- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2009


Man charged rocket plot

MIAMI | A Korean-American who served prison time for attempting to broker the sale of deadly nerve gas bombs to Iran was indicted Wednesday on new charges of trying to help South Korea obtain advanced Russian rocket hardware and technology.

Investigators also found thousands of e-mails purportedly sent by Juwhan Yun, a 68-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Short Hills, N.J., involving other deals for sophisticated radar and air defense systems, shortwave infrared cameras, laser-guided bomb components and missile launch devices.

Mr. Yun is quoted in one e-mail as boasting that he has been “the largest one-stop supplier” of sensitive military and similar equipment for South Korea for the past 30 years.

Mr. Yun was arrested April 15 at the Fort Lauderdale airport after meeting with a former arms trafficker working as an informant for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Defense Department investigators. The cooperating arms trafficker, who is not named in court documents, had previously worked with Mr. Yun on deals involving Russian SU-27 fighter planes and surface-to-air missiles.


Man in TB scare sues CDC on privacy

ATLANTA | The Atlanta attorney who caused an international health scare when he flew to Europe for his wedding even though he was infected with a drug-resistant form of tuberculosis is suing federal health officials, claiming they invaded his privacy.

Andrew Speaker got worldwide attention in 2007 after he flew knowing he had tuberculosis. Doctors first thought he had a severe type, but later tests revealed a less-dangerous strain.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Atlanta on Tuesday asserts that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention damaged Mr. Speaker’s reputation and made him the target of death threats. The lawsuit, which says he and his new bride split up because of the stress, seeks unspecified damages and court fees.

It accuses the CDC of “unlawfully and unnecessarily” revealing Mr. Speaker’s private medical history and other sensitive information during an extensive media blitz in May 2007.

“This is about setting the record straight,” Mr. Speaker said Wednesday. “Having my confidential medical history unnecessarily splashed across the world took a huge toll on me personally and professionally.”

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner declined to comment.


City offices raided over tainted water

CRESTWOOD | Federal agents have raided city offices in the Chicago suburb of Crestwood, Ill., which has been accused of knowingly drawing drinking water from a contaminated well for more than two decades.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said 15 agents from the EPA and other agencies entered the Crestwood village hall and public works department Wednesday. EPA spokeswoman Anne Rowan said they produced search warrants related to the tainted-water allegations.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that Crestwood officials covered up the presence of chemicals in the water. It said state officials in the 1980s found the well contained chemicals linked to cancer.

Crestwood officials have said the city’s drinking water has always been safe.


Senate passes gay-marriage bill

CONCORD | New Hampshire’s Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would legalize same-sex marriage after an amendment was added that prohibits polygamy and marriage of family members, among other measures.

Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, has not indicated whether he will veto the bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 13-11 and would make New Hampshire the fifth state in the nation where gay marriage is legal. But he has expressed opposition to it.

It has already passed the state’s House.


Fort Dix plotters gets jail terms

CAMDEN | A man who was the “epicenter of the conspiracy” to kill military personnel was sentenced to life in prison and a fellow plotter was sentenced to 33 years as a judge on Wednesday finished sentencing five Muslim immigrants who contemplated an attack on Fort Dix.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler had sentenced the three others involved in the plot to at least life in prison.

Overall, Judge Kugler seemed to accept the position of prosecutors that the plot was one of the most frightening homegrown terrorism plots ever hatched in the U.S.

Under federal law, none of the four men given life sentences will be eligible for parole.

On Wednesday, Mohamad Shnewer, a 24-year-old U.S. citizen born in Jordan, received a sentence of life plus 30 years.


Stennis’ No. 2 relieved of duty

BREMERTON | The Navy has relieved of duty the executive officer of the USS Stennis, second to the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier.

A spokesman for the Naval Air Forces command in San Diego, Chief Steven Harbour, said the reason was personal misconduct but details are not being disclosed.

Chief Harbour said Cmdr. David L. Burnham was relieved Wednesday by the commander of the carrier strike group, Rear Adm. Mark A. Vance.

Cmdr. Burnham was reassigned to San Diego, pending an investigation.

Chief Harbour said the punishment is not related to an accident that killed a sailor Friday during a port call at Singapore. The Stennis left Bremerton in January for a six-month deployment in the western Pacific.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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