U.S.-born Taliban should go to trial in late August

Saturday, February 16, 2002

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- John Walker Lindh's trial will likely start in late August, raising the odds the former Taliban soldier will be in court on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set Aug. 26 for jury selection, but said Friday he might later consider a defense request to move the date beyond that historic September date.

On the day the Lindh case moved forward, Ellis handed down a 21-month prison sentence to a Virginia man who helped two of the September hijackers obtain fake Virginia identifications.

In a third case in the same federal courthouse, a man charged with carrying false identification near the Pentagon was released on $5,000 bond after a prosecutor indicated the case may be dropped. The man was arrested Monday night, just after the FBI issued its latest terrorism alert.

Lindh, 21, is charged in a 10-count indictment with conspiring to kill Americans, providing support to terrorists, including Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida, and using firearms during crimes of violence.

Director at Arizona camp arrested for child abuse

PHOENIX -- The director of a boot camp for troubled youngsters was arrested on murder and child-abuse charges Friday in the death of a teen-age camper who collapsed in 116-degree heat last summer.

Charles Long II, 56, was also charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pulling a knife on a camper, and marijuana possession, for a quarter-pound of the drug found in his bedroom closet.

The second-degree murder charge was filed over the death of 14-year-old Anthony Haynes. He died July 1 while attending a five-week boot camp operated by the America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association.

The medical examiner's office said Haynes died of complications from dehydration and near-drowning -- dehydration after being made to stand in the sun for up to five hours, the near-drowning from being left in a motel bathtub, where he had been taken to cool him off.

Four feared dead in fire at apartment near school

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- An early morning fire swept through an apartment complex near the University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus Friday, and four people were feared dead.

Residents of the Campus Walk Apartments, most of them college students, were awakened about 2 a.m., not by fire alarms but by people shouting and banging on doors.

"I thought someone was drunk or fighting outside," student Jennifer Bess said. "I was peeking around the door and saw this orange flame and fire."

She and her boyfriend ran out the door to escape the flames just before their stairwell collapsed.

At least six people were injured, including a 20-year-old woman who broke her collarbone after jumping from a second-floor balcony. Others received minor burns.

Texas Republicans want Enron spoof stopped

HOUSTON -- An attorney for the Republican Party of Texas has demanded that a Web site spoofing the party's own site -- with an Enron twist -- be shut down.

But Kelly Fero, operator of www.EnronOwnsTheGOP.com, said Friday he has no intention of eliminating the site.

"The legal precedent is very clear that parody is a protected right," said Fero, who also works for the Democratic group Texas '02, which promotes Democratic statewide candidates.

Neither Texas '02 nor the satirical Web site is financed by the Texas Democratic Party.

--From wire reports

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