Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

World briefs

May 25, 2001



Nuclear workers' kids excluded from benefits

Children of nuclear weapons workers are disqualified from $150,000 in compensation if they turned 18 before the parent died of exposure to radiation and other dangerous materials they worked with in the Cold War era.

The children lose eligibility even if they were underage at the time the parent got sick. The restriction is explained in regulations the Labor Department is releasing today.

Cancer, beryllium disease and silicosis the diseases for which the government will compensate exposed workers all can be slow killers. "The sons and daughters were still affected," even if they were adults at the time the parent died, said Sam Ray of Lucasville, Ohio, who lost his larynx to cancer and now helps fellow workers deal with medical issues.


Shopaholic avoids jail time for thefts

A woman who stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from her former employer has avoided prison by convincing a judge she went on shopping sprees to fight depression.

In pleading guilty to a single count of wire fraud last June, Elizabeth Roach admitted she stole $241,061 over three years by padding her expense accounts. Roach, 47, faced as much as 18 months in prison. Instead, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced her to five years probation, six months confined to her home on weekends and six weeks incarcerated in a Salvation Army work-release center.

Roach didn't wear much of the clothing and jewelry she bought, according to her lawyer, Jeffrey Steinback. She hid the goods from her husband and then sold them to resale shops and pawnbrokers at a fraction of their value.


White House overrules Powell appointment

President Bush plans to name a former relief worker who now sits on the executive board of UNICEF to head the State Department's refugee bureau, bypassing Secretary of State Colin Powell's recommendation of a career civil servant. The job deals with population and refugees and ensures that U.S. financial aid reaches refugees displaced by civil wars and other conflicts.

When the Bush administration made no move to appoint a director of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Powell proposed to the White House the name of Alan Kreczko, an acting assistant secretary of state, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Instead, the White House chose John Klink, who represents the Vatican at United Nations conferences on social issues, the official said.

New Jersey

Police camera monitors asleep on the job

A gunman shot out a police surveillance camera in a high-crime neighborhood early Wednesday while two civilians paid to watch the monitors were sleeping.

Police know the two were sleeping because they were caught by another camera, their feet propped up on a desk. One employee resigned Thursday and the other will be disciplined, police spokesman Sgt. Edgar Martinez said. The camera is part of a $2 million surveillance system put in place by Jersey City to reduce crime and drug dealing in New Jersey's second-largest city.

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