Archive for Friday, April 6, 2001

Nation briefs

April 6, 2001



Increase sought in anti-violence budget

Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said Thursday that the Bush administration will ask Congress for an additional $102.5 million on programs to combat violence against women.

President Bush's upcoming budget will propose the increase over this year's funding level for Justice Department programs that implement the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, Ashcroft said at a criminologists' convention here.

The Justice Department was given $288 million this year to provide grants to states and communities for fighting violence against women.

The programs are aimed at combating sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking of women and provide advocacy, emergency shelters, police protection and legal aid to women.


Coast Guard won't meet cocaine seizure goals

Forced by money woes to reduce patrols, the Coast Guard expects to fall short of its cocaine seizure goals for next year, a disappointment that comes as traffickers are increasingly turning to the sea to ship drugs.

"We know that on a daily basis that there are smuggling events that occur that we just can't respond to," said Coast Guard Capt. Jeffrey Hathaway, executive director for the multiagency U.S. Interdiction Coordinator.

A $91 million budget deficit forced the Coast Guard in February to reduce air and sea patrols by 10 percent. The shortfall is the result of rising fuel costs and salary increases that Congress approved without providing the money to pay for them.

Meanwhile, traffickers have increased the use of small- and medium-size boats to transport cocaine from South America to Mexico, the transit point for an estimated two-thirds of U.S.-bound cocaine.

New Jersey

Embattled Justice won't resign from court

The governor called on state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero to resign, accusing him of misleading senators about racial profiling at his confirmation hearing in 1999.

"I believe the integrity of the process was violated," acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco said Thursday.

Verniero served as Gov. Christie Whitman's attorney general before she nominated him to the high court.

The governor said he is prepared, in his simultaneous role as Senate president, to ask the Senate to pass a resolution of censure if Verniero refuses to resign by May 3.

Verniero refused to resign and said in a statement he misled no one.

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