Archive: April 3, 2000 to April 14, 2000

Kim Swartz surprised reward hasn't helped in Xiana case.

By Richard Freedman, © 2000, Vallejo Times-Herald staff writer.

Kim Swartz has been active in many communities searching for missing children. Nuggets like Chris' Club owner Joe Klingensmith are few, but needed in the constant quest for raising money and attention.

"Joe has been phenomenal in all of his efforts to help," said Swartz. "He keeps trying to think of ways to keep this going."

"This" means the interest and fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Xiana Fairchild Volunteer Center, as the missing 7-year-old hasn't been seen for 126 days. Chris' Club will host a dinner and wine tasting Saturday with a blues jam session starting at 4 p.m.


SOS!  Tickets for the dinner, wine tasting and blues jam at Chris' Club on Saturday are $15. The club is at 656 Benicia Road, Vallejo. For more information, call 648-9257.


The Amber Foundation for Missing Children                  

PO Box 565
Pinole, CA 94564
Phone: (510)222-9050
Toll Free: (800)541-0777 
Fax:   (510)758-0319

(Time enhanced.)  

Click here to read about all the unsolved missing children cases in Solano County and in Pinole, CA.


2 Windsor Officers Kill Woman

Shooting comes after call of hostage situation.  Apr. 11, 2000

By RANDI ROSSMANN © 2999, Santa Rosa Press Democrat Staff Writer

WINDSOR - Two Windsor police officers shot and killed a woman Monday evening after entering a home in search of a woman reportedly being held against her will, authorities said.

Officers kicked in the door of the Windsor Victorian house and found a woman in a darkened bedroom, pointing what appeared to be a gun at them, police said.

The officers fired, wounding 31-year-old Erin McDonald, who died less than six hours later at Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa.

Police entered the home after receiving the call from a woman who said that she was tied up on the second floor of the home and that there was a woman on the first floor with a gun and a knife. The woman hung up after the 5:30 p.m. call and attempts by dispatchers to reach her went unanswered, authorities said.

...Witnesses, however, said they heard many shots.

"We heard two gunshots and a pause, and then five or six more," said Ruthine Bawden, who was on her porch barbecuing as the scene unfolded across the street.

"The guns were pulled right ready" as officers slowly moved to the front of the house, she said. Two Windsor officers and a CHP officer were first to arrive at the scene. A sheriff's deputy also responded "because of the type of call," Sheriff's Lt. Jay Farmer said.

A 19-year-old neighbor said he saw police arrive and went outside to see what was happening. "They kicked in the door, they broke out a window and fired through the window," said Dominick DeBari.   CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY!


In February 1998, the United States Civil Rights Commission held public hearings in Santa Rosa.  Many individuals testified about police brutality, the kidnapping and abuse of children, the "legal" kidnapping of a child via court decisions, home invasions, and the death of an Asian American at the hands of the police in Rohnert Park.  Within six months after the February 1998 hearings, the report of the commission was to be issued.  THE REPORT HAS STILL NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC AS OF APRIL 12, 2000.  The Santa Rosa Press Democrat through Lori Davis, reporter has filed a Freedom of Information Request to obtain the report.  WHY ISN'T THE REPORT PUBLIC? 

The United States Civil Rights Commission voted unanimously to conduct a hearing in Santa Rosa, California in response to a very high number, per capita, of deaths involving the local law enforcement agencies. The panel wanted to learn more about the region's  unusual number of "critical incidents", i.e. deaths.  WHO IS HIDING WHAT HERE?  WILL HEADS ROLL WHEN THE REPORT HITS THE PRESS?  STAY TUNED!


NewsMakingNews asks: Should the Monday Morning Quarterbacks who incorrectly classified the data, Wen Ho Lee handled, do some meditation time at the Crow Bar Hotel?

