Nation Digest


April 10, 2006

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — 'Friednly fire' pilot sues the Air Force

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A decorated pilot involved in a friendly fire bombing in Afghanistan that killed four Canadian soldiers is suing the Air Force, accusing it of ruining his reputation. National Guard Maj. Harry Schmidt says military officials should not have released to the public the scathing letter of reprimand he was given for the bombing. His lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court, alleges that the military violated privacy laws. It seeks unspecified damages. The disclosure in July 2004 also violated a settlement agreement that spared Schmidt from being court-martialed for the 2002 bombing that killed four Canadian soldiers and injured eight others, said his lawyer, Charles Gittins.

U.S. gas prices rise almost 17 cents

CAMARILLO, Calif. --Retail gas prices across the country soared an average of nearly 17 cents in the past two weeks, according to a survey released yesterday. The weighted average for all three grades increased to $2.69 a gallon by Friday, said Trilby Lundberg, who publishes the semimonthly Lundberg Survey of 7,000 U.S. gas stations. Self-serve regular averaged $2.67 a gallon, midgrade cost $2.76 a gallon, and premium hit $2.86 a gallon.

Man intrudes onto White House lawn

WASHINGTON --A screaming intruder made it onto the front lawn of the White House yesterday -- while President Bush was at home -- before being apprehended by Secret Service officers. Secret Service spokesman Eric Zahren identified the man as Brian Lee Patterson, 40. Patterson has been caught trying to get onto the White House grounds at least three times before, Zahren said. The man jumped the fence outside the White House and ran across the north lawn, while repeatedly yelling, "I am a victim of terrorism!" Members of the Secret Service emergency response team chased Patterson with their guns drawn and surrounded him. Patterson eventually kneeled on the ground and was taken into custody about 4 p.m.

Bush declassified data, official says

WASHINGTON --A senior administration official confirmed for the first time yesterday that President Bush had ordered the declassification of parts of a prewar intelligence report on Iraq in an effort to rebut critics who said the administration had exaggerated the nuclear threat posed by Saddam Hussein. But the official said that Bush did not designate Vice President Dick Cheney's then-chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr., or anyone else, to release the information to reporters.

From wire reports

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