May 2, 2009 in Nation/World

Espionage charges will be dropped

 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Zinkhan
(Full-size photo)

The U.S. government is abandoning espionage-law charges against two former lobbyists for a pro-Israel advocacy group, federal officials announced Friday.

Prosecutors said they will ask a judge to dismiss the case against Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman because a series of court decisions had made it unlikely they would win convictions. The two are former lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, an advocacy group.

Rosen and Weissman were charged in 2005 with conspiring to obtain classified information and pass it to journalists and the Israeli government.

Bogart, Ga.

Fugitive professor’s Jeep found wrecked

Law enforcement officers swarmed a heavily wooded area in northeast Georgia on Friday, searching for a university professor suspected of killing his wife and two other people, but the only sign of the missing academic was his red Jeep wrecked in a ravine.

Authorities think George Zinkhan’s Jeep had been there for several days, and could have crashed or been stashed there soon after the shootings last Saturday. The professor, an avid hiker, hasn’t been seen since he dropped off his two children with a neighbor after the shootings.

Investigators said Zinkhan, 57, knows his way around the wilderness, and federal parks officials warned Appalachian Trail hikers earlier this week to watch for him.

Zinkhan also had a plane ticket to Amsterdam, and authorities in Europe have been on the lookout.

“He’s not the typical type of fugitive police have to deal with,” said John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Washington

Capitol Hill complex goes to natural gas

The 99-year-old Capitol Power Plant, which provides steam for heat and hot water in congressional buildings, is ending its distinction of being the only coal-burning facility in the District of Columbia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that the switch to natural gas as the sole fuel source used at the plant was part of their efforts to reduce the carbon pollution impact of Congress on the nation’s capital.

The two Democratic leaders have for the past several years initiated steps to make the Capitol grounds more environmentally friendly.

From wire reports


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