Lee Data Constraints Unclear
By Ian Hoffman © 2000
Albuquerque Journal Northern Bureau April 10, 2000 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE — Most — if not all — of the U.S. nuclear-weapons data former Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee is accused of illegally copying had not been reviewed and formally classified as secret.
Prosecution evidence shows the more than 20 weapons designs and related nuclear-blast simulations that Lee allegedly copied to portable tapes were not labeled as "restricted data" at the time.... 

Restricted data is the U.S. Department of Energy classification category for secrets of designing and making nuclear weapons.

Instead, records show Lee's tapes were full of data designated as PARD, or protect as restricted data.

....The DOE tightened the PARD rules in August and set June 30, 2002, as the deadline for the elimination of PARD. DOE officials said they wanted to get rid of the PARD designation years ago but found resistance at the weapons labs. Los Alamos and its sister weapons-design lab, Lawrence Livermore, asked DOE to keep the PARD designation until 2002 so they had time to classify and copy the data to a media such as compact disks.  CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY!


Energy Secretary Bill Richardson distanced himself from the declassification policies of his predecessor Hazel O'Leary on a Fox network news program on April 6. "We have different philosophies on security, Hazel and I." In the brief exchange, he did not specify which categories of information he believes O'Leary should have kept classified. 
Click to:

Under threat: Are animals just "Bushmeat?  

Sunday Times, April 9, 2000, reports:

Britain is to lead an international crackdown on the trade in illegal
African "bushmeat", which has seen stewed monkey, fried fruit bat and
even gorilla appearing in ethnic restaurants and butchers in Europe. As 2,000 delegates meet in Nairobi tomorrow for a conference of signatories to
the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), 
British officials will urge them to draw up tough new rules to halt 
international sales of the meat of wild animals.

....The move follows a series of grisly seizures, among them the headless
corpses of several gorillas found at Heathrow airport last year. This has
been coupled with warnings from conservation groups of soaring prices for
such meat, leading to a surge in smuggling over the next few years.

Last year a Sunday Times investigation revealed the extent of the trade in
Europe, with reporters being offered stewed monkey at restaurants in
Brussels and fruit bat at African cafes in London. This was followed by a
series of Customs and Excise investigations, which saw seizures of dead
porcupines, monkey, snakes and even anteaters in raids on restaurants and
butchers in London's East End. Officers at Scotland Yard have received
unconfirmed reports of lion meat being offered for sale....


"This type of consumption of "bushmeats" only further decreases already
endangered animals for nothing more than a good time, or good taste by
humans or some trinket of jewelry. But the disease implications transported
between countries is a huge issue of international concern seeming
overlooked. Furthermore, by consumption of some of these "bushmeats" we are likely setting ourselves up for more diseases, some of which we may not yet have recognized. - Mod. TG © 2000, Pro-Med"  

Lockerbie Trial Held To Ransom by US Lawyer 

09/04/00 SUNDAY HERALD © 2000, Scotland.  A powerful American lawyer is refusing to release evidence which he claims could clear the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing unless he is paid $250,000 (£160,000). James Shaughnessy, who acted for PanAm during a civil action taken by the families of the Lockerbie dead, wants the money in return for access to the series of documents, testimonies of intelligence officers and secret reports. The Scottish lawyers acting for the Libyan accused are to issue subpoenas against Shaughnessy in the US Courts to secure the evidence, fearing that unless a court order is issued he could destroy the documents.

Shaughnessy, a partner of the Manhattan law firm Windels, Marx, Davies and Ives, insists the evidence he has would not only damage the prosecution case against Abdel Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, but would also exonerate them of all charges. The evidence he has allegedly points towards Palestinian terrorists putting the bomb on the plane after penetrating a covert US intelligence drug route into America.

Shaughnessy may be dragged before the Grievances Committee of the US courts and de-barred from practising law for attempting to sell the evidence. He could also be committing a major breach of the lawyers' ethical code as the evidence is the property of PanAm. Shaughnessy gathered it while building a defense for the airline during the civil court case. The evidence, currently in a secret location known only to Shaughnessy, allegedly proves the attack was planned and carried out by Palestinian terrorists, based in Germany, acting on behalf of Iran in revenge for America shooting down a civilian airbus, in which 290 people died.

