the air.

NASA immediately halted the fueling, about an hour after it had begun. Atlantis' huge external fuel tank was no more than 10 percent filled at the time, and the leak lasted just a minute.

Permits granted for killing of wolves

BOISE, Idaho A new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service policy will allow Idaho farmers and ranchers to get federal permits to kill wolves even when the predators are not seen killing livestock.

"We're just trying to be more flexible and allow private livestock operators a little more ability to protect their livestock from chronic wolf attacks," Carter Niemeyer, the agency's wolf-recovery coordinator, said Tuesday.

The permit policy does not, however, apply to the Idaho Panhandle, where gray wolves are fully protected as an endangered species.

Alcohol use falls among pregnant women

ATLANTA U.S. health specialists reported yesterday that alcohol use among pregnant women had declined since 1995, but they said the incidence of binge or frequent drinking among expectant mothers remained high.

Prenatal exposure to alcohol is one of the nation's leading preventable causes of birth defects, mental retardation and neuro-developmental disorders, such as fetal alcohol syndrome.

A survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 12.8 percent of pregnant women ages 18 to 44 in 1999 had consumed some alcohol during the previous month, down from 16.3 percent in 1995.

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