New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 24, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, December 24, 2005Demonstrators protest results of Iraq elections
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Protesters gathered across the country Friday to denounce parliamentary elections that demonstrators called rigged in favor of the main religious Shiite coalition.
In Baghdad, unknown assailants kidnapped a Sudanese diplomat and five other men as they left prayers at a mosque, a spokesman for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said. An Iraqi Foreign Ministry official said he had not heard of the abduction.
As many as 20,000 people demonstrated after noon prayers in southern Baghdad on Friday in a protest organized by Sunni Arab groups and attended by representatives of secular Shia parties.
Many Iraqis outside the religious Shiite coalition allege that the elections were unfair to smaller Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups.
"We refuse the cheating and forgery in the elections," read one banner among many decrying the elections.
Sheik Mahmoud al-Sumaidaei of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a major Sunni clerical group, told followers during Friday prayers at Baghdad’s Umm al-Qura mosque that they were "living a conspiracy built on lies and forgery.”
"You have to be ready during these hard times and combat forgeries and lies for the sake of Islam,” he said.
Tile U.S. military said two soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Baghdad on Friday. No other details were released.
And Britain’s Foreign Office announced Friday that the families of four kidnapped Christian peace activists will make a new appeal for their release in Iraqi newspapers.
No news has been received about the fate of Briton Norman Kember, 74; Canadians James looney, 41; and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32; and American Tom Fox, 54, since a group claiming responsibility for their capture imposed a Dec. IO deadline for their execution.
Christmas decorations in Landa Park located near the park office.Herald-Zeitung
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staff, wire reports
REGISTRATION FORTLU'S NIGHT CLASSES BEGINS JAN. 5 — Registration for Texas Lutheran University’s Evening College will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 5-6 and Jan. 9-10 in the Beck Center on the TLU campus. Classes begin Jan. IO.
The Evening College Program is designed for adult and nontraditional students who want to start an academic degree but need class schedules after work in the evening hours. Courses in the Evening College are college-level, full-credit courses that may be applied toward a number of degrees. To enroll, students must be 23 or older, active-duty military, employed full time or have two or more years of interruption in their formal education.
Students may be admitted to the Evening College Program either as a degree-seeking student in one of the majors offered within the Evening College or as a nondegree seeking special student.
A variety of courses taught by TLU professors are being offered, including classes in art, business, communications, English, history, information systems, math and statistics, sociology and Spanish.
Tuition for the Evening College for the Spring 2006 semester is $360 per semester credit hour plus fees. Students enrolled through the Evening College Program may be eligible for financial aid programs offered by the federal and state governments.
For more information about the Evening College, courses offered or financial aid available, call 830-372-8040 or visit www.tlu.edu / academics / evening.
MAN JAILED FOR MORE THAN A YEAR WITH NO LAWYER, HEARING - A 69-
year-old man was jailed for more than a year without ever seeing a lawyer as he waited for a repeatedly postponed court hearing, and he was freed only after a cellmate told a public defender about the case.
Walter Mann Sr. was released Dec. 16 after a year and three months — well over twice the time he would have served if he had been convicted in his contempt case.
“I was shocked, and then part of me was shocked that I was shocked because I Ve read enough other stories about things like this,” said public defender Shoshana Paige, whose efforts led to Mann’s quick release. “This one seems to be pretty egregious.”
Mann’s legal troubles began in 2002, when his 13-year-old son assaulted him and was sent to a juvenile detention center. Mann, unemployed and on disability benefits, was ordered to pay $50 monthly for the boy’s housing but never did, according to court records.
The district attorney’s office filed a motion for contempt of juvenile court. The court then issued a writ ordering Mann brought before a judge, which led to his incarceration in September 2004 for three minor warrants issued for writing bad checks.
Then he waited more than a year as his contempt case was postponed again and again.
AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE THEFT OF BODY PARTS — Michael Bruno’s life had been uncomplicated: He was an immigrant who worked hard, spoke his mind and succumbed to kidney cancer two years ago at 75.
“Typical Italian cab driver,” recalled his son, Vito. “He had an opinion about everything.”
It’s only after death that his story became ghoulish.
Authorities believe his body and those of hundreds of other people — including famed British broadcaster Alistair Cooke — were secretly carved up in the back rooms of several funeral parlors citywide to remove human bone, skin and tendons without required permission from their families. Authorities allege the body parts were then sold for a profit.
Worse, health officials fear some of the stolen body parts were diseased and could infect patients who received them in skin grafts, dental implants or other orthopedic procedures — a risk concealed by paperwork doctored with forged signatures and false information.
