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The Blue & Gray Press | September 20, 2017

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Outside the Fence

BY HEATHER BRADY

Regional

A Stafford County man was severely injured early Saturday morning when he was hit by a car that left the scene after the crash. The 44-year-old man is still being treated at Mary Washington Hospital for several broken bones and other injuries, but is expected to live. The crash occurred around 5:55 a.m. in the southbound lane of Lafayette Boulevard just past the Fredericksburg line, said 1st Sgt. Liz Scott of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office. Scott said a witness on the scene was able to identify the offending car as a late ’80s or early ’90s model Honda sedan, tan in color. She said the witness saw the Honda swerving and speeding on State Route 3 and followed the car that later turned onto Lafayette Saturday morning. The witness further saw the car strike the bicyclist, causing the bike to fly into the air. When deputies responded, the victim was still unconscious, Scott said. Authorities are still searching for the driver of the offending car. (The Free Lance-Star, April 21; www.fredericksburg.com)

National

President Obama defended his opposition Tuesday to prosecuting CIA employees who conducted harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects. However, he left open the possibility that officials who approved the techniques could face legal liability. Obama also indicated that if Congress wants to examine the “enhanced interrogation program” conceived during the Bush administration, it would be better to use an independent commission than a congressional panel that could break down along party lines, producing divisions. The comments marked the first time that Obama has raised the idea of legal jeopardy for those who formulated the program, or a special commission to investigate it. His remarks also represented a sharp reversal of White House opposition to prosecuting officials who devised the policy. Speaking to reporters after a meeting at the White House with King Abdullah II of Jordan, Obama said he told CIA employees Monday during a visit to CIA headquarters in Northern Virginia that “I have their back.”  (The Washington Post, April 21; www.washingtonpost.com)

Global

A few months ago, the mayor of the most violent city in Mexico, Ciudad Juarez, would sometimes sleep across the border in El Paso for safety. Now, with the military firmly in control of Ciudad Juarez, an entire day can pass without a single drug-related killing. Violence has plummeted since President Felipe Calderón dispatched thousands of soldiers to take over public security, a strategy designed to crush the drug gangs that turned Juarez into a symbol of lawlessness. In the first two months of this year, 434 people were killed in drug violence in the city, accounting for nearly half of all homicides nationwide. After 5,000 additional troops were sent to Juarez in early March, the number of deaths dropped to 51 last month. Twenty-two people have died in drug violence so far in April. The military occupation of Juarez, an industrial city of 1.3 million across the Rio Grande from El Paso, is the most extreme example of Calderón’s high-risk strategy of using the army to confront Mexico’s powerful drug cartels. Besieged city officials signed an agreement surrendering responsibility for civilian law enforcement to the military. The Juarez police department is now under the command of a retired three-star general and a dozen top military officers handpicked by Mexico’s defense secretary. (The Washington Post, April 21; www.washingtonpost.com)

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