PanAm was ruined by the civil case and found guilty of willful misconduct over its security for allowing the bomb on to the plane. In an attempt to defend PanAm, Shaughnessy claimed the US government knew there had been threats of an impending terrorist attack on a PanAm plane. When PanAm lost the civil case, the US government moved to impose a multi-million dollar fine against Shaughnessy for linking it unnecessarily to the disaster.

Shaughnessy submitted an affidavit to the courts as part of his defense against the sanctions. In the affidavit - which until now has been secret - Shaughnessy says he took statements from two ex-CIA officers, a German intelligence agent and a serving senior intelligence analyst with the US Drug Enforcement Agency. In it, Shaughnessy says a US military intelligence agent showed him "documentation concerning the involvement of the US intelligence community in narcotics trafficking into the United States". This was substantiated by a CIA officer. An ex-German intelligence agent told Shaughnessy the bomb was connected to Palestinian terrorists rather than Libyan assassins, and a US Drug Enforcement agency officer said drugs had been smuggled through Frankfurt airport.

The affidavit also reveals the contents of reports from US intelligence on Palestinian terrorists operating in Germany. The reports show "how and where" the bomb got onboard flight 103. Shaughnessy's affidavit also reveals details of polygraph (lie detector) tests on two former PanAm employees, which he believes show they switched the bag in Frankfurt containing the bomb.


From Lockerbie News © 2000  More...

The trial Judge, Thomas Platt, refused to allow Shaugnessy permission to introduce this evidence. According to the report, Platt has later admitted that he did this because unidentified "agents of the Government" visited him and told him to follow this course.

Judge Thomas Platt: Did you know that Thomas Platt´s nephew David Platt died on Pan Am 103 ? Or that Thomas Platt was the judge who sentenced whistleblower Lester Coleman to jail for claiming Pan Am 103 was a US-drug-trade accident ? And later threatened him to remain silent ?
Or why not read a complaint against the senile judge Platt of judicial misconduct in more than 20 different cases?

Mexican Journalist, Pablo Pineda, Slain and Dumped across the Border in Texas

Russia Unveils U.S.-Built Chemical Weapons Lab






In the 60's the students, their parents and activists didn't protest much until the draft notices came home and young men were dying in Vietnam.  Protestors missed the fact that corporate profiteering supported by the USA fueled the war.  Generation X is smarter.  They are protesting the source of future (and current) wars!

On April 9 the AFL-CIO joins the church-based Jubilee 2000 in a rally in Washington D.C.  to demand the cancellation of the debts of impoverished countries. 

On April 12, student activists will join 10,000 workers and their families as they flood Congress on "lobby day," urging a no vote on a bill that would clear the way for China's entry into the WTO.

On April 16 there will be a rally and direct action in Washington D.C. against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Washington D.C. Police are training to confront the demonstrators and prevent another Seattle situation.  The media is busy depicting the demonstrators as eerie anarchists. Most protestors are working Americans struggling to pay their bills and keep their jobs.


"Why You Should Come to Washington to Protest the IMF and World Bank, April 16-17" 

The long answer - they assist corporations and elites and devastate the poor)

The short answer -- there will be meetings of the Board of Directors of the global economy.

False Profits: Who wins, who loses when the IMF, World Bank and WTO come to town. Click to read.

HOW MANY OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS OWN AMERICAN LAND?  Offshore accounts hide the true identity of Scotland's owners.

By Torcuil Crichton and Andy Whightman, Sunday Herald, Online Edition, Scotland.
Publication Date: Apr 2 2000 

MORE than 750,000 acres of rural Scotland held in private ownership is registered with offshore companies that avoid UK taxation and hide the true identity of the owners.

