NATION IN BRIEF

Monday, February 27, 2006

Powder Found in Roll of Quarters At Dormitory Was Not Ricin, FBI Says

AUSTIN -- The FBI determined a powdery substance found in a roll of quarters at a University of Texas dormitory was not ricin after initial state tests had indicated it was the potentially deadly poison, a spokesman said Sunday.

The FBI tests did not identify the substance but were negative for the poison that is extracted from castor beans, said Rene Salinas, a spokesman for the FBI's San Antonio office.

State health officials did "just a quick test, and they don't check for the proteins in ricin," spokesman Doug McBride said.

The mystery powder spilled onto Kelly Heinbaugh's hands as she unwrapped a roll of quarters in her dorm room on Thursday. She said she had used five other rolls of quarters her mother had obtained from the same bank and none had powder in them.

About 400 residents were evacuated from the Moore-Hill dormitory Friday night while hazardous-materials crews sanitized the area where the substance was found.

U.N. Rife With Bad Management And Scandals, Bolton Says

NEW YORK -- The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Saturday that the world body is hobbled "by bad management, by sex and corruption" and a lack of confidence in its ability to carry out missions.

Addressing a Columbia Law School symposium held by the Federalist Society, a conservative law organization, John R. Bolton also criticized the U.N. budget, noting that two-thirds of members pay only 20 percent of the cost.

Bolton, a longtime critic of the United Nations, has been leading U.S. efforts to restructure the world body after the oil-for-food scandal and sex scandals involving U.N. peacekeepers.

An inquiry into the oil-for-food program by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul A. Volcker found that former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein sold oil to foreign countries in hopes of getting their support for lifting U.N. sanctions, and enriched himself by $1.8 billion through a kickback scheme.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is scheduled to announce his U.N. management changes on Thursday.

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· SACRAMENTO -- The head of California's prison system said he will resign after more than two years on the job because his efforts lacked political support. Corrections Secretary Roderick Q. Hickman, 49, said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) would receive an official letter of resignation Monday.

· DETROIT -- A man who opened fire with a shotgun during a service at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church killed a woman and wounded two people before he shot himself a mile away, police said. Police said Kevin Lorenzo Collins, 24, killed himself before he could be captured.

· NASHVILLE -- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recalled carrying a rifle around New York City as a youth and told the National Wild Turkey Federation's annual convention that outdoorsmen should attack the idea that guns are used only to commit crimes. An avid outdoorsman, Scalia said he was part of a rifle team at the military school he attended. "I used to travel on the subway from Queens to Manhattan with a rifle," he said. "Could you imagine doing that today in New York City?"

-- From News Services


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