- The Washington Times - Friday, January 27, 2006

Poison Stevens, pundit Coulter jokes

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.

Miss Coulter told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. Justice Stevens is one of the court’s most liberal members.

“We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee,” she said. “That’s just a joke, for you in the media.”

Authorities arrest 38 in meth sting

SEATTLE — Federal drug agents and members of a Tri-County Metro Drug Task Force yesterday arrested 38 persons here as part of “Operation Ben Franklin,” a law-enforcement initiative targeting violent methamphetamine traffickers in eastern Washington.

Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne said that beginning Jan. 15, federal and state police began making undercover methamphetamine buys from 22 drug houses and a number of people throughout Benton and Franklin counties.

Mr. Payne said the task force also was able to purchase a weapon from a drug trafficker and wanted felon and that during the execution of 23 search warrants, the 38 suspected meth dealers were taken into custody. Also seized, he said, was methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, crack cocaine, Oxycodone, 10 vehicles, $10,000 in cash and eight weapons.

Jury charges 10 with alien smuggling

A Palestinian national and nine Colombians have been named in a 17-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury in Miami on charges of alien smuggling and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

The indictment, unsealed yesterday, accused the 10 of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to commit alien smuggling, bringing unauthorized aliens to the United States for commercial advantage or private financial gain, and encouraging or inducing aliens to come to the United States.

Eight of the men were arrested yesterday by Colombian authorities in Bogota. Two others remain at large.

The indictment said that during the course of an undercover operation the 10 arranged and facilitated travel from Colombia to the United States for persons they thought to be members of FARC, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The U.S. government intends to seek the extradition of the 10 from Colombia. They face sentences of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Teen made up story about teacher abuse

BRADENTON, Fla. — A teenager who accused a teacher’s aide of molesting her — prompting the girl’s father to walk into school and punch the man in the face — invented the story, officials said.

School surveillance cameras show the aide was not even in the room when the 15-year-old said she was touched inappropriately, said Lakewood Ranch High School Superintendent Roger Dearing.

“We have found that [the aide] is not guilty of what this young lady has accused him of doing, that her accusations are false,” Mr. Dearing said.

The sheriff’s department also found no evidence of wrongdoing, and the school board said the girl might have lied to get back at the man for disciplining her.

The teen’s father, Dave F. Swafford, was charged with battery on a school employee after he hit the 35-year-old aide Tuesday in front of a class.

Mine survivor able to stand

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With a little help, the sole survivor of the Sago Mine disaster stood for the first time since the accident, and puckered his lips when his wife asked for a kiss, doctors said yesterday.

Randal McCloy Jr., 26, came out of a coma earlier this week.

Mr. McCloy can make noises when doctors cover his breathing tube. Whether he will be able to speak when the tube is removed depends on the extent of the brain damage he suffered from inhaling carbon monoxide during his 41 hours trapped underground, Dr. Julian Bailes said.

Twelve fellow miners died after the explosion Jan. 2.

Doctors described Mr. McCloy as being within “moments … from death” when he arrived at the hospital on Jan. 4. On Thursday, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center. He stood for the first time that day with help from medical aides.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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