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Did California Nuclear Plan Intentionally Mislead Federal Regulators? Senator Wants FBI to Investigate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

California Sen. Barbara Boxer is urging the Justice Department to investigate whether the operator of a now-defunct nuclear plant in California intentionally deceived federal regulators, the Associated Press reports.

A small radiation leak forced the closure of the plant between Los Angeles and San Diego in January 12, and it hasn’t operated since. 

Boxer, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says she’s discovered a 2004 internal memo that indicates Southern California Edison misled the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about design changes to the plant’s generators.

Sequestration Forces Border Patrol to Conserve Gas, Reduce Vehicles on Patrol

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The sequestration is taking a toll on Border Patrol protection as agents begin rationing fuel and use fewer cars for patrol, KHOU.com reports.

“We’ll have the same number of agents — just fewer vehicles,” said Rob Russell of the National Border Patrol Council.

Russell, who works with the local El Paso area union, said two agents, instead of one, often are occupying a vehicle to conserve gas.

“This is one of the first times we’ve seen it this severe where they’re going to start doubling up agents. We’ve never had to do this,” said Russell, who has been with the Border Patrol for 15 years.

Agents also are being asked to shut off their vehicles while doing surveillance.

Ross Parker: DEA Responds Rapidly to Chinese Chemists and Designer Drugs

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

In my two-part series I recently noted how rapidly Chinese chemists can react once one of their designer drugs is made illegal. They do this by tweaking the chemical combination and modifying them to arguably place them outside of the ambit of the new law. DEA showed last week that they can act rapidly also by temporarily scheduling three synthetic cannabinoids as Schedule I controlled substances. This action will make any manufacture, distribution or possession of these substances illegal.

The temporary scheduling is for a period of two years. The substances, the latest generation of so-called “fake pot,” were designated as UR-144, XLR11, and AKB48 and have been falsely marketed on the internet and in some stores as herbal incense or potpourri. The DEA preliminary investigation determined that the drugs were being consumed especially by teens and young people with some serious medical effects. DEA concluded that the drugs posed an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Normally the investigation which precedes temporary scheduling can take up to two years as DEA checks on the prevalence, medical danger, and other circumstances surrounding the drug under consideration. However, as noted in the article, the speed with which these dangerous drugs can be designed, manufactured, and marketed, has required a faster response. In this case the agency is believed to have completed its study in a number of months

This development, along with some litigation the last few months, illustrate the need proposed in the special report for legislative reform, action by the public, and more resources for law enforcement in this rapidly evolving area. No doubt the Chinese chemists have already replaced these drugs with others equally deadly to fill their customers’ orders.

STORIES OF OTHER INTEREST

FBI Distributes Child Porn as Part of Unusual Sting to Identify Users in Washington State

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has disseminated child porn as part of a controversial, unorthodox sting in western Washington state.

After seizing a child pornography service last year, Nebraska-based agents decided to continue operating the service to catch users, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reports.

According to the newspaper, the bureau kept the service open for about two weeks in hopes of nabbing more than 5,000 customers who distribute the images of child being raped and abused. 

It’s unclear whether the FBI has ever dealt child pornography as part of an investigation.

The investigation is in its infancy and has not yet resulted in an arrest, the Intelligencer reported.

“This remains an ongoing investigation, and local court rules and Department of Justice policy prohibit me from providing more information at this time,” said Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI Omaha Division. “As in any given matter, if charges are filed, they will eventually become a matter of public record.”

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federal budget revamps child and family tax benefits

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Hearing for ATF Nominee B. Todd Jones Set for June

Todd Jones

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The long awaited hearings for B. Todd Jones for ATF director will begin next month.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on June 4.

Jones, the U.S. Attorney in Minneapolis, could catch some grief from some Republicans in the Senate.

As we’ve seen over the past years, it’s not easy getting confirmed for this post, particularly when the NRA is behind the opposition.

Jones is currently the acting director.

 

 

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