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Islamic center group leader to shift roles

NEW YORK (AP) -- The organization planning to build an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center said Friday that the imam who co-founded the project is shifting out of a leadership role so he can focus on other initiatives.

The nonprofit group Park51 said Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is set to start a national speaking tour today and spends much of his time out of the country, didn't have enough time to spend on the center.

The group announced it had named a new senior adviser to help lead religious programming: Shaykh Abdallah Adhami, a scholar with an architecture degree known for his lectures on gender relations.

Rauf will remain on the Islamic center's board and involved in the project, Park51 said.



Cuomo blocks raises for top state police

ALBANY (AP) -- An administration official said Friday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has blocked $20,000-plus raises for 28 top brass in the state police that were approved in the waning days of Gov. David Paterson's administration.

Cuomo said Wednesday he was "shocked" to learn of the raises.

State police officials had requested the raises so the top brass would earn more than unionized majors, who now get up to $170,756 annually.

The executive raises would have boosted staff inspectors to $173,756 a year and the first deputy superintendent to $182,756. Assistant deputy and deputy superintendents' pay would have ranged between those two figures.



Judge calls for probe of CIA-destroyed tapes

NEW YORK (AP) -- The CIA should investigate how its employees destroyed tapes of Sept. 11 detainee interrogations and explain how it will prevent such a thing from happening again, a federal judge told a government lawyer Friday.

"This kind of destruction never should have occurred," and the CIA should show it has learned its lesson, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said at a Manhattan hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara LaMorte said a government prosecutor who investigated the destruction and decided not to seek criminal charges has offered to meet with the judge and describe what he learned.

The government has acknowledged destroying 92 videotapes.

The administration of President George W. Bush had said some tapes were destroyed in 2005 to protect the identities of the government questioners.

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