Morality

  Scandal Rocks Nevada Governor RaceOctober 31, 2006 16:17 Congressman Jim Gibbons goes to court today, demanding that police release surveillance tapes from the night he allegedly assaulted a local woman.

Chrissy Mazzeo says she and Gibbons were walking together inside a parking garage near the McCormick and Schmick's restaurant on the night of October 13th when the congressman grabbed her arms.

Monday. Mazzeo filed a formal complaint with Metro police. Now, detectives are looking at the surveillance footage from that night. Mazzeo was there with police Monday, recounting her version of what happened.

Mazzeo initially met officers across the street at The Marriott. They proceeded across the street to the now-infamous parking garage in question. It's located next to McCormick & Schmick's, the restaurant where Gibbons was introduced to Mazzeo back on October 13th.

Detectives took pictures in the garage near an elevator. Mazzeo claims Gibbons grabbed her in front of that elevator near a staircase.

"Our detectives are going to take their time to do a fair, impartial investigation. We hope that it will be done as soon as possible," said Metro Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy.
  Skilling of Enron Gets 24 YearsOctober 23, 2006 14:28 Jeffrey Skilling, Enron Corp.'s former chief executive officer, was sentenced to 24.3 years in prison for his role in the securities fraud that led to the energy trader's collapse.

U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake sentenced Skilling today at a hearing in Houston after listening to testimony of seven victims of the Enron fraud. A jury convicted Skilling, 52, in May on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading after a four-month trial. He faced a range of 24 to 30 years in prison.

``In terms of remorse your honor, I can't imagine more remorse,'' Skilling told Lake before he was sentenced. ``That being said your, your honor, I am innocent of these charges. I am innocent of every one of these charges."

Enron, once the world's largest energy-trading firm and the U.S.'s seventh-biggest company, had a market value of more than $68 billion before its bankruptcy in December 2001 wiped out more than 5,000 jobs and at least $1 billion in retirement funds. It was the second-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, after WorldCom Inc.'s collapse in July 2002.
  State Court Rules Against Catholic Church On InsuranceOctober 22, 2006 16:40 New York State’s highest court ruled yesterday that the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations must abide by a state law that requires most employee health insurance policies to cover the cost of contraception.

The 6-to-0 decision by the Court of Appeals upheld rulings by the State Supreme Court and the Appellate Division, and left intact the state’s Women’s Health and Wellness Act of 2002, which requires company health insurance policies that provide coverage for prescription drugs to include “coverage for the cost of contraceptive drugs or devices.”

It had been challenged on religious grounds by a group that includes eight Catholic and two Baptist organizations. Arguing that the law requires them to violate the dictates of their faith, the group sought to exempt religious schools, hospitals and social service organizations, broadening a far narrower “religious employer” exemption already included in the state rules.
  Democrat Says Page Overseers Discussed Allegations Unrelated To FoleyOctober 17, 2006 09:12 Allegations of improper conduct toward teenage congressional assistants, which do not involve ex-Rep. Mark Foley, were discussed by the board overseeing the program, a Democratic lawmaker said.

Rep. Dale Kildee, the only Democrat on the House Page Board, would not elaborate on whether the discussion involved lawmakers. He said, however, that none of the allegations discussed have been proven.

Kildee testified Monday on the Foley matter before the congressional ethics committee as it continued to investigate Republican leaders' responses to the sex scandal that has marred the party's prospects just three weeks before nationwide elections.

Recent polls show the scandal has hurt the chances that President George W. Bush's Republican party will retain control over the Senate and the House of Representatives in the Nov. 7 elections. Democrats need to pick up 15 seats in the House of Representatives and six in the Senate. All 435 House seats and 33 of the 100 Senate seats are up for a vote.

Kildee said the House Page Board held the discussions about allegations of improper conduct in a conference call.

"It was about other allegations and I'd like to leave it at that," he said. "Let me just say, not about Mr. Foley. It's only been allegations."
  Republican Lawmaker Denies Helping Daughter Win ContractsOctober 17, 2006 09:00 Republican U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon denied helping his lobbyist daughter win lucrative contracts on Monday, just hours after federal agents searched her home and that of a party activist.

"My daughter doesn't need my help now and she never has," Weldon told a news conference in Springfield, Pennsylvania.

A U.S. law enforcement official said the Justice Department "is conducting an investigation into the relationship between Congressman Weldon with his daughter and various contractors."

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Weldon said the timing of the disclosure of the inquiry was politically aimed at undermining his bid for re-election next month to an 11th term. He is in tight race with Democrat Joe Sestak.

According to reports published in recent days, law enforcement officials are looking into whether Weldon used his influence in Congress to help his daughter, Karen Weldon, obtain lucrative lobbying contracts with foreign clients.
  Kolbe Says He Warned Of Foley Years AgoOctober 10, 2006 22:25 Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe said Tuesday he told the House official in charge of the page program as early as 2001 about Rep. Mark Foley's "creepy" e-mail to a former page.

Kolbe, the only openly gay Republican in Congress, said a former page he had sponsored contacted his office to complain of e-mails from Foley and that he "passed along" the complaint to Foley, R-Fla., and then-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl. Kolbe said he did not take the matter to other lawmakers.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., again said his staff aides acted appropriately last fall in handling information on Foley's conduct.

