May 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for the agency's "foolish mistakes" in singling out conservative groups for intrusive and time-consuming scrutiny, but said that the effort was not driven by partisan motives. Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, whose tenure will end Wednesday after he resigned under pressure this week, said the agency staff's attempts to identify groups with political aims was not "targeting," as it was termed in an inspector general's audit.
May 17, 2013 |
This story starts at a point in time that most observers predicted it would end. The year was 2002. The Internet party was long over. Pets.com and other high-flying digital darlings were defunct. It was the dark days for the few survivors of the dot-com bubble, and Razorfish was barely hanging on. The brash online ad agency that had come to symbolize the arrogance and frivolity of the era had slashed its staff from 1,800 employees to just 230. The company was sold for $8.2 million - a minuscule fraction of its $4.2-billion market value just two years before.
May 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The head of the FBI said Thursday that there were lapses in tracking accused Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev's visit to Russia last year, saying that U.S. security officials failed to act on "text" alerts to a U.S. Customs agent about his trip. The inaction came after U.S. officials interviewed Tsarnaev and his parents about Russian concerns that he was traveling there "intent on returning and perhaps participating in jihad," FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said. Mueller told a Senate appropriations subcommittee that in March 2011, Russian authorities asked the U.S. for a background assessment on Tsarnaev and his mother.
May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Career CIA officers were responsible for administration claims that the armed attack in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead last fall grew out of a protest of an anti-Islamic video, an incorrect assertion that became a flash point for critics who say the Obama administration deliberately misled the public for political reasons, according to emails released by the White House on Wednesday. The 99 pages of emails from the two days after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack reveal confused and occasionally sharp negotiations among officials at the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI, the White House and the State Department as they scrambled to craft so-called talking points about a nightlong assault that was still little understood.
May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department began a criminal investigation Tuesday into overzealous scrutiny by the IRS of applications for tax exemptions by conservative groups, an improper targeting that an inspector general's report blamed on a confused staff and lax oversight. The improper activities "were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS," the auditors said they were told by Internal Revenue Service officials. Instead, the report painted a picture of an IRS unit based in Cincinnati that used "inappropriate criteria" for deciding which applications to examine, without any review by senior managers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 14, 2013 |
Responding to new allegations of financial malfeasance and abuse, Los Angeles County officials have decided to stop sending children to a private foster care agency that has been responsible for more than 1,100 youths in recent years. The action was taken after an examination of Teens Happy Homes, published in The Times last month, revealed questionable spending and repeated instances of abuse. Fresh allegations surfaced in an ongoing audit obtained by The Times that found at least $100,000 in suspect payments: Nearly $30,000 went toward chief executive Beautina "Tina" Robinson's personal expenses, including her car and credit card bills.