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News Story

FEMA All a Twitter Over Twitter

Federal agencies are going to need to figure out all the cutting-edge ways to communicate to the public. Here’s the latest illustration that  it’s starting.

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

WASHINGTON —  On Monday, FEMA Administrator David Paulison participated in a citizens’ news conference on the social media Website Twitter.
And, yes, that’s the news. It was, I believe, an unprecedented step for a U.S. government agency. Sure, the Administrator had a message, which we’ll get to, but the very fact that Paulison is embracing social media tools speaks volumes about the positive direction of the agency in terms of public communication and transparency. For an organization that is responsible for coordinating action during times of crisis and for pro-actively communicating with the public about those actions, this is a heartening step.

Read more »

A Salute To MLK

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywherephoto/americaslibrary.gov

Martin Luther King, Jr.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbUtL_0vAJk

A Snapshot of the U.S. Border Patrol in Laredo, Texas

Atty. Gen. Worried About Repercussions of “Torture” For Govt. Agents and Lawyers

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

The issue of “torture” could have serious ramifications as the Obama administration comes in. Will some government people be subject to prosecution? Will some pending criminal cases get tossed  as a result? We shall see.

By EVAN PEREZ
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Michael Mukasey raised concerns that government agents and national security lawyers may be at risk for criminal prosecution after his likely successor, Eric Holder, declared that waterboarding of terror detainees is torture.
The 67-year-old former federal judge in New York, who took office 14 months ago, said in an interview that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama faces a “conundrum” as it tries to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Word that Mr. Obama plans to issue an executive order to close the prison has caused worry among Justice Department lawyers who fear evidence backing the cases against many of the approximately 250 detainees wouldn’t hold up in a conventional court proceeding.
For Full Story

Govt. Has Beef With USDA Worker Using Computer To Run Prostitution Ring

Sounds like more interesting work than USDA business.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
ST. LOUIS — A woman who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Kansas City is accused of running an online prostitution business through her office computer.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis on Wednesday announced the indictments of 36-year-old John O. Miller and 26-year-old Laurie Lynn McConnell, both of Kansas City. Both face charges related to prostitution and money laundering.
McConnell was a statistician with the USDA Risk Management Agency until April. Miller was not a USDA employee.
For Full Story

A.G. Nominee Holder Picks Up Backing of Another Republican

The backing of another Republican lawmaker should boost Eric Holder’s chances of confirmation, which  already seems very likely.

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. won support yesterday from another Republican lawmaker, all but ensuring his candidacy will proceed smoothly and not fall to a GOP filibuster.
Holder, a former judge and U.S. attorney in the District, met Friday morning with Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and picked up his endorsement a day after a grueling confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Eric Holder understands the unique role of the Attorney General and further, I think he’s qualified to serve in that role,” Martinez said in a written statement. “Therefore, I intend to support Mr. Holder’s confirmation and urge my colleagues to do the same.”
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Mobster Gotti To Remain a Jailbird Pending Trial

John Gotti Jr./trutv.com

John Gotti Jr./trutv.com

Apparently John Gotti Jr.’s rep is doing him no good. A federal judge just didn’t buy the assertion by the defense attorneys that he’s a great and trustworthy guy.

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK – Mob scion John A. “Junior” Gotti should stay behind bars while awaiting trial on charges he was involved in three gangland murders and cocaine trafficking, a judge ruled today.
The charges against Gotti “are serious,” U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel said at the conclusion of a hearing in Manhattan federal court. “They provide a motive to flee.”
It was the first court appearance for Gotti in the city since his latest criminal case was transferred from Tampa, where a racketeering indictment against him was unsealed last year. Gotti, looking fit and upbeat, smiled broadly at his younger brother in the audience and pumped his fist as he entered the courtroom.
“I feel good,” the 44-year-old son of late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti said when the judge asked if he was prepared to decide whether to keep his lawyer.
For Full Story

Prosecutors Get OK From A.G. Mukasey to Seek Death Penalty in 2008 Slaying of UNC-Chapel Hill Student

Eve Carson/university photo

Eve Carson/university photo

By Anne Blythe
Raleigh News&Observer
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Four days before the presidential transfer of power, the U.S. attorney general authorized federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in their carjacking and firearm cases against Demario Atwater.
Atwater, 22, is one of two suspects accused of kidnapping and murdering Eve Carson, the admired UNC-Chapel Hill student body president found shot to death in March of last year.

For Full Story

Read Indictment