- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2006

Active-duty personnel affected by data theft

Personal data on up to 50,000 active Navy and National Guard personnel were among those stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee last month, the government said yesterday in a disclosure that goes beyond what VA initially reported.

VA Secretary Jim Nicholson said his agency discovered after an internal investigation that the names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of up to 20,000 National Guard and Reserve personnel who were on at least their second active-duty call-up were “potentially included.”

In addition, the same information on up to 30,000 active-duty Navy personnel who completed their first enlistment term prior to 1991 also were thought to be stored on the computer laptop and disks stolen from a VA data analyst on May 3.

The VA has previously said the stolen data involved up to 26.5 million veterans discharged since 1975, as well as some of their spouses.

Clinton narrates tour of library

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Bill Clinton presidential library, along the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock, began offering an audio tour yesterday with Mr. Clinton’s personal comments.

Visitors can pay an extra $3 for a device shaped like an oversized cordless phone. Each exhibit corresponds with a number, and when the number is pressed, Mr. Clinton recounts his thoughts and memories on the topic.

The tour was Mr. Clinton’s idea and is a first for presidential libraries, said Jordan Johnson, spokesman for the William J. Clinton Foundation.

Afghan soldiers finish training

FORT BLISS, Texas — Sixteen Afghan soldiers have graduated from a new training program at Fort Bliss, armed with knowledge on how to fly Russian-made helicopters in anti-drug missions over their war-torn country.

The men now will make their final preparations to head back to Afghanistan, where they are expected to immediately get to work trying to halt the booming narcotics trade.

At their graduation ceremony Friday, Ashraf Haidari, a spokesman for the Afghan Embassy in Washington, called the soldiers “Afghanistan’s heroes.”

Couple charged in kidnapping

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A couple accused in the death of a woman whose sexual assault and strangulation were videotaped were charged Friday with kidnapping a 5-year-old girl.

Richard D. Davis, 41, and Dena D. Riley, 39, were charged with one count each of kidnapping.

The girl was “seriously injured during a sexual assault” after Miss Riley and Mr. Davis took her from her home in Arcadia, U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said.

The couple already face charges of murder, assault, kidnapping, rape and sodomy in Jackson County, Mo., in the death of 41-year-old Marsha Spicer. Her body was found May 15 in a grave in Bates City, Mo., east of Kansas City.

Judge disallows prison Bible program

DES MOINES, Iowa — A federal judge has ruled that a Bible-based prison program violates the First Amendment’s freedom of religion clause by using state funds to promote Christianity to inmates.

Prison Fellowship Ministries, which was sued in 2003 by an advocacy group, was ordered Friday to cease its program at the Newton Correctional Facility and repay the state $1.53 million by U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Pratt, who was appointed by President Clinton.

“This calls into question the funding for so many programs,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed the lawsuit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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