Terrorist Screening Rule Dropped for CFC

The Office of Personnel Management has dropped a proposal that would have required charities in the Combined Federal Campaign to screen employees for connections to terrorist organizations.

Last year, OPM -- which oversees the national charity fall fundraising drive among federal workers -- proposed that charities participating in the CFC certify that they did not "knowingly employ" people with terrorist connections.

Some of the more than 15,000 charities that solicit funds in the CFC campaign protested the provision, saying it would require them to consult voluminous government lists that were often inaccurate or vague. The American Civil Liberties Union and 12 other nonprofit groups filed suit in U.S. District Court to block the requirement, calling it unconstitutional.

In its final rule, published Monday in the Federal Register, OPM said it would not mandate that charities check the lists but would "encourage" them to do so.

Charities still will be required to certify that they comply with statutes prohibiting Americans from dealing with countries and organizations subject to U.S. sanctions.

The CFC last year raised $256.9 million nationally; $56 million of that was given by local federal workers.

Archdiocese Drive Raises $185 Million

The Archdiocese of Washington's latest two-year capital campaign has raised $185 million, the third-largest sum ever raised by a Roman Catholic diocese in this country, according to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick.

The amount is $50 million more than the diocese's original goal and will be used for social services, education, pastoral services, parish programs and building renovations.

"I am awed by the generosity and commitment of the people and the pastors who helped make this important campaign a success," McCarrick said in a statement.

More than 70 percent of the diocese's 140 parishes exceeded their individual goals, a news release said.

The Archdiocese of Boston, which has 306 parishes, had raised $200 million before its campaign was suspended because of the 2002 child sex abuse scandal. And the Archdiocese of Chicago, with 372 parishes, raised $220 million in its campaign.

Locally, the Diocese of Arlington raised $114 million, and the Archdiocese of Baltimore raised $147 million in their most recent campaigns.


Panel Keeps Hands Off D.C. Gun Laws

A congressional committee chose not to repeal or make controversial changes last night to the District's long-standing anti-gun laws.

House and Senate conferees unanimously approved a version of the D.C. appropriations bill without adding language to loosen the city's gun laws. The bill still must be approved by the House and Senate, but Paul Strauss (D), one of the District's shadow senators, said he anticipated the gun laws will not be changed.

"I am pleased that, in the end, Congress has decided to let D.C. decide our own gun laws," Strauss said.

Amber Alert Leads to Abduction Suspect

A D.C. police officer arrested a Nevada man last night who was listed on a national Amber Alert for abducting his 9-year-old son, authorities said.

Officer Brad Scalio pulled over a dark green Jeep Cherokee with Nevada tags in the 1900 block of Bladensburg Road NE about 6:30 p.m. and took the driver, Daryl Brown of Winnemucca, into custody, said D.C. police Lt. Greg Stroud. Brown's son, who is a quadriplegic, was turned over to D.C. Protective Services.

Stroud said the officer, who was a meteorologist before joining the force last year, was on the National Weather Service's Web site Tuesday night and saw the Nov. 3 Amber Alert, which included a description of the Jeep and its tags.

While on patrol, Scalio spotted the vehicle, verified the registration tag and made the arrest, Stroud said.

Barry, Reverend Feud Over Machine

A disagreement over a water purification system has brought a simmering feud between D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and the Rev. Willie F. Wilson back into the open.

Barry said yesterday that his aides called Wilson's Union Temple Baptist Church late last week to notify church leaders that Barry planned to use a parking lot across from the church to demonstrate the use of a large machine that he said can convert trash and waste into natural gas and water.

"It's a major facility that could provide jobs," Barry said. He said the lot's owners had given him permission to use their property, which is in the 1200 block of W Street SE.

Wilson did not want the demonstration to take place in the lot, Barry said. Through an aide, Wilson declined to comment last night.

Barry went to the lot yesterday to demonstrate the machine, but an aide to Wilson locked the gate while Barry's aides were still inside, Barry said. Church officials' "whole attitude has been awful," Barry said. "Reverend Wilson, as a minister, has really lost the spiritual aspect of his ministry."

The two sides ultimately reached a compromise. Barry said he will show the machine at the parking lot today but will not turn it on.

Wilson, once one of Barry's strong allies, last year endorsed Barry's opponent, Sandy Allen, in the council race that Barry won.


Bromwell Lawyers Can See Seized Papers

A federal judge in Baltimore said yesterday that some documents seized from the home of former state senator Thomas L. Bromwell (D) may be protected by the attorney-client privilege. The judge ordered prosecutors to give Bromwell's attorneys a chance to review the papers.

Bromwell and his wife, Mary Pat, were indicted last month on charges that they were illegally paid off by a former construction company president in exchange for the senator's help in winning state contracts. The couple have pleaded not guilty.

Pedestrian Struck, Killed in Wheaton

A female pedestrian was struck and killed by a car in the Wheaton area last night, Montgomery police said.

The incident occurred at Aspen Hill Road and Connecticut Avenue about 7:25 p.m., police said. The driver of the car remained at the scene. Neither the victim nor the driver was identified by police.

"If somebody is going to bring a gun, they're going to do it if it's dark or if it's light."

-- Jan Schwartz, criticizing Annapolis High School's decision to move its homecoming football game to the afternoon. -- B1

Compiled from reports by staff writers Jacqueline L. Salmon, Caryle Murphy, Hamil R. Harris, Allan Lengel and Lisa Rein.