- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2009

SCHOOL VIOLENCE

Holder, Duncan going to Chicago

President Obama is sending Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Chicago next week to discuss the recent beating death of a 16-year-old honors student.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Mr. Holder and Mr. Duncan would meet Wednesday with school officials, students and residents and talk about school violence.

Earlier this week, Mr. Gibbs described as “chilling” a cell phone video showing the fatal beating of Derrion Albert.

Chicago prosecutors have charged four teenagers in the beating of the sophomore honor roll student. Officials say the teen was walking to a bus stop when he got caught up in street fighting.

INVESTIGATION

State attorney general to probe ACORN

SACRAMENTO, Calif. | California Attorney General Jerry Brown said he is investigating the community organizing group ACORN in response to a request from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The attorney general’s office on Thursday said it was looking into the group, which has come under fire in recent videos produced by conservative activists.

Brown spokesman Scott Gerber said the state also would look into the circumstances under which ACORN employees were videotaped.

Employees in California offices were caught on camera appearing to advise a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute to lie about the woman’s profession to get financial help for housing and about how to smuggle girls into the country.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, sent a letter to Mr. Brown last month requesting the investigation.

ATLANTA

Carter on hand as library reopens

ATLANTA | The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum reopened Thursday on the former president’s 85th birthday after an overhaul that devotes more space than any other presidential library to a commander in chief’s work after the White House.

Mr. Carter beamed as he spoke to hundreds at the opening ceremony, saying: “There’s no way any of you can imagine the emotions that fill my heart and my mind in this moment.”

About a third of the Atlanta museum explores the Georgia Democrat’s life after he was defeated by Ronald Reagan. It includes dozens of photos and videos detailing his efforts to eradicate disease, resolve conflicts and monitor elections.

“We want to present the truth about every aspect of my past experiences in politics and so forth, and particularly to let people get an insight on what a former president might do when they’re involuntarily retired from the White House four years before they anticipated,” Mr. Carter said in an interview with the Associated Press.

The museum was closed in late April. The $10 million project is the first major update to the museum since it was built 23 years ago.

FLU

Vaccine supplier behind schedule

The largest U.S. supplier of seasonal flu vaccines said it is running behind in shipping those vaccines - partly because of the pressure to produce millions of doses of the swine flu vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur said it has shipped more than half of the 50.5 million doses of seasonal flu vaccine ordered by U.S. health care providers. But the company has sent notices to customers indicating that additional doses may be delayed.

The delay has forced some doctor’s offices to turn away parents seeking seasonal flu vaccines for their infants and toddlers and caused some public health offices to cancel community vaccination clinics.

“We understand it does create an inconvenience for some people who wanted to hold their seasonal influenza campaigns earlier,” company spokeswoman Donna Cary said.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it learned the details of the shortage Thursday, said spokesman Tom Skinner.

The delay isn’t surprising or a cause for big concern, he said. About 70 million of 114 million doses already have been delivered and vaccinations started unusually early. October is the traditional time when seasonal flu vaccine clinics open.

SENATE

Reid urges action on gays in military

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a letter released Thursday, urged President Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal the ban on gays in the military.

The Nevada Democrat appealed to Mr. Obama and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to come to Congress with recommendations on how to repeal the law that forbids gays from openly serving in the armed services.

“As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it would be helpful to hear your views on the policy,” Mr. Reid wrote in the Sept. 24 letter released by his office.

“Your leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this time,” he wrote.

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