Saturday, November 4, 2006

Convicted Lawmaker Ney Resigns His House Seat

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), who pleaded guilty last month in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, resigned his seat in Congress yesterday.

Ney pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to conspiracy and making false statements. He acknowledged taking trips, tickets, meals and campaign donations from Abramoff in return for official actions on behalf of the lobbyist's clients.

House Republicans had threatened to expel Ney if he didn't quit by the time lawmakers returned to Washington after Tuesday's elections.

Court Affirms Times Must Reveal Sources on Anthrax

A federal judge has upheld an order that the New York Times Co. must disclose confidential sources used by Nicholas D. Kristof in columns that explored whether a former Army scientist was responsible for the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks.

U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton in Alexandria said in an order Thursday that the earlier ruling by a federal magistrate judge "is not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.'' Magistrate Judge Liam O'Grady ruled last month that the Times must reveal Kristof's sources as part of a lawsuit filed against the newspaper company by the former scientist, Steven J. Hatfill.

Hatfill has been identified by authorities as a "person of interest" in the anthrax-spore mailings that killed five people and sickened 17, but he has not been charged. A series of Kristof columns in 2002 identified Hatfill as a "likely culprit." Kristof has vowed to continue protecting his sources.

Medicaid Not Automatic For Illegal Immigrants' Kids

New federal rules provide that babies born in the United States to poor illegal immigrant parents no longer automatically qualify for Medicaid health coverage.

The babies are American citizens by virtue of being born in the United States, even if their parents are in the country illegally.

Before these babies get Medicaid insurance, their parents must submit documentation demonstrating the infants' citizenship and apply for coverage under the program, according to the Bush administration's new policy.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the policy merely reflects eligibility requirements contained in a law signed by President Bush in February.

Soldier Convicted of Abuse Recalled From New Iraq Duty

Days after a soldier convicted of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison shipped out for another tour in Iraq, the Army reversed itself yesterday and ordered him back to his home base, a spokesman said.

Spec. Santos A. Cardona was convicted in June of dereliction of duty and aggravated assault for allowing his police dog to bark within inches of a prisoner's face at the Abu Ghraib prison. The Army said he did 90 days of hard labor, was reduced in rank from sergeant and was ordered to pay $600 per month in fines for 12 months.

Cardona deployed Monday from Fort Bragg, N.C., with the 23rd Military Police Company, a deployment initially reported by Time magazine.

-- From Staff Reports and News Services

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