Aide to Cheney found guilty in CIA leak investigation

Once the closest adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted yesterday of lying and obstructing a leak investigation that shook the top levels of the Bush administration.

Four guilty verdicts ended a seven-week CIA leak trial that focused new attention on the Bush administration’s much-criticized handling of intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the Iraq war.

In the end, jurors said they did not believe Libby’s main defense: that he hadn’t lied but merely had a bad memory.

Their decisions made Libby the highest-ranking White House official convicted in a government scandal since National Security Adviser John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair two decades ago.

Comerica Bank to move headquarters out of Michigan

Comerica Inc. said yesterday it plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Dallas, affecting 200 Michigan employees and dealing another blow to the state’s troubled economy.

The Detroit company said the move will allow it to be closer to the bank’s high-growth markets in Texas, Arizona, California and Florida.

The relocation, expected to occur by Oct. 1, will not affect most of the bank’s more than 7,500 employees in Michigan, spokesman Wayne Mielke said.

The state has lost at least 260,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000, one reason the state’s unemployment rate has hovered around 7 percent for the past four years while the national unemployment rate for January was 4.6 percent.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said the announcement was unexpected, given the bank’s long relationship with the city.

Jakarta, Indonesia
Twenty die while jet burns on runway in Indonesia

A jetliner carrying more than 140 passengers and crew caught fire this morning as it landed on Indonesia’s Java island, trapping a number of people inside the burning plane, the airline and witnesses said. Officials reported at least 20 dead and scores injured.

The Garuda airlines jet started shaking violently before landing and then overshot the runway, hitting fences and slamming into a rice field before 7 a.m. Some survivors said the fire began at the front the plane before engulfing the aircraft.

After firefighters battled for two hours to put out the blaze at Yogyakarta airport in central Java, airport general manager Bambang Sugito told the el-Shinta radio station that 20 charred bodies had been pulled from the wreckage.

Senate votes to give airport screeners organizing rights

The Senate voted yesterday to give 45,000 airport screeners the same union rights as other public safety officers, despite vigorous opposition by Republicans and a veto threat from the White House.

A broad anti-terrorism bill that would put in place unfinished recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission also would give airport screeners the right to bargain collectively. An amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would have removed that right was defeated by a vote of 51-46.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

Notable Number


Millions of condoms that Britons improperly dispose of every year according to a “Green Sex Guide” on treehugger.com. The guide also suggests that vegans might prefer to use Glyde condoms, which don’t contain milk enzymes and that lambskin condoms are better for the planet because they are biodegradeable.

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