Clayton Lee Waagner Convicted for 2001 Anthrax Hoax
Anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Waagner was convicted on Wednesday for mailing envelopes containing fake anthrax to over 700 abortion clinics in 24 states. Of the 53 charges against him, the jury found Waagner guilty of 51 of them, including the threatening use of a weapon of mass destruction, violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances (FACE) Act, extortion, and mailing threatening communication, according to Knight Ridder.
Waagner, who represented himself in the trial, said he was "tickled" that the threatening letters disrupted abortion clinics back in 2001 but claimed the government had not proven he had sent the envelopes, according to the Associated Press. Because he has committed a variety of other crimes, this conviction means that Waagner will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.
In 2001, when Waagner mailed his anthrax threats, Congress and media outlets had just received real anthrax by mail. Therefore, Waagner's threats were taken very seriously. When the fake anthrax was mailed to abortion clinics nationwide, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Planned Parenthood, and the National Abortion Federation immediately alerted clinics to prevent clinic workers from opening mail they thought was contaminated. These alerts helped law enforcement by directing them to the "scope of the investigation," allowing the FBI to immediately "declare it a national investigation and start the collection of evidence across the nation," according to Margaret Moore, director of law enforcement for the Feminist Majority Foundation.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .