Blagojevich sees a political future

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich thinks a future in politics is still a possibility.

Blagojevich said he won't rule out another run for political office if federal prosecutors fail to convict him at a second trial, according to an interview on Fox News Sunday.

His comments came days after he was convicted of lying to federal agents. Jurors, however, deadlocked on 23 other more serious charges, including that he had tried to sell President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Federal prosecutors have said they will retry him on those charges, but Blagojevich insisted that he will be vindicated.

A federal judge has scheduled a Thursday hearing to decide details of a retrial.

"I didn't lie to the FBI. And I'm not lying to you, and I'm not lying to the people," Blagojevich told show host Chris Wallace.

MIAMI

Tropical storm forms far out in Atlantic

Tropical Storm Danielle was strengthening late Sunday in the open Atlantic, but the system was still far from land.

National Hurricane Center forecasters in Miami said Danielle had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and could be a hurricane by late Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Frank was developing in the Pacific off Mexico. Storm warnings have been issued for parts of the coast.

WASHINGTON

Farms recalling eggs share suppliers, ties

Two Iowa farms that recalled more than a half-billion eggs linked to as many as 1,300 cases of salmonella poisoning share suppliers of chickens and feed as well as ties to an Iowa business routinely cited for violating state and federal law.

Food and Drug Administration investigators have yet to determine the cause of the salmonella outbreaks at Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms.

The FDA inquiry could take months, and sources of contamination are often difficult to find.

None of the tainted eggs has been traced to Florida and there have been no reports of related illness.

ROCKVILLE, Md.

D.C. sniper won't give details on new claims

Police in Maryland say convicted D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo won't talk to detectives about his claim that he and his partner had additional victims across the country.

In a phone interview for A&E's Aftermath With William Shatner, Malvo said he and his partner, John Allen Muhammad, shot 42 people in 2002. The pair had been linked to 27 shootings across the country.

Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Drew Tracy wanted to examine the truth of Malvo's claims, but he says Malvo won't meet with detectives. Malvo also won't give them permission to talk to a psychiatrist who says Malvo told him the same information.

Malvo is serving life without parole in Virginia. Muhammad was executed last year.

CAIRO

Faulty alarms blamed for van Gogh theft

None of the alarms and only seven out of 43 surveillance cameras were working at a Cairo museum where a Vincent van Gogh painting was stolen, Egypt's top prosecutor said.

Thieves made off with the 12-by-12 inch canvas worth an estimated $50 million, known by the titles of Poppy Flowers and Vase with Flowers, on Saturday from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in the Egyptian capital.

There have been no arrests.

CARACAS, Venezuela

Nation is gripped by unparalleled mayhem

Some here joke that they might be safer in Baghdad. The numbers bear them out.

In Iraq, a country with about the same population as Venezuela, there were 4,644 civilian deaths from violence in 2009, according to Iraq Body Count; in Venezuela that year, the numbers of murders rose past 16,000.

Even Mexico's infamous drug war has claimed fewer lives.

Venezuela is struggling with surge in murders, with 118,541 since President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999, the Venezuelan Violence Observatory calculates, based on police data.

There have been 43,792 homicides in Venezuela since 2007, said violence observatory, compared with about 28,000 deaths from drug-related violence in Mexico late 2006.

More than 90 percent of murders go unsolved, without a single arrest, said Roberto Briceno-Leon, the sociologist at the Central University of Venezuela who directs the violence observatory.

HAITI

Wyclef Jean says he'll appeal to get on ballot

Wyclef Jean, the hip-hop star who had hoped to become Haiti's next president, said that his lawyers would challenge the recent ruling from election officials that kept him from the list of eligible candidates.

He had simply accepted the election council decision when it was announced Friday night, but in a message on Sunday on Twitter, his preferred means of public communication, Jean said he had decided to appeal because, "We have met all the requirements set by the laws. And the law must be respected."

Jean said he had been barred prematurely. He said that another Haitian elections entity had not issued a final ruling on whether he met the requirement that presidential candidates live in Haiti for five consecutive years before the election in November.

Times wires

Blagojevich sees a political future 08/22/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 1:09am]

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