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My Way News 10/01/2006

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  • Marenda W.
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061001/D8KFL4HO0.html GOP Leaders Knew of Foley E-Mail in 05 Oct 1, 1:29 AM (ET) By DEVLIN BARRETT WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2006

      GOP Leaders Knew of Foley E-Mail in '05
      Oct 1, 1:29 AM (ET) By DEVLIN BARRETT

      WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Thomas Reynolds, head of the House Republican
      election effort, said Saturday he told Speaker Dennis Hastert months
      ago about concerns that a fellow GOP lawmaker had sent inappropriate
      messages to a teenage boy. Hastert's office said aides referred the
      matter to the proper authorities last fall but they were only told the
      messages were "over-friendly."

      Reynolds, R-N.Y., was told about e-mails sent by Rep. Mark Foley and
      is now defending himself from Democratic accusations that he did too
      little. Foley, R-Fla., resigned Friday after ABC News questioned him
      about the e-mails to a former congressional page and about sexually
      suggestive instant messages to other pages.

      "The improper communications between Congressman Mark Foley and former
      House Congressional pages is unacceptable and abhorrent. It is an
      obscene breach of trust," Hastert, R-Ill., Majority Leader John
      Boehner, R-Ohio, and Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in a written
      statement Saturday evening. "His immediate resignation must now be
      followed by the full weight of the criminal justice system."

      The House leaders said it is their duty to ensure House pages are
      safe. They said they are creating a toll-free hot line for pages and
      their families to call to confidentially report any incidents, and
      will consider adopting new rules on communications between lawmakers
      and pages.

      The boy who received the e-mails was 16 in the summer of 2005 when he
      worked in Congress as a page. After the boy returned to his Louisiana
      home, the congressman e-mailed him. The teenager thought the messages
      were inappropriate, particularly one in which Foley asked the teen to
      send a picture of himself.

      The teen's family contacted their congressman, Rep. Rodney Alexander,
      R-La., who then discussed the problem with Reynolds sometime this spring.

      "Rodney Alexander brought to my attention the existence of e-mails
      between Mark Foley and a former page of Mr. Alexander's," Reynolds,
      chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a
      written statement Saturday.

      "Despite the fact that I had not seen the e-mails in question, and Mr.
      Alexander told me that the parents didn't want the matter pursued, I
      told the speaker of the conversation Mr. Alexander had with me,"
      Reynolds said.

      Hastert said he does not remember talking to Reynolds about the Foley
      e-mails, but did not dispute Reynolds' account.

      "While the speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation, he
      has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynolds' recollection that he
      reported to him on the problem and its resolution," Hastert's aides
      said in a preliminary report on the matter issued Saturday.

      On Friday night, Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean said the top House
      Republican had not known about the allegations.

      Saturday's report includes a lengthy timeline detailing when they
      first learned of the worrisome e-mail in the fall of 2005, after a
      staffer for Alexander told Hastert's office the family wanted Foley to
      stop contacting their son. Alexander's staffer did not share the
      contents of the e-mail, saying it was not sexual but "over-friendly,"
      the report says.

      Hastert's aides referred the matter to the Clerk of the House, and
      "mindful of the sensitivity of the parent's wishes to protect their
      child's privacy and believing that they had promptly reported what
      they knew to the proper authorities," they did not discuss it with
      others in Hastert's office - including, apparently, their boss.

      After the issue was referred to the clerk, it was passed along to the
      congressman who oversees the page program, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

      Shimkus has said he learned about the e-mail exchange in late 2005 and
      took immediate action to investigate.

      He said Foley told him it was an innocent exchange. Shimkus said he
      warned Foley not to have any more contact with the teenager and to
      respect other pages.

      Democrats charged Reynolds did far too little and said more digging
      should be done.

      "Congressman Reynolds' inaction in the face of such a serious
      situation is very troubling, and raises important questions about
      whether there was an attempt to cover up criminal activity involving a
      minor to keep it from coming to light before Election Day," said
      Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney.

      New York Democrats hoping to unseat Reynolds blasted the congressman,
      saying they call into question the Republican's values.

