January 19, 2013

Nation/World Dispatches

NEW ORLEANS

Former New Orleans mayor faces federal indictment

Former Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted Friday on charges that he used his office for personal gain, accepting payoffs, free trips and gratuities from contractors while the city was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

The federal indictment accuses Nagin of accepting more than $160,000 in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman who secured millions of dollars in city contract work after the 2005 hurricane.

Nagin, 56, also is charged with accepting at least $60,000 in payoffs from another businessman for his help in securing city contracts for architectural, engineering and management services work. The indictment also accuses Nagin of getting free private jet and limousine services to New York from an unidentified businessman who owns a New Orleans movie theater. Nagin is accused of agreeing to waive tax penalties that the businessman owed to the city on a delinquent tax bill in 2006.

DENVER

Judge orders Fox reporter to testify about notebook

A judge Friday ordered a Fox News reporter to testify about who gave her information about a notebook that the man accused of killing 12 people in a Colorado theater had sent to his psychiatrist.

A July 25 article by Jana Winter on FoxNews.com cited unnamed law enforcement sources in describing the contents of a notebook James Holmes sent to Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Attorneys for Holmes, who also is accused of injuring 70 other people in the July 20 attack, say the information has jeopardized Holmes' right to a fair trial, and Winter's notes are needed to determine who leaked it.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.

Gun owner information removed from website

A suburban New York newspaper that outraged gun owners by posting the names and addresses of residents with handgun permits removed the information from its website Friday.

The Journal News took down the data just three days after the state enacted a gun control law that included privacy provisions for permit holders. The provisions were a reaction to interactive maps the newspaper published on LoHud.com that pinpointed thousands of permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.

Gun rights activists had immediately complained that permit owners' privacy was being violated. They said the map could guide burglars to their homes while police groups claimed the map could lead ex-convicts to the officers who had put them away.

BEIRUT

Rocket attack, bombings cap bloody week in war

A rocket slammed into a building in Syria's northern city of Aleppo and two suicide bombers struck near a mosque in the south Friday, capping a particularly bloody week in the country's civil war with more than 800 civilians killed, including an unusually large proportion in government-held areas.

The residential building struck in Aleppo was in a part of the city controlled by regime forces, as was a university hit earlier in the week in an attack that killed 87 people, mostly students. The government accused rebels in both attacks, saying they hit the locations with rockets, a claim the opposition denies.

-- From news service reports

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