- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 26, 2002

Anti-missile rocket hits target over Pacific

An interceptor rocket launched from a U.S. Navy ship smashed into a dummy missile high over the Pacific last night in the latest test in the Pentagon's plans to shield America from long-range missiles.

The planned test last night was the first to send an interceptor fired from a ship at sea into space to collide with a dummy missile. Other tests have used interceptor rockets launched from land.

The test was designed so that the anti-missile "kinetic warhead" was virtually guaranteed to smash into the dummy missile. Officials said the trial was conducted to evaluate the interceptor's guidance systems and was not meant to be a realistic test of whether a ship-based interceptor could knock out an enemy missile.

The missile exercise was the latest in a series of tests the Pentagon is conducting to develop several ways to shoot down long-range missiles fired at the United States. President Bush announced last year he was pulling the nation out of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, which bans such anti-missile systems.

Sentence overturned for death-row inmate

LINCOLN, Neb. A federal appeals court overturned the death sentence of a 21-year death-row inmate yesterday, saying the state's definition of "exceptional depravity" in capital cases is too vague.

The 2-1 ruling by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sends the case of Carey Dean Moore, 42, back to a lower court for a new sentencing.

The state Supreme Court and a federal judge had upheld Moore's sentence, saying the killings were exceptionally depraved because Moore practiced calling cabs to see how long they took to come and chose older victims because they would be easier to kill.

But the appeals court said: "We hold that the definition of exceptional depravity, inclusive of the purposeful selection of a victim on the basis of age, remains unconstitutionally vague."

Family found dead; young relative held

MIFFLINTOWN, Pa. Two adults and their two children were fatally shot at their home and a 16-year-old family member was in custody yesterday, state police said.

The family was found yesterday morning, state Trooper M.L. Anders said. He did not identify the victims. The suspect, whom Trooper Anders identified only as a "family member," was apprehended during a traffic stop in West Virginia.

N.Y. troopers issued less tickets after attack

ALBANY, N.Y. State police issued a third fewer traffic tickets in the four months after the World Trade Center attacks because troopers were redeployed to New York City and sensitive security posts.

The decline in fines cost municipalities a significant source of revenue.

Troopers wrote 184,349 tickets statewide from September through December, compared with 273,781 tickets from the same period in 2000, according to state police.

"It's stabilizing now. The numbers pretty much should be back to normal," Sgt. Glenn Miner said yesterday.

Anthrax-hoax mailer gets long prison term

URBANA, Ill. A pro-life crusader suspected of mailing hundreds of hoax anthrax letters to women's health clinics throughout the United States was sentenced yesterday to more than 30 years in prison on firearms, theft and escape convictions.

Clayton Lee Waagner, who was on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list when he was captured near Cincinnati Dec. 5, had been convicted a year earlier of gun possession by a felon and motor-vehicle theft. He escaped from an Illinois jail before his sentencing and later claimed responsibility for sending the letters.

Bush proposes major increase for NIH

President Bush is proposing the largest funding rise ever for the National Institutes of Health a $3.7 billion boost, almost half of which will go to bioterrorism research.

If Congress agrees, the raise would give the NIH $27.3 billion next year the final installment of a five-year bipartisan plan to double the budget of the nation's premier medical-research agency. The proposal earmarks $1.5 billion for bioterrorism research.

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