- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 16, 2005

CALIFORNIA

3 stole Navy data for China, charges say

LOS ANGELES — A Chinese-American engineer and two relatives who purportedly conspired to steal sensitive information about Navy warships and smuggle it to China were indicted yesterday on federal charges, authorities said.

The grand jury indictment charges Chi Mak, 65, his wife and his brother with acting as agents of a foreign government without prior notification to the U.S. attorney general, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Federal officials said Mr. Mak took computer disks from Anaheim defense contractor Power Paragon, where he was lead engineer on a sensitive research project involving propulsion systems for Navy warships.

He and his wife, Rebecca Laiwah Chiu, 62, then copied the information to CDs and delivered them to Tai Wang Mak, 56, who was scheduled to fly to Hong Kong on Oct. 28 with his wife, Fuk Heung Li, an FBI affidavit said.

From there, the brother purportedly planned to travel to Guangzhou, China, to meet a contact.

All four were arrested Oct. 28. Though Mrs. Li was accused in an FBI affidavit of aiding the others, she was not indicted yesterday.

COLORADO

‘Cool mom’ jailed for sex parties

GOLDEN — A woman who authorities said had sex with high-school boys during alcohol- and drug-fueled parties has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, officials said.

Silvia Johnson, 41, of Arvada, described herself to investigators as a “cool mom” who “was never popular with classmates in high school” and who was beginning to feel like one of the group.

She pleaded guilty in July to two misdemeanor counts of sexual assault and nine felony counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

She also was sentenced on charges of third-degree assault, violation of a restraining order and harassment for unrelated cases involving her husband and children, said prosecution spokesman Carl Blesch.

FLORIDA

Heart problems led to deaths at Disney

ORLANDO — Two children who died in separate incidents in the summer at Walt Disney World were victims of irregular heartbeats linked to natural causes, the medical examiner’s office said yesterday.

Daudi Bamuwamye, a 4-year-old who died in June after going on the rocket ship ride “Mission: Space” at Epcot, had an abnormal thickening of his heart muscle caused by a condition present since birth, doctors said.

Jerra Kirby, a 12-year-old girl from Newport News, Va., who suddenly collapsed at the Typhoon Lagoon water park in August, died from arrhythmia caused by an early stage viral heart infection, officials determined.

ILLINOIS

Holocaust denier deported to Germany

CHICAGO — A revisionist and Holocaust denier wanted in Germany for inciting racial hatred by denying that thousands of Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz was deported yesterday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to Germany, where he faces imprisonment.

Germar Rudolf, 41, had been a fugitive for a decade, living in Spain, Great Britain, Mexico and the United States. He was wanted in Germany for his 1995 conviction on charges of inciting racial hatred in violation of Germany’s Holocaust denial legislation, which was enacted to combat anti-Semitism and protect the memory of Adolf Hitler’s victims.

Rudolf, who fled Germany in 1996 to avoid imprisonment, was sentenced by the German government to 14 months in prison for publishing a “scientific” report refuting the deaths of thousands of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

ICE officials said Rudolf applied for political asylum in the United States in 2000, claiming political persecution in Germany. A federal immigration judge denied the claim and ordered him deported in June 2003. His petition to the Board of Immigration Appeals was dismissed in September 2004.

Both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court denied Rudolf’s requests to stay his deportation pending federal appeal.

MONTANA

First bison hunt held in 15 years

GARDINER — Montana’s first bison hunt in 15 years opened at sunrise yesterday, with George Clement, 17, bagging the first buffalo within 90 minutes.

The hunt, aimed at thinning out the bison population near Yellowstone National Park, came after years of protests from animal rights activists.

State and federal officials say the hunt will help manage a population that has grown to an estimated 4,900, more than some fear the area can support. Some ranchers also are worried that diseased bison could spread illness to cattle.

This year, there are new limits. For example no more than 50 bison can be killed during the three-month season.

TENNESSEE

Severe storms hit Midwest

PARIS — Severe thunderstorms rolled across the nation’s midsection late yesterday, producing funnel clouds that tore off roofs and destroyed or damaged buildings in at least four states.

Tornado touchdowns were spotted in 12 counties in western and central Tennessee, with the worst damage apparently occurring in Henry County, about 90 miles west of Nashville.

“Numerous homes there were damaged, some completely destroyed,” said Faye Scott, spokeswoman for the Henry County Sheriff’s Department. “It’s major destruction.”

Funnel clouds also were seen in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, but it was not clear how many remained aloft or touched the ground. There were no reports of serious injuries.

TEXAS

Jury declines to indict driver in bus fire

DALLAS — A grand jury declined Monday to indict a bus driver in connection with the deaths of 23 passengers in a fire that destroyed the vehicle as they fled Hurricane Rita in September.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office had forwarded to the district attorney 23 cases of criminally negligent homicide to consider against Juan Robles Gutierrez, 37, a Mexican immigrant.

The bus, owned by Global Limo Inc., caught fire Sept. 23 from a malfunctioning back wheel. After the fire started, oxygen tanks used by some of the patients on the bus began exploding.

The sheriff’s department had said Mr. Gutierrez did not inspect the bus periodically on the 16-hour trip from the Brighton Gardens nursing home in Houston as Rita approached and didn’t help people when the fire broke out.

But attorney George Shaffer told the Houston Chronicle that his client “did everything within his power to minimize the damage and loss of life.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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