Senate panel approves first Bush judges
The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the first of President Bush’s judicial picks, sending three nominations to the full Senate.
Roger Gregory, Richard Cebull and Sam Haddon won approval by a 19-0 vote and without debate. It was the committee’s first voting session since the Democratic takeover of the Senate and came a little more than a week after the nominees’ confirmation hearing.
Judge Gregory was among the first nominees Mr. Bush presented. He would be the first black judge to serve on the 4th U.S. Circuit, which covers North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland.
Artworks returned to German museum
A Rembrandt and two rare drawings by Albrecht Durer, one of which is valued at $10 million, were returned yesterday by Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill to officials of Germany’s Bremen Museum, where they had hung for a century before their disappearance at the end of World War II.
The artworks, among a dozen drawings worth up to $15 million, were recovered by the U.S. Customs Service during a sting operation in New York, after a Japanese businessman attempted to sell them to Bremen Museum officials.
The drawings were returned to Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany’s ambassador to the United States, and George Abegg, president of the Bremen Museum’s governing board, during a ceremony at the U.S. Customshouse at the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
“When stolen treasures are smuggled into the U.S., we do all we can to return them to their rightful owners, and to bring any wrongdoers to justice,” Mr. O’Neill said.
Reagan adopted child gets legal residency
President Bush has signed into law a special measure that gives Maureen Reagan’s adopted daughter a 16-year-old girl from Uganda permanent residency in the United States.
The measure, a private bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, also classifies Rita Mirembe Revell as her “immediate relative child.” Mr. Bush signed the bill Tuesday.
Maureen Reagan, the eldest daughter of former President Reagan, is undergoing radiation treatments for melanoma that has spread to her brain.
Ashcroft talks tough on jailed immigrants
DENVER — Attorney General John Ashcroft threatened yesterday to retaliate against countries that delay or refuse to take back immigrants convicted of crimes in the United States.
The threat followed the Supreme Court’s ruling three weeks ago that immigrants cannot be jailed indefinitely while they await deportation to a country willing to take them.
Mr. Ashcroft said the ruling created an emergency situation, and he vowed to ask Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to stop granting visas to those countries’ citizens. Mr. Ashcroft declined to name specific countries.
Fugitive Einhorn due back in U.S.
Fugitive murderer Ira Einhorn was due to arrive in Philadelphia under FBI escort early today following his extradition from France, an FBI official announced.
Federal agents were escorting the 61-year-old killer aboard a plane that left Paris late yesterday. In 1993, Einhorn was tried in absentia and sentenced to life in prison by a Pennsylvania court for the 1977 murder of Helen “Holly” Maddox.
Official says talks with China under way
A Chinese Embassy official said yesterday talks with U.S. officials are under way on reimbursing China for services provided during the three months a U.S. surveillance plane was on Chinese soil.
Embassy spokesman Zhang Yuanyuan said at a news conference that China hopes a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached. On Wednesday, the House voted to bar any compensation for China.
State Department spokesman Philip Reeker declined to confirm that talks were under way, saying only that the Pentagon is continuing to review the issue.