- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 1, 2002

CIA honors slain agent with memorial star

The CIA added a 79th star to the marble memorial wall at its headquarters in honor of Johnny "Mike" Spann, the CIA officer killed during a prison uprising in Afghanistan last year, the agency said yesterday.

CIA Director George J. Tenet eulogized Mr. Spann yesterday at a memorial ceremony held each year at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., to remember CIA officers killed in the line of duty.

Mr. Tenet described Mr. Spann as a "quiet warrior" who "placed his own life in jeopardy to save the lives of others," the agency said. He presented Mr. Spann's widow, three children and parents with posthumous awards honoring his death and "acts of courage performed under hazardous conditions."

The 79th star was carved into the memorial wall in the headquarters lobby on May 23 to mark Mr. Spann's death. He is the only CIA officer known to have been killed in combat in the Afghan war.

U.S. to resume making nuclear-warhead triggers

The government plans to resume making plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads and is beginning design work on a manufacturing plant, the Energy Department said yesterday.

The department halted the production of plutonium "pits," or triggers, for warheads in 1989. The pit is a critical component of a nuclear weapon.

"We need to have the capacity to manufacture certified pits to maintain the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent into the future," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in a statement.

The manufacturing plant is expected to cost $2.2 billion to $4.4 billion, depending on the production capacity, said a statement from DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Members of Congress, the Defense Department and outside advisory groups for some time have urged resumption of pit production.

Former cleric apologizes for sex 'scandal'

MILWAUKEE Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland apologized yesterday for the pain a $450,000 settlement the archdiocese reached with a man who accused him of sexual assault has caused the Catholic community.

Mr. Weakland is the highest-ranking American cleric to acknowledge settling a sexual-assault accusation against him. During yesterday's service, Mr. Weakland said he accepted responsibility for the "inappropriate nature" of his relationship with a former student and apologized for "any harm done him."

The Milwaukee Archdiocese in 1998 paid the settlement to Paul Marcoux, a former Marquette University theology student who accused Mr. Weakland of sexually assaulting him in 1979.

Mr. Weakland's 25-year tenure ended when the Vatican accepted his resignation May 24, a day after he acknowledged paying the settlement. He reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in April.

Shark attacks California surfer

SAN FRANCISCO A 24-year-old surfer riding the waves off a popular Northern California beach was attacked by a shark yesterday, suffering leg and back injuries and prompting authorities to close part of the beach, fire officials said.

The man, who was airlifted in critical condition to a nearby hospital, was pulled off his board by a shark that other surfers said had a 12-inch to 15-inch dorsal fin, Stinson Beach Assistant Fire Chief Pat Norton told reporters.

"The victim fought off the attack and returned to his board," Mr. Norton said. "He was in a moderate amount of pain and looking forward to a good helicopter ride."

The attack was the first in four years at the popular surfing spot some 24 miles north of San Francisco. Offshore waters there are a major breeding ground for great white sharks, which have regularly been sighted in the area.

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