      "Mr. Reynolds knew about these allegedly inappropriate e-mails from a
      fellow congressman to a minor for months and didn't lift a finger,"
      said Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the state Democrats.
      On the Net:
      National Republican Congressional Committee: http://www.nrcc.org/
      Democrats See Chance in Foley's District
      Sep 30, 10:19 PM (ET) By BRENDAN FARRINGTON

      WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Democratic candidate Tim Mahoney seized
      the opportunity created by scandal and criticized GOP leaders Saturday
      for not fully investigating Rep. Mark Foley when his raunchy
      communications with a teenage boy came to light about a year ago.

      Foley resigned Friday after revelations that he exchanged explicit
      electronic messages with the 16-year-old boy, a former congressional
      page, sending the Florida GOP scrambling for a replacement candidate
      less than six weeks before the election.

      Mahoney, who until two days ago was the underdog in the race for
      Foley's seat, said Republican leaders should have fully investigated
      at the time. Pages are high school students who attend classes under
      congressional supervision and work as messengers.

      "It looks to me that it was more important to hold onto a seat and to
      hold onto power than to take care of our children," Mahoney said. "I
      think that's wrong. I think that's what's wrong with Washington."

      The House Page Board investigated the allegations late last year, but
      Foley was not honest when he denied improper conduct with the
      teenager, the committee's leader, Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, has said.
      Anthrax Dispute Suggests Bioshield Woes
      Oct 1, 1:20 AM (ET) By PAUL ELIAS

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - By now, millions of anthrax vaccine shots
      developed through cutting-edge genetic engineering were supposed to be
      filling a new national stockpile of biodefense drugs. Instead, five
      years after anthrax attacks left five dead, sickened 17 and panicked
      the country, the nearly $1 billion contract awarded by the U.S.
      Department of Health and Human Services to a tiny and struggling San
      Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company is plagued with misfortune
      and delays.

      Delivery has been put off until at least 2008 - and maybe later -
      while the government and VaxGen Inc. trade barbs over who is at fault.
      The dispute has further tarnished Project Bioshield, a government
      program that has alienated many potential biodefense contractors.

      "We have all come to understand that there is more complexity than it
      originally appeared," said Thomas Inglesby, deputy director of the
      University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biosecurity.

      5 Found Dead in South Carolina Home
      Sep 30, 11:56 PM (ET) By BRUCE SMITH

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Five people were found dead in a home
      Saturday, and all appeared to have been shot, police said.
      Investigators were talking to a suspect.

      No motive had been identified. Officers discovered the bodies in the
      mobile home after a neighbor called police when no one answered a
      knock at the door.

      Police spokesman Spencer Pryor would not release information Saturday
      night about the victims' identities or whether they were related. The
      Charleston County coroner's office did not immediately return a
      message seeking comment.

      Monique Singleton, who lives across the street, said four children
      lived in the home and her children occasionally played with them.

      "They were nice people, they seemed fine," she said.

      The subdivision of about two dozen mobile homes sits in the shadow of
      Interstate 526 - one of the main highways around the Charleston area.
      La. Voters OK Consolidating Levee Boards
      Oct 1, 12:43 AM (ET) By DOUG SIMPSON

      NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Louisiana voters on Saturday approved consolidating
      the New Orleans area's levee boards, the generations-old agencies
      whose politically appointed members were criticized after Hurricane
      Katrina for failing to maintain the area's levees and floodwalls.

      The constitutional amendment - passing with about 80 percent of the
      vote - will combine 10 southeast Louisiana boards into two, one for
      each bank of the Mississippi River. Members of the new boards will be
      required to have expertise in engineering, geology and hydrology,
      mandates that advocates of the new structure hope will convince
      Congress and the nation that Louisiana has shed a system mired in

      "I think it shows that people really care about basic reform in
      Louisiana," said Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who supported the measure.
      "They want everything to be professional."

      With about 97 percent of precincts reporting, voters supported the
      measure by a 4-1 margin. The amendment was passing in every parish
      that was hit hard by Katrina in August 2005.

