- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2008

THIS JUST IN

HBO Films is developing Capitol Hill author James L. Swanson’s recent best-seller, “Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer,” into a miniseries.

“I’m delighted that HBO is making ‘Manhunt.’ This is the most important and thrilling chase in American history, and a miniseries format with hours of storytelling will capture all the richness of this tale,” Mr. Swanson, senior legal scholar at the Heritage Foundation, told Inside the Beltway late Wednesday.

Broadcasting & Cable points out that the would-be miniseries surrounding the hunt for John Wilkes Booth, being undertaken by scriptwriters David Simon (“The Wire”) and Tom Fontana (“Oz”), follows on the heels of “John Adams,” another popular HBO miniseries in the American history genre.

WORTHY EIGHT

Every year, an esteemed panel assists the Partnership for Public Service in recognizing outstanding civil servants whose accomplishments make the country — and world — a better place for mankind.

Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and PBS President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Kerger were among the members of the committee who narrowed a pool of 500 nominations to eight prestigious recipients of Service to America Medals.

The top medal — Federal Employee of the Year — goes this week to Richard Greene, of the U.S. Agency for International Development and leader of the President’s Malaria Initiative, which is helping save the lives of more than 25 million vulnerable women and children in 15 African countries.

Other worthy medal winners:

Dr. Stephen Andersen, director of strategic climate projects at the Environmental Protection Agency, for successfully helping to restore the ozone layer by phasing out 95 percent of the world’s ozone-depleting substances;

Mark Pletcher, a Justice Department trial lawyer who leads efforts to stop bid-rigging, fraud and corruption involving U.S. officials and defense contractors in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan;

Dr. Eddie Bernard of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle, who created the modern tsunami-detection system;

Alain David Carballeyra, director of stereolithography at the Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, who introduced cutting edge 3-D technology to improve medical care and rehabilitation for soldiers suffering from traumatic battle injuries;

Steven Chalk, deputy assistant secretary of renewable energy at the Department of Energy, who leads many of the federal government’s most significant efforts to expand renewable energy;

Mary Katherine Friedrich, a State Department special adviser who leads the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, a major public/private effort to enhance the economic, social and political status of Afghan women;

Dr. Rajiv Jain, chief of staff for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Pittsburgh Healthcare System, who developed and leads an initiative to reduce life-threatening, hospital-acquired infections at all 153 VA hospitals and other medical facilities across America and the world.

OSAMA COVERAGE

Hurricane coverage is costly enough. Have you tried buying terrorism insurance?

Daunting as it might seem, the Government Accountability Office points out that when it comes to protecting your business and belongings from the likes of Osama bin Laden, Uncle Sam is footing most of the bill.

Still, the GAO set out to determine whether some policyholders, especially in large cities like New York and Chicago, viewed as at “high risk of attack,” still face challenges obtaining coverage. It turns out policyholders who own large, high-value properties in densely built urban areas, particularly Manhattan, have a difficult time finding coverage at “reasonable” prices.

Some policyholders have had to purchase coverage from a large number of insurers.

The GAO says one proposal would increase the federal government’s share of losses associated with terrorist attacks, which is already 85 percent of losses up to $100 billion annually, after an industry deductible.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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