National Briefs


Dean stepping down as DNC chairman when term ends

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean plans to step down from his post when his term expires in January, aides said Monday.

Dean, a physician and former Vermont governor who was briefly his party's presidential front-runner in 2004, was elected DNC chairman in 2005 and has long vowed to serve only one, four-year term.

Dean was the architect of a “50-State Strategy,” investing money and staff in every state – including those where Democrats had long fared poorly – to build party infrastructure and lay the groundwork for electoral gains. The Obama campaign, working with DNC organizers in all 50 states, won several states that had not elected a Democratic president in decades, including Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana.

Associated Press


Prosecutors have dropped the remaining charges against a former police chief acquitted last week of sexually assaulting one of his officers after a drunken party.

District Judge Letty Lopez's office confirmed that she granted the dismissal Monday in exchange for former Alton Police Chief Jose Luis Vela surrendering his law enforcement license. Associated Press


Cholera's spread in Congo spurs fear of epidemic

A cholera outbreak in a sprawling refugee camp has spread to eastern Congo's provincial capital of Goma, increasing fears of an epidemic amid a tense standoff between troops and rebels, officials said.

Cholera cases rose slightly Monday in the towns of Goma and Kibati, with at least 90 known cases and six new admissions overnight. Officials with Doctors Without Borders said the cases they were treating were well-contained. Only four new ones were reported at the group's clinic in Kibati camp. Associated Press


Samples taken from a Syrian site bombed by Israel on suspicion it was a covert nuclear reactor contained traces of uranium combined with other elements that merit further investigation, diplomats said Monday.

The diplomats – who demanded anonymity because their information was confidential – said the uranium was processed and not in raw form, suggesting some kind of nuclear link. Associated Press


Germany's top Nazi hunter on Monday asked Munich prosecutors to request the extradition of an 88-year-old Ohio man accused of bearing responsibility for the deaths of 29,000 Jews at a Polish concentration camp.

Kurt Schrimm, head of the special German prosecutors' office that has hunted Nazis since 1958, said he believes transport lists of prisoners that arrived at Sobibor during John Demjanjuk's seven-month tenure at the camp can be used as evidence of his alleged involvement in their deaths.

Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker who emigrated to the United States in 1952, denies involvement in war crimes, saying he served in the Soviet army and became a prisoner of war when he was captured by Germany in 1942. Associated Press