To fight the spread of mad cow disease, the U.S government is now barring the sale of meat from cows that are too sick to walk or stand. This comes just weeks after Republican congressional leaders rejected a similar ban after it came under pressure from the meat industry. The Food and Drug Administration also announced a bar food manufacturers using the small intestine from cattle in food for humans. A total of 32 countries have been banned the importation of US beef since last week when the government announced the discovering of a cow suffering from mad cow disease.
The Pentagon on Tuesday stripped Halliburton of its role in importing of gasoline into Iraq. This comes weeks after it was revealed that a Halliburton subsidiary had overcharged the government $61 million on fuel purchases. The Pentagon claimed yesterday’s decision was not connected. A Defense Department agency will temporarily take over the job of importing fuel until new contracts are signed.
In Iraq at least two people were killed and 10 wounded during protests over a Kurdish bid for control of the city. Kurds on Iraq’s U.S.-appointed Governing Council are proposing that a future, federal Iraqi government grant the Kurds broad autonomy in the northern zone, with Kirkuk as its capital.
Attorney General John Ashcroft has removed himself from the investigation into who within the Bush administration exposed the name of a CIA agent. The agent’s name was Valerie Plame. She was the wife of former US diplomat Joseph Wilson. The leak came shortly after Wilson charged that President Bush had mislead the country by stating Iraq attempted to buy uranium from the African country of Niger. Wilson had personally traveled to Niger in 2002 on a CIA-sponsored trip and found there was no Iraq-Niger connection.
The Justice Department announced on Tuesday that Chicago’s top federal prosecutor, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, would now lead the investigation.
The Wall Street Journal reports Ashcroft’s decision to step aside casts the spotlight on Bush’s top advisor Karl Rove who has already been questioned by the FBI. For over a decade Rove served as an advisor to Ashcroft. Between 1984 and 1994 Ashcroft paid Karl Rove’s company nearly three quarters of a million dollars for offering direct mail services to Ashcroft’s campaigns in Missouri for governor and senator. Earlier this year Wilson said he hopes to see Rove "frogmarched" out of the White House for his role in the leak.
We talked to Ambassador Joseph Wilson yesterday shortly after the announcement to hear his reaction.