- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 22, 2008

DIPLOMACY

Libya wants to invest in U.S.

NEW YORK | The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi says Libya wants to put some of its $100 billion investment fund into American business and send thousands of students to study in the United States.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi also said in an interview Friday with the Associated Press that he expects the country to ratify a constitution that would provide for democratic elections by September, the 40th anniversary of his father’s 1969 seizure of power.

The son of the Libyan leader has been a key figure in normalizing Libya’s relations with the United States. In another step on that front Friday, the Senate confirmed Gene Cretz as the first U.S. ambassador to Libya in more than three decades.

STATE

Tutu receives Fulbright Prize

The United States has given a prestigious award to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The retired archbishop was an important figure in South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle. The U.S. State Department presented him on Friday the 2008 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. It carries a $50,000 award.

Archbishop Tutu says he is accepting the honor on behalf of the “many who have often been faceless, anonymous.”

The Fulbright Prize was created in 1993 in the name of a mid-20th century senator who advocated American involvement abroad. Past recipients include former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, former Czech leader Vaclav Havel and former South African President Nelson Mandela.

DEFENSE

Pentagon bans external flash drives

The Pentagon has banned, at least temporarily, the use of external computer flash drives because of a virus threat detected on Defense Department networks.

Although defense officials would not publicly confirm the ban, messages were sent to department employees informing them of the new restrictions. As part of the ban, the Pentagon was collecting any of the small flash drives that were purchased or provided by the department to workers, according to a message distributed to employees.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman would provide no details on the virus Friday, but he described it as a “global virus” that has been the subject of public alerts.

The Pentagon has acknowledged that its vast computer network is scanned or probed by outsiders millions of times each day. Military leaders have consistently warned of potential threats from a variety of sources including countries such as China, terrorists and self-styled cybervigilantes.

Republicans

Thompson plans return to acting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. | Former Sen. Fred Thompson is going back to the small screen after his foray into Republican presidential politics over the past year drew low ratings.

Mr. Thompson, best known on TV for his role as a gruff district attorney on NBC’s “Law & Order,” dropped out of the crowded Republican primaries in January after his much-anticipated presidential campaign failed to gain strong support among conservatives.

He campaigned heavily for eventual nominee Sen. John McCain and had recently tried to gain support to be in charge of the Republican National Committee. But his former finance chairman, B.C. “Scooter” Clippard, said Mr. Thompson told him Wednesday that he was returning to acting and dropping his RNC bid.

Mr. Clippard said he did not know which television programs might be interested in Mr. Thompson.

“He has some wonderful opportunities back in the television market that probably financially far outweigh being chair of the RNC,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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