 
  U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider Abortion RightsOctober 10, 2006 10:10 The U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider the constitutional protection for abortion rights, rejecting an appeal from a Georgia woman who says she regrets her role in a case decided alongside the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

The justices made no comment in turning away arguments by Sandra Cano, the ``Mary Doe'' of the Doe v. Bolton case that struck down Georgia restrictions on abortion. Cano, now in her late 50s, said in court papers that she never wanted to have an abortion and was coerced into taking part in the case. Her Supreme Court appeal sought to reopen her case.

The high court last year issued a similar rebuff to Norma McCorvey, the ``Jane Roe'' from Roe v. Wade. Both appeals were longshots, as the high court rarely reconsiders its decisions.

The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out Cano's case on a 3-0 vote, upholding a federal trial judge's decision.

Roe v. Wade guaranteed abortion rights throughout the country, voiding state laws that forbade the practice as violating the constitutional ``right to privacy.'' The high court reaffirmed the decision in its 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, which said states may not place an ``undue burden'' on access to abortion services.
  Pressure Grows On GOP LeadersOctober 05, 2006 10:08 A longtime chief of staff to disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., approached House Speaker Dennis Hastert's office more than three years ago, repeatedly imploring senior Republicans to help stop Foley's advances toward teenage male pages, the staff member said Wednesday.

The account by Kirk Fordham, who resigned Wednesday from his job with another senior lawmaker, pushed back to 2003 or earlier the time when Hastert's staff reportedly became aware of Foley's questionable behavior concerning teenagers who work on Capitol Hill. It raised new questions about Hastert's assertions that senior GOP leaders were aware only of ``over-friendly'' e-mails from 2005 that they say did not raise alarm bells when they came to light this year.

``The fact is, even prior to the existence of the Foley e-mail exchanges, I had more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest levels of the House of Representatives, asking them to intervene when I was informed of Mr. Foley's inappropriate behavior,'' said Fordham, who was Foley's chief of staff for 10 years.

He left that post in January 2004 to join the campaign staff of Republican Mel Martinez, now a senator from Florida, and later worked for Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., whose staff Fordham left Wednesday. He would not name the Hastert staff members he spoke with.
  Gay Groups Denounce FoleyOctober 03, 2006 22:56 Some of the nation’s largest gay rights groups this week denounced former Republican congressman Mark Foley of Florida following reports that he sent sexually explicit instant messages and e-mails to 16 and 17-year-old males who worked as pages at the U.S. Capitol.


“Gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, it is completely inexcusable for an adult to have this kind of communication with a minor,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay political group.


The Foley saga took on yet another twist on Oct. 3 when Foley’s attorney announced for the first time at a news conference that Foley is gay and that a clergyman sexually molested him as a teenager.

The attorney, David Roth, told reporters Foley “does not blame the trauma he sustained as a young adolescent for his totally inappropriate” emails and instant messages to teenagers, and he “continues to offer no excuse whatsoever for his conduct.”
  Washington's Weekend Ambush Wipes £4Bn Off The Value Of Online Gaming SharesOctober 02, 2006 22:12 The online gaming industry's bet that American legislators would never get around to outlawing internet games such as poker went spectacularly wrong yesterday. An estimated £4bn was wiped off the sector's value as share prices crashed after a weekend ambush by Washington.
PartyGaming and 888 Holdings both admitted they will have to suspend their operations in the lucrative US market if a new bill, passed by Congress on Saturday, which is designed to cut off players' access to funds, is signed by President George Bush within the next two weeks. The legislation will knock a hole in profits. The prospect of the new law forced Sportingbet to abandon merger talks with World Gaming yesterday.

 
  New Foetal Scans 'Clouded Debate On Late Abortion'October 02, 2006 22:06 Sophisticated ultrasound scans that show foetuses as early as 12 weeks appearing to “walk” in the womb have had a dangerous impact on the public debate over abortion, leading doctors and scientists said yesterday.



The emotive photographs, taken with new fourdimensional imaging technology, have created a misleading impression that foetuses become viable and potentially self-aware at a much earlier stage than is actually the case, according to experts on foetal development.

The 4-D scanning technique, developed by Stuart Campbell, of the Create Health Clinic in London, has helped to revive abortion as a political issue since he published his first images two years ago.

The pictures showed foetuses of 12 weeks’ gestation, bouncing and kicking in the womb, before the mother is usually aware of such movement. At 16 weeks, they can be seen sucking thumbs and yawning, and at 18 weeks opening their eyes.

 
  FBI Investigating Foley's (R-FL) E-MailOctober 02, 2006 10:05 FBI cybersleuths are investigating a powerful Republican congressman who resigned last week amid charges he sent pervy messages to boy pages on Capitol Hill.
Ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who led the House caucus on missing and exploited kids and wrote sexual predator laws enacted in July, quit after details emerged about a lurid e-mail and instant messages he allegedly traded with current and former pages in Congress.

The FBI interest was described as preliminary.

"It's an assessment of whether or not any federal violations may have occurred," said FBI spokesman Rich Kolko. "Whether Florida or some other state has an issue, I have no idea."

Foley admitted he asked a 16-year-old Louisiana boy to send him a photograph, but then ABC News reported a string of sexually explicit messages he traded with male pages.