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2013-04-14T00:00:00Z National NewsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Mother of Newtown shooting victim pushed gun control in D.C.

WASHINGTON | The mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shooting used the opportunity to fill in for President Barack Obama during the weekly radio and Internet address to make a personal plea from the White House for action to combat gun violence.

"Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief," said Francine Wheeler, choking back tears in the address broadcast Saturday. "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."

Ben Wheeler was among the 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the Dec. 14 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Francine Wheeler was the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.

Her husband, David Wheeler, sat silently next to her as she made the recording in the White House Library. Both wore the small green pins that have become a symbol of the shooting.

 

Teen assault victim's parents want alleged attackers tried as adults

SARATOGA, Calif. | The parents of a 15-year-old California girl who took her own life after she was sexually abused and an explicit photo of the assault circulated among her classmates want the three boys who have been arrested in the case prosecuted as adults, a lawyer for the family says.

Authorities arrested the three 16-year-olds on suspicion of sexual battery against Audrie Pott, a Saratoga High School sophomore who hanged herself in September. The arrests this week shocked many in this prosperous Silicon Valley suburb of 30,000 as new details of the case emerged.

"We're talking about, other than murdering someone, the highest degree of a crime you could possibly do, which is to violate them in the worst of ways...and then to effectively rub her face in it afterwards," Robert Allard, the attorney representing the teenager's mother, father and step-mother, said Friday.

But lawyers for the three boys, whose names have not been released because they are minors, released a statement Friday asking the public to withhold judgment until their clients can give their side of the story, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"Much of what has been reported over the last several days is inaccurate. Most disturbing is the attempt to link (Audrie's) suicide to the specific actions of these three boys," the statement from San Jose attorneys Eric Geffon, Alan Lagod and Benjamin Williams reads. "We are hopeful that everyone understands that these boys, none of whom have ever been in trouble with the law, are to be regarded as innocent."

 

Navy commander who faked own death faces military ouster

GROTON, Conn. | A newly appointed nuclear attack submarine commander who went to extreme lengths to end an extramarital affair thought the issue was behind him — until the family of his ex-girlfriend got in touch with the Navy.

Now the military career of Cmdr. Michael P. Ward II, who faked his death to end the eight-month affair, appears to be over. A panel of officers recommended Friday that Ward be ousted from the Navy with an honorable discharge.

Ward apologized during the hearing to the Navy, his sailors and his wife in the hearing at Naval Submarine Base and said he took full responsibility for his actions, including the email he sent to his mistress posing as a fictitious co-worker named Bob and saying Ward had died unexpectedly.

Ward, who was relieved of his duties aboard the USS Pittsburgh in August only a week after taking command, already has received a letter of reprimand for adultery and other military violations. The three-officer board of inquiry recommended he retain his rank upon being discharged. Its decision goes to the secretary of the Navy for approval within 90 days.

 

Noted former correspondent of the Vietnam War dies at 88

Former Associated Press foreign correspondent George McArthur, who reported all over the world and spent years in Saigon covering the Vietnam war, has died. He was 88.

His wife, Eva Kim McArthur said he died Friday night in a hospice in Fairfax County, Va., of complications from a stroke.

Born in the Deep South, McArthur was one of several youthful AP staffers first dispatched to Seoul after communist North Korea's invasion of South Korea in 1950. He later reported from Paris, Cairo and Manila, serving as AP bureau chief at the latter two posts.

He later reported on the Vietnam War for the AP as a reporter and as Saigon bureau chief, and for the Los Angeles Times from 1969 until Saigon fell to invading North Vietnamese troops in 1975.

 

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