A Roman Catholic church official was convicted of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy Friday in a landmark clergy-abuse trial, making him the first U.S. church official branded a felon for covering up abuse claims.
Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry and the public in the dark by telling parishes their priests were being removed for health reasons and then sending the men to unsuspecting churches, prosecutors said.
Lynn had faced about 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of all three counts he faced — conspiracy and two counts of child endangerment. He was convicted of only a single endangerment count, which carries a possible 31/2- to seven-year prison term.
The jury could not reach a verdict for Lynn’s co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1999.
Syria accuses rebels of mass killings
An online video showed more than a dozen bloodied corpses, some of them piled atop one another and in military uniforms, dumped beside a road in northern Syria in what the government Friday called a mass killing by rebel forces.
The circumstances of the deaths were not immediately clear, with the state-run news agency saying at least 25 men were killed. In the video — which The Associated Press could not independently verify — the narrator said the victims were members of the “shabiha,” or pro-regime gunmen.
Report: Calif. seas to rise 6 inches by ’30
The West Coast will see an ocean several inches higher in coming decades, with most of California expected to get sea levels a half-foot higher by 2030, according to a report released Friday.
The study by the National Research Council gives planners their best look yet at how melting ice sheets and warming oceans associated with climate change will raise sea levels along the country’s Pacific coast. It is generally consistent with earlier global projections but takes a closer look at California, Oregon and Washington.
Although the 6 inches expected for California by 2030 seem minor, the report estimated that sea levels there will be an average of 3 feet higher by 2100.
Book brings $9.8M
A book once owned by George Washington containing his annotated copy of the U.S. Constitution has sold for nearly $10 million at a New York auction.
A spokesman for Christie’s auction house says it’s a new world record for a historical document.
Christie’s says the bidder was a representative of the nonprofit educational organization that operates the museum at Washington’s Virginia home. The 223-year-old book has “President of the United States” on the cover and also contains a copy of the Bill of Rights. Washington added brackets and notes that highlighted key passages about the responsibility of the president.
It sold for $9.8 million Friday to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union. The book will be returned to the library at Mount Vernon.
Baghdad market bombs kill 14
Two bombs exploded in an open-air market in Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 14 people in the latest round of spiraling violence six months after the last U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq.
More than 160 people have died this month in attacks mostly attributed to Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaida. They are targeting security forces and Shiite civilians in an attempt to weaken Iraq’s fragile government.