1. Archive

Gay father wins appeal on visitation

Maryland's Court of Special Appeals has ruled that a county judge incorrectly limited a homosexual father's right to see his children. But the court avoided the larger issue of whether children can be harmed by exposure to a "homosexual lifestyle."

In an avidly awaited ruling made public Wednesday, a 9-4 majority of the court said that if David North is permitted to see his children by day, there is no reason to believe nighttime visits will expose them to greater harm.

Homosexual rights activists had hoped the court would use the bitter case to add Maryland to a growing list of jurisdictions where homosexuality cannot be cited by itself as a reason to limit visitation.

CIA chief criticized

WASHINGTON _ The Senate Intelligence Committee is to issue a report critical of CIA Director James Woolsey's disciplinary actions stemming from the Ames spy case, a committee spokesman said Thursday.

The report, supported by all 17 members of the committee, is due to be issued Tuesday.

Woolsey reprimanded 11 former and current senior officials for failing to unmask CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames, who spied for Moscow for eight years.

The CIA chief rejected calls for harsher punishment. Most of the officials found at fault had already left the agency.

Dead babies' eyes taken

PHILADELPHIA _ Without seeking permission from families of the dead, the Philadelphia medical examiner's office permanently removed eyes and optic nerves from 19 dead infants and young children _ most of them abuse victims _ as part of a study.

According to a scientific report, the study, which covered a 23-month period ending in August 1990, was a joint effort of the city medical examiner's office and the Scheie Eye Institute. The report was co-written by two city medical examiners and two physicians from Scheie.

The study involved three categories of children: nine who died from blunt trauma to the head, four victims of shaken baby syndrome and six victims of sudden infant death syndrome.

Bombs float over city

RIVERSIDE, Calif. _ At least three small, crude bombs have floated over this Los Angeles suburb in recent days, dangling from helium-filled trash bags and unnerving police, who have yet to find a suspect or a motive behind them.

None of the three devices exploded, but they could easily have detonated _ in the air or on a housetop, said Riverside police Sgt. Robert Hanson.

"They are probably designed for aerial burst, but who knows where the fragments will come down, or whether the balloons will come down prematurely and start a fire or cause serious injury to someone," Hanson said.

The makeshift bombs are 3-inch-long metal cylinders filled with a small amount of explosives. A crude detonation device is attached to the cylinder, which is hung from the plastic bag by a wire.

Phone calls "stolen'

WASHINGTON _ A leader of an international ring of computer hackers pleaded guilty this week to stealing thousands of telephone calling card numbers that were used to make up to $140-million in unauthorized long-distance calls.

Max Louarn, of Majorca, Spain, helped orchestrate one of the largest and most sophisticated telephone calling card frauds ever, authorities said.