Palestinians ask U.N. to call for Israeli settlement freeze

The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to call for an Israeli settlement freeze, President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisers decided Tuesday, as part of an escalating showdown over Israel’s new plans to build thousands more homes on war-won land in and around Jerusalem.

Such construction will destroy any lingering hopes of setting up a Palestinian state, Abbas aides warned, as international anger over the settlement construction snowballed.

Israel announced the new plans after the U.N. last week recognized a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem – lands Israel occupied in 1967 – as a non-member observer.
The plans include 3,000 more homes for Jews in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.


Besse Cooper, world’s oldest person, dies Tuesday at 116

The woman who was listed as the world’s oldest person died Tuesday in a Georgia nursing home at age 116.

Besse Cooper died peacefully Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, according to her son Sidney Cooper. Monroe is about 45 miles east of Atlanta.

Cooper said his mother had been ill recently with a stomach virus, then felt better on Monday. On Tuesday he said she had her hair set and watched a Christmas video, but later had trouble breathing.

She was put on oxygen in her room and died there about 2 p.m., Cooper said.
“With her hair fixed it looked like she was ready to go,” he said.

Besse Cooper was declared the world’s oldest person in January 2011. In May 2011, Guinness World Records learned that Maria Gomes Valentin of Brazil was 48 days older. Valentin died the next month.


Fearing chain reaction blast,officials relocate explosive

Authorities are slowly moving some of the 6 million pounds of explosives improperly stored at a munitions recycling facility because they feared a chain reaction blast could have spread through corridors packed with explosive materials, Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton said Tuesday.

A voluntary evacuation order for Doyline, a town of 800 people near the site and about 25 miles east of Shreveport, was expected to remain in effect until at least Friday.


Man sues Scouts over allegedabuse suffered 27 years ago

An Illinois man who more than 27 years ago was identified as a victim of a notorious Burbank, Ill., pedophile filed suit Tuesday against his alleged abuser as well as the Boy Scouts for failing to protect him.

The man, who filed the lawsuit anonymously in Cook County Circuit Court, had “compartmentalized” his memories of the sexual abuse, which allegedly happened in 1985 when he was a 10-year-old Boy Scout, said Christopher Hurley, his attorney.

Memories of the abuse only resurfaced when the Boy Scouts of American in October released their long-secret “perversion files” under the orders of an Oregon court overseeing a civil case against the organization. The man, now married with a family, looked online through the files for his former Scout leader Thomas Hacker, Hurley said.

Hacker, now 76, is serving a 100-year prison sentence for sexually abusing boys. The father of three was able to keep working as a Scout leader despite being convicted of sex crimes against youths in Indianapolis in 1970 and Mount Prospect in 1971.