- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bush to undergo colonoscopy today

President Bush will have a colonoscopy today and temporarily hand presidential powers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the White House said.

Press secretary Tony Snow told reporters yesterday that Mr. Bush will have the procedure at Camp David. His last such colorectal cancer check was June 29, 2002.

“As reported at the time and in subsequent physical exams, absent any symptoms, the president’s doctor recommended repeat surveillance in approximately five years,” Mr. Snow said. “The president has had no symptoms.”

Two polyps were discovered during examinations in 1998 and 1999, while Mr. Bush was governor of Texas. That made him a prime candidate for regular examinations.

During today’s transfer of power, the vice president will be at his home on the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Md., Mr. Snow said.

Shays to apologize to Capitol policeman

Rep. Christopher Shays said yesterday he will apologize to a Capitol Police officer for his behavior after he became frustrated while trying to locate a family of constituents outside the Capitol building.

“I interacted with a Capitol Police officer in a way that I know was not appropriate,” the Connecticut Republican said.

The congressman said that when he returns Monday to Washington, he plans to apologize in person to the officer.

Mr. Shays had been on his cell phone trying to find the family, caught in a rainstorm Thursday on the Capitol’s West Front.

Mr. Shays asked the intern guiding the family to hand a cell phone to the nearest Capitol Police officer, who could explain their location. The officer refused, according to a Shays aide.

Mr. Shays soon arrived on the scene, had angry words for the officer and reached up to read the officer’s name tag. Mr. Shays touched the officer’s name tag, Capitol Police said.

“The officer took offense to the manner in which the congressman spoke to him and said that the congressman also reached out and touched his name tag,” Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said.

Marine escapes prison sentence

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A Marine convicted of kidnapping and conspiring to murder an Iraqi civilian, killed by troops looking for an insurgent, will not serve a prison term, a military jury decided yesterday.

Cpl. Trent Thomas was sentenced to a bad-conduct discharge and a reduction in rank to private, which carries lower pay. He could have received life in prison for his role in the April 2006 killing of the retired Iraqi policeman in the village of Hamdania.

Thomas, of Madison, Ill., was among seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of snatching 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad from his house, marching him to a nearby ditch and shooting him after they botched an attempt to capture a suspected insurgent.

Senate OKs bill for student aid

The Senate passed a bill early yesterday to increase aid to college students.

The bill would give more money to Pell Grant recipients, who are among the poorest. They get a maximum award of $4,310 annually now, but that would be bumped up to $5,400 by 2011.

To pay for the proposal, lawmakers would cut roughly $18 billion in federal subsidies to banks that issue government-backed student loans.

The bill passed 78-18.

Bolten may face contempt citation

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee warned the White House on Thursday that Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten could face a contempt citation if he does not immediately comply with a subpoena for documents related to the firings of U.S. attorneys.

In a letter to White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding, Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, gave Mr. Bolten until Monday to announce whether he will comply.

The Bush administration has declared that any documents between White House officials regarding the firings are protected by executive privilege, to preserve the flow of candid advice the president receives.

Man sentenced for terror training

HOUSTON — A U.S. citizen was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence possible, for training with al Qaeda militants in Somalia in 2006.

Daniel Maldonado, 28, stood quietly in handcuffs with a chain around his waist as U.S. Judge Gray Miller sentenced him. Maldonado earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving training from foreign terrorists.

He has said he traveled to Somalia last year and received combat training from Islamic forces trying to overthrow the government there, and members of al Qaeda who were helping them.

Maldonado was captured in January in Kenya while trying to flee pro-government forces.

Missile launcher found on lawn

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — An old antitank missile launcher was found yesterday on a lawn in Jersey City, just across the river from Lower Manhattan.

The launcher was inoperable and posed no hazard, police said. They turned it over to Army officials at Fort Monmouth.

Army personnel identified the yard-long tube as an AT-4 anti-tank missile launcher, fort spokesman Timothy Rider said. Such launchers can only be used once to fire a missile, and soldiers determined that this launcher had been fired, he said.

Police and Army officials are investigating how the device ended up on the lawn. Officials said it appeared to be about 20 years old.

From staff reports and wire dispatches