Charges Dropped Against 6

In Money Transfer Case

DETROIT -- Federal officials dropped criminal complaints against six men accused of illegally sending as much as $50 million a year to Yemen, but they said the investigation was continuing.

Jim Dinkins, assistant agent in charge of the Customs Service probe, said new charges were expected soon.

After a nine-month investigation, raids conducted Dec. 18 in Dearborn and Detroit resulted in charges against Gamil Manea Ahmed Al-Najar, 26; David Nasser Ali, 40; Foiad Hussain Mohamed, 25; Mohammad Aidaros Abdulla, 62; Abdulla Hassan Mohamed, 31; and Hussein Ahmed Mohamed, 65. They were later released on $10,000 unsecured bonds.

W.Va. Governor Proposes

Insurance Bill to Aid Doctors

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Gov. Robert E. Wise Jr. (D) proposed plunging West Virginia deeper into the medical malpractice insurance business, unveiling a $20 million plan to rescue doctors from high premium costs.

"Every qualified doctor in West Virginia will be able to get insurance and will be able to remain in West Virginia," Wise said in the State of the State address to a joint assembly of the Legislature.

Two dozen surgeons at four hospitals in northwestern West Virginia have taken leave to protest the cost of medical malpractice insurance. Doctors are transferring some patients to facilities elsewhere in the state and in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The legislation unveiled yesterday would provide doctors with tax breaks and other credits. Wise said the plan would be funded by a $20 million transfer from the state's tobacco settlement fund.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- Nearly 60 vehicles crashed during the morning commute in pileups along an icy, fog-shrouded stretch of Interstate 80. At least 11 people were injured, four seriously.

* SANTA FE, N.M. -- Petra Jimenez Maes, 55, became the first Hispanic woman to be named chief justice of a state's highest court. Maes, a four-year veteran of New Mexico's Supreme Court, was elected by her colleagues. She will be sworn in Friday.

* LOUISVILLE -- Doctors at a Louisville hospital have implanted a self-contained artificial heart in a critically ill patient, the eighth such surgery in the United States and the first since April. Only one of the previous patients -- Tom Christerson of Central City, Ky., who received his heart in September 2001 in Louisville -- is alive. The latest surgery took place Tuesday, according to Jewish Hospital. The hospital said it would not release the patient's name or other details at the request of the family.

* OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two police officers who were shown on video hitting an unarmed suspect repeatedly with nightsticks will not face civil rights charges, federal prosecutors said. U.S. Attorney Robert McCampbell said there was no evidence that officers Greg Driskill and E.J. Dyer willfully deprived Donald Pete of his constitutional rights. He said police conduct based on mistakes or bad judgment is not enough to add up to a willful violation.

-- From News Services