Facing sex charges
Indian lawmakers facing sexual-assault charges could be suspended from office if the country’s top court rules in favor of a petition submitted after a gang-rape and murder that shocked the country.
Six state lawmakers are facing rape prosecutions, and two national parliamentarians are facing charges of crimes against women that fall short of rape, said Jagdeep S. Chhokar, an official with the Association for Democratic Reforms, which tracks political candidate’s criminal records.
The petition will be heard today, the same day police plan to formally charge six suspects in the attack on a 23-year-old university student in New Delhi two weeks ago. The woman later died of her injuries.
Questions over Chavez
Venezuela’s opposition demanded that the government reveal specifics of President Hugo Chavez’s condition Wednesday, criticizing secrecy surrounding the ailing leader’s health more than three weeks after his cancer surgery in Cuba.
Opposition-coalition leader Ramon Guillermo Aveledo said at a news conference that the information provided by government officials “continues to be insufficient.”
Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the Dec. 11 operation, and Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday the president’s condition remained “delicate” due to complications from a respiratory infection.
60,000 civil-war deaths
The United Nations gave a grim new count Wednesday of the human cost of Syria’s civil war, saying the death toll has exceeded 60,000 in 21 months — far higher than recent estimates by anti-regime activists.
Won’t release gun info
Officials in Putnam County, N.Y., say they will reject a newspaper’s request to release the names and addresses of residents with pistol permits — a move an open-government advocate calls illegal.
County Clerk Dennis Sant said officials met Wednesday to discuss legal options.
In December, the Journal News published online maps that allow viewers to see the names and addresses of pistol- and revolver-permit holders in neighboring Westchester and Rockland counties. The newspaper sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Critics called the publication an invasion of privacy; some said it could endanger permit holders.