- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002

U.S. pilots said at fault in bombing of Canadians

A military investigation has found that a U.S. fighter pilot did not follow proper procedures when he mistakenly bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan in April, killing four soldiers and injuring eight, U.S. military officials said yesterday.

The officials said the investigation report found that the F-16 pilot, Maj. Harry Schmidt of the Illinois Air National Guard, did not take time to properly assess the threat on the ground before dropping a 500-pound laser-guided bomb.

The 1,500-page report recommends that Maj. Schmidt and a fellow F-16 Guard pilot, Maj. William Umbach, face an Article 32 hearing that could lead to criminal or other charges against them. Such a hearing is the military version of a civilian grand jury.


Sister saw abductor second time, police say

SALT LAKE CITY Elizabeth Smart's little sister, the sole witness to the teen's apparent abduction, waited two hours to tell her parents about the kidnapping because she feared the kidnapper was still in the house, authorities said yesterday.

Police Chief Rick Dinse said the girl, Mary Katherine, got out of bed soon after the abduction and headed toward her parents' bedroom. But she saw the man still in the house, so she went back to her room and waited for two hours.


House panel OKs child-porn ban

A House committee voted yesterday to reinstate a recently rejected ban on Internet child pornography, hoping that a more narrowly tailored version would pass courtroom muster.

The Supreme Court struck down a previous law that outlawed "virtual" child pornography in April, saying it could criminalize simulated sex acts in mainstream movies like "Traffic" and "Romeo and Juliet."

By a vote of 22-3, the House Judiciary Committee approved a more narrowly drafted bill that would outlaw only computer images that were indistinguishable from actual photographs or movies. Pornography involving prepubescent children would be outlawed entirely, "virtual" or not.


Bush proposes spending millions to fight AIDS

President Bush yesterday proposed spending $500 million over the next five years to keep mothers in parts of Africa and the Caribbean from passing to their babies the virus that causes AIDS.

He called on other world leaders to help "save children from disease and death."

Mr. Bush in a Rose Garden ceremony announced his proposal for the increased spending, mostly for anti-AIDS medications to be administered during pregnancy and after birth. The United States would pay for the drugs, such as nevirapine, which prevent transmission of HIV to unborn children.


FEC debates 'soft-money' rules

As President Bush raised a record amount for Republican congressional candidates, federal regulators yesterday approved some election activities that can still be paid by large corporate and union donations starting next year.

With one Democratic member joining three Republicans, the Federal Election Commission defined some of the state and local election activities that will be exempted from the new law banning "soft money" donations at the federal level.

By identical 4-2 votes, the commission gave state and local parties potentially more time to assist with soft money those candidates who face primary challenges and defined several types of election activities that will be considered get-out-the-vote efforts for which state and local parties can spend some soft money.

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