- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Rice to visit Libya’s Gadhafi

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Libya this week, part of a dramatic turnaround in U.S. relations with a former pariah nation that has not hosted an American secretary of state in more than half a century.

Miss Rice begins a four-nation tour of North Africa in Tripoli on Friday, meeting with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and other top officials in what the State Department is calling a landmark trip that will symbolize the opening of a new era in ties between the United States and the oil-rich country.

“It’s a historic stop,” spokesman Sean McCormack said, noting that Miss Rice will be the first secretary of state to visit Libya since John Foster Dulles in 1953 and the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit since then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon in 1957.

“In that period of time, we’ve had a man land on the moon, the Internet, the Berlin Wall fall, and we’ve had 10 U.S. presidents, so this truly is a significant, historic visit,” Mr. McCormack told reporters.


FBI recorded Stevens on phone

Attorneys for Sen. Ted Stevens say the FBI recorded more than 100 of the Alaska Republican lawmaker’s phone conversations.

Jurors could hear those calls later this month when Mr. Stevens stands trial on charges of lying about hundreds of thousands of dollars in home renovations and other gifts he received from an oil contractor.

The FBI did not tap Mr. Stevens’ phone but did tap several phones belonging to contractors in the case. Mr. Stevens was recorded 105 times.

In court documents filed Tuesday, Mr. Stevens’ attorneys say they may try to keep jurors from ever hearing those phone conversations. They say the FBI may have inappropriately taped those calls if they were outside the scope of the government’s warrant.


Clones may have joined food supply

Meat and milk from the offspring of cloned animals may already have entered the U.S. food supply, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday, but it would be impossible to know because there is no difference between cloned and conventional products.

The FDA said in January that meat and milk from cloned cattle, swine and goats and their offspring were as safe to eat as products obtained from traditional animals. Before then, farmers and ranchers had followed a voluntary moratorium that prevented the sale of clones and their offspring.

“It is theoretically possible” offspring from clones are in the food supply, FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said. “I don’t know whether they are or not. I could imagine there are not very many of them.”

Despite the backing from FDA, major food companies including Tyson Foods Inc., the largest U.S. meat company, and Smithfield Foods Inc. have said they would avoid using cloned animals because of safety concerns.


Agency vetoes Yazoo water pump

The Environmental Protection Agency has killed a federal plan nearly seven decades-in-the-making to build the world’s largest water pump in the Mississippi River Delta.

It is the first time since 1990 that the EPA has vetoed a project proposed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

The $220 million proposal would have moved 6 million gallons of water a minute from 67,000 acres of wetlands along the Yazoo River, mostly for the benefit of flood-prone farms.

An EPA official told reporters Tuesday that the project, first authorized by Congress in 1941, would cause unacceptable damage to fish, wildlife and waterfowl. The EPA said it would work with the Corps to find a better project to control flooding in the region.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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