“It’s not just disrespectful to my father,” said Vito Bruno, who has sued one of the funeral homes.
“It’s an absolutely hideous crime against other people.”
In the Cooke case, authorities confirmed this week that investigators contacted the late broadcaster’s family after finding paperwork indicating his bones had
been removed and sold by a Fort Lee, N.J., tissue bank, Biomedical Tissue Services, before he was cremated.
CHINA COULD PUT NEW YORK TIMES RESEARCHER ON TRIAL SOON -
Prosecutors have filed an espionage case against a Chinese researcher for The New York Times and his trial could begin within sue weeks, his defense lawyer said Friday.
Zhao Yan, who worked for the Times’ Beijing bureau, was detained in September 2004, prompting an outcry by press freedom groups. He is charged with “providing state secrets abroad,” but the government hasn’t provided details of what he is accused of doing.
Zhao’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said prosecutors told him Friday that they had handed over the case to a Beijing court. Mo said Chinese regulations require the court to hold a trial within six weeks.
In a story Friday, the Times described the move against Zhao as a formal indictment that could be tantamount to conviction.
“For Zhao Yan’s colleagues, family and friends, this is deeply disheartening,” Bill Keller, the Times’ executive editor, said. “We’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that he is guilty of anything but honest journalism.”
Zhao is believed to have been detained in connection with a report by the Times last year about plans by former President Jiang Zemin to give up a key Communist Party military post.
Alito defended government^s right to order domestic wiretaps
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito defended the right of government officials to order domestic wiretaps for national security when he worked at the Reagan Justice Department, an echo of President Bush’s rationale for spying on U.S. residents in die war on terror.
Then an assistant to the solicitor general, Alito wrote a 1984 memo that provided insights on his views of government powers and legal recourse — seen now through the prism of Bushs actions—as well as dues to the judge’s understanding of how the Supreme Court operates.
The National Archives released the memo and scores of other documents related to Alito on Friday; the Associated Press had requested tile material under the Freedom of Information Act. The memo comes as Bush is under fire for secretly ordering domestic spying of suspected terrorists without a warrant.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chaimian Aden Specter, R-Pa., said Monday he would ask Alito about the president’s authority at confirmation hearings beginning Jan. 9. The memo’s release Friday prompted committee Democrats to signal that they will press the conservative jurist about executive powers.
The memo dealt with
whether government officials should have blanket protection from lawsuits when authorizing wiretaps. “I do not question that the attorney general should have this immunity,” Alito wrote. “But for tactical reasons, I would not raise the issue here.”
Despite Alito’s warning that the government would lose, the Reagan administration took the fight to the Supreme Court in the case of whether Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell, could be sued for authorizing a warrantless domestic wiretap to gather information about a suspected terrorist plot.
The FBI had received information about a conspiracy to destroy utility tunnels in Washington and to kidnap Henry Kissinger, then national security adviser, to protest the Vietnam War.
In its court brief, the govem-inent argued for absolute immunity for the attorney general on matters of national security.
“The attorney general’s vital responsibilities in connection with intelligence gathering and prevention in the field of national security are at least deserving of absolute immunity as routine prosecutorial actions taken either by the attorney general or by subordinate officials," the brief said. “When the attorney general is called upon to take action to
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protect the security of the nation, he should think only of the national good and not about his pocketbook.”
Signing the document was Rex E. Lee, then the solicitor general, officials from the Justice Department and Alito.
Alito’s analysis about the court and the need for an incremental legal strategy proved prescient. The case ultimately led to a 1985 ruling by the Supreme Court that the attorney general and other high level executive officials could be sued for violating people’s rights, in the name of national security, with such actions as domestic wiretaps.
“The danger that high federal officials will disregard constitutional rights in their zeal to protect the national security is sufficiently real to counsel against affording such officials an absolute immunity,” the court held.
However, the court said Mitchell was protected from suit, because when he authorized the wiretap he did not realize his actions violated the Fourth Amendment.
The decision was consistent with the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in 1972 that it was unconstitutional for the government to conduct wiretaps without court approval despite the Nixon administration’s argument that domestic anti
war groups and other radicals were a threat to national security.
Alito had advised his bosses to appeal the case on narrow procedural grounds but not seek blanket immunity.
“There are also strong reasons to believe that our chances of success will be greater in future cases,” he wrote.
He noted that then-Justice William 11. Rehnquist would be a key vote and would recuse himself from the Nixon-era case.
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652 N. Houston, #2 New Braunfels, Texas 78130 Phone (830) 625-0009
The office will be closed from December 26-30th for the move.
lf you have appointments scheduled, please call ahead for directions. Thank you for understanding during this change, a?
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