- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 18, 2002

Ashcroft begins INS restructuring
Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday began what he called an "unprecedented change" in the organizational structure and the law enforcement and service functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
"For at least the past 30 years, periodic restructurings of the INS have dealt with Washington management rather than with national and international operations," Mr. Ashcroft said during a press briefing at INS headquarters.
The restructuring, effective yesterday, eliminates the need for Border Patrol officials in the field to report through district and regional offices, instead reporting directly to Border Patrol Chief Gus de la Vina; and consolidates detention-and-removal program functions to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and accountability. The plan also establishes an Office of Juvenile Affairs, reporting directly to the commissioner's office.

U.S. officials sued over terror arrests
NEW YORK Liberal activist groups sued Attorney General John Ashcroft and other U.S. officials yesterday, saying there was widespread abuse of hundreds of Middle Eastern men detained on immigration violations after September 11.
The class action lawsuit filed in federal court says the plaintiffs have been subjected to unreasonable and excessively harsh treatment. It asks a judge to issue an order protecting the detainees' due-process rights and to appoint a monitor to oversee their treatment.
The Center for Constitutional Rights in New York said the lawsuit was the first charging jailhouse abuse to be filed on behalf of the detainees. Some are still behind bars.

Ethics panel named to investigate Traficant
The House ethics panel yesterday selected lawmakers to conduct an inquiry into whether to discipline Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., convicted of federal bribery and tax evasion charges.
Rep. Doc Hastings, Washington Republican, will lead the panel, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California will be the ranking Democrat.
An automatic disciplinary investigation by the ethics committee was triggered after the Ohio Democrat was found guilty last week of taking kickbacks from staff and taking bribes and gifts from businessmen.

Review clears police of Columbine charge
GOLDEN, Colo. An independent investigation released yesterday concluded that a student killed in the Columbine High massacre was slain by one of the teen gunmen, not by a police officer as his parents had said.
The findings determined that Denver Police Sgt. Daniel O'Shea was not present when Daniel Rohrbough was shot, said Barry Arrington, an attorney for the boy's parents.
"They find that Eric Harris was the shooter, the one who fired all three shots that hit Danny," Mr. Arrington said before a news conference detailing the report.

Doctors: Strep bacteria resisting antibiotic
For the first time, doctors have documented a large-scale U.S. outbreak of antibiotic-resistant strep throat an episode involving at least 46 Pittsburgh schoolchildren.
The jump in resistance was detected early last year at a private school, where roughly half the strep throat cases were found to be untreatable with erythromycin. All the children were successfully treated with other drugs.

Judge orders cardinal to testify in abuse suit
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. A judge said yesterday that Cardinal Bernard Law must answer questions from an attorney whose client says the archdiocese failed to prevent a priest from sexually abusing him.
Documents have detailed the church's knowledge of accusations of child sexual abuse against the Rev. Paul Shanley and his advocacy for sex between men and boys. The deposition, scheduled for June 5, involves a lawsuit against Cardinal Law and the Boston Archdiocese.
"Quite honestly, I would have preferred to have not had to fight over this. But there's no way that we're backing down," said Paula Ford, the mother of plaintiff Gregory Ford.

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