NATION IN BRIEF

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

2nd Blogger Resigns From Edwards Team

A second controversial blogger resigned yesterday from John Edwards's presidential campaign, a day after Amanda Marcotte quit amid criticism that her writings were anti-Catholic.

Melissa McEwan wrote that she made the decision, with the campaign's "reluctant support, because my remaining the focus of sustained ideological attacks was inevitably making me a liability to the campaign, and making me increasingly uncomfortable with my and my family's level of exposure."

Edwards had decided last week to retain Marcotte and McEwan even while saying he found some of their writing offensive. McEwan, who had called President Bush's conservative Christian supporters his "wingnut Christofascist base," apologized for "letting down my peers" in the liberal community but said she had been the target of a campaign of "frightening ugliness."

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· SALT LAKE CITY -- An off-duty Ogden police officer, who was having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife, was credited with helping to stop an 18-year-old gunman who opened fire Monday in a shopping mall. Sulejmen Talovic shot five people to death and wounded four others before he was confronted by Ken Hammond; they exchanged gunfire until other officers arrived, Salt Lake City's police chief said. Talovic was killed by police bullets.

· PHILADELPHIA -- An angry investor who killed three people and himself at a marketing company Monday was upset about losing money in a failed real estate venture and told his victims to "say your prayers" before he opened fire, police said. Another man who was shot in the attack was in critical condition.

· CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A U.S. Marine pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with the April killing of a 52-year-old Iraqi man in the village of Hamdaniyah. Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, 22, became the fifth man to plead guilty in the death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad.

· RALEIGH, N.C. -- A former CIA contractor convicted of beating an Afghan detainee who later died was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. David A. Passaro, 40, was the first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

· TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Kansas Board of Education threw out science standards that questioned the theory of evolution. On a 6 to 4 vote, the board approved a set of standards, the state's fifth in eight years, that reflects the scientific consensus embracing evolution.

-- From Staff Reports and News Services


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