NATION IN BRIEF

NATION IN BRIEF

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

After Withdrawing Offer, UC-Irvine Names Liberal Scholar as Dean of Law School

IRVINE, Calif. -- The University of California at Irvine again appointed Erwin Chemerinsky as dean of its new law school on Monday, nearly a week after the university chancellor withdrew a job offer to him.

Chemerinsky, a liberal legal scholar and commentator on constitutional law who recently represented exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame, was offered the position again after talks with UC-Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake over the weekend.

His appointment must be approved by the UC Board of Regents.

Chemerinsky has said Drake told him the offer had been withdrawn Sept. 11 because some regents were concerned about his politics. Drake has insisted that Chemerinsky did not lose the post because of his politics, but several faculty members accused the chancellor of quashing academic freedom and called for his resignation.

Chiquita to Pay $25 Million to Settle Terrorism Charges

A federal court ordered Chiquita Brands International Inc. to pay a $25 million fine to settle charges that it did business with a terrorist organization in Colombia, a company spokesman said. Chiquita agreed to the fine when it pleaded guilty in March to paying protection money to Colombian paramilitaries from 2001 to 2004. A company spokesman said Chiquita paid the first of five annual installments on the fine. The plea follows the Justice Department's decision last week not to prosecute anyone in the company's management.

Drug Lord Accepts Life Sentence in Plea Deal

SAN DIEGO -- Francisco Javier Arellano Felix, a notorious Mexican drug lord, pleaded guilty to federal crimes that carry a mandatory life sentence, reaching a deal that spares him execution. Arellano Felix, 39, pleaded guilty to running a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder money. He agreed to forfeit $50 million and the yacht on which he was captured while deep-sea fishing off Mexico last year.

Minnesota Congressman Ramstad Won't Seek Reelection

Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) will not seek a 10th term, saying he is "burned out" after splitting his time between his home and Washington for nearly two decades. Ramstad, the senior Republican in his state's delegation, has carved out a moderate record -- voting with liberals on social issues and siding with conservatives on fiscal issues.

-- From News Services


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