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Venezuela Refuses to Cooperate With DEA

In the latest barb-trading over the issue, Venezuela dismissed U.S. attempts to renew talks on drugs as ”useless and inopportune,” saying U.S. officials should focus on slashing demand for drugs at home rather than blaming setbacks on other nations’ supposed lack of cooperation.
”The anti-drug fight in Venezuela has shown significant progress during recent years, especially since the government ended official cooperation programs with the DEA,” Venezuela’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
For Full Story

Former Atty. General Still Grabbing Headlines

Alberto Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales

Former Atty. General Alberto Gonzales appears to have violated the law by taking home top secret documents.

LARA JAKES JORDAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled highly classified notes about a secret counterterror program, but not on purpose, according to a memo by his legal team.  The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, acknowledges that Gonzales improperly stored notes about the program and might have taken them home at one point.

For Full Story
 

FBI Could Get Greater Powers Under New Plan

    The reach of the FBI could get longer under a new Justice Department plan. Will it help? Does it go too far? In any event, it’s bound to cause controversy.

By Eric Lichtblau
New York Times
WASHINGTON — A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday.

The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

For Full Story

Justice Department Will Try to Block Congress Probe in U.S. Atty. Firings

Justice lawyers said they would go to court as soon as today to block a ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates that aims to force the Bush administration to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the politically charged firing of nine U.S. attorneys in 2006, including Seattle’s John McKay.

 For full story

New York Times Columnist Apologizes to Wrong Anthrax Suspect

Steven Hatfill

Steven Hatfill

 New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof examines the way the press covered the federal anthrax probe into scientist Steven Hatfill. Turns out Hatfill wasn’t the guy and Kristof apologizes to him.

By Nicholas D. Kristof
New York Times Columnist 
    NEW YORK —  By early 2002, it seemed clear that the United States government was muffing the anthrax investigation. Microbiologists interviewed by the F.B.I. reported that the bureau didn’t fully understand the science involved and had allowed the destruction of anthrax stocks that might have provided comparisons with the spores used in the attacks.
   In the spring of 2002, I wrote a series of columns about the anthrax investigation, including some in which I referred to a “Mr. Z” as an example of the flaws in the F.B.I.’s investigation. Some scientists had mentioned him to the F.B.I. early on as a candidate for closer scrutiny, but those trails weren’t initially followed.

    For full story

Indicted Congressman Still Shows Up For Dem Convention

      Whether it’s good for the Dems or not,  Rep. William Jefferson, who is better known for $90,000 in  his freezer than his legislative accomplishments, has made an appearance at the Democratic convention in Denver.

 

By Bruce Alpert
Times-Picayune
   DENVER — Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, facing a tough primary challenge next Saturday while under federal indictment, arrived this morning at the Democratic National Convention.
    “I wouldn’t have missed this unless I physically couldn’t do it,” Jefferson said.
   The congressman said he is worried about Hurricane Gustav and is prepared to return to New Orleans as early as Thursday morning, but wanted to be able to cast a vote for Barack Obama during tonight’s roll-call of the states.

“This is an extraordinary accomplishment on his part and I know for some people who support him it was as groundbreaking for them as it was for him,” said Jefferson of the first major party African-American presidential nominee.

Jefferson said he knows it will be a challenge for Obama to defeat Republican John McCain in November.

“It won’t be easy, of course, but I think this is the closest chance we’ve ever seen,” Jefferson said.

Did NBA Star Commit A Foul Off The Court? The FBI Wants To Know

    Detroit Pistons star Lyndsey Hunter, who is known for his hustle on the court, is now being accused of hustling someone off the court in a real estate deal. The FBI is investigating.

By David Ashenfelter
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer
     DETROIT — The FBI is investigating whether Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter and business associates duped a $35,000-a-year boiler operator for Pontiac Public Schools into buying a $1.25-million house in Bloomfield Hills that he couldn’t afford, the man’s lawyer said Monday.

U.S. Drug Czar: Venezuela Lacks Enthusiasm in Coke War

 
White House drug czar John Walters told The Associated Press that Venezuela has shown no willingness to cooperate with U.S. officials against drugs.
“Cooperation’s gotten worse and the problem’s gotten bigger,” Walters told the AP in a phone interview from Washington.

   For more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/world/AP/story/653895.html