Congress, Justice standoff is defused

first_imgBefore Bush’s decision to step in, what law enforcement officials described as a tense drama had played out as Justice Department officials, backed by career prosecutors, refused to give up the material seized in the search of Jefferson’s office. At one point, Paul J. McNulty, the deputy attorney general who was once chief counsel to the House majority leader, told Scott Palmer, chief of staff to Hastert, that he would quit rather than relinquish the materials to Jefferson. By Wednesday evening, Justice Department lawyers and lawyers for the House had staked out nonnegotiable positions, with House lawyers demanding return of the Jefferson documents. Justice lawyers, backed by the FBI, would not agree to hand over any of the material, which included a copy of the hard drive of Jefferson’s office computer, along with calendars and date books. Throughout Wednesday, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who had signed off on the search warrant of Jefferson’s office, sought unsuccessfully to speak with Hastert. At the same time, McNulty, who has long-term Republican ties to the Hill, sought to placate infuriated lawmakers. The stalemate was broken Thursday morning, when White House aides suggested an intermediate step of turning the material over to the solicitor-general. Sealing the material for 45 days allows the House and the Justice Department to continue to discuss a more permanent resolution of the matter, which could be important in several other pending criminal inquiries that have focused on sitting House members of both parties. Those include the influence-buying inquiry involving Abramoff, the former lobbyist, and the broadening investigation that grew out of the inquiry into the activities of Randy Cunningham, the San Diego Republican who was a member of the House Appropriations Committee.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2In one interview, the normally reticent speaker portrayed a report broadcast by ABC News on Wednesday evening as calculated retaliation and said that he had demanded a retraction. The Justice Department issued firm denials of the ABC report, which was attributed to anonymous federal sources, regarding Hastert’s advocacy for Indian tribes – a pet cause of the convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In a morning interview with a radio station in his home state, WGN in Chicago, Hastert said: “This is one of the leaks that come out to try to, you know, intimidate people,” he said. He stopped short of that charge when pressed later by reporters on the West Front steps of the Capitol. But he and his allies were clearly furious. “I don’t know if this leak out of the Justice Department or wherever it came was a coincidence or not,” the speaker said. “But I will let anybody else try to connect the dots.” Tony Snow, the White House spokesman, said senior officials at the Justice Department had assured the White House there was no effort to embarrass Hastert. Meanwhile, ABC News continued to defend its report. “We stand by the story,” said Jeffrey W. Schneider, vice president of ABC News. WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush intervened directly Thursday in a tense constitutional fight between Congress and the Justice Department by ordering records seized from a congressional office over the weekend sealed for 45 days. “Our government has not faced such a dilemma in more than two centuries,” the president said in his first statement on the swirl of events surrounding the FBI’s search of the office of Rep. William J. Jefferson, D-La. “Yet after days of discussions, it is clear these differences will require more time to be worked out.” The president said that the material in question would be turned over for 45 days to the solicitor-general, the Justice Department official who represents the government before the Supreme Court. That step would allow the Justice Department to claim it had not given up material that prosecutors regarded as lawfully obtained evidence needed for a criminal case. The presidential intervention came as House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, normally the administration’s champion on Capitol Hill, suggested that the Justice Department had tried to intimidate him through a news leak because of his challenge of the agency’s authority to conduct the search. last_img read more

Full Capacity Protocol remains in place at LUH following major overcrowding

first_imgThe Full Capacity Protocol has remained in place at Letterkenny University Hospital due to overcrowding. At least 138 people sought care at the Emergency Department yesterday, with the hospital saying it has ‘admitted a significant number of ill patients’ today (Weds).Forty-seven people were recorded awaiting admission on trolleys on Tuesday morning. Staff are currently making efforts to identify patients who are appropriate for discharge in order to deal with the overcrowding.A Saolta spokesperson said: “Hospital management apologises for the inconvenience and distress that these delays cause patients and their families. The hospital prioritises those in most need of care and this may lead to delays for less urgent patients.“The Emergency Department is extremely busy again today and the hospital has admitted a significant number of ill patients.“Many of these patients are currently in the Emergency Department, awaiting a bed. “The Full Capacity Protocol remains in place and all efforts continue to be made to identify patients who are appropriate for discharge.“We would like to remind the public that we encourage them to attend the Emergency Department only in the case of real emergencies and they should contact their GP or GP Out-of-Hours service in the first instance.”Full Capacity Protocol remains in place at LUH following major overcrowding was last modified: November 6th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Raiders’ Gruden nostalgic over possibility of leaving Coliseum early

