National briefs: VA chief decries retaliation threats

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SAN ANTONIO -- Investigators said they are examining allegations that supervisors in the veterans' health system retaliated against 37 employees who complained about practices such as falsified records used to cover up months-long delays in scheduling appointments. The acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said on Friday such reprisals would not be tolerated.

His comments came after the Office of Special Counsel said it was looking into possible retaliation against 37 employees of the VA who filed so-called "whistleblower" complaints.

The office is an independent watchdog separate from the VA which looks into whistleblower complaints from across the federal government.

Lockdown at Navy facility

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- A Navy facility in Virginia was on lockdown Friday as officials searched room by room for a suspect wanted in connection with a stabbing at a base parking lot, officials said.

The Navy identified the suspect as Petty Officer 3rd Class Wilbur Harwell, who is believed to have stabbed another serviceman in the parking lot outside a mini-mart at the base, acting public affairs officer Rebecca Perron said.

The victim was taken to surgery and was listed in critical condition, she said.

Hillary Clinton's memoirs

NEW YORK -- In her memoir "Hard Choices," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes about the United States' troubled "reset" with Russia, says her vote authorizing the war in Iraq was "wrong," calls Syria a "wicked problem" and provides a timetable of the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to CBS News, which obtained a copy of the book before its scheduled publication next week.

Ms. Clinton also acknowledges "opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban" that eventually led to the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, which has become so controversial this week. She said she knew that the talks "would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war."

Clinton-era documents

WASHINGTON -- The National Archives unsealed about 2,000 documents from President Bill Clinton's administration Friday, the fifth such release in recent months of memos, transcripts and speeches that had been withheld from public view.

The documents cover subjects including the U.S. response to the genocide in Rwanda, policies toward gay men and lesbians serving in the military, the Oklahoma City bombing and Vice President Al Gore's 2000 campaign for president.

America's faith mosaic

Christianity is by far the largest religion in the United States; more than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians.

But what about the rest? In the Western United States, Buddhists represent the largest non-Christian religious bloc in most states. In 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and South, Islam is the largest non-Christian faith tradition. And in 15 states, mostly in the Northeast and including Pennsylvania, Judaism has the most followers after Christianity, according to data by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

CIA now on Twitter

WASHINGTON -- The CIA, one of the nation's major spy organizations, joined Twitter on Friday, announcing its presence with a snarky tweet that will immediately be familiar to national security journalists who have spent years trying to get information from it."We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet," it said.

-- Compiled from news services


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