      After Katrina breached New Orleans' levees last August, the boards
      were criticized as disorganized, full of patronage and badly lacking
      in technical knowledge to manage the system of levees that protect New
      Orleans, which is largely below sea level.

      Agency Lagging on Border Maintenance
      Sep 30, 6:37 PM (ET) By DAVID SHARP

      HOULTON, Maine (AP) - The United States wants to better secure its
      border with Canada, but it might have trouble finding it in some
      areas, an official with the agency that maintains the border said.

      The U.S. and Canada have fallen so far behind on basic maintenance of
      their shared border that law enforcement officials might have to
      search through overgrown vegetation for markers in some places, the
      official said.

      "If you can't find it, then you can't secure it," said Dennis
      Schornack, the U.S. commissioner of the International Boundary
      Commission, the intergovernmental agency responsible for maintaining
      the U.S.-Canada border.

      The Boeing Co. (BA) has been awarded a three-year, $67 million
      contract to implement the first part of a plan to reduce illegal entry
      along thousands of miles of border with Canada and Mexico using better
      technology, including cameras, sensors and even unmanned airplanes.

      But commission officials say their budget of about $3.6 million is
      insufficient and insist that if they are not given more money to buy
      basic machinery to beat back the weeds, bushes and trees that threaten
      to overtake parts of the border, all those high-tech gadgets could
      prove useless.

      "I've talked and talked, and we don't seem to be getting anywhere,"
      Schornack said. "Yes, it's not glamorous. It's not high-tech. It's
      chain saws and weed whackers. But if you don't get that basic job
      done, all I know is cameras won't work."

      The 5,525-mile U.S.-Canada border cuts a 20-foot-wide swath through
      many wooded areas. Down the middle are monuments and markers denoting
      the actual border.

      The agency, consisting of two commissioners (one from each country),
      seven field engineers and a small support staff, is responsible for
      surveying and maintaining more than 8,000 monuments and reference points.

      The International Boundary Commission has warned that it has fallen
      far behind in clearing fast-growing brush and trees, especially in the
      United States' Northeast and Northwest - between Washington state and
      British Columbia and between New England and Quebec and New Brunswick.

      Schornack will meet in Washington on Monday and Tuesday with his
      Canadian counterparts, high-ranking homeland security officials and
      members of Congress to lobby for more funding.

      Part of his goal, he said, is to lift the agency's profile. The agency
      is so small, he said, that it gets lost in the $2.7 trillion federal

      "The boundary has been ignored for a very long time," Schornack said.
      "I'm not even sure people know we exist."

      Canadian officials say the U.S. needs to contribute more money.

      The U.S. contributed $1.43 million this fiscal year, compared with
      $2.2 million Canada contributed, the commission said. The U.S.
      contribution pales in comparison with the $33 million it is giving the
      International Boundary and Water Commission, which oversees
      maintenance of the border with Mexico - though it also is responsible
      for flood control, sewage treatment plants and other issues. And a
      bill to erect a fence along the Mexican border went to President Bush
      on Friday.

      "Some of the catch-up projects that the Americans are supposed to
      undertake are not being done. We're doing as much as we can with our
      funding, but the catch-up rate is not what it should be," said Al
      Arseneault, the deputy commissioner of the commission's Canadian branch.
      On the Net: IBC http://www.internationalboundarycommission.org/

      Department of Homeland Security http://www.dhs.gov/

      Immigration Activist Defying Ruling
      Sep 30, 9:47 PM (ET) By SOPHIA TAREEN

      CHICAGO (AP) - An immigration activist who took refuge in a church
      after the government ordered her deported to Mexico said Saturday she
      will remain holed up there, even though a federal judge dismissed a
      lawsuit filed on her behalf.

      The lawsuit against the government had contended that deporting
      Arellano would effectively deport her son Saul, who is a U.S. citizen,
      and would violate his rights. U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ruled
      Friday that although the 7-year-old would face hardships, they weren't
      of constitutional magnitude.

      Arellano, 31, and her son have been living at the Adalberto United
      Methodist Church since mid-August.

