- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Bank robber gives up in L.A. suburb
ALHAMBRA, Calif. A man claiming to have a gun took nine employees hostage at a suburban Los Angeles bank yesterday after demanding $50,000, authorities said. All the workers were released or escaped unharmed.
More than seven hours after the standoff at the Cathay Bank branch began, the suspect surrendered, Sgt. David Nater said.
The suspect, described as a man in his 30s, entered the bank around 9:25 a.m., told employees he was armed and demanded the money, Sgt. Nater said. No customers were inside.
Bank employees gave him an undisclosed amount of money and triggered a silent alarm. Several tellers also e-mailed colleagues at other branches, telling them a robbery was in progress, said Irwin Wong, the bank's executive vice president.
Authorities cordoned off four blocks around the bank, clearing out residents and shopkeepers. Special-weapons and FBI teams were called in to help sheriff's deputies.
Cathay Bank, founded in 1962, was the first Chinese-American-owned bank established in Southern California.

NAACP recognizes Rice with award
BALTIMORE The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has named White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice as this year's recipient of its President's Award.
The oldest and largest U.S. civil rights group gives the award to individuals who it decides have made significant contributions to their country, community or profession. Past recipients include former U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman and former President Bill Clinton.
The NAACP yesterday said it chose Miss Rice this year in recognition of her status as the first woman to serve as national security adviser and as one of President Bush's most trusted aides.

Bail denied JDL chief in bomb plot
LOS ANGELES The chairman of the Jewish Defense League and a group member were denied bail yesterday on charges of conspiring to blow up a mosque and the office of an Arab-American congressman.
U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew said JDL Chairman Irv Rubin, 56, and co-defendant Earl Krugel, 59, are flight risks. They were arrested Dec. 12 after an informant delivered 5 pounds of explosive powder to Mr. Krugel's home. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Muslim charity sues over frozen assets
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. An U.S.-based Muslim charity has filed suit against the U.S. government, seeking to overturn an order freezing its assets and records.
The Global Relief Foundation charged the Treasury Department with illegally freezing its assets, smearing its reputation and effectively putting it out of business in a civil suit filed Monday in U.S. district court.
FBI and Treasury agents targeted the charity in the wake of the September 11 attacks as U.S. officials sought to crack down on groups suspected of funneling money to terrorists.

ACLU wants signs taken down
NEW ORLEANS The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit yesterday demanding the removal of signs outside a southeastern Louisiana town that proclaim: "Jesus is Lord over Franklinton."
ACLU officials said public money was used to put up the signs on state roads, violating the constitutional separation of church and state.
Washington Parish President M.E. Taylor said that area churches paid for the signs and parish road crews erected them.

Mother gets life for locking up daughter
DALLAS A Texas mother who starved her 8-year-old daughter in a locked and filthy closet was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for what prosecutors called unprecedented evil.
The Dallas jury of seven men and five women deliberated about four hours before handing down the maximum penalty for Barbara Atkinson, 30, who switched her plea to guilty last Thursday.

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