- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Hearing date set in rights panel case
A Jan. 31 hearing date has been set for oral arguments in the Justice Department's case against Victoria Wilson, the contested commissioner for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The hearing is scheduled to include arguments on a summary judgment and a motion to intervene by commission Chairman Mary Frances Berry and the commission itself.
Miss Berry has refused to seat Bush appointee Peter Kirsanow, arguing there is no legitimate vacancy for the president to fill. The Justice Department and the administration maintain that Miss Wilson's term ended in November in accordance with commission statute.
Judge Gladys Kessler will hear the case at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

N.Y. budget seeks small spending rise
ALBANY, N.Y. Gov. George E. Pataki revealed an $88.6 billion budget yesterday that calls for modest spending increases and using surplus funds and job buyouts to help close a $6.8 billion budget gap caused by the terrorist attacks and the weak economy.
The budget proposal calls for a 1.6 percent increase in state spending. Mr. Pataki said $200 million should be set aside to pay for extra security costs related to September 11.
In Florida, Gov. Jeb Bush delivered his State of the State speech, calling for spending another $45 million to boost domestic security programs.

Study: Rubella almost wiped out in U.S.
CHICAGO Rubella, or German measles, a disease that can cause serious birth defects, is on the verge of being eliminated in the United States, researchers say.
Cases of rubella have fallen from almost 58,000 in 1969 the year a vaccine was introduced to 272 in 1999, according to a study in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.
Almost all U.S. cases of the disease now are among Hispanic immigrants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Principi forming Gulf illness panel
Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi is turning to some of the harshest critics of government research into Persian Gulf war illness to advise the agency on future studies.
Mr. Principi is forming a panel to help direct research into illnesses experienced by troops who served in the 1990-91 war with Iraq, the VA said yesterday. Many Gulf war veterans accuse the government of dragging its feet in finding a cause and treatment for their mysterious illnesses.

Shooting-case cop starts new job
EVENDALE, Ohio Activists yesterday protested the hiring of a white police officer acquitted in the fatal shooting of a black man that spurred rioting in Cincinnati.
About 20 demonstrators gathered outside the municipal building for Stephen Roach's first day on the job in this small Cincinnati suburb. When they didn't see Officer Roach, they left.
Officer Roach, who was to begin field training yesterday, arrived later in the morning and told reporters "Fine, thank you" when asked how he felt about his new job.
Officer Roach, 27, was acquitted in September of all charges in the April 7 shooting of Timothy Thomas, 19.

Jewish militants plead not guilty
LOS ANGELES The leader and a member of the militant Jewish Defense League pleaded not guilty yesterday to federal charges of plotting to bomb a Los Angeles-area mosque and a congressman's office.
JDL Chairman Irv Rubin, 56, and Earl Krugel, 59, pleaded not guilty to charges they had plotted to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and the office of Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican of Lebanese ancestry.
Prosecutors say the bombing was planned for the week of Dec. 13 and thwarted when a third JDL member turned government informant and agreed to secretly tape meetings with the two men.

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