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5 officials faulted in Fast and Furious<p></p>

Published Jul. 31, 2012



After an 18-month investigation into Operation Fast and Furious, a Republican congressional draft report says five officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives share much of the blame for what went wrong with the gun-smuggling investigation in Arizona. The first of what will be three reports says many people in the chain of command at ATF are responsible, but the investigation singled out five key figures in the controversy. The five range from the special agent in charge of the ATF's Phoenix field division up to the agency's director. In Fast and Furious, ATF agents tracked suspected low-level "straw" buyers of weapons instead of arresting them to try to follow the guns to ringleaders and Mexican drug cartels. Agents often failed to track the guns and the weapons wound up at crime scenes.


4 sentenced to death in $2.6B fraud case

An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death and given two more life sentences on charges linked to a $2.6 billion bank fraud described as the biggest financial scam in the country's history, an official said Monday. The trial began in February, but few specific details have been released, possibly to avoid exposing too much internal scandal while Iran's leaders seek to assure the country it can ride out tightening sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

The official IRNA news agency quoted state prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei as saying a total of 39 defendants received sentences, including four death sentences, two life terms and the rest of up to 25 years in prison.


PHOENIX: Arizona's ban on abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy is set to take effect this week as scheduled after a federal judge ruled Monday that the law is constitutional.

NEW YORK: Ann Pettway of Raleigh, N.C., who snatched a newborn from a hospital more than two decades ago and raised the child as her own, was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison.

UGANDA: Six more patients suspected to have Ebola have been admitted to the hospital, bringing total cases to 26, including 14 deaths, officials said Monday.

North Korea: U.N. staff planned to visit storm-pounded counties in North Korea today, after two days of heavy rain submerged buildings. Downpours killed 88 people this month.

Times wires