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The investigation had been under way for more than a year when Mr. Fitzgerald was called in to take over the probe from Justice Department officials with potential conflicts of interest because of past association with legal groups supporting the terrorists.

A source close to the investigation said investigators are looking into an aide to a Senate Democrat who may have been involved in the affair.

Others mentioned in recent news reports as possible replacements for Mr. Mueller include current Transportation Security Administration Director Tom Pistole; former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey; New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and former Justice official Ken Wainstein.

Nuclear problems exaggerated

The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station remains dangerous, with reactors leaking radioactive material, but the problems and potential radiation leakage are being exaggerated, especially by some cable television and other news outlets, according to a Japanese official.

The official, who is familiar with current details of the complex, said there is no chance the situation will match the 1986 Chernobyl blast in Ukraine because, unlike in that disaster, all the Japanese reactors were shut down.

The problem now is to try to keep the reactors cool, after the post-earthquake tsunami damaged the generators that run the cooling system.

The Japanese assessment appears to be less dire than the view of Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He told Congress on Wednesday that damage to one of the complex’s reactors is more serious than Tokyo has acknowledged.

One peripheral problem from the disaster is that component’s for Apple’s iPhone are manufactured in large numbers in the region around the nuclear plant and supplies may be disrupted.

TSA to go Israeli?

The Transportation Security Administration, the much-maligned agency in charge of airport security, is looking into adopting a security screening system used by Israel for decades.

The system’s originator, former Shin Bet internal security official Arik Arad, was in Washington this week to discuss the system that uses highly trained and intelligent screeners, who ask all passengers a series of three to five questions as a baseline for possible further screening.

“I met with the people of the TSA, and I must admit their reaction is good,” Mr. Arad said, noting that Muslims he has met agree on the need to improve the current screening and adopt the Israeli-model based on questions.

One likely problem for making reforms is the Obama administration’s political correctness and aversion to any system that would appear as racial profiling.

Mr. Arad said he agrees that profiling will not work well in anti-terrorism screening because “the profile changes.”

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