- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2009


White House turns to doctors for help

The White House is asking doctors to help promote its drive to overhaul health care, marking an effort by President Obama to regain momentum on the issue.

White House health advisers held an hourlong conference call Tuesday night with close to 3,000 physicians and officials of their professional groups in which they tried drumming up support by answering questions and describing the administration’s goals, participants said.

Before the call, the White House e-mailed a 12-page booklet to medical associations titled “Doctors for Health Insurance Reform.” The brochure stated the administration’s case for revamping the nation’s health care system and suggested ways doctors could call attention to the issue.

Among the suggestions: Hosting local events on health care, giving tours of hospitals or designating a “Health Insurance Reform Week” during which events could be staged across the country.


Jersey politicians say no to Gadhafi

NEWARK, N.J. | Gov. Jon Corzine and New Jersey federal legislators have joined a chorus of opposition to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s expected stay in the state when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly next month.

Thirty-eight victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, were from New Jersey.

Mr. Corzine and Democrats U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. John Adler protested anticipated plans by Col. Gadhafi to stay in the northern New Jersey community of Englewood. Mr. Menendez said Col. Gadhafi should be “barred” from New Jersey.


Obama fundraiser pays up, leaves jail

NEW YORK | A prominent fundraiser for President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and other top Democrats has left jail for his $20 million Manhattan apartment.

Investment banker Hassan Nemazee was arrested Tuesday on a bank fraud charge.

He wore an electronic ankle bracelet as he left a federal courthouse Wednesday. He hurried to a car while his attorney, Marc Mukasey, deflected questions. Mr. Nemazee’s $25 million bail package requires him to remain at home.

Prosecutors say he provided “fraudulent and forged” documents to get a $74 million business loan.

Mr. Nemazee is the chairman and chief executive of Manhattan-based Nemazee Capital Corp. He served as national finance chairman for Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign and later raised money for Mr. Obama.


U.N. official applauds probe

UNITED NATIONS | The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed a decision by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint a special prosecutor to examine detainee abuse.

Mr. Holder on Monday called for a special counsel to review CIA interrogation practices in a “preliminary” criminal investigation to determine whether intelligence officers violated U.S. laws concerning the treatment of detainees.

Navi Pillay, the human rights commissioner, said she welcomed the move, adding her support for further steps to hold anyone who violated the law accountable.


White House to get tree from W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. | A Fraser fir from West Virginia will be the Christmas tree displayed inside the White House this year.

Tree farmers Eric and Gloria Sundback were selected this month as grand champions of the National Christmas Tree contest.

It’s a record fourth win for the Sundbacks. Their trees were displayed at the White House twice during President Reagan’s administration and once under President Carter.

The Sundbacks have grown Christmas trees since 1956, including the past 50 years in Shepherdstown, about 80 miles northwest of Washington.

A team will pick an 18- to 19-foot tree from several candidates on the farm to be prepared for the White House’s Blue Room.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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