Man arrested in Washington state ricin probe
Ricin is a toxin derived from castor beans.
May 22nd, 2013
10:33 PM ET

Man arrested in Washington state ricin probe

A 37-year-old man arrested Wednesday in Washington state as part of a probe of ricin-laced letters threatened in one such letter to injure and kill a federal judge, a grand jury indictment alleges.

FBI agents arrested Matthew Ryan Buquet on Wednesday afternoon, and he made his initial court appearance in Spokane later in the day, the federal agency's Washington state office said in a news release.

A grand jury charged Buquet with mailing threatening communication, claiming he "knowingly and willfully" mailed through the U.S. Postal Service a letter "containing a threat to injure and kill Judge (Fred) Van Sickle," according to the indictment. Van Sickle is a senior judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S. Postal Service • Washington state
February 13th, 2013
07:53 AM ET

Wednesday's live events

President Obama and Congress look to avert $85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts scheduled for March 1.  Watch Live for continuing coverage of the sequestration crisis.

Today's programming highlights...

10:00 am ET - Postal Service crisis hearing - The U.S. Postal Service is ending most Saturday delivery amid concerns that its time is running short.  Can the USPS be saved?  The House Government Affairs Committee looks into the matter.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Budget • Congress • Economy • Politics • U.S. Postal Service
Overheard on Readers speak out in defense of 'snail mail'
The U.S. Postal Service's cost-cutting plans may affect mail-processing centers such as this one in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
December 5th, 2011
02:07 PM ET

Overheard on Readers speak out in defense of 'snail mail'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

We've known for some time that the U.S. Postal Service has been struggling in the Internet age. Now the economically strapped mail-delivery agency says it is planning to change its first-class delivery standard of one to three days to two to five days. Commenters were for the most part flabbergasted at this turn of events.

U.S. Postal Service wants to limit next-day service

Many readers indicated the Postal Service should not be forced to cut back. After all, many people still pay their bills through the mail. iReporter Melissa Fazli of Yorba Linda, California, said she was afraid Netflix users would have trouble sending their DVDs in the mail. The most–liked comment received many nods of agreement:

AndyDaniel: "Truth is, the USPS does a remarkably good job with most things. I can send a letter across the country in two to three days for half the cost of a cheap cup of coffee. I've sent Priority Mail many times, and it almost always does arrive in two to three days.

Yes, their tracking leaves something to be desired, and yes, sometimes there is a line at the post office, but there's a line at the grocery store, too, and I don't see people online complaining about it.

The post office has become a favorite target of jokes, but if you really look at what they accomplish for how little money, it's actually amazing. UPS will also send a letter (not next day) across the country, but it takes five to six days and costs about $5.50. Now I know that's not a completely fair comparison because UPS is barred from competing in first-class mail, but if you look at the big picture, and not the anecdotal memory of a screw-up here or there, the Postal Service comes out looking pretty good." FULL POST

U.S. Post Office losing billions
The U.S. Postal Service is continuing to lose billions of dollars.
May 11th, 2011
06:47 AM ET

U.S. Post Office losing billions

Has sending something through the good, old-fashioned Post Office become this quaint?

This week the U.S. Postal Service reported that it lost $2.2 billion in its most recent quarter which puts it on track to lose about $7 billion by September, CNN Money reports. Massive money loss is a trend the institution has been grappling with for years as more people turn to electronic means of correspondence. In the fiscal year 2010, the Postal Service reported a net loss of $8.5 billion.

The news comes less than a month after the Postal Service announced that some mailing costs will increase. A stamp for a first-class letter that weighs less than an ounce will remain 44 cents while the price to send parcels and magazines will be affected. Sending letters and packages to various countries will cost more. Dive deeper in your couch for that extra penny if you want to mail a postcard because doing so will soon cost 29 cents.

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Filed under: U.S. Postal Service