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News & Notes

Army increases use of recruiting waivers

By wire services
Published February 14, 2006

Struggling to boost its ranks in wartime, the Army has sharply increased the number of recruits who would normally be barred because of criminal misconduct or alcohol and illegal drug problems. Last year, almost one in six Army recruits had a problem in their background that would have disqualified them from military service. In order to accept them, the Army granted recruiting waivers. In all, the Army granted waivers to 11,018 recruits in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2005; that is up from 9,300 waivers in 2004.

Two air marshals accused in drug case

Two U.S. air marshals face federal drug charges accusing them of using their positions to smuggle narcotics through airport security and onto planes for transport, prosecutors said. Shawn Ray Nguyen, 38, and Burlie L. Sholar III, 32, both of Houston, were arrested last week after an informant delivered 33 pounds of cocaine and $15,000 to Nguyen's home, authorities said. Both men face 10 years to life in prison and a $4-million fine if convicted.

THE UNUSUAL Looking for love amid the stacks

Singles who like to read are descending on libraries across Belgium as part of an experiment in what two librarians have dubbed "lib-dating." Creators Eric Van der Straeten and Danny Theuwis are hoping to blow the dust off stereotypes of libraries as stuffy and solitary places, and draw people to books by appealing to their hearts. Participants mingle, then break into pairs, all the while talking about books. At the end of the session, participants place a note in the book of the person they would like to meet again.

UPDATE Infant's death

A woman accused of killing her 10-month-old daughter by cutting off the baby's arms with a kitchen knife went on trial Monday in McKinney, Texas, after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. In November 2004, police found Dena Schlosser, 37, covered in blood.

Guantanamo cases

Lawyers for two Chinese Muslims held at a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, want a federal appeals court to order their release inside the United States. In court papers filed Monday, lawyers for Abu Bakker Qassim and A'Del Abdu al-Hakim, who were captured in Pakistan in 2001, said they should be released because the U.S. military found that they are not enemy combatants. The lawyers want the appellate court to overturn a ruling by U.S. District Judge James Robertson, who said that the men are being illegally detained but that he could not force the U.S. government to release them.

[Last modified February 14, 2006, 02:45:31]

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