The examination of the title deeds of Highland estates shows that more than 50 of them, accounting for 4.5% of all privately-owned land in rural Scotland, are registered to companies in tax havens ranging from the Dutch Antilles to Liechtenstein.

The estates vary in size from the 63,000 acre Killilan and Inverinate estate, owned by racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai, to the 1700 acres of Strollamus in Skye, registered in the name of the Macfarlane (St Helier) Corporation in Andorra. Several investigations over the years have failed to establish the true owners of Strollamus. The company office, high in the Pyrennian principality between Spain and France, consists of little more than a nameplate on a side street door.

Although several of the estates uncovered by the research are in foreign ownership, many are in the hands of UK residents. The 45,000 acre Langwell and Braemore estate, registered in the name of Wellbeck Estates Company Ltd, is owned by the Duke of Portland. The Tarbert Estate of 19,500 acres on Jura, registered to the Bahamas-based Ginge Manor Estates Ltd, is owned by Viscount Astor.

The true level of offshore ownership of Scottish land is likely to be much higher than inquiries have so far revealed. Many estates are owned by UK registered companies whose shareholders are offshore.

None of the offshore estates will pay capital gains tax on their assets if ownership is transferred, and inheritance tax is also avoided. The companies can also benefit from agricultural, environmental and forestry grants without the identity of the beneficiaries ever being revealed.



In 1985, media magnate Rupert Murdoch renounced his Australian citizenship and became a US citizen who owned News Corp., incorporated in Australia. US law  prohibits foreign ownership of television stations.  Murdock then acquired 20th Century Fox studios and an empire of media subsidiaries. Murdoch's company, News Corp., earns most of its revenue from US subsidiaries through the use of international tax havens.  Murdoch has paid corporate income taxes of one-fifth the rate of his US competitors during the 1990s.  News Corp. reduces its US taxes by moving profits through multiple subsidiaries in offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. News Corp. through it subsidiaries owns title to U.S. land.


Pat Robertson endorses moratorium on the death penalty Copyright © 2000 Associated Press.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (April 7, 2000 5:18 p.m. EDT)- Conservative religious broadcaster Pat Robertson on Friday endorsed a moratorium on the death penalty, saying it isn't always applied fairly.

The death penalty has been administered in a way that discriminates against minorities and poor people who can't afford high-priced attorneys, Robertson said during a symposium at the College of William and Mary's law school.

He didn't call for a moratorium in his keynote speech. But he expressed support for such a move when asked by a member of the audience.

"I think a moratorium would indeed be very appropriate," said Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition. He added he generally supports the moratorium movement but isn't ready to "crusade" about it.

The moratorium question was posed by Michael Radelet of Moratorium 2000, a national anti-death penalty organization founded by activist Sister Helen Prejean, the author of "Dead Man Walking."

By Norman Solomon
© 2000 / Creators Syndicate

Oh Elian, we love you! We're the News Media. And you're incredibly special.

Many politicians, legal experts, psychologists, celebrities and pundits want the world to know that they fervently desire what's best for you. We've been glad to put you on national television -- live if possible -- playing on a backyard swing set or holding your pet rabbit named "Esperanza." Hope for your future has become very important to us all.

Frankly, kids your age usually aren't interesting to those of us in the media profession. They may suffer from danger and deprivation, but the chances are slim that a spotlight will fall on their unimportant little lives. What afflicts their daily existence is apt to be too downbeat and humdrum for prime time. There's no tragic shipwreck or high-profile legal battle to recount, just ongoing social conditions. Kind of boring.

But your story is wonderfully dramatic and extraordinary -- far afield from what matters for millions of children. Medical neglect, malnutrition, crummy housing, under-funded schools and other ills are tedious facts of life that lack glamorous momentum. Sure, we do stories on poor kids once in a while, mostly told with a few numbers and fleeting images, but there's no drumbeat in the national media echo chamber. 

