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Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2004

Briefly

June 3, 2004

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

President Bush consults lawyer in CIA leak case

President Bush has consulted an outside lawyer in case he needs to retain him in the grand jury investigation of who leaked the name of a covert CIA operative last year, the White House said Wednesday.

There was no indication that Bush is a target of the leak investigation, but the president has decided that in the event he needs an attorney's advice, "he would retain him," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.

The lawyer is Jim Sharp, Buchan said, confirming a report by CBS News.

"The president has said that everyone should cooperate in this matter and that would include himself," the spokeswoman said.

She deflected questions about whether Bush had been asked to appear before a grand jury in the case.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces kill 2 militants linked to Khobar attack

After a 12-hour chase on foot through desert mountains, Saudi forces killed two militants Wednesday, and officials linked them to a deadly attack on the oil hub of Khobar, hundreds of miles across the kingdom.

The Khobar attack came over the weekend, when suspected al-Qaida gunmen raided a complex housing foreign oil workers and held hostages for 25 hours at a hotel on the site until Saudi forces raided the site. Twenty-two people were killed.

A Saudi official revealed for the first time that four Americans who were staying at the hotel took refuge on the roof without the knowledge of the gunmen and were rescued a few hours before the siege ended.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not say how the Americans were rescued or where they are now.

Iran

Officials hold open option of making nuclear centrifuge

Iran left open the option of producing a centrifuge capable of making weapons-grade uranium, its top nuclear negotiator said Wednesday, a day after a U.N. agency credited Tehran with more openness but expressed concern about years of secret activities.

Hasan Rowhani said the International Atomic Energy Agency report meant that scrutiny of Tehran's nuclear activities, which the United States alleges is aimed at making weapons, was nearly over.

"The report makes it clear that Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful and there has been no diversion from the peaceful path," Rowhani said.

"However, the report has some problems ... (it) has touched upon cases that it should not," he said, adding the IAEA was getting hung up on technical details.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Prices of discounted drugs higher than negotiated by VA

Veterans already get larger savings on popular prescription drugs than Medicare beneficiaries will receive from the new government-approved discount cards, a study released Wednesday said.

Pharmacy benefit managers disputed the study prepared by the consumer group Families USA as the debate over the value of the Medicare cards intensified on Capitol Hill.

The lowest Medicare card prices for half of the 20 most frequently prescribed prescription drugs were at least 50 percent more than those negotiated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Ronald F. Pollack, executive director of Families USA.

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