- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Drug cartel honcho sentenced

SAN DIEGO | A man who helped make the Arellano Felix family one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison Monday after nearly a decade of legal wrangling.

Jesus “Chuy” Labra, 61, received the maximum sentence Monday at the prosecution’s request. Labra sought a 25-year prison term and apologized for his actions to U.S. District Judge Larry Burns, said his attorney, Eugene Iredale.

Labra pleaded guilty in October to dealing marijuana and cocaine. He was arrested while watching his son’s soccer game in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2000, when the cartel was near the height of its power. It took more than eight years to extradite him to the U.S.


Terrorism suspect pleads not guilty

CHICAGO | A Chicago cab driver has pleaded not guilty to attempting to aid al Qaeda.

Raja Lahrasib Khan, 57, entered the plea Monday in a brief appearance before U.S. District Judge James Zagel.

Federal prosecutors said they want Mr. Khan to remain in federal custody without bond. Mr. Khan’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, said he plans to ask Judge Zagel to release his client on bond.

Mr. Khan is accused of attempting to send aid to al Qaeda by donating money to Ilyas Kashmiri, a Pakistan-based terrorist leader who opposes Indian control of the disputed territory of Kashmir.


Priest accused of abuse working in India

ST. PAUL | Top officials at the Vatican were warned more than four years ago about a Catholic priest later charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota, according to newly released Vatican correspondence, but to this day he continues to work in his home diocese in India.

Prosecutors said Monday they are trying to extradite the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul. Father Jeyapaul denied the abuse allegations and said he has no plans to return to the U.S. to face the courts.

Father Jeyapaul was charged in January 2007 while he was in India. He said officials from the Diocese of Crookston, Minn., told him to stay put.

His current bishop, the Most Rev. A. Almaraj of the diocese of Ootacamund in southern India, said Father Jeyapaul works in his office processing teacher appointments for a dozen church schools and does not work with children.


New dispute over boy brought home from Brazil

FREEHOLD | The grandmother of a boy brought from Brazil to his father’s New Jersey home to resolve an international abduction case is complaining that she’s not allowed to see the child.

Silvana Bianchi said her grandson’s human rights are being violated.

The Brazilian woman arrived in New Jersey last month with hopes of visiting 9-year-old Sean Goldman.

His father, David Goldman, brought him home on Dec. 24 after a five-year international custody dispute. The boy’s mother, who has since died, took the child to Brazil in 2004.

Mr. Goldman’s lawyer said the father is willing to give the boy’s maternal grandparents access to the child in time.

A judge last week denied Mrs. Bianchi’s request for immediate visitation.


Charity to give grants for new art spaces

NEW YORK | A charitable foundation has begun a 10-year, $100 million initiative to help artists and arts organizations create new spaces and projects around the country.

The Ford Foundation said Monday that the support of the arts was even more vital in the current economic downturn.

Its Supporting Art Spaces Initiative says a strong cultural environmental has a role in revitalizing local economies.

Under the initiative, the foundation has already awarded a $1 million grant. It will turn an abandoned East Harlem high school into artist housing and a hub for community arts.

In Seattle, the foundation’s support created a permanent home in a renovated historic hotel for the Wing Luke Museum.


Man arrested for making bomb threat

TULSA | Police have arrested a man they say threatened to detonate a bomb at Tulsa International Airport.

Police said Timothy Harlow Hathaway, 42, was arrested about 8:20 p.m. Sunday after he made the threat to a Transportation Security Administration employee.

Airport spokeswoman Alexis Higgins said the police bomb squad checked for explosives and found none.

Tulsa Jail records show Mr. Hathaway was being held without bond Monday morning.


Lawyer: Terror suspect to plead not guilty

PHILADELPHIA | A pregnant American charged in a global terrorism plot will plead not guilty this week in Philadelphia, her lawyer said Monday.

Nothing in the indictment unsealed last week supports the terrorism charges against Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, of Colorado, defense lawyer Jeremy Ibrahim said.

Miss Paulin-Ramirez has been in federal custody in Philadelphia since voluntarily returning from Ireland on Friday, the same day an indictment was unsealed adding her name to charges filed last month against a Pennsylvania woman, Colleen LaRose.

Miss LaRose is charged in all four counts, the most serious being her alleged pledge to kill a Swedish artist who had offended Muslims. Miss Paulin-Ramirez is charged only in the first count, conspiring to give material aid to terrorists intent on jihad, or holy war.


Phones in town come at high cost

STEHEKIN | A decision to add telephone service in a remote Washington state town has stirred up anger among local residents.

Stehekin is so cut off from the outside world that it has no roads leading to town and little telephone service. The 80-or-so locals relish the isolation and sell the town as an escape to tourists.

So when a telephone company attempted to install basic service for a handful of people who sought it, many longtime residents blasted the idea.

About 20 telephone lines were installed at a cost of $13,000 per line a year — all paid for by the federal government. The fact that it’s a government subsidy angers some residents.

Others say telephone service provides a vital function, especially in the case of emergencies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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