We might mention that the United States has the highest rate of child poverty among all the industrialized nations, with one in five American kids living below the poverty line. We could note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture now says 36 million Americans -- 14 million of them children -- do not have adequate access to food. 

The infant mortality rate in the U.S. -- 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 births -- is currently worse than in 21 other industrialized countries. Meanwhile, the United States "has failed to reduce the disparities in rates among different racial and ethnic groups," the Children's Defense Fund reports. "Black infants continue to die at twice the rate of white infants. The latest data show that the cause of death for black infants is four times more likely to be related to low birth weight than for white infants, strongly suggesting unequal access to prenatal care."

This deadly situation could be called -- quite accurately -- institutionalized racism. But we don't have to call it anything if we rarely even mention it.

One way or another, poverty is killing a lot of children in the United States every day. And it's making life miserable for millions of others. But hey, that's a real downer.

Anyway, dwelling on that kind of stuff might raise unsettling questions about social priorities in the USA. Since we're the News Media, we can be judicious about what's newsworthy. We prefer to broadcast dramatic TV footage from Miami and feature Cold-War-relic arguments about Cuba.

Elian, so far this spring, we've made sure that many millions of Americans think about you every waking hour. Your story is big. So, count your blessings. Any number of 6-year-olds, unfilmed and unextraordinary, can only dream of a day when America's magic media alchemy will turn their suffering into infotainment.

You're not one of those run-of-the-mill children. For instance, if immigrant kids are "undocumented," their access to social services is likely to be quite limited (no matter how many tax dollars get withheld from their parents' paychecks). Even the kids of legal immigrants are often denied assistance: If they arrived on these shores after the 1996 welfare reform law took effect, those families don't have access to food stamps, Medicaid and other basic federal programs.

The media limelight does not have much room to spare for America's poor children. They aren't talked about hour after hour on "Larry King Live" or discussed in breathless reports on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News Channel. Those cable networks routinely adorn the bottom of the screen with the latest stock-market numbers. But as far as top producers are concerned, the latest vital statistics about poor kids are just media bummers.

Not like you, Elian. You're so special! Your ordeal is a mesmerizing tragedy, a riveting psychodrama.

Oh Elian, how we love you!

To subscribe to Mr. Solomon's weekly column E-mail:
Norman Solomon is a syndicated columnist. His latest book is "The Habits
of Highly Deceptive Media.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (4/6/00): "All prosecutions are selective." Anonymous "jail bird."



Wong released from jail after posting $500,000 bail

By Demian Bulwa © 2000 CONTRA COSTA TIMES STAFF WRITER April 6,2000

The boyfriend of a slain Pinole woman was released from jail Wednesday after posting $500,000 bail on federal child pornography charges.

At a short morning hearing in San Francisco, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman said 28-year-old Raymond Wong, who was arrested and jailed March 7, can live at his parents' home in Pinole while awaiting trial.

Wong's parents put up a building they own in El Cerrito as collateral for the bail.

Authorities have labeled Wong a primary suspect in the killing of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Alice Sin, who had been missing since November when her body was found Jan. 24 near a dirt road off Interstate 80 in Churchill County, Nev.

Wong has not been charged in connection with the slaying of Sin, a Diablo Valley College student who had a 1-year-old child with Wong.

The child now lives with Sin's parents.

According to the terms of Wong's release, he may look for a job but may not use the Internet outside work. Police said they found downloaded pornographic images on computers seized from Wong's house during the homicide investigation.

An arrest warrant affidavit said there were "hundreds of images of individuals who were clearly under the age of 18 (estimated to be as young as 5 or 6 years old) and who were depicted in the images as being involved in explicit sexual activities."

District Court Judge Claudia Wilken had previously ruled that Wong must report to an Oakland halfway house upon his release. But the halfway house would not accept Wong because of the publicity around his case, said Arthur Wachtel, an attorney for Wong.

The U.S. Attorney's Office lobbied for no bail, arguing that Wong is a flight risk because of his status as a suspect in the Sin homicide. Prosecutors also said Wong is dangerous to the community.

