Interpol appeals to public to help ID abuse suspect
LYON, France — Interpol launched a worldwide appeal to the public today to help identify a man suspected of sexually abusing young boys from Southeast Asia — hoping the rare move will lead to a quick arrest.
It was only the second time that the international police agency has appealed directly to the public for help in identifying a suspected pedophile. An arrest was made shortly after the first time last October.
The suspect in the latest case is a white man, shown with gray, thinning hair in photos released by Interpol. He appeared to be in his late 40s or early 50s in the images.
Adoptions put on hold
GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan official says that 2,286 pending adoptions will be suspended for at least a month while officials review related paperwork.
Attorney General Baudilio Portillo says Monday’s decision was made after lawmakers asked his office to review adoptions on a case-by-case basis.
Adoptions council chief Elizabeth de Larios says additional DNA testing could be required to ensure some babies are in fact being given up by their birth mothers. Guatemala has been the second source of adoptive babies to U.S. parents after China.
300 dead, frozen cats
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police say they have discovered 300 dead cats stuffed into freezers at a man’s Sacramento home.
Animal control officers also removed 30 live cats from the home of 47-year-old Michael Louis Vondueren over the weekend.
Vondueren was arrested on suspicion of possessing an automatic weapon and obstructing police officers. Animal control officers also are considering issuing citations.
Authorities say three freezers were crammed with dead cats and the house was littered with cat feces. Police say Vondueren’s 81-year-old mother also was living at the house.
Wildfire burns 59 homes
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Calm and cooler weather aided firefighters Monday trying to gain ground against a wildfire that burned 59 homes and more than 21 square miles in central New Mexico mountains.
Firefighters toiled with hand tools and bulldozers, beefing up and patrolling lines cleared around the fire, which was 50 percent contained at 13,680 acres.
Firefighters also intentionally set fires inside the lines, trying to burn out remaining fuel.
The human-caused fire began April 15 and has been burning mainly west of the small communities of Manzano and Torreon in the Manzano Mountains.
Budget deficit rising
WASHINGTON — Democrats are finding more excuses to ignore the promise they made when they took over Congress that they wouldn’t pass laws increasing the budget deficit.
Now they’re willing to do it again for a $16 billion extension of unemployment aid and a doubling of education benefits for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve already swelled the deficit by $200 billion since December with tax relief for the middle class and rebates for nearly everyone.
In a federal budget exceeding $3 trillion — and with President Bush requesting almost $200 billion this year for the two wars — their latest transgressions may seem modest. Democrats say a six-month extension of jobless benefits will stimulate the moribund economy and they characterize the new college aid for veterans as a war-related cost.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University’s Faculty Senate on Monday demanded that the school president resign over the improper awarding of a degree to the governor’s daughter, saying the college cannot rebuild its reputation until he leaves office.
The nonbinding motion of no confidence — which passed 77-19, with one abstention — demands that President Mike Garrison step down, or that the WVU Board of Governors require his resignation. Garrison has repeatedly said he won’t resign. He has support from the Board of Governors and Gov. Joe Manchin, who appointed the majority of the board.
Faculty discontent and outrage has grown since an independent panel concluded April 23 that WVU administrators and educators gave Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, a degree she didn’t earn.