ESCUINTLA, Guatemala

Long-simmering volcano forces evacution of 33,000

A long-simmering volcano exploded with a series of powerful eruptions outside one of Guatemala’s most famous tourist attractions on Thursday, hurling thick clouds of ash nearly two miles high, spewing rivers of lava down its flanks and prompting evacuation orders for more than 33,000 people from surrounding communities.

Guatemala’s head of emergency evacuations, Sergio Cabanas, said the evacuees were ordered to leave some 17 villages around the Volcan del Fuego, which sits about six miles southwest from the colonial city of Antigua, home to 45,000 people. The ash was blowing south-southeast and authorities said the tourist center of the country was not currently in danger.


Lawyers for abused boys say Penn State dawdling

Nearly three months after Penn State said it wanted to settle “privately, expeditiously and fairly” with the boys Jerry Sandusky sexually abused, lawyers for the victims from his criminal case and other potential claimants say the school has not followed up with concrete action.

The attorneys told The Associated Press in recent days that they had very limited contact with the university and, if that continues, more lawsuits may follow the four now under way.

“I believe there has been a window of opportunity, which is closing, despite enormous patience by the lawyers who represent the victims,” said Philadelphia attorney Tom Kline, who represents a young man who testified during Sandusky’s criminal trial he was fondled in a school shower in 2001.

Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre said the school has had “multiple conversations” with victims’ lawyers, but offered no specifics.


UC-Davis protesters to receive compensation

The University of California will be paying damages to the UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an otherwise peaceful protest 10 months ago, officials said Thursday.

The UC regents met in closed session Thursday to discuss and approve a proposed settlement payment to 21 UC Davis students and alumni who have sued the university and contend their civil rights were violated in the incident.

Both UC officials and the ACLU of Northern California, which is representing the students in the lawsuit, refused to divulge details of the settlement, saying the rules of the agreement require a federal judge to review the matter before it can be made public.

That may happen within a few days, they said.

UC Regent Leslie Tang Schilling said the regents decided to settle the matter because UC needs to move past the pepper-spray controversy and focus on many pressing budgetary issues.

A report on the incident released in April found that UC campus police violated policy during the incident.

AMES, Iowa

GOP elector quits; can’t vote for Romney because of Paul

One of the Republican appointees to the Electoral College abruptly resigned from her post Thursday after publicly questioning whether she would support the party’s presidential ticket when casting official votes after the November election.

Melinda Wadsley of Ames, Iowa, a Ron Paul supporter, told The Associated Press that she could not in good conscience vote for party nominee Mitt Romney.

Wadsley was among three electors who had told the AP that they were exploring alternatives should Romney win their states.

“I have always been a straight ticket Republican, and for the first time in my life I am an undecided voter, therefore, I need to resign my position as a Republican presidential elector,” Wadsley said in an email exchange.

Wadsley and others had expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul’s conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters.

— From news service reports