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Afghan opium, Justice Department No. 2

The rise in Afghanistan’s opium crop is “alarming,” and has resulted in increased crime, corruption, and drug use in Iran, Pakistan, and the Central Asian republics, according to a new U.N. report. The country&#03

Afghan opium falloutThe rise in Afghanistan’s opium crop is “alarming,” and has resulted in increased crime, corruption, and drug use in Iran, Pakistan, and the Central Asian republics, according to a new U.N. report. The country’s opium harvest was up 34 percent last year, to an estimated 8,200 tons, with much of the growth taking place in the south, where the Taliban insurgency against the central government is most fierce. It’s estimated that Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s illegal opium.

New No. 2 at JusticeThe U.S. Senate this week unanimously confirmed Mark Filip, a federal judge and former assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, as the Justice Department’s deputy attorney general. His appointment comes after months of deadlock over presidential nominations following the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Filip, 41, served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and was a GOP volunteer in the 2000 presidential election recount.

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