- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2007

Nifong gets one day in jail

DURHAM, N.C. — The prosecutor who led the now-discredited rape case against three Duke University lacrosse players was held in criminal contempt of court yesterday for lying to a judge when pursuing charges against the athletes.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III sentenced Mike Nifong to a day in jail. The former Durham County district attorney, who already was stripped of his law license and had resigned from office, had faced as many as 30 days.

“If what I impose with regard to Mr. Nifong would make things better or different for what’s already happened, I don’t know what it would be or how I could do it,” Judge Smith said.

Mr. Nifong showed no visible reaction when the judge handed down the sentence, and he left the courtroom with his wife, Cy Gurney.

Defense attorney Jim Glover declined to comment after the hearing.

Marine testifies against squad leader

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The leader of a squad of Marines that killed 24 Iraqis in Haditha told two service members a week before the assault that if they were ever hit by a roadside bomb they should kill everyone in the area, a former squad member testified yesterday.

Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz said he had the conversation with Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and another Marine. A roadside bomb had gone off that day and injured several Marines, Sgt. Dela Cruz said.

He was testifying at a hearing to determine whether Sgt. Wuterich, 27, of Meriden, Conn., should stand trial on charges of murdering 17 Iraqis.

About a week later, on Nov. 19, 2005, another bomb exploded, killing Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas of El Paso, Texas. In the aftermath of the blast, five men were fatally shot near a car and other men, women and children were killed as Marines went on a house-to-house sweep.

Judge stays gay ‘marriage’ ruling

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two men sealed the state’s first legal same-sex “marriage” with a kiss yesterday morning, less than 24 hours after a judge threw out Iowa’s ban on the unions.

About two hours later Polk County Judge Robert Hanson put his own ruling on hold, responding to an appeal filed by county attorney John Sarcone.

The Iowa Supreme Court now must rule on whether Iowa’s 1998 Defense of Marriage Act violates the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six homosexual couples who sued.

Search for miners in Utah suspended

SALT LAKE CITY — Federal officials have indefinitely suspended efforts to find six men trapped for nearly four weeks inside a coal mine after a robotic camera failed to provide any useful information, an attorney for the men’s families said yesterday.

“They said, ‘We’ve exhausted the options that we know about,’ ” said Colin King, an attorney serving as a spokesman for all six families.

Allyn Davis, a regional director for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, told the families that the robotic camera was successfully dropped down the fourth of seven holes bored into the mountain, but that it quickly became stuck in the mud as it moved over piles of debris, Mr. King said.

Messages left with federal mine officials were not immediately returned yesterday.

Court OKs Mexican truck program

SAN FRANCISCO — The Bush administration can go ahead with a pilot program to allow as many as 100 Mexican trucking companies to freely haul their cargo anywhere within the United States for the next year, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request made by the Teamsters union, the Sierra Club and the nonprofit Public Citizen to halt the program.

The appeals court ruled the groups have not satisfied the legal requirements to immediately stop what the government is calling a “demonstration project,” but can continue to argue their case.

The trucking program is scheduled to begin Thursday.

In court papers filed earlier this week, the Teamsters and Sierra Club argued there won’t be enough oversight of the drivers coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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