- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 2, 2008

Song to make its way through space

The Beatles are about to become radio stars in a whole new way.

On Monday, NASA will broadcast the Beatles’ song “Across the Universe” across the galaxy to Polaris, the North Star.

This first beaming of a radio song by the space agency directly into deep space is nostalgia-driven. It celebrates the 40th anniversary of the song, the 45th anniversary of NASA’s Deep Space Network, which communicates with its distant probes, and the 50th anniversary of NASA.

The song, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, will be flying at the speed of light, but it will take 431 years to reach its final destination. That’s because Polaris is 2.5 quadrillion miles away.

NRCC seeks probe of possible fraud

The House Republican Party’s fundraising arm says it may be the victim of fraud by a former employee, and has contacted law-enforcement authorities to investigate.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) said yesterday that it discovered “irregularities in our financial audit process” this week that may include fraud.

“We are aggressively and thoroughly investigating the matter and, while we determine the details, have terminated our relationship with a former employee who had been engaged as an outside vendor,” said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who serves as committee chairman.

The NRCC provided no further details, but Republican staffers said the FBI and the Federal Election Commission have been contacted.

Court won’t revisit Guantanamo ruling

A federal appeals court refused yesterday to reconsider a ruling broadening its own authority to scrutinize evidence against detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The decision is a setback for the Bush administration, which was displeased by the court’s three-judge ruling in July and had urged all 10 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review it. The administration said the decision jeopardized national security.

The ruling held that, when Guantanamo Bay detainees bring a court challenge to their status as “enemy combatants,” judges must review all the evidence, not just the evidence the military chooses.

The Justice Department did not comment on the decision.

Six killed in plane crash

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — A twin-engine plane crashed yesterday as it tried to land in low fog at a small airport in northwest North Carolina, killing all six persons on board, officials said.

Stephanie Conner, a Surry County emergency services shift supervisor, said investigators have confirmed there were no survivors.

No one on the ground was hurt, said Warren Woodberry, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The King Air C90A split in half after falling into a grassy area between two homes near the Mount Airy airport at about 11:30 a.m., the Surry County Sheriff’s Office said.

The plane took off in Cedartown, Ga., Mr. Woodberry said, and the passengers were on their way to Primland, a hunting and golf resort in Meadows of Dan, Va., about 25 miles north of the Mount Airy airport, according to Kelvin Boyette, the airport manager.

Simpson seeks dismissal of charges

LAS VEGAS — O.J. Simpson filed court papers seeking dismissal of half the charges against him, saying prosecutors in Nevada failed to meet legal standards to prosecute him for kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy, his lawyer said yesterday .

“We’re challenging things that we think should never have been let go to the District Court,” said the attorney, Gabriel Grasso.

Mr. Grasso filed court papers Thursday claiming prosecutors didn’t meet the evidentiary standards to prosecute the former football star on six of the 12 charges against him.

Simpson, 60, is accused of leading five other men in the gunpoint robbery of two memorabilia dealers who were peddling collectibles associated with Simpson.

A spokesman for Clark County District Attorney David Roger wouldn’t comment yesterday.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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