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News Scan

Case Against Strauss-Kahn Nearing Collapse:  John Eligon has this article in The New York Times about the collapsing sexual assault case against former managing director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  Strauss-Kahn was released from home arrest this morning in light of prosecutors' emerging doubts about the credibility of the alleged victim.

"Fast and Furious" Weapons Linked to Local Crime:  Weapons linked to ATF's controversial "Fast and Furious" weapons operation are being linked to neighborhood crime in Arizona, reports Lori Jane Gliha of ABC15 Arizona.  The operation allowed weapons to slip into the hands of straw buyers who would then distribute the weapons to known criminals.  The strategy was designed to lead ATF officials to key drug players in Mexico, but some agents admitted they never fully tracked the weapons after suspicious buyers purchased them. Phoenix ATF agents testified at a recent Congressional hearing that hundreds of weapons are now on the streets in the U.S. and Mexico as a result of the operation.

Officer's Warning About Dangerous Neighborhood Lands Him in Hot Water:  Noah Pransky of WTSP10 News (FL) reports St. Petersburg Police Officer Thad "Stu" Crisco is facing a possible suspension for warning a father about letting his teenage daughter hang around a dangerous part of town at night.  The department has launched an investigation into possible "disparaging comments against the city" and St. Petersberg Mayor Bill Foster stated in response to the incident that he "always want[s] to know [his] officers are representing this city in a very positive light."  Criso made the comment after the man's daughter and four other teens were robbed in the area by a group of armed men.

Pharmaceutical Company to Ban Pentobarbital in Executions:  Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck Inc. announced today it will demand that U.S. distributors sign an agreement that they will not make pentobarbital available for lethal injections.  Lundbeck's chief executive Ulf Wiinberg stated his company would take action against any distributor that breaks the agreement.  Jan M. Olsen and Greg Bluestein of the AP have this story.

Whitey Bulger Racks Up Quite the Bill:  Dave Wedge and Joe Dwinell of the Boston Herald report a federal judge yesterday declared accused Irish mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger indigent and entitled to a taxpayer-funded defense attorney.  The Boston Globe also reports Bulger was transported the forty miles from his jail cell to the Boston courthouse in a Coast Guard helicopter - which costs a mere $13,800 per hour.
*Update:  John R. Ellement and Maria Cramer of the Boston Globe write the reported cost of Bulger's helicopter ride is now being disputed by the U.S. Marshals Service, who claim the actual total was around $1,500. 

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