Nation and World Briefs
Sex assaults: 55 colleges face probe
WASHINGTON — From huge state universities to small colleges and the Ivy League, 55 schools across America are facing federal investigation for the way they handle sexual abuse allegations by their students.
For the first time, the Education Department revealed its list of colleges under investigation on Thursday — though no details of the complaints — as the Obama administration sought to bring more openness to the issue of sexual violence on and around the nation’s campuses.
The schools range from public universities, including Ohio State, the University of California, Berkeley and Arizona State, to private schools including Knox College in Illinois, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Catholic University of America in the District of Columbia. Ivy League schools including Harvard, Princeton and Dartmouth are also on the list.
The government emphasized the list was about investigations of complaints, not judgments. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said there was “absolutely zero presumption” of guilt.
Few details of individual cases are known, but some are. One, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, involves allegations of mishandling of a matter involving a football player. The investigation began after federal authorities received complaints related to the expulsion of Brendan Gibbons, a former placekicker.
Daughter wants justice for mother
BELFAST, Northern Ireland — For decades, Helen McKendry has demanded that Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams come clean about the Irish Republican Army’s abduction, slaying and secret burial of her mother in 1972, and his alleged role as the outlawed group’s Belfast leader who ordered the killing.
As detectives interrogated Adams for a second day over the unsolved slaying of the 37-year-old widowed mother of 10, who was falsely branded a British spy, the daughter who led a campaign for the truth says she’s praying for a murder charge.
“I’m hoping against hope that he doesn’t walk out free,” McKendry told The Associated Press. “Everybody, the dogs in the street, knew he was the top IRA man in Belfast at that time.”
McKendry, with her husband Seamus, launched an often-lonely protest campaign in 1995 against Adams’ denial of IRA involvement in the slaying of Jean McConville. On Thursday, the 56-year-old said she found it hard to believe he was finally in custody and facing police questions.
Under British anti-terror law, Adams, 65, must be charged or freed by Friday night, unless police seek a judicial extension to his interrogation.
Video shows students as ferry sinks
SEOUL, South Korea — Soon after the ferry began to tilt, there was nervous laughter, jokes about the Titanic and talk of selfies and Facebook posts from the doomed high school students huddled below deck.
But the lighthearted atmosphere soon turned serious as the listing worsened. Fear began building, and one student asked, “Am I really going to die?”
The shaky video — at times poignant and heartbreaking as the teens said last words to their loved ones — was found on the cellphone belonging to 17-year-old Park Su-hyeon when his body was recovered after the disaster on the morning of April 16 off South Korea.
The boy’s father, Park Jong-dae, provided it Thursday to The Associated Press, saying he wanted to show the world the conditions aboard the Sewol as it sank. He earlier released it to select South Korean media. Information such as video can be recovered from micro SD cards in cellphones even if the device is submerged.
More than 300 people are dead or missing in the disaster, which has plunged South Korea into mourning and touched off anger and shame.
About 220 bodies, mostly from inside the submerged vessel, have been recovered. More than 80 percent of the victims were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul, on their way to the tourist island of Jeju for a school trip.
– The Associated Press
Explosion kills at least 9 people
ABUJA, Nigeria — An apparent car bomb exploded on a busy road in Nigeria’s capital Thursday night and a hospital worker said at least nine people died.
The bomb exploded near a checkpoint, near the site of an April 14 bombing that killed at least 75 people, officials and witnesses said.
A hospital worker said he counted at least nine bodies ferried by ambulance to Asokoro General Hospital. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.
Civil Defense Corps spokesman Eman Ekeh said rescuers have rushed to the scene on May Day, a public holiday in the West African nation that is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa next week in Abuja.
Ekeh said there were casualties, but he had no idea of how many.