      "I want to stay here with my son," Arellano said in Spanish to
      reporters at the church. "I'm not just fighting for my situation. ...
      You can't separate families."

      The Rev. Walter L. Coleman, the Adalberto pastor who sued in August on
      the woman's behalf, said he and Arellano are in contact with other
      families in similar situations and are considering filing a
      class-action lawsuit, he said.

      Coleman said he is not concerned that federal officials will enter the
      church to remove Arellano.

      "We fear God more than we fear Homeland Security," he said.

      Arellano was to surrender to federal authorities for deportation Aug.
      15 but instead sought refuge in the small church, in a heavily Puerto
      Rican neighborhood.

      She first was arrested in 1997 soon after crossing into the United
      States and was sent back to Mexico.

      She returned and was arrested again in 2002 and convicted of working
      as a cleaning woman at O'Hare International Airport under a false
      Social Security number.

      Schwarzenegger signs telephone privacy bill
      Friday September 29, 8:56 PM EDT

      SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed
      a law on Friday making it a crime to buy telephone records or obtain
      them through deceit, an issue that has become important amid a furor
      over Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HPQ) attempts to track down boardroom
      leaks to the press.

      The new law punishes violators with a fine of up to $2,500 and a year
      in prison, with the maximum fine rising to $10,000 for repeat offenders.

      It applies to anyone who sells, buys, or conspires to buy or sell any
      records of telephone-calling patterns without the written consent of
      the subcriber, or anyone who obtains such records through fraud or deceit.

      Schwarzenegger signed the law as HP, a stalwart of Silicon Valley, is
      embroiled in a scandal centering on the computer maker's investigation
      into leaks to the media from its board of directors.

      HP has admitted that investigators impersonated company board members,
      employees and journalists to get their phone records so it could learn
      the source of leaks of secret board deliberations.

      Previous California law prohibited telephone companies from making
      such records available without first obtaining written permission from
      the subscriber, but did not lay out criminal penalties for doing so.

      The new law was introduced by state senators in February 2005, a year
      and a half before the HP scandal broke.

      The law also says that any personal telephone data obtained in a way
      that violates the law will be inadmissable as evidence in any legal or
      adminstrative proceeding.

      ©2005 Reuters Limited.

      GOP Aims to Crack Down on Web Gambling
      Sep 30, 2:35 AM (ET) By NANCY ZUCKERBROD

      WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Republicans attached a measure
      cracking down on Internet gambling to a bill aimed at enhancing port
      security that passed Saturday.

      Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.,
      pushed for the gambling provision to be added to the larger bill.

      Online gambling is generally illegal in most circumstances, but it is
      something that is difficult to enforce. The new measure tackles that
      by prohibiting gamblers from using credit cards, checks and electronic
      fund transfers to settle their online wagers.

      "The enforcement provision provided by this bill will go a long way to
      stop these illegal online operations," Kyl said late Friday.

      Kyl and Frist previously tried unsuccessfully to put the measure on a
      bill authorizing funding for the military, but critics said the
      Defense Department bill was no place for the gambling measure.

      Similarly, Democrats complained Friday that Republicans had used the
      port security bill as a vehicle for other GOP-backed measures.

      The House passed a version of the Internet gambling bill in July, but
      the Senate has taken no action on similar legislation.

      Frist, eyeing a 2008 presidential bid, recently discussed the online
      gambling provision in the politically important state of Iowa. He also
      called it a legislative priority in a recent speech on the Senate floor.

      "Congress has grappled with this issue for 10 years, and during that
      time we've watched this shadow industry explode," Frist said in a
      statement Friday. "For me as majority leader, the bottom line is
      simple: Internet gambling is illegal."

      The measure's supporters include the National Football League as well
      as conservative and antigambling groups. Some banking groups have
      lobbied against it.

      Federal officials have made recent arrests involving offshore
      companies operating Internet gambling sites. The Internet gambling
      industry is headquartered almost entirely outside the United States
      although many of its customers live in the U.S.

      The new gambling provision is not expected to affect gambling at
      tracks or casinos.
      The ports security bill is H.R. 4954.
      On the Net: Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/
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