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Associated Press

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:00 PM

North Korea refuses to allow South Korean workers to enter joint border factory park

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Wednesday barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said, a day after Pyongyang announced it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material.

The move to bar South Koreans from entering the Kaesong factory park, the last remaining symbol of detente between the rivals, comes amid increasing hostility from Pyongyang, which has threatened to stage nuclear and missile strikes on Seoul and Washington and has said that the armistice ending the 1950s Korean War is void.

Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk said Pyongyang is allowing South Koreans to return home from Kaesong, but that about 480 South Koreans who had planned to travel to the park Wednesday were being refused entry.

North Korean authorities cited recent political circumstances on the Korean Peninsula when they delivered their decision to block South Korean workers from entering Kaesong, Kim said without elaborating.

The two sides do not allow their citizens to travel to the other country without approval, but an exception has previously been made each day for the South Koreans working at Kaesong.

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SC's ex-Gov. Sanford wins GOP runoff for old House seat, 4 years after affair sidelined career

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Tuesday cleared another hurdle in his bid for political redemption, defeating a former Charleston County council member to win the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he held for three terms.

"It's been a very long journey. And in that journey I am humbled to find ourselves where we find ourselves tonight," said Sanford, whose political career was derailed four years ago when, as sitting governor, he disappeared from the state only to return to acknowledge an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman.

That woman, Maria Belen Chapur, and Sanford are now engaged. She appeared at Sanford's side during his victory speech, smiling and applauding the former governor, who thanked her for being long-suffering while he was campaigning. She did not address the crowd.

"I want to thank my God," Sanford said. "I used to cringe when somebody would say I want to thank my God because at that point I would think this is getting uncomfortable. But once you really receive God's grace and (have) seen it reflected in others you stop and acknowledge that grace and the difference He has made in my life and in so many lives across this state and across this nation."

With all of the precincts reporting Sanford had about 57 percent of the vote in the 1st District to 43 percent for Curtis Bostic, the former county council member. The candidates were vying in the GOP runoff after they finished as the top two vote-getters in a 16-way GOP primary last month.

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10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. WHAT LANDMARK ARMS TREATY HINGES ON

The U.N. pact is intended to keep weapons from falling into the hands of bad guys around the globe. But if big arms exporters — like the U.S. — don't ratify it, its impact could be minimal.

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Hillary Clinton's small steps fuel big hopes among fans eyeing the 2016 presidential race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton stayed on safe political ground Tuesday, advocating women's rights globally in a 12-minute speech, but that was enough to excite fans imploring the former first lady, senator and secretary of state to run again for president three years from now.

Clinton, perhaps as popular as ever in her 22 years in national politics, said she has "unwavering faith in the untapped potential of women and girls." She spoke at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards, at Washington's Kennedy Center. The event, highlighting efforts such as expanding education for girls and fighting domestic violence worldwide, marked her first public speech since ending her much-praised stint as secretary of state.

As members of the group Ready for Hillary cheered outside, the 2016 political buzz was inevitable. Vice President Joe Biden — another potential Democratic candidate — spoke later at the same event.

If Clinton has any jealousy, she didn't show it. She praised Biden effusively, especially for his role in Congress' recent renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.

Biden returned the compliment a half-hour later, after Clinton had left the stage, telling the mostly female audience of more than 2,000 that "there's no woman like Hillary Clinton."

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Parolee Ebel slipped monitoring bracelet 5 days before Colo. prison chief death

DENVER (AP) — Evan Spencer Ebel ran up a long list of felony convictions before turning 21, joined a white supremacist gang behind bars, assaulted one prison guard and wrote that he fantasized about killing others.

Along the way, he benefited from a series of errors in the criminal justice system before he became a suspect in the slaying of Colorado's prisons chief and a pizza deliveryman.

He got out of prison four years early because of a clerical error in a rural courthouse. He slipped his ankle bracelet and violated the terms of his parole last month, but authorities didn't put out a warrant for his arrest until after the killings of pizza delivery man Nathan Leon and corrections chief Tom Clements.

Ebel's streak came to an end on March 21 after he was pulled over by a sheriff's deputy in rural Texas. He died after the ensuing car chase and shootout. The gun he used was the same used to kill Clements; the trunk of Ebel's car held a Domino's pizza box and shirt.

"We have to do better in the future," Tim Hand, the head of the Department of Correction's parole division, said in an interview Tuesday. "It forces us to step back and see what things we need to examine."

