- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006


Berkeley to vote on Bush impeachment

SAN FRANCISCO — The municipal council in the liberal city of Berkeley plans to give voters a say on a measure calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, the mayor said yesterday.

Several local governments across the United States have pressed resolutions urging impeachment, but the Berkeley City Council’s goal is to be the first to put the issue directly to voters, Mayor Tom Bates said.

Cheered on by globe-trotting Iraq war protester Cindy Sheehan, who has moved to Berkeley, the council voted unanimously Tuesday night to have the city attorney review the measure to place it on the November ballot.

The measure was urged by the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, which advises the city on civil rights issues. The commission accuses the Republican White House of intentionally misleading Congress to justify an unnecessary war in Iraq, pursuing unconstitutional surveillance programs and permitting torture of detainees suspected of links to terrorism.


Governor seeks session on aliens

DENVER — Colorado Gov. Bill Owens said yesterday he would convene a special legislative session next week to consider curtailing non-emergency state services to illegal aliens.

The session, slated to begin July 6, would focus on whether to craft legislation on the issue or allow the voters to decide by placing the proposal on the November ballot. The governor said he would prefer to send the issue to the voters unless the legislature approves a “substantive” proposal.

Mr. Owens, a Republican, made his announcement a week after the Colorado Supreme Court struck down a proposed ballot measure that would have banned services for illegal aliens, saying the initiative covered two subjects, which the state constitution forbids. Outraged Republicans accused the court of legislating from the bench and called for a special session. The legislature may place an initiative on the ballot with a majority vote or a constitutional amendment with a two-thirds vote.


Cadet gets jail for sex crimes

NEW LONDON — A military jury sentenced a Coast Guard cadet to six months in prison and kicked him out of the service yesterday for extorting sexual favors from a classmate.

Cadet Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy’s 130-year history, was acquitted of rape but had faced up to five years and seven months for extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.

Defense attorneys for Smith, 23, asked the jury to spare him jail time, saying the stigma of his conviction will follow him forever. He will not graduate from the Coast Guard Academy and must register as a sex offender in his home state, Texas. Prosecutors had asked the jury to send Smith to prison for three years, saying he had disgraced the Coast Guard and betrayed the nation’s trust.

The case involved four female cadets, but the jury acquitted him of sexual misconduct charges, including rape, involving three of them. The primary charges on which he was convicted stemmed from a series of sexual encounters with a classmate in her dorm room.


4 slayings add to crime toll

NEW ORLEANS — A family of four was fatally shot in a trailer park north of New Orleans in a drug-related killing, police said yesterday, less than two weeks after five teenagers were slain in the heart of the city and National Guard troops moved in to help quell crime.

Police see the multiple homicides as signs that a lull in violence after Hurricane Katrina has ended.

Police think that two men from New Orleans came to the trailer and killed a man who was a Katrina evacuee, his girlfriend and two related teenage children Tuesday, said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman George Bonnet.


Process altered for lethal injection

COLUMBUS — The state will change its lethal injection process to help prevent problems like last month’s struggle to find a vein in a condemned man’s arm, leading the man to ask that officials find another way to kill him, said a report issued yesterday.

Execution teams will make every effort to find two injection sites and will use a new method to make sure the veins stay open once entryways are inserted, prisons director Terry Collins said in the report.

The review was prompted by the execution of Joseph Clark that was delayed about 90 minutes when staff had problems finding a viable vein and one vein they did use collapsed. Clark, 57, who killed a gas station attendant during a robbery, continued to move and then finally pushed himself up and said, “It don’t work.”

The changes will be in place for Ohio’s next execution scheduled for July 12.


Yates son fought, examiner testifies

HOUSTON — Seven-year-old Noah Yates struggled so hard as his mother drowned him that his small fists remained stiff and raised over his head hours later, the medical examiner testified yesterday.

Noah also had deep bruises consistent with someone holding him down, as did 6-month-old Mary and 5-year-old John, Dr. Luis Sanchez said on the third day of Andrea Yates’ murder retrial.

Prosecutors have said they will rest their case after Dr. Sanchez testifies. During the trial’s rebuttal phase, they plan to call Dr. Park Dietz, the psychiatrist whose testimony inadvertently caused her conviction to be overturned.


Sago miners expected rescue

MORGANTOWN — As they sat behind a curtain that held back thick smoke but not deadly carbon monoxide, the doomed crew of the Sago Mine banged on roof bolts and talked about the rescue they thought was coming, the sole survivor says.

In a transcript of a June 19 interview with state and federal investigators released yesterday, Randal McCloy Jr. said he thought a seismographic machine somewhere above them was waiting for the signal. But the miners pounded in vain: Officials have said such a device was not brought to the mine because it wasn’t needed.

Mr. McCloy also added detail to his contention that all four air packs available failed to work.

Twelve men died in the Sago disaster.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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