U.S. News

Early last October police in Watertown, Wisconsin, were called to the local high school, where a school official had reported that a 17-year-old female student in his office was complaining of having been physically assaulted by another student.

More than two and a half years have passed since massacre at Virginia Tech left over 30 students and faculty dead in the wake of Seung-Hui Cho’s shooting spree, and the Department of Education has now determined that university was in violation of federal law.

Governments’ dealings with paid informers are always risky. By his willingness to snitch on his friends and associates, the informer has demonstrated his untrustworthiness, so it is difficult for his handlers to know when he is telling the truth and when he is fabricating information either to settle old scores or simply to keep the largess flowing. The problem of knowing whom to trust only becomes more intractable when operating in foreign countries.

Conservatives may have lost some battles for committee chairmen in the incoming Republican-dominated House of Representatives, but they are making up for it when it comes to subcommittees. For economic conservatives there is the appointment of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to head the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Social conservatives, meanwhile, scored a victory with the selection of the staunchly pro-life Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Authorities spent the weekend checking and clearing the property in Escondido, California, 25 miles north of San Diego, where a demolition team burned down the so-called “bomb house” on Thursday, December 9. The single story, wood-framed house had been the focus of investigations since November 18 when a gardener was injured by explosives there. A resident of the house, 54-year-old Serbian native George Jakubec, an unemployed software engineer who has been in the United States for over 20 years, was arrested in conjunction with the discovery of what officials called the largest cache of homemade bomb-making materials ever found in this country.

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