- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2006

Police capture escaped convict

CARROLL, N.Y. — A fugitive suspected of fatally shooting a New York state trooper and wounding two others while on the run for more than five months surrendered to police who had cornered him in a field just over the Pennsylvania border last night.

Ralph “Bucky” Phillips walked out with his hands up, ending a manhunt for the 44-year-old career thief who broke out of a Buffalo-area jail in April, New York State Police investigator Gary Colon said.

Phillips, who was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List, was being taken to a jail in Buffalo and is to be arraigned this morning. He faces a charge of attempted murder in connection with the shooting of a state trooper on June 10.

Businessman tied to lawmaker sentenced

A Kentucky businessman who admitted paying more than $400,000 in bribes to a Louisiana congressman was sentenced yesterday to more than seven years in prison.

Vernon Jackson, 54, of Louisville, is a key figure in the federal investigation of Rep. William J. Jefferson, Louisiana Democrat. The chief executive of the telecommunications firm IGate Inc. said he paid the bribes to gain the congressman’s help in obtaining business deals in Africa.

The bribes paid by Jackson, including stocks and cash paid to a company controlled by Mr. Jefferson’s family, had a value of $400,000 to $1 million, according to court records.

Mr. Jefferson has denied any wrongdoing.

Schwarzenegger apologizes for remarks

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized yesterday for saying during a closed-door meeting that Cubans and Puerto Ricans are naturally feisty and temperamental because of their combination of “black blood” and “Latino blood.”

He said the tape-recorded comments “made me cringe” when he read them in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times.

“Anyone out there that feels offended by those comments, I just want to say I’m sorry, I apologize,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. He added that if he heard his children make similar comments, “I would be upset.”

FDA fines Red Cross millions in safety case

The government said yesterday it was fining the American Red Cross $4.2 million for violating blood-safety laws.

The violations include failing to ask appropriate questions of potential donors and not following test procedures, said the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said it had no evidence of serious health consequences resulting from the violations.

The fine was the largest single penalty assessed so far under terms of a 2003 court settlement, which allows large fines when the Red Cross violates FDA rules. Previously, the FDA had fined the Red Cross a total of $5.7 million.

In a statement, the American Red Cross said its senior management “is committed to full compliance with the amended consent decree and all applicable federal regulations.” It planned to respond to the FDA within 20 days.

WTC families seek help for survivors

NEW YORK — The father of a police detective who died after breathing in dust from ground zero wreckage told lawmakers yesterday that the government has spent too much time studying the health problems that killed his son.

“We must make the first priority the treatment of the heroes to improve their heath and save their lives. The studies should be secondary,” Joseph Zadroga, father of New York Police Department Detective James Zadroga, told a House subcommittee hearing near the World Trade Center.

Public pressure has been growing for the government to deal with health problems blamed on the toxic dust from the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

This week, a hospital study concluded nearly 70 percent of ground zero workers had lung problems, and many of them would likely be sick for the rest of their lives.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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