Reno vows vigilance in review of FBI's Web-wiretap system
Attorney General Janet Reno vowed yesterday to check why it has taken so long to begin the review of the FBI's Internet-wiretap system called Carnivore, a program that has raised privacy concerns.
Reno said she has asked Justice Department officials to work with the FBI in selecting the appropriate experts to review the computer program's source code. "If there is any disagreement, then I will resolve it," Reno said, adding that she ultimately will be responsible for the review. The FBI can install a Carnivore unit at a service provider's network station and configure it to capture only e-mail going to or from a person under investigation.
Asked if it had been taking a long time to get the process started, Reno replied at her weekly news briefing, "Yes, I thought so, too." Asked what she was going to do to make sure the review begins instead of just discussing a process for weeks and weeks, Reno said, "I call and say, `When am I going to see the process in place?'"
Schools employ 40% of state, local public workers
Elementary and secondary school workers accounted for almost 40 percent of the country's 14.7 million state and local government employees last year, Census Bureau figures show.
An agency report being released today said there were 5.76 million full-time school workers, or 39.2 percent of the state and local government total. In 1998, they accounted for 39.7 percent, or 5.72 million of the 14.4 million total.
Higher education employees were next, at 1.7 million in 1999, followed by hospital employees at 952,301.
In the Nation
Guard is charged in theft of Titanic address book
CHICAGO - An address book that disappeared from a Titanic exhibit was found apparently undamaged, and the security guard who reported it missing was arrested.
Joshua Jackson, 22, was charged with felony theft. Chicago police said Jackson stole the black, leather-bound address book from the Museum of Science and Industry while doing a security check.
The book - about 5 1/2 -by-2 3/4 inches with the words "Maryland Club Rye" - had been in a clear case secured by two screws. Jackson, who had worked at the exhibit for about 30 days, reported the book stolen July 26.
Plutonium particles airborne during Wash. fire
RICHLAND, Wash. - Plutonium particles were blowing around during the fire that burned half the Hanford nuclear reservation in June, authorities said. The levels are not considered dangerous.
Harry Boston, the Energy Department's deputy site manager, announced the findings after a detailed lab analysis was performed on air samples taken during the 191,000-acre fire.
The results mean "plutonium was drifting around in the wind and the dust," Boston said. But the level of exposure would have been far below federal limits.
Second Sizzler closed for E. coli infections
MILWAUKEE - The owners of a Sizzler restaurant linked to a fatal E. coli outbreak shut down their second Sizzler after two people who ate there became infected with the bacteria.
Eschenbach and Boysa Management Company voluntarily closed the Sizzler in the suburb of Wauwatosa late Wednesday, the only other Sizzler in Wisconsin. The company last week closed its Milwaukee Sizzler, which is believed to be the source of the outbreak that has left 49 people ill, including 26 children.
One 3-year-old girl died from E. coli complications. Health officials collected samples from the Wauwatosa Sizzler on Wednesday.
Funeral director accused of early start to business
HODGENVILLE, Ky. - A funeral director was jailed on charges he stole more than $200,000 in prepaid funeral policies by declaring people dead who were still alive and well. Bobby Brownfield, the director of Brownfield Funeral Home in Hodgenville and Dixon-Atwood & Brownfield Funeral Home in Elizabethtown, was in District Court Wednesday.
It all started when Edwin Lobb called Forethought Life Insurance Co. in Indiana to find out how much interest his mother's funeral policy had earned. He was told that the policy for his mother, Pearl Lobb, now 86, was inactive.
The company checked records and told Lobb that Brownfield, a former Larue County coroner, had filed a claim two years ago saying Lobb's mother had died in June 1998 and he had provided a funeral. Brownfield collected $7,559. Lobb said Brownfield had forged his signature on a form verifying the death.
Woman accused of killing for baby faces extradition
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A Sacramento woman accused of killing her niece and surgically removing the girl's unborn baby to take it as her own could soon be extradited to Nevada to stand trial on murder charges. Gov. Gray Davis approved an extradition request yesterday.
An attorney for Erin Rae Kuhn-Brown, 31, had argued against extradition, saying Lyon County, Nev., District Attorney Robert E. Estes was trying to bring the case to his jurisdiction to generate publicity for his campaign for judge. Investigators allege Kuhn-Brown asphyxiated Kathaleena Draper at a motel after the 17-year-old changed her mind about letting Kuhn-Brown adopt her baby. They say Kuhn-Brown, an emergency room technician, tried to deliver the baby but the boy died.