WASHINGTON

Ex-CIA officer sent to prison for disclosing information

A former CIA officer was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for disclosing classified information to journalists in a case that underscored the Obama administration’s harsh crackdown on national security leaks.

John Kiriakou, a 14-year CIA veteran, pleaded guilty in October to identifying an undercover operative who was involved in the use of severe interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on terrorism suspects during the George W. Bush administration.

While the Justice Department has said it won’t prosecute CIA officials who approved or conducted those interrogations, Kiriakou becomes the sixth current or former government official charged with revealing classified information since 2009.

Federal health advisers seek restrictions on hydrocodone

Federal health advisers want new restrictions on hydrocodone, the highly addictive painkiller that has grown into the most widely prescribed drug in the United States.

The recommendation from a panel of drug safety specialists would subject Vicodin and dozens of other medicines to the same restrictions as other narcotic drugs such as oxycodone and morphine.

The Food and Drug Administration panel voted 19-10 in favor of the move, which is supported by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The FDA will weigh the vote in its decision-making process.

Obama names trusted aide as White House chief of staff

President Obama announced Friday that his new chief of staff is longtime trusted aide Denis McDonough, whom the president described as a close friend unafraid to deliver straight talk.

McDonough has been a longtime foreign policy adviser to the president and is popular among the White House staff.

Obama made the announcement in the East Room of the White House with McDonough and outgoing chief of staff Jack Lew, who has been nominated as Treasury secretary, at his side..

SOUTH BEND, Ind.

Notre Dame trustees letter says no crime, no violation

Top administrators at Notre Dame decided within hours of hearing about the Manti Te’o dead girlfriend hoax that it did not involve a crime and within two days had concluded there was no NCAA violation, according to a letter sent by the university president to board of trustee members Friday.

The Rev. John Jenkins told trustees that despite “the unrelenting scrutiny of hundreds of journalists and countless others — and repeated attempts by some to create a different impression –no facts relating to the hoax have been at odds with what Manti told us” on Dec. 27-28.

The letter was obtained Friday from a university official who provided it on condition of anonymity because the private school’s internal workings are confidential.

The eight-page document, including a four-page letter from Jenkins and a four-page outline of how Notre Dame handled the hoax, is both a defense and an explanation of the school’s actions.

“We did our best to get to the truth in extraordinary circumstances, be good stewards of the interests of the university and its good name and — as we do in all things — to make the well-being of our students one of our very highest priorities,” Jenkins concluded in his letter.

– From news service reports