- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

Moussaoui opposes death penalty

Zacarias Moussaoui accused the government of stretching death penalty laws to gain retribution for the September 11 attacks on America while a judge criticized him for twice refusing to meet with a psychiatrist, court documents revealed yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema questioned the "irrational behavior" of the French citizen, 33, the only person charged in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed about 3,000 people, for refusing to meet with the court-appointed psychiatrist for an examination to determine whether he was mentally competent to fire his attorneys and represent himself.

Moussaoui was charged with conspiring with Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network to carry out the attacks, in which 19 hijackers died. U.S. officials suspect he would have been the 20th hijacker.

Moussaoui and his attorneys challenged the government's position that the death penalty might be sought because Moussaoui participated in the conspiracy and lied to federal agents on Aug. 16 and 17 to cover up the September 11 plot.

German air force plane crashes in New Mexico

COLOGNE, Germany The German air force said yesterday one of its fighter jets conducting a training mission in New Mexico had crashed, injuring one member of the crew and leaving one missing.

The Tornado jet went down some 20 miles north of the Holloman U.S. Air Force Base at 10 p.m. Wednesday while conducting an exercise.

A 39-year-old crew member was recovered injured and taken to a hospital while a 37-year-old on board had not yet been located. U.S. Air Force helicopters were assisting with the search.

A specialist team on military flight safety from the western German city of Cologne was expected in New Mexico today to help with a U.S. investigation into the incident.

Nude dancer's child expelled from school

SACRAMENTO, Calif. A Christian school has expelled a kindergartner because her mother works as a nude dancer.

"If you choose to do the wrong thing willfully, then God's word instructs me as to what my responsibility is," said Rick Cole, head pastor of the Capital Christian Center church.

Christina Silvas said she took the job at Gold Club Centerfolds in part to afford the $400 monthly tuition at the church-run school.

The single mother, 24, who once worked at the church as a Sunday school teacher, said administrators told her that in response to rumors, a parent had gone to the club's Web site, downloaded pictures of her and showed them to the school staff.

Lindh's attorneys seek dismissal of charges

ALEXANDRIA U.S.-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh could not receive a fair trial anywhere, and especially not in a courtroom only 10 miles from the Pentagon, his attorneys asserted yesterday.

Lindh's attorneys asked in a written motion that his indictment be dismissed and, alternatively, suggested that his trial be moved from Alexandria to Northern California where he grew up.

The motion was part of a series of pleadings filed this week asking for dismissal of the charges, including conspiring to murder U.S. nationals and providing services to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Astronomers find more Jupiter moons

Jupiter has 11 more moons than astronomers once thought, bringing the known total for the giant planet to 39, the most in our solar system, scientists reported yesterday.

The newly discovered moons or satellites as astronomers call them are small, with diameters between 1.2 miles and 2.5 miles, are far from the planet and have eccentric orbits, but they still count, researchers said in a statement.

The new satellites were detected in December by astronomers at the University of Hawaii using the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope.

Nothing is known about their composition, their density or their surface structure, but scientists think they are asteroidlike space rocks.

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