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Archive for December 25th, 2009

White House Says Detroit Plane Incident a Terrorism Attempt

northwest-airlines1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –Federal authorities were investigating an incident on Christmas day in which a Nigerian man tried to blow up  Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit by igniting a powdery substance during the plane’s  descent, according to media reports.

The New York Times reported that the White House said it believed the incident was  an act of terrorism. The Times reported that a spokeswoman for Delta, which now owns Northwest Airlines, said there was a commotion and some minor injuries and other media reports that the device failed to go off and the man was subdued by passengers.

ABC News reported that the suspect, Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, told authorities that he was acting at the direction of al Qaeda.

An official was questioning the credibility of the statement, ABC reported.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Weekend Feature (Humor): How to Handle an Uncooperative Witness

Second Govt. Witness in ex-Cong. Jefferson Case Gets Major Sentence Reduction

William Jefferson

William Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Brett Pfeffer, who ended up testifying this summer against his former boss, Rep. William Jefferson, is getting a major sentencing reduction for his cooperation.

As expected, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandra, Va., on Tuesday reduced ex-Congressional aide Brett Pfeffer’s sentence from 8 years to 3 years and 4 months, Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper reported that the judge said Pfeffer’s cooperation with the government was substantial.

Pfeffer, 41,  a former aide to Jefferson, pleaded guilty in 2006 to bribing the Congressman. He then testified against Jefferson, who was convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts.

Another key government witness, Vernon Jackson, recently had his 7 year and 3 month sentence cut by about half for his cooperation in the case. Jackson had also pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson, who lost his bid for re-election last year.

Both Pfeffer and Jackson could be released next month.

Jefferson was sentenced in November to 13 years in prison. The Judge has allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.

To read more click here.