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Man who threatened Bush mistakenly freed



Published: Tue, September 17, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Man who threatened Bush mistakenly freed

WASHINGTON -- Jailers mistakenly freed a student from Pakistan who threatened to kill President Bush a week after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a published report.

The student, Khushal Khan, and three other inmates were mistakenly freed last month, but Khan and one of the others later turned themselves in, The Washington Post reported in today's editions.

The District of Columbia jail was supposed to take Khan to federal authorities for a deportation hearing, the newspaper said.

Khan was on a student visa, studying for a master's degree in engineering at George Washington University, when he reportedly wrote a threatening e-mail to Bush.

The jail records office has been blamed in the mistaken release of at least nine inmates this year, including the four last month.

Khan and another of the inmates turned themselves in after they were discharged between Aug. 19 and Aug. 25, the Post said. One other who was serving six months for domestic abuse was apprehended. The fourth, wanted for violating her release after a drug conviction, remains at large.

Chinese man arrestedin mass poisoning

BEIJING -- Police have arrested a man suspected of putting rat poison in food that state media say killed as many as 49 people in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, a police officer said today.

The man was caught early Sunday aboard a train in Shangqiu, a city about 250 miles northwest of Nanjing, said the officer, reached by telephone at the Shangqiu train station. He would give only his surname, Li.

The poisonings Saturday, traced to a snack shop, sickened as many as 300 people, according to state media.

Authorities have refused to release a death toll, but a report today on the Web site of the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said 49 people were killed. Citing unidentified sources, it said most were schoolchildren and two were soldiers from a nearby military installation.

The report said some 300 people were hospitalized.

The suspect, Chen Zhengping, was spotted at 3 a.m on Sunday after Nanjing police put out an alert that he was wanted on murder charges and was fleeing aboard the train, Li said.

Li had no other information on Chen's identity or a possible motive. But the Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po, which has close ties to Chinese authorities, said Chen was the cousin of the snack shop owner, and put poison in its food out of jealousy at his relative's success.

Deckhand acquittedin death of captain

DIAMOND, La. -- A deckhand was acquitted Monday night of killing his captain on a storm-tossed shrimp boat two years ago.

Alvin Latham, 48, hugged his attorney after the verdict clearing him of second-degree murder was read. He would've faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted in the death of Raymond Leiker, 35.

"I don't walk out of here as a winner. I walk out of here relieved," defense attorney Peter Barbee said.

Leiker died during a storm that sank the boat off the Louisiana coast in July 2000. The autopsy report showed Leiker was stabbed and died from the impact of a boat propeller.

Latham told investigators that he tried but failed to help Leiker disentangle himself from a shrimp net as the boat went down. But authorities had suggested another motive: that the pair fought over a life jacket.

In a videotaped interrogation played during the trial, Latham admitted attacking Leiker with a knife and a piece of pipe. But he and his attorney said he was bullied into falsely confessing.

Clean driving record

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Cookies and cognac: breakfast of driving champions.

Or so centenarian Israel Haimowitz could claim.

The 100-year-old Haimowitz attributes his clean driving record after 83 years on the road to good health, 10 hours of sleep a night, and a breakfast of 2 ounces of cognac and five cookies.

Haimowitz, who renewed his driver's license earlier this month, is part of a growing number of Florida motorists who are 85 or older.

"If you took my driver's license away from me, you'd be taking away my independence," Haimowitz said. "I'd drop dead right then and there."

With an estimated 248,000 licensed drivers over 85 in the state, the population has become the fastest-growing group of drivers in the state, according to the Department of Highway Safety & amp; Motor Vehicles.

Associated Press




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