January 7th, 2011
D.C. fire and police and inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are responding to an incident involving a suspicious package at a U.S. Postal Service facility at 3300 V St. NE.
There are no immediate details on the incident or whether anyone was injured or how many people were in the facility at the time. The facility has been evacuated, according to a inspection service spokesman.
“We are working aggressively to determine whether the situation is related or involved to anything else that we’ve been working on in the last two days, said Postal Inspection Service spokesman Mike Romano.
The location screens and handles mail and packages sent to federal government agencies. It was set up in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 2001 anthrax scare.
On Thursday, separate packages containing incendiary devices and addressed to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and his secretary of transportation flashed, smoked and produced an odor when they were opened, causing minor injuries to two employees and putting officials around the Washington region on alert.
-- Ed O'Keefe
WTOP is reporting that at least one package ignited at a Northeast D.C. postal facility.
Law enforcement officials are looking into a possible incendiary parcel at a Brentwood Post Northeast D.C. post office, according to a city official.
The post office is at 900 Brentwood Rd. NE.
An alert by District government said there is police activity in the area of the post office. V Street NE is closed between Bladensburg Road and South Dakota Avenue NE.
By Washington Post editors | January 7, 2011; 3:58 PM ET
January 7th, 2011
New Castle, Delaware -- Neighbors of the former Pentagon official whose body turned up New Year's Eve morning in a garbage truck in Wilmington, Delaware, expressed bafflement Thursday over what authorities have pieced together about the mysterious and bizarre final hours of John P. Wheeler III.
"I think, 'Gosh! What's he doing? I've never seen him like that before,' " neighbor Phoebe Dill told CNN after viewing video from a security camera. It showed the 66-year-old man, who once headed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, stumbling around a parking garage shortly before 7 p.m. December 29. He's holding a shoe in his left hand and is wearing a dark suit, without a tie.
Occasionally, he touches a wall as if to stabilize himself.
"Obviously, something was wrong."
Phoebe Dill's husband, Robert, said he, too, was flummoxed. "I've been running it around in my head; I can't even put the pieces together. I have absolutely no idea."
The police have not been able to determine how Wheeler got from his office building in Wilmington to Newark, New Jersey, about five miles away. Authorities believe the garbage truck picked up his body around 4:30 a.m. on December 31 from one of 10 commercial Dumpsters in Newark before driving to the landfill.
Authorities have declined to describe the condition of Wheeler's body but have said his death was a homicide.
Wheeler's vehicle turned up near Wilmington's Amtrak station in a different parking garage.
Police have pieced together some of what happened during the days before his death through first-hand accounts and two surveillance videos -- one of which has not been made public -- that paint a picture of a disheveled and confused man wandering between New Castle and Wilmington.
Lt. Mark Farrall of the police department in Newark said Wheeler walked into a pharmacy near his home in New Castle at 6 p.m. December 29, two days before his body was found, asking for a ride to Wilmington.
Pharmacist Murali Gouro, who had filled prescriptions for Wheeler in the past, said he offered to call him a taxi, but Wheeler declined the offer, Farrall said.
Iman Goldsborough, an attendant at the parking lot where the security video that has been released was shot, said the man she now knows as Wheeler wandered into the garage some 40 minutes later carrying a shoe and looking disheveled.
"I'm not drunk, I'm not drunk," he said, according to Goldsborough.
Though temperatures were in the 30s, he wasn't wearing an overcoat. He couldn't remember where he had parked his car and said his briefcase had been stolen, she recalled.
As late as 8:30 p.m. the next day, December 30, security cameras recorded Wheeler in a separate office building in downtown Wilmington, a police statement says.
"We know that he was contacted by several individuals within that building between the hours of 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on the 30th," and that they offered him help, Farrall said. But Wheeler, who appeared confused, declined the offers, according to the police statement said.
Farrall said Wheeler was wearing clothes similar to those he had worn the day before at the parking garage, except this time he was also wearing a dark sweatshirt.
Police said the second video was shot on the ninth and 11th floors of the Nemours office building in Wilmington.
Investigators are searching for Wheeler's briefcase as well as for the crime scene. "If we can find the location where this happened -- that will lead us hopefully to the killer," said Farrall.
