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News Briefs

U.S. Plans Police Training For Iraqis

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- BAGHDAD, IRAQ

Eager to have more Iraqis take responsibility for their country’s security, U.S. officials here are planning to ferry as many as 28,000 Iraqis to Eastern Europe for an intensive police training course.

Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner in charge of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, said in an interview that U.S. officials had secured permission from the government of Hungary to set up a large police academy inside an old Soviet military base there.

Kerik said the extraordinary measures were necessary because the existing police academies in Iraq were not large enough to train so many officers over the next several months.

His plan is part of a larger effort by senior U.S. officials here to press the Iraqis to take a greater share in running the country. The Bush administration is also under growing political pressure at home to lighten the load on the U.S. forces here.

He said the prospective Iraqi officers would receive eight weeks of intensive training in Hungary and then return to Iraq. After they return, they would be given four to six months of on-the-job instruction, similar to the training that prospective officers undergo in the United States.

U.S. Said to Plan Bigger Afghan Role

THE NEW YORK TIMES -- KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

In the next several weeks, the Bush administration is expected to announce a major increase in aid to Afghanistan that would greatly expand the American role in this country, senior American officials here and in Washington say.

The administration appears set to embark on a vast American-led effort at top-to-bottom rebuilding and recasting of Afghanistan, these officials said in recent days.

A senior American diplomat said that President Bush, viewing the situation “like a businessman,” had decided that investing more reconstruction money here now could lead to an earlier exit for American forces and save money in the long run. The United States currently spends $11 billion a year on its military forces in Afghanistan and $900 million on reconstruction aid.

But officials of aid groups here contend that the presidential election in the United States next year will be the motivating factor. They say the White House is eager to have Afghanistan appear to be a success story to voters.

Under the new initiative, American reconstruction aid is expected to double, to $1.8 billion a year, officials said. A dozen senior American government officials would work as advisers to Afghan government ministers. Up to 70 staff positions would be added to the embassy in Kabul, where virtually the entire senior staff is being replaced.

FBI Seeks Techies

THE DENVER POST -- DENVER

Wanted: super-smart techies interested in a good salary, early retirement and great job security. Sound unusual in this economy? Here’s the kicker: Must be willing to chase down terrorists and respond to bank robberies if necessary. The agency has congressional funding to add 960 people nationwide next year, including 192 computer crime agents.

Yet landing a job at the FBI isn’t easy, even for the Albert Einsteins of code writing. Flabby computer geeks who can’t run a mile won’t make the cut; neither will anti-social programmers who’d rather look at a computer screen than at people, nor those who’ve smoked pot more than 15 times. In fact, just 1.5 percent of all applicants typically survive the rigorous FBI interview process that sometimes can last a year. People with more professional work experience tend to do better.