first_imgALAMEDA — Coach Jon Gruden was talking about quarterback Derek Carr Monday and the future of the franchise when he noted “I think he’s really excited about where we’re heading.”If Carr has the answer as it pertains to where the Raiders will play their home games in 2019, there are a lot of people that would love to have that information. That includes the head coach and the local fan base.The Raiders are scheduled to play in their new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020. There is no such clarity …last_img read more

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week Judges Swamped

first_imgWhat can editors do when too many entries come in a week?  Print them all, and let the public decide:Fear Factor:  Ker Than, proposing in LiveScience that fear of snakes led to the rise of humans: “To avoid becoming snake food, early mammals had to develop ways to detect and avoid the reptiles before they could strike.  Some animals evolved better snake sniffers, while others developed immunities to serpent venom when it evolved.  Early primates developed a better eye for color, detail and movement and the ability to see in three dimensions – traits that are important for detecting threats at close range.  Humans are descended from those same primates.”  How eagles and mongooses overcame their fear of snakes without becoming philosophers was not explained.  What did a Cornell scientist think of this new idea?  “It strikes me as a very special piece of scholarship and I think it’s going to provoke a lot of thought.”No Problemo:  Eors Szathmary, in Science: “The uniqueness of language raises special problems.  Some see this as a fundamental impediment to a successful Darwinian approach.  I disagree.  Uniqueness presents special methodological challenges, but we should bear in mind that the origin of the eukaryotic cell, as one example, was also unique in the sense that all eukaryotes today share the same common ancestor.  This did not prohibit us from insights into the origin of, say, mitochondria….”Necessity our Mother:  Dolezal et al. in Science: “In creating mitochondria some 2 billion years ago, the first eukaryotes needed to establish protein import machinery in the membranes of what was a bacterial endosymbiont.  Some of the preexisting protein translocation apparatus of the endosymbiont appears to have been commandeered, including molecular chaperones, the signal peptidase, and some components of the protein-targeting machinery.”If It Ain’t Broke:  From Berkeley Lab: “The molecular machinery that starts the process by which a biological cell divides into two identical daughter cells apparently worked so well early on that evolution has conserved it across the eons in all forms of life on Earth.”Bells & Whistles:  Eva Nogales, on Science Daily: “The specialization of DNA replication initiators took place a long time ago, separating them from other members of the AAA+ superfamily of proteins while maintaining an identity among themselves that reflects the importance of the replication process.  Through the millions of years, evolution has added bells and whistles around this highly conserved central engine.”Abracadabra:  Bowmaker and Hunt, in Current Biology 7/11/2006, explaining how the sudden appearance of all four opsin genes is not a problem for evolution: “By applying estimates of the rate of gene divergence, it is suggested that the appearance of the four classes occurred very early in vertebrate evolution, about 450 million years ago.  This is close to the time of one of the major steps in vertebrate evolution, the appearance of jaws…. Animals have evolved their visual sensitivity to match aspects of their photic environment, and it is likely that the primary adaptive selective pressure is the spectral range and intensity of daylight.Now you know why the NCSE needs a “Faith Project Director” (07/22/2006 entry, last bullet).  Whatever is needed in the presumed emergence of everything appears on cue, fully formed, by evolution.  Shine sunlight, and eyes appear.  Bring on a snake, and the human brain and binocular vision appear.  Machinery, codes, complex organs, bells and whistles – you name it – there’s nothing that Darwinian faith cannot imagine emerging by unguided processes of selection.  You should be ashamed, o ye creationists of little faith.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Minister Jeff Radebe shares details of 30 day payment plan

