Nation, World Briefs: Sen. Feinstein will support Leon Panetta for CIA boss

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Wednesday secured the support of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for his choice to head the CIA, significantly improving the odds that former California congressman Leon Panetta will be the next chief of the spy service. Feinstein, who as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee will preside over Panetta’s confirmation hearing, said Wednesday that she had spoken with Panetta by phone and that she would support his confirmation.

Senators warm to Roland Burris

Senate Democrats beat a hasty retreat Wednesday from their rejection of Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama’s successor, yielding to pressure from Obama himself and from senators irked that the standoff was draining attention and putting them in a bad light. Burris said with a smile he expected to join them “very shortly.” Though there was no agreement yet to swear Burris in, he posed for photos at the Capitol with Senate leaders, then joined them for a 45-minute meeting followed by supportive words that bordered on gushing.

Roads will close for inauguration

Police are blocking off all bridges crossing the Potomac River into Washington and a huge chunk of downtown when Barack Obama takes the oath of office Jan. 20, securing the largest area of the nation’s capital for any inauguration. Some 3.5 square miles of downtown, including the business district and government buildings surrounding the National Mall, will be closed to traffic starting the afternoon of Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration, and remain closed until the morning rush hour on Jan. 21, Barack Obama’s first full day as president. The Secret Service announced the closures Wednesday.

California: Bomb threat on airliner

A man who claimed to have a bomb aboard a Los Angeles-bound jetliner and was then tackled and bound by other passengers will not face federal charges, the FBI said Wednesday. No bomb was found aboard Delta Air Lines Flight 110 from Atlanta, and after questioning by the FBI and airport police, federal investigators had decided not to pursue charges, an FBI spokeswoman said. She said they also concluded the man should undergo a psychological evaluation.

Death cap mushroom victims

Three members of a California family were hospitalized over the holidays after they ate a highly toxic wild fungus known as the death cap, one of the world’s most dangerous mushrooms. Two 11-year-old boys and their 72-year-old grandmother became violently ill after eating the mushrooms, which they had harvested along a hiking trail. The twins were released from University of California San Francisco Medical Center on Monday, after spending eight days in the hospital, including four days in intensive care. Their grandmother, who led the mushroom hunt, sustained liver damage but was released from the hospital over the weekend.

Georgia: Outbreak of salmonella

Health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak that has reportedly sickened nearly 400 people in 42 states, but they don’t know how the bacteria is spreading. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not named all the states. Ohio officials say at least 50 people there have been sickened by salmonella since October. California officials report 51 cases as of last week. Michigan had 20 cases and seven people there were hospitalized. Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours later. The illness usually lasts four to seven days.

New York: Jack Kemp has cancer

Jack Kemp, the former housing secretary, congressman and Buffalo Bills quarterback, has been diagnosed with cancer, his office said Wednesday. A statement said Kemp was undergoing tests to assess the origin of the disease and the treatment. It did not disclose the type of cancer. Kemp, 73, said he would continue to serve as chairman of his Washington-based Kemp Partners consulting firm and would remain involved in charitable and political work.

France: Pirates release ship, crew

Pirates freed 20 hostages aboard a Turkish freighter commandeered off the Somali coast, as nine captives on a French boat were released off southern Nigeria, the boat owners said Wednesday in Paris. The Yasa Holding Co. said pirates freed the Yasa Neslihan freighter Tuesday after receiving a ransom. The Turkish ship was seized Oct. 29 in the Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean near Somalia. “They asked for ransom and it has been paid,” a company spokesman said. He refused to disclose the amount paid. “All the crew members are fine and their morale is high.”

Afghanistan: Troops kill insurgents

Forces from the U.S.-led coalition killed 32 armed insurgents during a clash in eastern Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday. The firefight broke out Tuesday during a strike on a Taliban bomb-making cell in Laghman Province, the military said. As many as 75 armed militants converged on the troops, shooting at them from rooftops and alleyways, the statement said. The 32 insurgents were killed when coalition troops returned fire.

From Herald news services

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Fatal 2-car crash closes Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Police closed off Highway 99 between 188th Street SW and 196th Street SW while they investigated.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read