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Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

Briefly

August 23, 2004

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Florida

Charley victims await word on housing

As people made homeless by Hurricane Charley began another week living in makeshift shelters, federal officials pledged Sunday that more substantial temporary housing was on the way but gave conflicting information about the scope of what would be available.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Dick Gifford told reporters the agency already had spaces for about 200 to 300 mobile homes at a trailer park in an undisclosed location. But an hour later, another FEMA spokesman, James McIntyre, said no such trailer park existed.

FEMA officials said as many as 5,000 mobile homes were on their way to the devastated area, and Gifford said the agency could bring in as many as 10,000 trailers depending on the need.


North Carolina

Vigilante suspect used embassy help

An American accused of torturing terror suspects in Afghanistan entered that country using a letter from a U.S. embassy official identifying him as a government contractor, a newspaper reported Sunday.

But the Fayetteville Observer, citing unnamed sources, reported that Jonathan Keith "Jack" Idema signed a standard contract agreeing to be a noncombatant who would not wear military apparel or gear.

Idema, a colorful former Green Beret, has said he hunted terrorist suspects in Afghanistan with the support of U.S. security agencies -- a claim the government denies.

Idema and two cohorts were arrested when Afghan security forces raided their makeshift jail in Kabul in July.

The Observer reported that Idema entered Afghanistan in 2001 after an embassy official in Uzbekistan wrote a letter identifying him as a contractor with the Department of Defense.

New Jersey

Governor's aide claims deportation threat

An attorney for Golan Cipel -- who has been identified as the man with whom New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey had an extramarital affair -- said the governor's associates told Cipel not to go public about his relationship with the governor or face deportation.

Rachel Yosevitz told The Philadelphia Inquirer day's editions that associates of the governor visited Cipel at his home, the newspaper reported Saturday.

"They made it clear that the governor would do as he pleased and that if he wanted to have him deported, he would have him deported," Yosevitz told the newspaper.

McGreevey's lawyer, William Lawler, denied the new allegations: "That is not true," he said.

Cipel's attorneys have maintained that he is not gay and that McGreevey harassed the former homeland security aide. Sources close to McGreevey have said the Israeli demanded millions of dollars to stay quiet.

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