- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 15, 2009


Conviction tossed in Iraqi’s death

CAMP PENDLETON | A Marine reservist’s conviction in the death of an Iraqi soldier was overturned by a military appeals court, which ruled the judge who presided over the trial erred in his jury instructions.

The three-judge panel ruled last week in Washington that Delano Holmes’ negligent homicide conviction should be overturned because the judge, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Meeks, did not instruct jurors that the charge could legitimately be countered with a claim of self-defense.

The appeals panel instructed the Camp Pendleton court that originally tried Mr. Holmes to retry him or dismiss the charge.

The Marine jury convicted Mr. Holmes, 24, in December 2007 of negligent homicide and of making a false official statement in the stabbing death a year earlier of Pvt. Munther Jasem Muhammed Hassin in Fallujah.

Jurors acquitted him of unpremeditated homicide, which carried a potential life sentence.


Judge fines ‘birther’ attorney

COLUMBUS | A federal judge in Georgia has fined a leader of the movement that claims President Obama was born outside the United States and isn’t eligible to be president.

U.S. District Judge Clay D. Land’s scathing 43-page order says California lawyer and dentist Orly Taitz is attempting to misuse the federal courts to press “wild accusations.”

Ms. Taitz is a leader of the so-called “birther” movement and sued on behalf of a soldier who claimed she shouldn’t have to deploy to Iraq because Mr. Obama wasn’t born in the United States. Documents show he was born in Hawaii.

Judge Land, appointed in 2001 by President George W. Bush, said he fined Ms. Taitz $20,000 “as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct and to protect the integrity of the court.”

Ms. Taitz told the Fulton County Daily Report that the order is “an absolute outrage.”


Scout suspended for knife in car

TROY | An Eagle Scout who kept a 2-inch pocketknife in his car has been suspended from his upstate New York high school for bringing the weapon onto school grounds. Now he is concerned about his chances of getting accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Matthew Whalen was suspended for 20 days for violating the Lansingburgh Central School District’s zero-tolerance policy. The 17-year-old senior said he gave the knife to an administrator last month after another student told officials about it.

Matthew said the knife was a gift from his grandfather, the police chief in a nearby village. He said he kept survival items in his car in case of an emergency.

The teen said he has been wanting to go to West Point for years but now worries about his chances.

District officials say they don’t comment on student disciplinary matters.


Church to burn Bibles on Halloween

CANTON | A North Carolina pastor says his church plans to burn Bibles and books by Christian authors on Halloween to light a fire under true believers.

Pastor Marc Grizzard told Asheville TV station WLOS that the King James version of the Bible is the only one his small church follows. He said all other versions, such as the Living Bible, are “satanic” and “perversions” of God’s word.

On Halloween night, Mr. Grizzard and the 14 members of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church also will burn music and books by Christian authors, such as Billy Graham and Rick Warren.


Tests show young kids may need 2 flu shots

SWIFTWATER | Test results of its swine flu vaccine suggest that children younger than 10 may need two shots to be fully protected, vaccine-maker Sanofi Pasteur said Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the news is not surprising because this age group needs two doses of regular seasonal flu vaccine for full immunity to develop.

The new Sanofi results back up what government tests are showing, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For younger children, the protection from one shot is “modest but not sufficient to allow for one dose to do the trick,” he said.

Sanofi is the only company licensed in the United States to make vaccine for children as young as 6 months. The company tested two strengths of the vaccine, given as two shots 21 days apart. The vaccine was tested in 474 children ages 6 months through 9 years old.


Sales meeting ends in beatings

TACOMA | A meeting of magazine salesmen at a motel in Washington state ended with two in the hospital and six in jail.

KOMO-TV reported that when two of the men said Monday night that they wanted out of the business, they were beaten with baseball bats and golf clubs.

Police said they stopped a car that was pulling away with its lights out and found a man armed with a gun and brass knuckles. All six men in the car were arrested.

KOMO reported that the door-to-door subscription operation was a scam in which young men claiming to make a fresh start in life take donations without delivering magazines.

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