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Briefs (left)

DeLay Quietly Surrenders
To a Texas Sheriff

By Bill Dawson and Carl Hulse

Rep. Tom DeLay, forced by criminal charges to step aside last month as House majority leader, was fingerprinted, photographed and released on $10,000 bond Thursday after turning himself in at the Harris County sheriff’s office in downtown Houston.

The booking photo of DeLay, whose surrender was carefully choreographed, showed him smiling, his congressional pin visible on his suit lapel, and did not include booking numbers that many associate with a mug shot. His allies on Capitol Hill joked that the picture was suitable for the Congressional Directory.

“I just may use that photographer for my family Christmas photo,” Kevin Madden, a spokesman for DeLay, said in Washington.

DeLay had been expected to surrender in adjacent Fort Bend County, his home. By doing so here instead, he avoided a scrum of about 25 journalists waiting outside the Fort Bend sheriff’s office, many with cameras. Democrats were thus deprived of powerful videotape.

New Orleans Mayor Commits
To Rebuilding Two Neighborhoods

By Christine Hauser


Mayor C. Ray Nagin gave a firm commitment Thursday to the rebuilding of the destroyed Ninth Ward and New Orleans East, clearing up doubts that had grown in the city about whether his administration would allow residents to return to the hard-hit areas.

“Read my lips,” he said. “We will rebuild New Orleans East. We will rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward.”

For weeks, residents of the neighborhoods have chafed at their inability to inspect their property, having been prevented from returning by official concerns about safety and openly expressing concern that they might never be allowed to rebuild. Many houses in the Lower Ninth Ward, east of the Industrial Canal, were destroyed, with some swept off their foundations after Katrina’s floodwaters spilled over surrounding levees.

Then on Tuesday, appearing before a House subcommittee in Washington, the mayor seemed to suggest that the future of the neighborhoods remained an open question. According to The New Orleans Times-Picayune, he told lawmakers that the questions of how to protect the areas east of the canal had “not been answered yet.”

Article Says Diabetes Pill
Would Increase Coronary Risks

By Stephanie Saul

An article in a leading medical journal said Thursday that a proposed diabetes pill, Pargluva, seemed to significantly increase heart attack and stroke risks. An accompanying editorial said the drug’s sponsors, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, had been “disingenuous” in submitting data to the Food and Drug Administration that “may have fostered an illusion of safety.”

The authors, two Cleveland Clinic cardiologists who sounded alarms about Vioxx in 2001, called for a major safety study of Pargluva before it goes on the market.

The companies had been counting on selling the drug by late this year. The timetable was delayed earlier this week when the FDA told them that Pargluva was approvable but only after it reviewed more safety data from completed studies. The type of safety study called for by the journal would mean that Pargluva would not reach consumers for at least two years, if at all.