- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2008

House approves India nuke deal

The House has voted overwhelmingly to approve a landmark pact that would allow the U.S. to provide nuclear materials to India.

The deal still faces major obstacles in the Senate. The prospects for passage before President Bush leaves office in January are uncertain.

The House approved the measure by a 298-117 vote in an unusual Saturday session. The accord reverses three decades of U.S. policy by shipping atomic fuel to India in return for international inspections of India’s civilian reactors.

Supporters say it would bring India’s atomic program under closer scrutiny. Critics say it would boost India’s nuclear arsenal and lead to an arms race in South Asia.

Feds ask judge to ax Muslim’s suit

PITTSBURGH | A federal judge does not have the jurisdiction to second-guess security clearance decisions and should throw out a lawsuit by a Muslim scientist who claims he wrongly lost his clearance and his job at a nuclear warship plant, Justice Department attorneys said in court documents.

Lawyers for the Department of Energy contend the lawsuit filed by Egyptian-born scientist Abdel Moniem Ali El-Ganayni is an effort to publicize the security review process, which could pose a threat to the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union helped Mr. El-Ganayni sue this year, saying he was wrongly fired for speaking against U.S. foreign policy and the treatment of Muslims by the FBI.

The scientist, a U.S. citizen for 20 years, lost his Energy Department security clearance and then was fired in May from Bettis Laboratory near Pittsburgh, where he had worked for more than 17 years.

Mr. El-Ganayni lost his clearance because the government says it has “reliable information” that he had contact with “a saboteur, spy, terrorist, traitor, seditionist, anarchist, or revolutionist, espionage agent, or representative of a foreign nation whose interests are inimical to the interest of the United States,” the filing states. The government also says Mr. El-Ganayni “engaged in unusual conduct” that showed he was not “honest, reliable or trustworthy.”

Teenager accused of hit plan on mom

FOUNTAIN, Colo. | A teenager hired men to kill his mother so he could use her money to get breast implants for his girlfriend, police said.

Nikita Lee Weis, 18, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, said Fountain Deputy Police Chief Mike Barnett.

His girlfriend, Sophia Nicole Alsept, and two men whom police said he hired, Juan Antonio Velez Gonzalez, 18, and Brandon Michael Soroka, 19, were arrested on the same charge.

Hyun Weis was attacked Thursday with a small wooden baseball bat at her home but escaped, authorities said. She was released Friday from a hospital.

Deputy Chief Barnett said Mr. Weis wanted to sell his mother’s car and use money in her bank accounts to pay for breast implants for Miss Alsept, 21. All were being held on $50,000 bail.

Bench dedicated as victim memorial

LARAMIE, Wyo. | The nation, and the city of Laramie, has become more accepting of homosexuals in the 10 years since a gay University of Wyoming student was beaten, lashed to a fence and left to die, his mother said Saturday.

“We’ve learned a lot, we’ve talked a lot; we do it in public forums now,” Judy Shepard said at a ceremony dedicating a bench to her son, Matthew Shepard. “So it’s a wonderful tribute to Matt that these kinds of things are discussed.”

Mr. Shepard died Oct. 12, 1998, five days after he was found beaten and tied to the fence outside Laramie. The two men who killed him are serving life sentences in prison.

The crime triggered nationwide sympathy and revulsion. The Shepards established a foundation named after their son. Its stated goal is to “replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.”

Woman finds bat in coffee filter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa | It wasn’t just the caffeine that gave an Iowa woman an extra jolt after she had her morning coffee. It was also the bat she found in the filter.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says the woman reported a bat in her house but wasn’t too worried about it. She turned on her automatic coffee maker before bedtime and drank her coffee the next morning.

She discovered the bat in the filter when she went to clean it that night. The woman has undergone treatment for possible rabies. Health officials say the bat was sent to a lab but that its brain was too cooked by the hot water to determine whether it had rabies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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