News in Brief: Arpaio's Office Misused Funds for Jail Maintenance, and More

Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:43 By Mike Ludwig, t r u t h o u t | News in Brief | name.

Arpaio's Office Misused Funds for Jail Maintenance

The office of infamous, anti-immigration, law enforcer Sheriff Joseph Arpaio in Phoenix, Arizona, misused at least $50 million in funds for local jail operations, according to The Arizona Republic. Among the misused money was a fund meant to improve jail conditions that officers used to pay for out-of-state training, stays at luxury hotels, a staff party at a local amusement park and a new bus to transfer inmates to court. "A very substantial amount of money is going to have to be paid back to the jail fund," County Manager David Smith told The Republic. "It's just a monumental financial headache that [Sheriff Joe Arpaio] has created."

Rumsfeld Sought to "Confront" Iraq Before and After 9/11

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration advisers set their sights on Iraq before the 9/11 attacks and soon after George W. Bush took office, according to an Agence-France Presse report released Wednesday. New documents show that Rumsfeld told aides and attorneys to find links between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein soon after the 9/11 attacks, and the administration quickly moved to link aluminum tubes seized by American officials to an alleged Iraqi nuclear arms program, although no real connection could be made.

Teamsters Unionize Medical Marijuana Growers

Faced with dwindling memberships, the Teamsters union has reached out to medical marijuana growers in California, according to an Associated Press report. Nearly 40 trimmers, gardeners and cloners working for an Oakland-based pot growing firm have joined the Teamsters over the past week. It is unclear how the union will safeguard the worker's rights, as growing medical marijuana is still considered a federal crime.

World's Largest Wind Farm Opens in the UK

The world's largest wind farm opened off the coast of the United Kingdom on Thursday, according to The Guardian UK.  Once fully operational, the Thanet offshore wind farm will produce up to 300 MW of electricity from its 100 wind turbines. That's enough electricity to power 20,000 homes. The British wind power industry is expanding as western European leaders continue to push to increase clean energy production, and an industry report showed that the UK got up to 10 percent of its electricity from wind over one 24-hour period.

Government Failing to Test Gulf Seafood for Heavy Metals

Seafood harvested from the Gulf of Mexico is not undergoing any extensive testing for heavy metals despite scientist's concern that the fish and shellfish could be contaminated as a result of the BP oil spill, according to a Raw Story report. Environmental groups and researchers are pushing for broader testing, but the government continues to claim the food is safe to eat.

Mike Ludwig

Mike Ludwig is a Truthout Fellow.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 September 2010 10:51