- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 26, 2008

Judge tosses suit over Obama’s birth

PHILADELPHIA | A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Sen. Barack Obama’s qualifications to be president.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick on Friday night rejected the lawsuit by lawyer Philip J. Berg, who charged that Mr. Obama was not a “natural-born citizen” as required by the Constitution to be eligible for the presidency.

Mr. Berg, a former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania who backed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the primaries, claimed that Mr. Obama is either a citizen of his father’s native Kenya or became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a boy.

The Obama campaign put on its Web site a copy of his “certification of live birth” that says he was born in Honolulu. But lawsuit backers say that document doesn’t settle the issue because such a certification can be obtained after birth; only the person himself or a family member can request a Hawaii birth certificate.

Judge Surrick ruled that Mr. Berg lacked standing to bring the case, saying any harm from a purportedly ineligible candidate was “too vague and its effects too attenuated to confer standing on any and all voters.”

Surgery saves unborn twins

MINNEAPOLIS | Identical twins in Minnesota were born healthy after a successful surgery in their mother’s womb, doctors say.

About four months ago, Gavin and Owen Cassellius were struggling for survival because they were tethered to a shared placenta. The twins were born Wednesday each weighing about 5 1/2 pounds, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Saturday.

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome was diagnosed when Jeana Cassellius of Roberts, Wis., was in her 19th week of pregnancy. The complication, in which identical twins share a placenta and one chronically loses blood to the other, occurs in about 3 percent of all twin pregnancies and often, neither child survives.

Doctors at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota treated the unborn babies with a fetoscopic laser ablation, which severs the unequally shared vessels. “When you finally see them,” father Jeff Cassellius said, “you think, ‘OK, now you can breathe. Everything’s fine. Now, you are not worried anymore.’ ”

Female robber hits 3 banks in week

COLUMBUS, Ohio | Police and the FBI say a female robber has hit three Ohio banks in one week — a rare short-term streak of robberies and even rarer for a female criminal.

Authorities say the woman handed a note to a teller at a credit union in the Columbus area Thursday, saying she had a gun and wanted cash. Investigators say the same woman robbed two banks earlier in the week, both in the Columbus area.

FBI Special Agent Harry Trombitas said three bank robberies by the same person in a week is rare for anyone, male or female. Mr. Trombitas said several investigators recall the same woman robbing a bank in Columbus in January 2006.

Robbery foiled by lack of English

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. | A would-be armed robber who tried to hold up a deliveryman for a Chinese restaurant in a New York suburb was foiled by lack of a common language.

Mount Vernon Police Chief David Chong said the robber, armed with a handgun, approached an employee of Hing Fat Restaurant, the White Plains Journal News reported. The gunman told the deliveryman to hand over his money.

The victim, not understanding what was being asked, ran away. He gave only a vague description of the gunman.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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