WASHINGTON: Lew confirmed for Treasury
The Senate confirmed Jacob Lew on Wednesday to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Barack Obama's choice of a budget expert as Congress and the White House are at odds over spending. The vote was 71-26, with 25 Republicans and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont voting against. Lew, 57, most recently Obama's chief of staff, succeeds Timothy Geithner, who in a tumultuous 4-year term helped lead the administration's response to the recession. Lew is to be sworn in Thursday, taking over just one day before automatic spending cuts are to take effect.
Deportations official retiring
The senior Homeland Security Department official in charge of arresting and deporting illegal immigrants announced his retirement the same day the agency said hundreds of people facing deportation had been released from immigration jails because of looming budget cuts, according to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. Gary Mead, executive associate director over enforcement and removal operations at ICE, disclosed his departure in an email to his staff. Spokesman Jay Carney said the decision to release the immigrants was made without any input from the White House.
CALIFORNIA: Gunman kills 2 detectives
There was no warning for two police detectives killed on Jeremy Goulet's doorstep when he flung open his door and opened fire, but Goulet was, his father said Wednesday, a "ticking time bomb." Santa Cruz police struggled to explain how Goulet, 35, had managed to kill Sgt. Loran Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler. They had come to Goulet's home to question him about a misdemeanor sexual assault. The killings kicked off a half-hour chase that ended in a barrage of gunfire, and Goulet also died