Wachtel said Wong is looking forward to proving his innocence to the child porn charges. He has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Monday.,1038,500189581-500255150-501302729-0,00.html

Former EMERGENCY BROADCAST SYSTEM Director Charged with Seeking Sex from Minors Over Internet

Copyright © 2000 Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (April 6, 2000 7:58 a.m. EDT) - A retired Army major who oversaw the White House's emergency communications has been charged with sending pornographic material over the Internet to children and pursuing sex with two girls.

Authorities said John W. Davis, 44, of Sandpoint, Idaho, was caught in an online sting when an undercover police officer posed as a mother who told Davis he could have sex with her 12- and 14-year-old daughters. Davis was arrested March 23 in San Diego, where he allegedly went to meet the mother.

He said in e-mails and in phone conversations that "it was his lifelong ambition or dream, or words to that affect, to have sex with young ladies of this age," prosecutor Rick Clabby said at Tuesday's arraignment.

If convicted, Davis could face more than 20 years in prison. He was ordered held on $550,000 bail.

Defense lawyer Peter Hughes said his client was devastated by the charges, which he denies. Hughes said he plans to file a challenge to the laws that led to the arrest.

"We would have pleaded not guilty the other day, but these attacks (on the legality of the charges) have to be entered before the plea," Hughes said Wednesday.

In court documents, Hughes sought a lower bail, in part because of Davis' military background. He was in the Army for 20 years and retired in 1994 as director of the Emergency Actions Branch at the White House.

Davis, who is married with three children, also worked as the director of the Emergency Broadcast System, now called the Emergency Alert System, which allows the government to reach the public in emergencies.

NewsMakingNews: Why did the government go to the trouble to essentially entrap John W. Davis of Sandpoint Idaho?

John W. Davis, then a U.S. Army Major was Director of the Emergency Broadcasting System, and until sometime in 1994 served in the Emergency Actions Branch of that system located in the White House.  The President has authority to issue Emergency Broadcasts.  On April 19, 1993, the Branch Davidian complex at WACO burned.  In February 1993, the World Trade Center in New York City was bombed.  What data, if any, about these national emergencies was transmitted to John W. Davis?  Did Mr. Davis have information which is now classified or the subject of court inquiry?  This line of inquiry may point to FEMA and FEMA's role at Waco and in New York City.

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) was established by the FCC in November of 1994 with the approval of Part 11 EAS rules. The EAS replaced the Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) as a tool the President and others may use to warn the public about emergency situations.

Federal Emergency Management Agency, in its official bulletin reports:

Background on the Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The following information is provided to aid those participating in the Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) Program to understand the EAS. Under the EAS, State and local governments, in partnership with the broadcast and cable industries, will be afforded new ways and resources to more effectively provide emergency alerts (signal tones), information and instructions to the American public.

On December 13, 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a joint press conference at the FCC to announce the change from EBS to the new EAS. This change represented a fundamental shift in the way State and local governments, in partnership with the broadcast industry, provide emergency information and instructions to the public. National implementation of the new EAS began on January 1, 1997, for radio and television stations and began on December 31, 1998, for cable systems with 10,000 or more subscribers. For cable systems with fewer than 10,000 subscribers and for wireless cable systems regardless of the number of subscribers, the effective date for participation will be October 1, 2002.

This change was effected through the use of digital technology that will make it possible for State and local governments and the broadcast industry to automate methods and processes to provide emergency alerts, information and instructions to the public

State and local governments using the EAS will need to make decisions on how they will address the following components of emergency instructions and whether or not to address them within the context of official EAS messages and, when needed, with follow-up Special News Broadcasts. These components are as follows:

