Corps of Engineers Sued

Over River Management

A conservation group filed suit this week against the Army Corps of Engineers and two other federal agencies, charging that the government's management of the 2,300-mile Missouri River was pushing three fragile species toward extinction.

American Rivers, a conservancy group, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, asking a federal judge to order the Corps to change the way it manages the flow of water in the Missouri. The group said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had recommended a higher flow of water during each spring and other measures, but that the Corps ignored the advice.

Two bird species -- the piping plover, and the interior least tern -- are at the point of extinction because of the water flow, as is one species of fish, the pallid sturgeon, the conservancy group said.

The suit was assigned to U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler.

Firefighters, Policeman

Receive Awards for Valor

Ten public safety officers received the nation's highest award for valor when Vice President Cheney and Attorney General John D. Ashcroft praised them for risking their lives to save others in the line of duty.

The recipients of the 2002 award are Keith Borders, a Las Vegas police officer; Robert Giorgio, fire chief of Cherry Hill, N.J.; Eric Svihovec, a volunteer firefighter in Miller Place, N.Y.; Sean VanAtter, a firefighter in Hillsborough County, Fla.; and Ron Kennett, Rick Klein, Robert Borer, Mike Wright, Guy Jones and Jeremy Hosek, firefighters in Lincoln, Neb.

Republicans Block Release Of Arms Data From Crimes

Before the Supreme Court rules on the issue, congressional Republicans included a provision in the mammoth spending bill to keep the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from releasing the names of gun shops and gun owners whose weapons were used in crimes.

The Supreme Court is to hear arguments March 4 on how much information the ATF should be required to release about the 200,000 annual firearm traces.

Chicago requested names of buyers and sellers under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit backed the city, but the Bush administration appealed to the Supreme Court.

For the Record

* The United States warned U.S. citizens not to travel to Bolivia and urged those already there to be vigilant following anti-government protests in which 22 people died this week.

* Oregano extract added to sausages, cold cuts and other ready-to-eat meat shows promise in reducing the risk of deadly listeria, a U.S. meat industry group said.

-- Compiled from reports by staff writer Neely Tucker, the Associated Press and Reuters