Obama signs bill on child nutrition
WASHINGTON - Thousands more children will get into school-based meal programs and those lunches and dinners will become more nutritious under a $4.5 billion measure that President Obama signed into law Monday, part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity.
"This act is about doing what's right for our children," Obama said. To underscore the point, the ceremony was moved from the White House, where most signings are held, to Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington.
The bill also was a priority for Michelle Obama, who began a national campaign this year against childhood obesity. The law will empower the government to decide what kinds of foods may be sold in schools. It also increases the federal reimbursement for free school lunches by 6 cents a meal. - AP
Abramoff's stint at pizzeria ends
BALTIMORE - Jack Abramoff's nearly six-month stint working at a kosher pizzeria has come to an end.
The disgraced Washington lobbyist picked up his final paycheck from Tov Pizza on Dec. 3, owner Ron Rosenbluth said Monday. That was Abramoff's official release date from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. He's now serving three years of probation.
Abramoff, 51, was released from federal prison June 8 but was on home confinement until the official end of his four-year sentence for fraud, corruption, and conspiracy.
After his release, he was sent to a halfway house that hooked him up with a job at the Baltimore kosher pizzeria. Abramoff is an Orthodox Jew. - AP
Md. plot suspect to be held till trial
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Baltimore ordered Antonio Martinez, 22, of Woodlawn, Md., held until trial in connection with a foiled jihadist plot to kill U.S. soldiers using a car bomb. At a hearing Monday, new details about the allegations against Martinez were revealed, as well as his likely defense - that he was entrapped.
Martinez, who also went by the name Muhammad Hussain, was arrested last week as part of an FBI sting operation after trying to detonate a phony car bomb - supplied by undercover agents - at a military recruiting center in Catonsville, Md.
Prosecutors said that on the day of the planned bombing, Martinez was videotaped and that the video showed him "grinning from ear to ear." Martinez's attorney, Joseph A. Balter, called the charges a "classic case of entrapment." - Baltimore Sun
Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of a $20 billion fund paying damages from the gulf oil spill, said Monday that claimants wanting quick resolution could receive a one-time payment worth thousands of dollars but would have to relinquish their right to sue BP P.L.C. and would be ineligible for a final settlement.
The impact of climate change on wolverines warrants adding the small, ferocious mammals to the list of endangered and threatened species, but consideration of other species considered in greater danger will prevent such protection for now, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Monday.