- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 29, 2004

Teacher resigns over Muslim’s scarf

LANCASTER, Calif. — A part-time college instructor accused of ordering a Muslim student to either remove her religious head scarf or leave his class has resigned, school officials said.

Robert Daniel, who taught computer science at Antelope Valley College, submitted his resignation Friday.

The college’s board of trustees had been considering disciplinary action against him.

The student, Fajr Burhan, complained that Mr. Daniel ordered her to remove her head scarf, called a hijab, or leave his computer information-science class on Feb. 18.

Miss Burhan, 19, said Mr. Daniel told her he did not permit headgear because it might block the view of other students. She said she refused to take it off and told Mr. Daniel the scarf was worn for religious reasons.

“I had the worst feeling about making this teacher quit or get fired … and I didn’t want to ruin his whole career,” Miss Burhan told the Los Angeles Times. There was no immediate comment from Mr. Daniel, who had taught at the school since August 2002.

Ex-employee arrested in supervisors’ deaths

NEW YORK — A former city Transit Authority worker was arrested Saturday in the killings of two supervisors who were shot at a rail yard, police announced.

Darryl Dinkins, 39, was arrested after a day of questioning. He reportedly tried to hang himself with his shirt while he was in a holding cell and was listed in good condition at Coney Island Hospital, police said.

Police said they picked up Mr. Dinkins for questioning just hours after the bodies of Luigi Sedita, 61, and Clive Patterson, 46, were discovered in an employee break room at the Coney Island rail yard early Friday.

Mr. Dinkins, who no longer works for the Transit Authority, apparently was upset over an evaluation that Mr. Sedita had given him, said two police sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Mr. Dinkins had worked as a subway car cleaner for nearly five years but was fired in November for insubordination, the sources said.

Saudi acquitted in plane fireworks case

BOSTON — A federal jury acquitted a Saudi biomedical engineer who spent three weeks in jail after customs inspectors discovered sparklers in his luggage.

Essam Mohammed Almohandis, 33, was charged with carrying an incendiary device aboard an aircraft and lying to federal agents by saying that he believed the materials were artists’ crayons.

Mr. Almohandis said he still does not know how the fireworks got into his backpack, but was grateful after Friday’s verdict.

Authorities arrested Mr. Almohandis in January when he arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport. He had flown from Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to Frankfurt, Germany, before landing in Boston.

His attorney, Miriam Conrad, has said her client was unfairly targeted by strict airport security and questioned why the case wasn’t resolved in the customs office.

Georgia considers gay ‘marriage’ ban

ATLANTA — An intensive lobbying effort on same-sex “marriage” is being planned for tomorrow by both sides of the issue for members of Georgia’s state legislature.

Church bulletins in hundreds of congregations in Georgia will include an insert from the Christian Coalition urging churchgoers to attend a rally tomorrow in Atlanta supporting the amendment, while homosexual rights advocates are planning a demonstration at the Capitol tomorrow, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage” failed by three votes Thursday in the state House of Representatives to attain the required two-thirds majority, the newspaper reported.

But House Rules Committee Chairman Calvin Smyre, a Democrat, said he expects a vote tomorrow on whether to reconsider the amendment and that a vote of the whole House could occur Tuesday.

The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved the resolution, so if the Democrat-controlled House achieves the two-thirds majority, the question of amending the state constitution to ban same-sex “marriage” will be on the November ballot.

Sniper shootings feared in California

HAYWARD, Calif. — The California Highway Patrol is investigating a series of possible sniper shootings on a freeway east of San Francisco over the past week, a spokesman said yesterday.

No serious injuries were reported, but bullet holes were found in some vehicles.

The rear window of one motorist’s vehicle exploded Friday afternoon as she was driving westbound on Interstate 580 in Castro Valley.

The driver, Barbara Price, 47, of Alameda, pulled off the freeway and called for help. She suffered minor cuts and scratches from flying glass, police said.

Five similar incidents occurred within a 90-minute period Monday evening on the section of the freeway that connects San Leandro and Dublin, CHP spokesman Wayne Ziese said yesterday.

Authorities planned to inspect all the vehicles and interview the drivers over the weekend, Mr. Ziese said.

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