- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 31, 2003

Technology smuggling to Pakistan uncovered

Three times in the past month, the U.S. government uncovered efforts to smuggle sensitive military or nuclear technology out of the United States to Pakistan, one of America’s key partners in the war on terror.

One of the cases resulted from an anonymous tipster contacting U.S. authorities in reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The tension between India and Pakistan creates a complicated relationship with the United States and other Western nations.

Economic sanctions imposed by the West against India and Pakistan after recent nuclear tests have been gradually lifted as both nations joined the international campaign against the al Qaeda terror network and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001.

Group files complaint over Democratic money

A conservative political group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission yesterday, calling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards a “petty criminal” for accepting questionable campaign donations.

The complaint asks the FEC to investigate the North Carolina senator, his campaign and the Arkansas law firm Turner & Associates over contributions that came from the firm.

Law clerk Michelle D. Abu-Halmeh told The Washington Post in April that her boss, lawyer Tab Turner, asked people to support Mr. Edwards and assured them they would be reimbursed.

Campaign donors are not allowed to funnel donations through someone else under federal law. Otherwise, donors could exceed the legal contribution limit for individuals, recently raised to $2,000 from $1,000 per election.

Pregnancy ended for disabled woman

MIAMI — The fetus of a retarded rape victim was aborted despite the efforts of activists who took their fight to the Florida Supreme Court, an attorney said yesterday.

Doctors said a full-term pregnancy would have threatened the life of the 28-year-old mother, who is seizure-prone, said Lance Block, who represents the disabled woman’s mother.

The abortion was performed Thursday along with a tubal ligation to prevent future pregnancies, Mr. Block said.

The same day, a woman asked a court in Orlando to appoint her the guardian of the fetus of another mentally disabled rape victim.

In that case, Gov. Jeb Bush has said he wants such a guardian appointed, overruling child-welfare officials who had said such an appointment would be illegal.

Florida repeals ‘Scarlet Letter Law’

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Jeb Bush signed a repeal yesterday of the “Scarlet Letter Law” that requires mothers to publish their sexual histories in the newspaper if they want to put a child up for adoption and do not know the father.

The repeal bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously, instead establishes a paternity registry where men who believe they have fathered a child can enroll so they can be contacted if the child is offered for adoption.

Last month, a Florida appeals court ruled that the requirement that women, including rape victims and underage girls, reveal their sexual partners was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

Rep. Mark Mahon, a Republican who sponsored the repeal bill, said the new law put the responsibility on the father, instead of requiring the mother to try to locate someone who may not want to be found. “It puts responsibility where I believe it should be,” Mr. Mahon said.

Terror laws hamper fireworks distribution

Small towns across the United States could be without fireworks this Fourth of July if federal agencies can’t settle on new homeland security restrictions on shipments by train.

“It’s getting stupid. Do they really think a terrorist will use a firecracker to blow up a building?” said Don Lantis, of North Sioux City, S.D., whose family-owned pyrotechnics company puts on 300 to 400 shows across the country every Independence Day.

Because of uncertainty over how to comply with the government’s anti-terror laws, railways have refused to handle fireworks since early this year, cutting off the main method of transport for shipments arriving at West Coast ports from China and other Asian countries.

On May 5, the government issued regulations on fireworks transport by air, water and truck but has yet to decide on new guidelines for trains.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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