- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2002

Shelton out of hospital after back surgery

Retired Army Gen. Henry H. Shelton walked unassisted from Walter Reed Army Medical Center yesterday, two weeks after surgery to repair his injured spine.

Gen. Shelton, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff until he retired in October, had been hospitalized since late March, when he was partially paralyzed in a fall off a ladder at his home in Fairfax.

Gen. Shelton, 62, who had surgery May 28 to decompress and fuse his spinal canal, will continue treatment at Walter Reed.

Homeless can sleep on church steps

NEW YORK A federal appeals court has ruled that homeless people can seek evening shelter on the steps of a prominent New York church located in a prime Manhattan shopping and tourist area.

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision late on Wednesday that stopped New York City from moving homeless people sleeping on property owned by the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Senate Democrats block GOP plan

Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a Republican attempt to limit lawsuits against companies struck by terrorists. Republicans said the move would bring a presidential veto for legislation designed to help cover insurance costs of possible future attacks.

The Senate, by a 50-46 party-line vote, rejected a Republican amendment to eliminate punitive damages in lawsuits against companies whose buildings are hit by terrorists.

Republicans accused Democrats of trying to protect trial lawyers in an election year.

New York police get 'radiation pagers'

NEW YORK New York has deployed around 30 police with special radiation pagers that could detect any fallout from a so-called "dirty bomb," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

"We have 30 of these pagers already in use and plan to have several hundred of them out there, deploying them as they come on board," Mr. Kelly told reporters.

The special pagers, which operate as mini Geiger counters, warn the wearer of any substantial change in radiation levels.

Soldier kills wife, himself

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. A Special Forces soldier who had come back from Afghanistan because of family problems fatally shot his wife and then committed suicide, police said.

Sgt. 1st Class Rigoberto Nieves, 32, and his wife, Teresa, 28, were found dead about midnight Wednesday in the master bedroom of their home. Both had been shot in the head with a .40-caliber gun, police Lt. Tom Guilette said.

Members of Teresa Nieves' family were visiting Tuesday and forced their way into the couple's bedroom.

Jury investigates priests in sex-crimes case

ST. LOUIS A grand jury is investigating charges of sexual abuse against 24 Catholic priests as part of a probe that began with the arrest of a defrocked clergyman in March, a prosecutor said.

The state panel has been unable to pursue complaints against 10 other priests, some of whom have died, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said Wednesday.

She declined to release any information about the 24 priests.

Judges dismiss redistricting lawsuit

LOS ANGELES A three-judge panel dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday by a Hispanic rights group that sought to overturn redistricting plans it said were designed to keep three white Democratic incumbents in Congress.

In a 91-page decision, the two U.S. District Court judges and one federal appeals court judge rejected the action brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund on behalf of 24 registered voters.

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