The Afternoon Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Daily Debrief hosts Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris discuss throughout their show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.
The Senate has passed a bill to deny members of Congress their annual pay raise next year. Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold engineered surprise passage of the legislation, which would deny senators and members of the House an automatic pay raise of about $1,600 next year. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year, and leaders make more. The Senate passed the measure unanimously without a roll call vote.
A U.S. Navy SEAL was cleared Thursday of charges he covered up the alleged beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American security contractors. A six-man Navy jury found Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas not guilty of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member. The jury heard too many differences between the testimony of a sailor who claimed he witnessed the Sept. 1 assault at a U.S. base outside Fallujah, Iraq, and statements from a half-dozen others who denied his account.
Analysts say CenturyTel Inc.’s proposed purchase of Qwest Communications International Inc. is likely to be approved by federal regulators — perhaps with some conditions attached — because the companies operate mostly in different markets. CenturyTel on Thursday announced plans to buy Qwest in a stock swap valued at $10.6 billion. The deal must be reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission and either the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission.