- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Marine’s dad ordered to pay protesters’ fees

BALTIMORE | Attorneys for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq said a court has ordered him to pay legal costs for the anti-gay activists who picketed his son’s funeral.

The protesters were led by Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., won a $5 million verdict against Mr. Phelps, but it was thrown out on appeal.

On Friday, the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Maryland ordered Mr. Snyder to pay the costs of Mr. Phelps’ appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed earlier this month to consider whether the protesters’ provocative messages, which include the phrase “Thank God for dead soldiers,” are protected by the First Amendment.


Teens face charges in bullying case

NORTHAMPTON | Six teens are facing rape, assault and other charges after a schoolmate they’re accused of bullying killed herself in January.

A prosecutor said the bullying was “unrelenting” and “intolerable” for 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, who had recently moved to western Massachusetts from Ireland. District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said the girl was stalked and harassed nearly constantly for four months.

Three other students face delinquency charges in the case. The prosecutor said more charges may be filed.

Ms. Scheibel said the actions happened primarily on school grounds while classes were in session but that school officials won’t face criminal charges.


UAW trust to sell Ford stock warrants

DETROIT | A trust fund set up by the United Auto Workers union is hoping to raise at least $1.3 billion to help pay retiree health care costs by selling rights to an 11 percent ownership stake in Ford Motor Co.

The trust will auction warrants to buy 362 million shares, which were issued in December, starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The automaker and union agreed to set up the trust to help Ford remove retiree health care costs from its books while it was in financial trouble in 2007.

In January, the trust began paying health care costs for about 200,000 Ford blue-collar retirees and their spouses nationwide, and Ford said it is saving the company roughly $500 million per year.


Superman comic sells for $1.5 million

NEW YORK | The record price for a comic book, already broken twice this year, has been shattered again.

A copy of the 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1 sold Monday for $1.5 million on the auction Web site Comic Connect.com. The issue, which features Superman’s debut and originally sold for 10 cents, is widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books.

The same issue sold in February for $1 million, though that copy wasn’t in as good condition as the issue that sold Monday. That number was bested just days later when a 1939 comic book featuring Batman’s debut sold for $75,000 more at an auction in Dallas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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