first_imgSmall business is big business, minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday, 6 September, at an imbizo held at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg.“A total of 47% of our country’s people are employed by the small business sector. That is 7,3-million people,” said Radebe.As Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, he is tasked with giving life to the vision of the National Development Plan’s (NDP) Vision 2030 which includes the creation of 11-million jobs by 2030. “This cannot be possible if we don’t support the small business sector. The government is aware of this.”A major focus of the imbizo was the challenge small businesses faced when it came to payment for services delivered to government. The minister promised a 30 day payment intervention to fast-track the payment of suppliers. The 30 day payment intervention is created in line with the NDP’s priorities to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.Radebe said the government is aware of the frustrations entrepreneurs have, especially relating to red-tape and policies. “Small businesses remain vulnerable… We [the government] shall continue to put measures in your sector to thrive.”The 30 day payment-programmePart of the intervention is to roll out supported programmes, said Radebe. “This includes visits and inspections being done [at departments] to address the issues relating to non-payment. “We will assist government departments to put measures in place to make sure payments are done.”A study will be conducted on why payments are not done accordingly. Additionally, Radebe said his department will work together with the Department of Treasury to attend to queries. “There will be a walk-in office at the department of treasury.”He urged the public, especially suppliers, to also play a role and added that corruption,no matter how small, should be reported.Livelihood affectedIn one instance, an entrepreneur [a supplier] from KwaZulu-Natal told Radebe and the panel that he lost his house and cars because of late payments. Another entrepreneur has been waiting for payment for two years.Radebe said it is not right that suppliers are paid long after 30 days, because their livelihoods are affected. “The 30 day payment has to be adhered to. People [in government] need to be charged for financial misconduct if they don’t adhere to the 30 day payment period. Small business [suppliers] should be paid within 14 days.”Radebe said the problem of small business owners receiving late payments is not unique to the government. Private sector is just as guilty.Mzwandile Masina, executive mayor of Ekurhuleni Municipality, appealed to entrepreneurs to make sure that they deliver quality services. “Work with us to provide quality services. If you build a house, do it the best you can. Someone is going to live in that house.”In a speech about his 10 year plan, Masina said one of his plans is to help people in townships to realise their dreams. He said there will also be a policy implemented to encourage people to buy local products or services.Any queries relating to the 30 day intervention can be sent to the email address [email protected] you like to use this article in your publication or on your website?See Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Disarm the criminals or arm people to fight them

