NATION IN BRIEF
Tuesday, May 11, 2004; Page A20
Court Allows Lawsuit in Case Linking FBI and Informants
BOSTON -- A federal appeals court Monday reinstated a lawsuit against the U.S. government that blames the FBI's relationship with two mob informants for a man's murder.
The lawsuit filed by the family of John McIntyre accuses the FBI of contributing to McIntyre's death by giving James "Whitey" Bulger and Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi free rein to commit crimes while they were informing on the Mafia.
McIntyre disappeared in 1984 after giving information about the Bulger gang's crimes to the FBI. His body was found in a shallow grave in Boston in 2000.
The lawsuit was dismissed last year by a judge who said it was filed late. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit overturned that decision, saying the family could not have known about the FBI's role until later.
Another lawsuit, filed by the family of Oklahoma businessman Roger Wheeler, was heard in conjunction with the McIntyre case, but the appeals court upheld its dismissal by a federal judge.
• FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- A sergeant accused in the grenade killings of two officers in Kuwait fell asleep twice during a military court hearing Monday, causing an annoyed judge to order lawyers to deal with Sgt. Hasan Akbar's sleep disorder. Akbar is charged with a March 23, 2003, attack in Kuwait on a group of fellow 101st Airborne Division soldiers.
• SITKA, Alaska -- A 235-foot ferry with more than 109 people aboard struck a reef, forcing the passengers and crew to abandon ship, a state official said.
• NASHVILLE -- Some Vanderbilt students and faculty, including the chancellor's wife, signed a petition to protest awarding the chancellor's medal to national security adviser Condoleezza Rice when she speaks Thursday to the senior class. "We expect our university to teach students respect for the truth, yet we offer an honor to a person who repeatedly misrepresented the truth to tragic effect," the petition read.
• LYONS, Ga. -- Toombs County High School, which has held mostly segregated black and white proms since schools were integrated in 1971, on Saturday held a third prom -- for Hispanics. Principal Ralph Hardy said all three private parties were integrated.
• NEW YORK -- Gannett and the Associated Press sued the U.S. Marshals Service, accusing it of violating the constitutional rights of two reporters by confiscating recording devices during a speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and erasing his remarks.
• SPOKANE, Wash. -- An explosion blew a hole in a 2 million-gallon sewage tank, causing an undetermined amount of waste to spill into the Spokane River, a fire official said. Three workers were injured, and one was missing.
• DENVER -- Gov. Bill Owens (R) signed Colorado's first-in-the-nation college voucher plan into law, telling high schoolers that as much as $2,400 per voucher is available to help them pay in-state tuition.
• PONTIAC, Ill. -- A man whose death sentence was commuted to life in prison last year was convicted of another murder and ruled eligible for the death penalty. Andrew Urdiales, 39, admitted killing eight women in two states, and charges are pending against him in California.
-- From News Services
© 2004 The Washington Post Company