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In mercy plea, condemned Ohio man says he tried to rape baby but didn't intend to kill her

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Condemned killer Steven Smith's argument for mercy isn't an easy one. Smith acknowledges he intended to rape his girlfriend's 6-month-old daughter but says he never intended to kill the baby.

The girl, Autumn Carter, died because Smith was too drunk to realize his assault was killing her, Smith's attorneys argued in court filings with the Ohio Parole Board, which heard the case Tuesday. And Ohio law is clear, they say: A death sentence requires an intent to kill the victim.

"The evidence suggests that Autumn's death was a horrible accident," Smith's attorneys, Joseph Wilhelm and Tyson Fleming, said in a written argument prepared for the board.

They continued: "Despite the shocking nature of this crime, Steve's death sentence should be commuted because genuine doubts exist whether he even committed a capital offense."

Smith, 46, was never charged with rape, meaning the jury's only choice was to convict or acquit him of aggravated murder, his attorneys say.

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Buyer beware: New health insurance subsidies could result in surprise federal tax bills later

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people who take advantage of government subsidies to help buy health insurance next year could get stung by surprise tax bills if they don't accurately project their income.

President Barack Obama's new health care law will offer subsidies to help people buy private health insurance on state-based exchanges, if they don't already get coverage through their employers. The subsidies are based on income. The lower your income, the bigger the subsidy.

But the government doesn't know how much money you're going to make next year. And when you apply for the subsidy, this fall, it won't even know how much you're making this year. So, unless you tell the government otherwise, it will rely on the best information it has: your 2012 tax return, filed this spring.

What happens if you or your spouse gets a raise and your family income goes up in 2014? You could end up with a bigger subsidy than you are entitled to. If that happens, the law says you have to pay back at least part of the money when you file your tax return in the spring of 2015.

That could result in smaller tax refunds or surprise tax bills for millions of middle-income families.

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Daredevil 'mudding' was 'medication' for 'BUCKWILD' reality star found dead in SUV in W.Va.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The sport of tearing into trails in backwoods in trucks and all-terrain vehicles, known among enthusiasts as "muddin'," is a part of life for many amateur daredevils who love to get dirty in rural West Virginia, just as it was for "BUCKWILD" cast member Shain Gandee.

It was a fitting pastime for the 21-year-old, one of the stars on a show that warned viewers not to mimic the "wild and crazy behavior" they witnessed — swearing, fighting, four-wheeling, even swimming in the bed of a dump truck-turned-swimming-pool.

He and two others were found dead inside an SUV on Monday about a mile from Gandee's Sissonville home. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday that autopsies confirmed they died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The vehicle was stuck so deep in a mud pit that its tail pipe was submerged; it is possible the gas flooded the cabin because of the clogged exhaust.

In one episode, he describes four-wheeling as a stress-reliever: "This is my medication right here," he says before getting stuck in a mud pit and blowing up his engine. And there was no place he enjoyed being more than behind the wheel in the woods, said Gandee's cousin Ashley Gandee Lewis.

Just two days before he died, Gandee had gone mudding with people he met Saturday at the grand opening of her general store in Proctorville, Ohio.

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Jane Henson, Jim Henson's partner in Muppets and marriage, dies at 78 after cancer fight

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Jim Henson Co. says Henson's partner in marriage and Muppets has died.

The company says Jane Henson died Tuesday at her Connecticut home following a battle with cancer. She was 78.

She and Jim Henson met in a University of Maryland puppetry class in the mid-1950s, and they became creative and business partners in the development of the Muppets.

The Hensons married in 1959 and had five children: Lisa, Cheryl, Brian, John and Heather. The pair separated in 1986, and Jim Henson died in 1990.

In 1992, Jane Henson created and funded The Jim Henson Legacy to preserve his artistic contributions.

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Rutgers considering firing Rice after video shown of coach shoving, throwing ball at players

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers said it would reconsider its decision to retain basketball coach Mike Rice after a videotape aired showing him shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs.

The videotape, broadcast Tuesday on ESPN, prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from Gov. Chris Christie and NBA star LeBron James. The head of the New Jersey Assembly called for Rice to be fired.

Athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in late November by a former employee. He suspended Rice for three games a month later, fined him $50,000 and ordered him to attend anger management classes.

In an interview with WFAN Radio in New York on Tuesday, Pernetti said university president Robert Barchi also viewed the tape last fall and agreed with the punishment.

But ESPN's broadcast prompted an outcry, led by the governor himself.

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