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US, Oregon: Wu Pressed to Resign after Sexual Accusation

David Wu
© Beth Nakamura
Rep. David Wu is facing pressure to resign in the face of allegations of a sexual impropriety involving the daughter of an old friend in California.
Congressman David Wu, who earlier this year apologized for bizarre behavior during his most recent re-election campaign, was facing calls for his resignation on Saturday over yet another crisis - a young woman's reported accusation that she had an "unwanted sexual encounter" with the Democrat three weeks after his election victory in November.

Wu's spokesman, Erik Dorey, said the seven-term Democrat had a telephone conversation on Saturday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi about the allegation, which was first reported by The Oregonian. Dorey would not comment on the substance of the conversation. An aide to Pelosi declined Saturday to comment on Wu.

Late Friday, the 56-year-old Wu issued a one-sentence statement about The Oregonian's report: "This is very serious, and I have absolutely no desire to bring unwanted publicity, attention or stress to a young woman and her family."

Pressure was building on Wu to address the allegation publicly. There also were calls for his resignation.

People

Thousands of demonstrators march from cities across Spain to protest in the capital over country's jobs and debts crisis

Thousands of angry demonstrators from across Spain finally arrived in Madrid at the weekend to protest over the country's debts and unemployment queues.

They had marched for a month from their hometowns before converging on the landmark Puerta del Sol Square to show their anger at the country's economic woes.

Five columns converged on the 'urban village' next to the town hall where some protestors had camped out for three weeks in May under blue plastic tarpaulins.

Image
© Biniam Ghezal/ Demotix
Crisis: Protesters gather in Madrid from their hometowns to condemn Spain's leaders for the economic troubles in the country
The marchers set off from Barcelona and Bilbao in the north, Malaga in the south, Valencia in the east and Cadiz in the south west on June 25.

Family

U.S.: Rhode Island city asks retirees to give up 50% of their pension

rhode island

As cities across the United States struggle to keep their finances afloat, Central Falls, Rhode Island, is taking a novel approach to try to avoid bankruptcy.

The city is asking police and firefighter retirees to give up 50% of their pension.

On Tuesday, a state-appointed receiver, Judge Robert Flanders, met with constituents to discuss options that will prevent the city from filing for bankruptcy, but the choices seemed limited: either volunteer for the pension cut, or risk losing it all.

No Entry

Ecuador: Over 300 Dead Sharks Found On Illegal Fishing Boat

Dead Sharks
© NOAA

Ecuadorean officials have reported that they have seized over 350 dead sharks from a boat that had been illegally fishing in the waters around the Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve.

The Associated Press (AP) on Friday, citing government news agency reports, said that the crew of the boat, which had been discovered southeast of Genovesa Island on Monday night, will face criminal proceedings for fishing in the protected waters of the aquatic reserve. The catching, selling, and transporting of sharks within the park is strictly prohibited.

MSNBC.com added that the vessel had been located by park rangers and an Ecuador navy ship some 20 miles inside the Galapagos Islands park, and that the total number of sharks discovered were 286 bigeye thresher, 22 blue sharks, 40 Galapagos sharks, 6 hammerhead sharks, 2 tiger sharks, and 1 mako shark.

According to University of North Carolina (UNC) marine biologist John Bruno, who is currently teaching at the Galapagos Science Center, it was the largest shark seizure ever at the national park.

Attention

The Raquel Nelson case: Prosecuting the victim, absolving the perpetrators

This is an advocacy blog, but typically we're rather measured in our tone. Sometimes, however, we see something so utterly outrageous, so emblematic of the failure of our current transportation system, that "measured" just won't cut it.

The prosecution and conviction this week of Raquel Nelson - a metro Atlanta mother who lost her four-year-old son to a hit-and-run driver - on the charge of vehicular homicide is one of those times.

You heard that right: According to the office of Cobb County prosecutor Barry Morgan, Nelson - who had no car at the time - committed vehicular homicide by attempting to cross a five-lane highway with her three kids to get to her apartment, after being let off the bus.

Attention

US: Pedestrian convicted of vehicular homicide in own child's death

A Marietta mother may serve more time than the driver who hit and killed her 4-year-old son.

Raquel Nelson, 30, could be sentenced to up to 36 months at a hearing July 26, said David Savoy, her attorney. She was convicted Tuesday of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing roadway elsewhere than at crosswalk and reckless conduct, said Savoy.

Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting the child when pleading guilty to hit-and-run, served a 6-month sentence. He was released Oct. 29, 2010, and will serve the remainder of a 5-year sentence on probation, according to Cobb court records.

Comment: The bulk of the responsibility in this case rests with the city officials. They have done nothing to improve urban planning and public transportation in Atlanta, despite repeated calls from the residents. Now they are spending public funds to viciously prosecute a grieving mother, instead of using a fraction of it to set up a traffic light and paint a crosswalk. The Transportation for America blog has further details.


Pistol

US: 6 dead, 4 injured in Texas roller rink shooting

roller world
© Reuters/Mike Stone

Police officers stand outside of the Roller World Forum were five people were murdered in Grand Prairie, Texas July 23, 2011.
Austin - A gunman opened fire at a family birthday party at a North Texas roller rink late on Saturday, killing five people and wounding four others before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Police were called to Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie, about 20 miles west of Dallas, at 7:10 p.m. following reports of a shooting, Grand Prairie Police Department spokesman John Brimmer said.

The incident began when an unidentified man drew a gun during an argument at a birthday party at the rink. He opened fire, shooting five people dead and wounding four others, and then shot himself, Brimmer said.

"This was a domestic situation that went south in a hurry." Brimmer told Reuters. "The shooting lasted only seconds."

Megaphone

Former Governor Jesse Ventura: 'We're a fascist nation now'

jesse ventura

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura lambasted Friday at a federal court hearing "un-American" security procedures implemented at airports across the nation in 2010.

He filed a lawsuit with the Transportation Security Administration in January, claiming their use of pat down searches at airport security checkpoints is unconstitutional. Pioneer Press reported that a lawyer for Ventura argued in federal court that the searches violate his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable and unwarranted searches.

The Justice Department has filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, claiming that the searches are legal and that they can only be challenged in a federal appeals court.

Pistol

US: 7 wounded in casino shooting near Seattle

casino

Seven people were wounded, at least two critically, when a gunman opened fire at a casino near Seattle, authorities said.

Auburn Police Commander Jamie Sidell said the shooting happened at a nightclub inside the Muckleshoot Casino at about 1:30 a.m. PDT Sunday.

An armed, 42-year-old Covington-area man entered the club looking for a woman who was possibly his wife or girlfriend, Sidell said. He discovered her with another man and shot them both.

Briefcase

French court reopens Princess Diana's death case

diana,dead

A French court is said to have reopened Princess Diana's death probe by seeking to question two former top British police officials over allegations that they withheld "crucial evidence" about the Paris car crash which killed her in 1997, a media report said.

London: A French court is said to have reopened Princess Diana's death probe by seeking to question two former top British police officials over allegations that they withheld "crucial evidence" about the Paris car crash which killed her in 1997, a media report said.

French Judge Gerard Caddeo wants to interrogate former Scotland Yard chief Lord Condon and ex-Assistant Commissioner of Metropolitan Police Sir David Veness why they had failed to disclose the existence of a note in which the late Princess of Wales predicted her assassination, the Daily Express said.

Under French law, "removing or concealing" evidence, which could "facilitate the discovery of a crime", is punishable by three to five years in jail, it said.