U.S.: Retaliation in 'Fast-Furious'
WASHINGTON - The U.S. attorney in Arizona violated Justice Department policy by providing Fox News with information apparently aimed at undercutting the credibility of a federal agent who helped reveal the botched arms-trafficking probe called "Operation Fast and Furious," the Justice Department's inspector general said Monday.
There was substantial evidence in the 2011 incident that then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke's motive for disclosing a memo by federal agent John Dodson was retaliation, the inspector general's report said. In testimony to a House committee just two weeks earlier, Dodson had raised serious concerns about Fast and Furious.
Burke's attorney, Chuck Rosenberg, has said it was not Burke's intent to retaliate against Dodson or anyone else for information provided to Congress. - AP
High court takes case on searches
WASHINGTON - An inmate of one of California's most remote prisons will get his moment in the Supreme Court sun, with a shot at clarifying the rules governing certain searches by law enforcement officers.
Beating the legal odds, Los Angeles gang veteran Walter Fernandez succeeded Monday in persuading the court to hear his challenge to an apartment search. He had objected to the search, but his girlfriend agreed to it after Fernandez was taken into custody.
In a 2006 case arising from a Georgia drug bust, the Supreme Court ruled invalid a warrantless search of a shared dwelling over the express refusal of consent by an individual who was present - based on the Fourth Amendment, against "unreasonable searches and seizures." Lower appellate courts have disagreed about how far that rule extends. - McClatchy Newspapers
For now, wolves still protected
BILLINGS, Mont. - Federal wildlife officials are postponing a much-anticipated decision on whether to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states. In a court filing Monday, government attorneys say "a recent unexpected delay" is indefinitely holding up action on the predators. No further explanation was offered.
Gray wolves have recovered dramatically from widespread extermination in recent decades. Most of the more than 6,000 live in the Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, where protections already have been lifted. Last month, a proposal to lift protections elsewhere drew strong objections. - AP
Three researchers at a New York University Medical Center lab provided results from a federally funded study to Chinese competitors in exchange for tuition, rent, and other expenses, federal prosecutors said.
Vermont is now the fourth state in the country that allows physician-assisted suicide.