Bush names head of nuclear program
The White House said yesterday that President Bush has chosen a replacement for the man ousted as head of the government’s nuclear weapons program in the wake of reports of embarrassing security breakdowns.
Mr. Bush selected Thomas P. D’Agostino, who currently serves as deputy administrator of defense programs at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), to succeed Linton Brooks in the top job there on an acting basis.
Mr. Brooks was reprimanded in June for failing to report to Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman the theft of computer files at an NNSA facility in Albuquerque, N.M. In October, classified weapons-related documents from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico were found during a drug raid in the home of a woman who had worked at the lab.
Katrina officers may return to work
NEW ORLEANS — All seven policemen charged in the deadly bridge shootings after Hurricane Katrina will be allowed to post bail, and the six still on the New Orleans police force can return to limited duty, a judge said yesterday .
The seven men pleaded not guilty in court yesterday to murder or attempted murder charges.
Four of the officers face counts of first-degree murder that carry a possible death sentence. A grand jury indicted the seven last week in connection with the Sept. 4, 2005, shootings on the city’s Danziger Bridge that killed two men and wounded four other persons.
County delays alien renter ban
ATLANTA — A suburban county agreed to delay a new ban on renting homes to illegal aliens until challenges of similar laws in other states are resolved.
Cherokee County entered the consent order soon after immigrant groups filed a federal challenge of the ordinance in Atlanta on Thursday, claiming it would prompt landlords to deny housing based on race and ethnicity.
The measure was to take effect last Monday. Under the order, the county will wait for the outcome of challenges in Hazleton, Pa., and Valley Park, Mo.
The Cherokee County ordinance would require landlords to collect information about renters’ immigration status. Landlords would have to provide that information to the county on demand.
Prosecutors say rapist posed as officer
NEW YORK — A rapist lured his victims by posing as a law-enforcement officer — flashing an identification card, talking into a radio and saying he needed to take them for questioning, prosecutors said.
The man told the women they were in trouble and took them to motels, where he threatened to arrest or shoot them and forced them to have sex, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
A suspect, Eric McCoy, 37, was ordered held without bail yesterday on charges of raping two young women and attempting to lure a 15-year-old girl.
Aircraft narrowly avoid collision
DENVER — A Frontier Airlines jet attempting to land yesterday at Denver International Airport came within 50 feet of a smaller charter plane that had inadvertently entered the runway, federal aviation officials said.
The Frontier crew spotted the Key Lime Air plane in time, aborted the landing and continued flying until they could land the jetliner a short time later, authorities said. No injuries were reported.
Finneran pleads guilty to obstructing justice
BOSTON — Former Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Finneran, once considered the most powerful man in the Statehouse, pleaded guilty yesterday to obstruction of justice in a deal that spares him prison time for misrepresenting his role in a redistricting plan that diluted the clout of minority voters.
Federal prosecutors agreed to drop three perjury charges against Finneran in exchange for his guilty plea to a single count of obstruction of justice.
Under the deal, Finneran will pay a $25,000 fine and be placed on 18 months of unsupervised probation, according to the documents filed in U.S. District Court in Boston. He also agreed not to seek political office for at least five years. U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns must approve the deal.
From staff reports and wire dispatches