first_imgThe death, on Tuesday, of Radhika Tanwar at the hands of a stalker is heart- rending. A young life has been snuffed out for no fault of her own. A cowardly killer used the easiest method to kill her – shot the unsuspecting victim at close range with a country- made pistol and walked away. On Wednesday, a gun was used to shoot a couple and injure them grievously. Almost every other day a murder is committed with the use of a gun. It takes something to bludgeon or knife a person to death, pressing the trigger of pistol is much easier. The state has done little or nothing to make it difficult to get one and so, for the homicidally inclined, the gun has become the weapon of choice.HistoryGuns were not always so easily available. In the 1960s when the Maoists decided to take on the Indian state in Naxalbari, in West Bengal, the only firearms they could muster were some 12 bore guns and hunting rifles looted from tea estates. In fact many of the Naxalites used pipe-guns made of ordinary water pipes.Chambal had its dacoits and Mumbai its gangsters, but the easy availability of guns in northern India is a relatively recent phenomenon. Its epicenter lies in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where the breakdown of administration in the 1960s and 1970s led to the proliferation of workshops churning out country- made weapons. Today’s Naxalites, of course, are armed with a variety of weapons – .303 rifles, SLR and INSAS carbines – many of which have come from government armouries by means that are not easy to determine.advertisementParallel to this has been the exponential growth in the availability of licensed arms. Till the 1960s, getting a gun license was quite difficult in India because of the hang-over of British colonial laws where the issue of licenses was closely linked to loyalty to the empire. But the rise of democratic politics saw a proliferation of gun licenses as newly rising castes saw gun ownership as much an issue of prestige, as to offset the perceived advantage of their upper caste rivals.In India strict gun-control laws were an outcome of the imperial necessity. The eighteenth century, in which the British fought their way to dominance in the Indian subcontinent, was a very violent one. Given the Mughal mansabdari system, armed men owing allegiance to their feudatories were scattered across India. With the breakdown of Mughal authority, India, particularly in the north, saw a long period of anarchy where petty rajas and landlords vied with each other for control, and the British by virtue of their superior military organisation and world view managed to prevail. Once they came to power, and especially after the 1857 uprising, they undertook a policy of systematically disarming the people through tough legislation and laws that made the ownership of weapons without license a major crime.This was not very different from the system they had back home. In the seventeenth century, the British aristocracy created laws restricting hunting and gun ownership to the upper classes and denying them to the poor. The legacy of this continues to this day and UK has some of the toughest laws against owning guns. Civilians, regardless of the circumstances, cannot own handguns.Other guns, mainly for hunting and sport are strictly licensed. But by themselves guns don’t kill. As the slogan goes, ” guns don’t kill, people do.” It is true that the easy availability of guns promotes its use in crime in the US. The American right to bear arms is written into their constitution and has as its basis the history of the country which was liberated from the colonial yoke because the people had the firearms to turn against their British overlords.But, Switzerland with a similar history, i. e. where people fought for their freedom and were able to defend their country against their bigger European neighbours because they remained armed and ready for war, does not have the kind of crime statistics you see in the US. It is a certain kind of a social and political milieu that provides the backdrop of their usage for violent ends.In the US it is obvious in its stratified social system and ghettoisation of the minorities. Unfortunately, the ambiance in India with its burgeoning urbanisation, poverty and social tensions make for an incendiary situation. Layer upon this a ruthlessly predatory attitude towards women and the weak, compounded by the breakdown in effective policing in most parts of India.advertisementProliferationThe big threat lies from unlicensed weapons. And these have proliferated widely. Making the weapon itself is not the problem, even the technology available to a village craftsman can do the needful. Ammunition is an issue, but leakages from the licensed system as well as from the police and the armed forces have created the problem. Last year, this paper reported how ammunition from CRPF armouries in UP managed to find its way to Maoists in the jungles of Chhattisgarh.Given the rapid urbanisation of the country and the emergence of large unpoliced or poorly policed areas can result in the rise of criminal gangs who are not afraid of taking on the police. We already see some aspects of this phenomenon in the Ghaziabad- Meerut area of the national capital region. If something is not done to check the proliferation of country- made weapons, things could go from bad to worse.The police need to first understand that there is a problem. The issue of misuse of licensed weapons is straightforward enough. Here the police need to not only strengthen the processes relating to the issue of licenses, but to also institute a process whereby which licenses can be withdrawn from people who could become a threat to society because of their possession of a licensed weapon. In other words, the licensing process should involve much more continuous monitoring.As far as the country- made gun phenomenon is concerned, the challenge is vaster. One aspect of it is the location and destruction of workshops that produce them. The second is to break the supply chains of ammunition for such weapons.LeachingThe third, and most doable, is to leach away the weapons from those who possess them. Countries have tried different ways of doing this-Brazil, Zambia, South Africa have experimented with amnesty and cash bounties to encourage people to turn in illegal weapons.What the Delhi police can easily do is to offer an amnesty, to start with, and then undertake a sustained drive to locate and seize these weapons. One way to do this is surprise search and seize drives where the police can seal off a mall, a market or a bus stand and search every person for hidden weapons. This will deter people from carrying the weapons around. For its part, the union government needs to pass laws that will enhance punishment for the manufacture, transportation and possession of illegal weapons.If the police and the government throw up their hands and claim they cannot do anything, it may be a better idea to make licensing easier and encourage the ordinary citizen to become a gun-owner and train them in the use of guns.At least this will be able to equalise the advantage that the criminals have vis- vis the common folk as of now.last_img read more

Lionel Messi tracks down mascot for photo after missing handshake

first_imgBarcelona striker Lionel Messi has made one die-hard fan for life. The fan is none other than a young boy who Messi missed shaking hands with after Argentina’s match against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The missed handshake drew some negative attention for Messi.In this vine video, you can see the boy’s extended hand being left unshaken as Messi meets the match officials ahead of the match. The boy then steps back and walks away heartbroken.However, that’s not the full story. What happened after that is the story.The moment Messi missed shaking hands with the boy.After greeting the match officials, Messi went and shook hands with the mascots, albeit, a different mascot.However, there was some cheer for the heartbroken mascot as Messi later tracked him down and put things right with a picture-something that the young boy is going to cherish for life.And this is how Messi made up with the boy – by posing for a photograph with him.last_img read more