Daily Dispatches
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki
Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci, File
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki

Midday Roundup: VA head gets appointment with Congress over delayed care scandal

Newsworthy

VA subpoena. Congress has subpoenaed Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over claims the agency destroyed documents linked to delayed medical care for vets at a Phoenix VA hospital. A retired doctor who worked at the facility claimed 40 veterans died because of the delays. An internal investigation revealed employees at an outpatient clinic in Fort Collins, Colo., were trained to falsify records so that it appeared no patients had to wait longer than 14 days for an appointment. Shinseki, a decorated Vietnam War vet, said he was outraged by the allegations and promised a full investigation. The American Legion has called for his resignation.

Rights violation? Lawyers for suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are asking a judge to suppress statements he made in the hours after he was captured, before he had access to legal counsel. Tsarnaev’s attorneys claim the FBI violated his constitutional rights by continuing to question him after he asked for a lawyer and repeatedly told agents to leave him alone. Investigators claim they needed to question the then 19-year-old college student to make sure the public faced no more danger from explosives or other devices. According to court documents, FBI agents told him his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was still alive. The documents reveal the extent of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s injuries. After being shot in the head, face, throat, and jaw, he had his left eye sutured shut and his jaw wired closed. He answered questions by writing on a notepad because he couldn’t talk. Tsarnaev faces the death penalty for his role in the attack that killed three and injured hundreds.

Renewed fighting. A massive explosion in Aleppo, Syria, has leveled a hotel housing government troops. The Islamic Front, one of the country’s largest insurgent groups, claimed responsibility for the attack, which used bombs placed in tunnels dug under the building. The insurgents said the bombing was a response to the mass killing of unarmed civilians in the city. A coalition of rebels said the attack was a prelude to a larger operation designed to cement the fighters’territorial gains. The renewed fighting comes less than 24 hours after rebels abandoned Homs in a negotiated truce with the government.

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Veteran drug runner. A 90-year-old WWII vet who earned a Bronze Star fighting the Germans in Italy will spend the next three years in jail for transporting more than a ton of cocaine into Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel. Government prosecutors say the drug dealers paid Leo Sharp more than $1 million. They banked on his age and folksy demeanor protecting him from police scrutiny. And it worked, for a while. But in 2011, Sharp was busted during a traffic stop just west of Detroit. His lawyer pleaded for leniency, reading a lengthy description of the Battle of Mount Battaglia during the sentencing hearing. But the judge said previous military service did not wipe out the consequences of Sharp’s crime.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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