Newark police, the lead investigators in the case, are consulting with the FBI, Farrall said.
Farrall said a dispute between Wheeler and a neighbor is being looked at as "one facet of the investigation."
Wheeler's attorney, Bayard Marin, told CNN that his client had been involved in a lengthy legal fight with a couple building a home across the street from his home in a historic district of New Castle, about six miles south of Wilmington. Wheeler opposed the new construction.
The dispute may have become contentious, but "I can't recall a confrontation," Marin said. "Everything seemed to be kept within normal bounds."
Wheeler had worked as a part-time consultant for the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that provides systems engineering, research and development and information technology support to the federal government.
He had been been working on promoting discussions about cyberdefense among governments, industry and academia, according to a company statement.
The West Point graduate was an advocate for Vietnam veterans and the first chairman of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
He worked in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. He served as a special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force from 2005 to 2008.
While in the Army, he served as a staff officer in Vietnam and later helped push for acceptance of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.
CNN's Sheila Steffen, Ross Levitt, Susan Candiotti and Sarah Hoye contributed to this report.
January 7th, 2011
I wondered yesterday whether Robert Gibbs jumped or was pushed and noted that President Barack Obama’s words indicated that it was “not an entirely voluntary departure”.
It’s being reported by John King on CNN right now that Gibbs wanted to be a presidential counsellor – something he’s been putting about for quite a while – but William Daley, the new chief of staff, nixed this because he believed that too many cooks would spoil the presidential broth. So that’s why Gibbs is out.
Additionally, King reports that Valerie Jarrett, whose sole qualification to being a senior counsellor seems to be that she’s a long-time Chicago buddy of Barack and Michelle Obama, will have her wings clipped. Daley, not Jarrett, will be the person speaking to the business community.
It’s no secret that Rahm Emanuel, a Daley protege, clashed with Jarrett. Or that David Plouffe, about to join the White House, was often at odds with her when he was the 2008 Obama campaign manager. Obama is nothing if not ruthless. He dropped Jane Dystel, the agent who approached him to write “Dreams from my Father”, and has previously cut loose long-time advisers. One aide described him as “the most unsentimental man I’ve ever met”.
So the next question is: with Gibbs and David Axelrod gone, how much longer will Valerie Jarrett last?
More From The Telegraphs Toby Harnden
January 7th, 2011
Posted By Dr. Mercola
The FDA has said that the controversial drug Avastin should be phased out as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Recent studies show that its benefits are outweighed by dangerous side effects.
The announcement does not affect Avastin's status as a drug that can be prescribed for lung cancer, kidney cancer, colorectal cancer and brain cancer.
In 2008, the FDA granted Avastin accelerated approval for use to treat metastatic breast cancer. But studies have failed to show that patients getting Avastin lived longer than patients on standard chemotherapies.
According to CNN:
"Along with those disappointing findings, serious side effects became apparent in patients taking Avastin, including high blood pressure, internal bleeding, perforated internal organs, heart failure and heart attacks, and in some cases, even swelling of the brain."
Genentech, which makes Avastin, has a right to appeal the decision.
Folks, the best way of preventing breast cancer isn't a drug at all, and it's free!
Sun exposure may be the single most effective means of reducing breast cancer, thanks to vitamin D, which forms in your body in reaction to sunlight. In a recent study, data collected over a decade from more than 67,000 women showed that women in sunny climes with high vitamin D levels were at a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer!
January 7th, 2011
The planet's northern magnetic pole is drifting slowly but steadily towards Russia -- and it's throwing off planes in Florida.
for the movement of the Earth's magnetic fields, information that pilots rely upon to navigate planes. Thanks to the fluctuations in the force, the airport has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change taxiway signs to account for the shift, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The poles are generated by movements within the Earth's inner and outer cores, though the exact process isn't exactly understood. They're also constantly in flux, moving a few degrees every year, but the changes are almost never of such a magnitude that runways require adjusting, said Paul Takemoto, a spokesman for the FAA.
in Tampa, but they aren't immediately required at all airports across the country.
So just how often is something like this necessary? "It happens so infrequently that they wouldn't venture a guess," Takemoto told FoxNews.com. "In fact, you're the first journalist to ever ask me about it."