Washington, D.C.

Letter tests positive for cyanide

The Secret Service said that a letter received by the White House on Monday returned a presumptive test for cyanide and was being tested again to confirm the result. The letter went to the White House Mail Screening Center, which is not part of the executive mansion complex, the Secret Service said. After initial biological testing came up negative, chemical testing Tuesday revealed a positive result. Officials with knowledge of the case said the sender was someone known to the Secret Service.

New York

Veteran tried to join ISIL in Syria

A U.S. Air Force veteran attempted to travel to Syria and fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant earlier this year, federal authorities said. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, 47, was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a terrorist organization in an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in New York. Authorities said he destroyed four thumb drives with files and photos so they could not be used in a grand jury investigation. Pugh appears to be the first U.S. military veteran known publicly to have traveled to the region to allegedly try to join ISIL.


Automatic registration now a law

Oregon, which 15 years ago held the first presidential election conducted totally by mail, built on its history as a ballot box innovator when Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill enacting automatic voter registration for all eligible citizens. As secretary of state, Brown — who grew up in Minnesota — championed a first-in-the-nation bill to register all Oregonians to vote when they obtain or renew a driver's license or state identification card. "It was my top priority," she said as she signed the bill into law.


Report cites San Diego flaws

Failures in the hiring and supervision of San Diego police led to a series of misconduct cases but the Police Department remains "progressive and sound," according to the conclusion of a federal review. Many of the department's problems can be traced to the city's ongoing financial problems that led to inadequate supervision and poor communication between various levels of command, said Ronald Davis, director of the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing. The 83-page report contains 40 recommendations, many of which have been implemented in the last year. The recommendations included more rigorous background checks of police applicants, more openness with community groups and more in-depth review of citizen complaints.


Penn State fraternity suspended

A Penn State fraternity, Kappa Delta Rho, was suspended as police investigate allegations of "possible criminal activity." An affidavit of probable cause filed by State College police detective Chris Weaver said former KDR member James Vivenzio walked into the Police Department with a story about a private, invitation-only Facebook page where members would share pictures of hazing, drug sales and "unsuspecting victims."


Drone downed, government says

The U.S. military lost control of a drone over northwest Syria, and the Syrian government claimed to have shot down a U.S. surveillance plane for the first time since U.S. airstrikes began last year. The official news agency reported that air defenses brought down a ­"hostile" plane in northern Latakia. The Pentagon says it is looking into the incident.


Lawyer linked to U.S. ally slain

Police said a former lawyer for the Pakistani doctor who helped the U.S. find Osama bin Laden was killed by gunmen. Officer Shakir Khan said unidentified assailants shot and killed Samiullah Khan Afridi in Peshawar before fleeing. The lawyer was killed months after he announced that he would no longer represent Dr. Shakil Afridi. Afridi was convicted in May 2012 of "conspiring against the state" by giving money and providing medical treatment to militants, not for helping the CIA track down bin Laden. The lawyer left Pakistan in November after receiving threats from terrorists.

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