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Bush Announces Five Nominees For Top Justice Posts

President Bush announced Thursday he was nominating a federal judge and former prosecutor from Chicago as the No. 2 official in the Justice Department.

He also said he had selected nominees for four other senior posts left vacant in the wake of turmoil at the department under Alberto R. Gonzales, who stepped down in August as attorney general.

The announcements came a day after Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey was sworn in to replace Gonzales.

Justice Department officials said the White House had selected the nominees for deputy attorney general, associate attorney general and the others jobs, but the announcement was delayed until Mukasey, a retired federal judge from New York, had a chance to review and approve the list.

In a statement, Mukasey said the judge nominated as deputy attorney general, Mark Filip, 41, of U.S. District Court in Chicago, and the four other nominees, were “exceptionally well qualified” and he called on the Senate to move quickly to confirm the appointments.

Bonds Indicted for Perjury in Steroids Case

Barry Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, was indicted Thursday on five felony charges four for perjury and one for obstruction of justice — for testifying before a federal grand jury in 2003 that he never used anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Filed exactly 100 days after Bonds passed Hank Aaron to become baseball’s career home run leader, the indictment capped a four-year federal investigation into steroid use by elite athletes. Bonds has long been considered the primary target of the investigation. Seven others have pleaded guilty in the case, most recently former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones.

The indictment contends the government can prove that a positive steroid blood test result from 2000 seized in a 2003 raid of Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative belonged to Bonds. If true, this is the first direct evidence that Bonds took steroids.Bonds’ lawyer, Michael Rains, said his client is innocent and termed the charges “ridiculous.” He said the government made no effort to negotiate a plea deal with Bonds, 43, and that he first learned of the indictment when he was called by a reporter.

Iraqi Premier Wants Trial of Two Shiites in Killings

Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has approved the trial of two Shiite former officials who are accused of killing and kidnapping hundreds of Sunnis, according to U.S. advisers to the Iraqi judicial system.

The case, which could come to trial as early as this month, would mark the first time that such high-ranking Shiites would be tried for sectarian crimes.

An Iraqi judge ruled last month that there was sufficient evidence to try the two former officials, who held senior positions in the Health Ministry. But there had been concern that the ministry might try to block the case by invoking a section of the Iraqi criminal law that proscribes the prosecution of officials who are executing their official duties.

The approval to hold a trial was provided in a memo issued earlier this week by the acting health minister. al-Maliki has formally endorsed the decision, U.S. officials said.