  1. Identification of precautionary protective actions (if any) for special populations (e.g., school children and transportation-dependent individuals) or by location (e.g., public parks, beaches, etc.);
  2. Identification of protective actions (if any) for the general public using familiar landmarks (e.g., political jurisdictions, major highways, rivers, railroads, zip codes, etc.);
  3. Identification of evacuation routes;
  4. Identification of reception centers for radiological monitoring of evacuees and congregate care centers for lodging of evacuees;
  5. Instructions on how to maximize protection when sheltering (e.g., remain inside, close all windows and doors, shut off any forced air heating or cooling systems);
  6. Provision of information addressing and responding to false or misleading rumors, as well as the provision of rumor control numbers to the public;
  7. Ingestion-related instructions and information, if appropriate;
  8. Reminders on what to take along when evacuating; and
  9. Pet information.

Again, State and local governments should select those items listed above (or others they may add, such as Governor's emergency declaration) that would be addressed in either the official EAS message and/or the follow-up Special News Broadcasts.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE EXTREME LENIENCY THAT THE SONOMA COUNTY COURTS AND J. MICHAEL MULLINS, SONOMA D.A., SHOW TOWARD PROSECUTION OF PEDOPHILE CASES!  (Should a local Catholic Judge hear the case of the local Catholic priest? How many other accused rapists are free on their own recognizance?)

Judge PASSALACQUA: Santa Rosa Priest Accused of Rape is No Flight Risk!  Walk Free!

Apr. 5, 2000 By BOB KLOSE, Santa Rosa Press Democrat Staff Writer

Don Kimball, the inactive Santa Rosa priest accused of sexual charges involving two young Catholic parishioners more than 20 years ago, remained free on Tuesday after a Sonoma County judge ruled he is not a flight risk.

Kimball, 56, arraigned a week ago on a four-count criminal complaint, won a defense motion to be released on his own recognizance during a brief hearing before Judge Frank Passalacqua.

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office had urged the suspect post $50,000 bail.

But defense attorney Chris Andrian, with the concurrence of the Probation Department, argued that Kimball poses little risk of flight to avoid prosecution.

Andrian noted Kimball did not flee during months of publicity involving allegations against him and that he is a lifetime Sonoma County resident who has lived at the same address more than 10 years.

"He is no risk," Andrian said.

Passalacqua agreed and dropped the bail demand, but told deputy District Attorney John LaForge to keep the court informed of any change in Kimball's behavior.

Passalacqua also ordered Kimball to have no contact with witnesses or alleged victims in the case.

Kimball is a former parish priest in Humboldt and Sonoma counties and  was a popular youth ministry worker.

He is accused of raping a girl at Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa in 1977 when the girl was under 14. He also faces charges of lewd conduct with another girl under the age of 14 in 1981. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 15 years in state prison.

Kimball has not yet entered a plea in the case, but in news interviews he denied the allegations and vowed to fight the case at trial.

Meanwhile, Andrian will challenge the criminal complaint in a hearing Passalacqua scheduled for April 27.

The charges against Kimball were filed on the basis of a 1999 California Supreme Court ruling allowing prosecutors to pursue old child molesting cases previously barred by statutes of limitation laws.

QUOTE OF THE DAY (4/5/00) "In times of war there is no law."  Cicero.

Pentagon Labs Failed To Apply Export Rules, Internal Audit Says Click to read.
Copyright © 2000 Nando Media, Copyright © 2000 Associated Press
By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (April 5, 2000 8:44 a.m. EDT.) Pentagon research labs disclosed technical data of potential military value to Chinese, Russian and other foreign visitors in recent years without first questioning if export licenses were required, an internal audit by the Defense Department inspector general says.



NEWSBLAST April 3, 2000

Ex-Brothel Madam Sentenced to Prison in Nevada, Joe Conforte is On The Lam!

By Scott Sonner, © 2000 Associated Press Writer, 4/3/00
Click to:

"RENO, Nev. –– A former madam who remained on a brothel's payroll after she became a county commissioner was sentenced Monday to nearly four years in prison for her role in a racketeering and money laundering scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Shirley Colletti and others conspired to conceal that they were operating the Mustang Ranch as a front for former brothel owner Joseph Conforte, a fugitive who FBI agents think is hiding in South America."

