Archive for Sunday, May 19, 2002

Nation Briefs

May 19, 2002

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Washington: GOP draws criticism about tax dodgers

Democrats are accusing House Republicans of protecting U.S. corporations that avoid paying taxes by setting up small offices off the coast.

"Corporations that engage in this practice want the benefits of being an American company, but are not willing to pay their fair share. They leave that to taxpayers like you and your neighbor," Rep. Jim Maloney, D-Conn., said Saturday.

Maloney said Republicans stood in the way of Democratic legislation last week, "leaving open the loophole that is allowing corporations to abandon their U.S. responsibilities."

Ingersoll-Rand Inc., Tyco International, Cooper Industries and The Stanley Works are among the high-profile companies that have nominally reincorporated in Bermuda or are in the process of doing so.

Baltimore: Priest out of hospital after shooting

A Roman Catholic priest was released from the hospital Saturday, five days after a gunshot attack by a man who had alleged the cleric sexually abused him as a teen-ager.

The Rev. Maurice Blackwell, 56, left the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center around 10 a.m., hospital spokeswoman Therese Trainum said.

Blackwell was shot three times Monday outside his home after refusing to talk to Dontee Stokes, 26, police said.

Stokes was charged with attempted murder, gun violations and assault, and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. He was released on $150,000 bail Friday, and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device while under house arrest.

Tennessee: Imposter causes airshow's evacuation

A man was arrested Saturday after he entered an airshow at the Chattanooga airport without proper identification while carrying two suspicious briefcases.

Workers were evacuated and spectators were kept outside the gates until a bomb squad detonated the briefcases, Chattanooga Police spokesman Ed Buice said.

"I am told that the briefcases did not contain any explosives this morning, but indications are that they may have contained explosives at some point," Buice said.

Max Willy Sommer, 62, of Georgetown, was charged with criminal impersonation and criminal trespass, and released on $3,000 bond, authorities said.

Los Angeles: 'Poor Little Fool' songwriter dead at 62

Songwriter Sharon Sheeley, who as a teen-ager wrote the 1950s hit "Poor Little Fool," has died of complications after a cerebral hemorrhage. She was 62.

Sheeley died Friday at Sherman Oaks Hospital Medical Center, family friend Elizabeth Asher said. A hospital spokesman confirmed the death and declined to give further details.

Rick Nelson, teen idol and star of TV's "Ozzie and Harriet," recorded "Poor Little Fool" and it climbed to the top of the charts in 1958.

Miami: Judge rejects lawsuit on jailing of Haitians

A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging a secret decision by the Bush administration to indefinitely jail Haitians who apply for political asylum after they have been caught trying to enter the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard accepted the Justice Department argument that immigration "strikes at the heart of a nation's sovereignty" and deferred to the executive branch.

Immigration attorneys sued over a decision in December to keep Haitian asylum seekers behind bars until their cases are decided to discourage a feared mass exodus from the Caribbean nation afflicted with political upheaval and poverty.

Asylum seekers from other countries generally are freed until their asylum requests are decided. Immigration attorneys attacked the policy on Haitians as unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Washington: Galleries' wine fests cause stir in capital

District of Columbia authorities are telling the capital's art galleries to put their wine and cheese opening on ice.

In a form letter sent out last week to 155 art galleries, the city's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration said District of Columbia law prohibits "various art galleries" from serving drinks without a license.

The letter, obtained by The Washington Post and reported in its Saturday editions, cautioned that violators could "face criminal penalties which could result in imprisonment."

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