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>Gingrich would replace litigation-focused EPA

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., called Tuesday for the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency, which he wants to replace with a new organization that would work more closely with businesses and be more aggressive in using science and technology.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Gingrich said the EPA was rarely innovative and focused only on issuing regulations and litigation.

"What you have is a very expensive bureaucracy that across the board makes it harder to solve problems, slows down the development of new innovations," Gingrich said.

Gingrich, who has acknowledged that he is mulling a run for the Republican presidential nomination, was in Iowa to talk to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

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>Trial set for suspect in underwear bomb try

DETROIT (AP) -- A Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a crowded Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, 2009, with a bomb hidden in his underwear will go on trial Oct. 3, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring with others to kill 281 passengers and 11 crew members aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253. U.S. investigators believe he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, beginning in August 2009.

Law enforcement officials allege that Abdulmutallab tried to ignite a two-part concoction of the high explosive PETN and possibly a glycol-based liquid explosive that was hidden in his underwear. It set off popping sounds, smoke and some fire, but it did not detonate. Passengers and crew rushed to subdue Abdulmutallab and extinguish the flames.

Abdulmutallab faces life in prison if convicted.

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>Bush team broke law in '06 midterm races

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the run-up to the 2006 midterm election in which Republicans lost control of the House, the Bush administration repeatedly broke the law by using federal funds to send Cabinet secretaries and other high-level political appointees to congressional districts of GOP candidates in tight races, according to a government report.

"Because those trips were classified as official, funds from the U.S. Treasury were used to finance the trips, and reimbursement from the relevant campaigns was never sought," said the report by the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency that enforces Hatch Act restrictions on partisan political activity inside the federal government.

A spokesman for former President George W. Bush declined to comment.

Special Counsel spokesman Darshan Sheth said no criminality was uncovered.

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