Democrats threaten GOP with filibuster over work bill

Indiana’s House Democratic leader said Wednesday that party lawmakers will stall work in the chamber until certain demands are met over a Republican right-to-work bill that was blocked last year by their five-week boycott.

House Democratic Leader Patrick Bauer said they want the GOP to hold more public hearings on the divisive bill that would ban unions from collecting mandatory fees for representation. He did not say how many, however, adding that he wants to meet with Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma first to discuss what it will take for Democrats to return to their seats.

“I think it’s a filibuster until we get the truth,” Bauer said of Republican plans to hold a hearing Friday on the measure. He said Republicans were “railroading” the measure through the House, although Bosma and other Republicans have contended that it got a thorough vetting by the public last summer during a series of hearings.


Panel recommends lower lead poison level in children

A federal panel is recommending lowering the threshold for lead poisoning in children.

If adopted by government officials, hundreds of thousands more children could be diagnosed with lead poisoning. The change would be the first time the government has tackled the issue in more than 20 years.

Recent research persuaded panel members that children could suffer harm from concentrations of lead lower than the old standard, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Too much lead is harmful to developing brains and can mean a lower IQ.

In 1978, the government banned lead in paint, and the number of lead poisoning cases under the old standard has been falling.

The Wednesday vote would lower the definition of lead poisoning for young children from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms.

LAGOS, Nigeria

Mobs stop gas stations from selling unsubsidized fuel

Angry mobs of protesters stopped gas station owners from selling fuel Tuesday while others lit a bonfire on a major highway in an attempt to thwart the government’s removal of a cherished consumer subsidy that had kept gas affordable for more than two decades.

A rapidly growing group of protesters were going from gas station to station, telling owners not to sell gas at the spiked prices of about $3.50 a gallon. That is more than double what consumers paid only days ago for the fuel desperately needed to power the generators that keep many businesses running.

And on one major highway in the megacity of Lagos, protesters yelled: Occupy the express!” The bonfire that was lit forced scores of drivers to turn around.

The government’s quiet announcement over the long holiday weekend that the subsidy was being ended has led to organizing in major cities across the country. Previous attempts to tamper with the subsidy over the last two decades have been met with nationwide protests.


Bishop freed after serving sentence for child porn

A Canadian Roman Catholic bishop who admitted he was addicted to looking at child pornography left court Wednesday a free man after being credited for time served in his 15 month sentence.

Bishop Raymond Lahey was arrested at the Ottawa airport in 2009 after customs authorities found almost 600 pornographic photos of young teen boys on his laptop and a handheld device.

Some of the porn involved adolescent boys engaged in sex acts while wearing a crucifix and rosary beads.

The case was especially shocking to Canadians because Lahey had overseen a multimillion-dollar settlement for clerical sexual abuse victims in his diocese before he was charged.

Lahey, 71, pleaded guilty last May to one count of importing child pornography and voluntarily went to jail to begin serving time before his formal sentencing.


84-year-old rescued on 7th attempt to sail around tip

An 84-year-old American making his seventh attempt to sail alone around the tip of South America was found tired but alive by the Chilean Navy on Wednesday after his mast broke far from land in the South Pacific.

The Chilean Navy located Thomas Louis Corogin on his 32-foot sailboat more than 520 miles south of Easter Island, stranded but in relatively stable weather, with ocean swells of about 15 feet.

Corogin activated his emergency beacon on Tuesday morning, prompting the Navy to send out an Orion search and rescue plane,.

The Navy then arranged for a Japanese merchant ship, the “White Kingdom,” to pluck Corogin off the vessel and its captain reported that he was in good health. The Navy said the “White Kingdom” with the U.S. sailor on board is en route to Chile and probably will arrive at Valparaiso on Saturday. 

— From news service reports