NEWS CLUES: Making U Safer And Sounder Since 2007

Carter Calls Bullshit On Condi Rice, Says Secretary Of State Is L-Y-I-N-G

condi.jpgFormer U.S. President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of not telling the truth about warnings she said her department gave Carter not to speak to Hamas before a Middle East trip. The State Department has said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, issued the warning before Carter, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy, went on his trip last week. Rice said in Kuwait on Tuesday: “We counseled President Carter against going to the region and particularly against having contact with Hamas.” “President Carter has the greatest respect for … Rice and believes her to be a truthful person. However, perhaps inadvertently, she is continuing to make a statement that is not true,” a statement issued by the Carter center in Atlanta said on Wednesday. “No one in the State Department or any other department of the U.S. government ever asked him (Carter) to refrain from his recent visit to the Middle East or even suggested that he not meet with Syrian President (Bashar) Assad or leaders of Hamas,” it said. [via REUTERS]

PREVIOUSLY: Carter Negotiates Peace In The Middle East, White House Calls Him An Asshole


KILLADELPHIA: Two More Dead Since You Went To Bed

skeleton_running.gifHomicide detectives are investigating two overnight deaths in Southwest Philadelphia. Authorities also identified a South Philadelphia man found riddled with bullets early yesterday near the Mann Music Center. Patrol officers last night were dispatched at 10:45 to the intersection of Frazier and Hadfield Streets near the Cobbs Creek Parkway where they found a 21-year-old man shot once in the head. The man, who has not been named pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Detectives have no suspects or motive in the slaying. Just before dawn, an unidentified man was found dead shortly after 5 a.m. on the sidewalk on the 2600 block of Dickinson Street. The man, believed to be in his early 40s, appeared to have died from head trauma. Investigators have called his death “suspicious,” a police spokesman said. Detectives this morning identified the man discovered shot dead early yesterday in Fairmount Park. Police found Gary James Jr., of the 1300 block of Ellsworth Street, at 2:15 am. on the 4700 block of States Drive. Medics pronounced James dead at the scene. Investigators were unsure why James might have been in the park in the middle of the night. [via INQUIRER]


Philadelphia Safe And Sound Admits It Is Neither, Plans To Pull The Plug On Itself

safesound07.jpgPhiladelphia Safe and Sound, a decade-old city-funded nonprofit that manages truancy and teen violence programs to the tune of $54 million, has decided to dissolve itself. The nonprofit’s board of directors wrote Mayor Nutter a letter yesterday informing him that it voted Monday night to end all operations as of June 30. “While it was an extremely painful decision to make, given the current environment, the board felt it was the only real option available,” the letter stated. The news is being delivered to the nonprofit’s staff today. Safe and Sound, which funds more than 200 social-services related organizations in the city, has faced considerable scrutiny from the Nutter administration, which has raised questions about the management of its money and varied programs. Last Thursday, the state Department of Public Welfare released a 46-page report that found, among other things, that Safe and Sound had weak financial controls, paid millions of dollars to providers without first executing contracts, and increased its spending on salaries and other administrative costs at a higher percentage than what it spent on its anti-violence programs. The state report was completed at Nutter’s request. Founded in 1998 by then-Mayor Rendell, Safe and Sound ballooned under former Mayor John Street, whose wife served as its director until 2002. During Street’s eight-year tenure, he sought to establish the nonprofit as the city’s main vehicle for youth anti-violence programs. That effort was reflected by the rapid growth of Safe and Sound’s annual budget, which skyrocketed from $3 million in 2002 to a proposed $75 million this year. Upon taking office in January, Nutter reduced the current year’s budget to $54 million, saying the remaining dollars, though advocated by Street, were never actually authorized. [via INQUIRER]

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