Senator Arlen Spector Hot on the Trail of Peter H. Lee, Accused of Spying for China.
Click to:
Vernon Loeb © 2000, Washington Post, 4/4/00 "Back Channels"

"Having relentlessly pursued Attorney General Janet Reno and other Justice Department officials for their handling of the Wen Ho Lee spy case, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is now hot on their trail in the other Chinese spy case, involving Peter H. Lee.

Specter asked last week at a hearing why prosecutors hadn't used a death penalty section of the espionage statute in prosecuting Lee, a laser scientist at TRW Inc. who has admitted passing nuclear secrets to Beijing but spent only 12 months in a halfway house.

Tomorrow, Specter will hear from two senior attorneys from the criminal division who supervised the prosecution, John Dion and Michael Liebman, and the lead prosecutor in Los Angeles, former assistant U.S. attorney Jonathan Shapiro. Sparks should fly."

Motorola Invests in Virtual Tissue Bank Company. [Biochip and wireless involved?]
Reuters © 4/4/00 
Click to:

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Reuters) - Motorola Inc. said Tuesday it invested in a company that is developing virtual tissue banks that one day may help researchers find new treatments for diseases such as diabetes or breast cancer.

Financial terms of the investment in privately held TissueInformatics Inc. were not disclosed. Motorola said it would work toward a two-way technology agreement with the Pittsburgh-based company.

TissueInformatics is developing virtual tissue banks designed to facilitate drug discovery, tissue engineering and the scientific evaluation of human and plant tissues.

The databases convert advanced microscopic images of tissue into quantitative analyses of tissue structure, function and genetic expression. Researchers will be able to access the data on the Internet.

Virtual tissue banks of normal and diseased tissues could eventually aid researchers in finding new treatments for diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer's, Motorola said.

``We ... believe this will be the first step toward a long-term collaboration that could combine Motorola's advanced microarray (biochip) technology and wireless capabilities with TissueInformatics' understanding of tissue-related sciences,'' Dr. Peter Johnson, president and chief executive officer of TissueInformatics, said in a statement.

NEWSBLAST April 3, 2000


Can the Net Survive its newest and nastiest growth industry? 
by Robert Lemos © 2000 ZDNet News

"Without a doubt, the trend to use patents as a legal battering ram, as well as the patent rules themselves, is one of the major high-tech issues of 2000." 

For 18 months now, Germany's intelligence service, Verfassungsschutz, has issued warnings against Echelon's industrial espionage. CLICK.
By Bo Elkjaer and Kenan Seeburg © 2000, Ekstra Bladet, March 31 2000

"According to Germany's Verfassungsschutz, Echelon's industrial espionage should be taken very seriously. In statistics compiled by Verfassungsschutz on espionage cases from 1997, industrial espionage constitutes not less than 62 percent - or two-thirds - of all espionage cases in Germany known to Verfassungsschutz. The report from the German intelligence service also states that the US espionage services behind Echelon - the CIA and the NSA - are the only Western intelligence services in a group that otherwise consists of Libyan, Iranian, Iraqi, Chinese and North Korean intelligence services - the very same spy agencies that the Americans themselves have singled out as the "main enemies" on several occasions since the end of the Cold War."

The cloning of human embryos for medical research, which could allow scientists to create spare parts for the body, is expected to be approved by the Government after an inquiry concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the ethical problems. CLICK.
By Rachel Sylvester © 2000, Electronic Telegraph 3/3/00

"They would create an embryo clone of a sick person and extract cells genetically identical to the patient's for use in treatment. The aim is to use the cells to grow parts of the body that could be used to replace damaged organs, such as the bone marrow of a child with leukaemia or heart tissue damaged in a heart attack. The panel, which is putting the finishing touches to its recommendations, is concerned that Britain will be left behind in the scientific race if the ban remains."