- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 5, 2005

Utah destroys last land-mine stockpile

STOCKTON, Utah — The last of more than 22,600 land mines filled with VX nerve agent stockpiled at the U.S. Army’s largest chemical-weapons depot was destroyed Friday, officials said.

The Deseret Chemical Depot in the Utah desert has destroyed more than 7,400 tons of the nerve agents sarin and VX since it opened in 1996. That represents more than half of the original chemical-agent stockpile at the depot.

Workers will now begin processing neutralized VX agent and a small amount of sarin. The plant will then be decontaminated and workers will prepare to process the last of the depot’s stockpile — nearly 125,000 mustard-agent-filled munitions.

The United States must dispose of all chemical weapons and nerve agents by 2012 to comply with an international treaty that bans the production, use or stockpiling of chemical weapons.

The depot, one of eight around the country that destroys chemical agents, is about 45 miles west of Salt Lake City.

Rare stamp fetches record auction price

NEW YORK — A rare stamp from a botched batch — depicting an upside-down airplane — has been sold at auction for $525,000, the highest-ever price for a 20th-century U.S. stamp, the auctioneer said Friday.

The misprinted 1918 “Jenny” stamp was bought by an anonymous collector, Siegel Auction Galleries said. The stamp, which was particularly well-preserved, was from a pane of 100 inverted 24-cent “Jenny” stamps, many of which are no longer in good condition, the auctioneer said.

The stamps depict a Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny,” a World War I training aircraft that became an airmail plane. About 700 of the stamps were misprinted, but inspectors caught all of but 100 before they were sold.

The entire pane of 100 was bought by stamp collector William Robey on May 14, 1918, at a Washington post office. It was later sold and separated into individual stamps and blocks.

Police arrest 49in meth crackdown

ATLANTA — Police began making arrests Friday after 49 persons and 16 businesses were indicted on charges of supplying items ranging from antifreeze to matchbooks to police informants who said they planned to make methamphetamine.

Authorities started investigating small groceries, delis and tobacco shops in six north Georgia counties in early 2004. Police informants told store clerks and owners that they planned to make meth, then purchased materials used to make the drug, including pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, camping fuel, antifreeze and matchbooks.

Selling the items for the purpose of making meth is illegal.

Prosecutors say some businesses have begun supplying large quantities of materials needed to make meth to drug manufacturers at inflated prices. The indictments, returned May 7, were unsealed Friday.

Rape counselor seeks refuge in civil court

DENVER — A rape counselor facing jail for refusing to provide a military court with records of her sessions with a former Air Force Academy cadet asked a judge to prevent the military from arresting her and forcing her to turn over the information.

Jennifer Bier filed for a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court here. Her attorney, Wendy Murphy, said she hoped to protect Miss Bier from being arrested and keep private the records from the sessions Miss Bier had with her client.

The former cadet Miss Bier counseled is one of the women whose accusations touched off a scandal that toppled the academy’s top leaders. The counselor is fighting a subpoena in the court-martial of Airman Joseph Harding, who is accused of sexually assaulting two women at the academy in 1999 and 2000. His attorneys say their client’s right to a fair trial overrides the purported victim’s right to privacy.

Pet pit bulls kill 12-year-old boy

SAN FRANCISCO — A 12-year old San Francisco boy has been killed by his family’s two 80-pound pet pit bulls.

Nicholas Scott Faibish was attacked by a male pit bull named Rex and a female named Ella, the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday.

Neighbors called police after his mother found the boy at home Friday afternoon. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate the boy at the scene.

Police shot one of the dogs that barred them from entering the apartment. The second dog was captured and taken to an animal shelter. No immediate explanation was given for what might have caused the dogs to attack.

Some neighbors described the dogs as friendly, affectionate and well-behaved, while others described the dogs as “sometimes nice, sometimes mean.”

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