Arrest made in ricin-letter scare
A 37-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in connection with a case in which a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin were discovered in Washington state last week.
A grand-jury indictment accused Matthew Ryan Buquet of mailing a death threat to U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle at the federal courthouse May 14.
A search of federal court records turned up no indication that Buquet ever had appeared before Van Sickle or had any connection to the judge.
The indictment did not mention ricin. However, the U.S. Postal Service said last week that two letters were intercepted — one addressed to the courthouse and the other to the downtown post office — and they contained ricin in a crude form that did not immediately pose a threat to workers.
Kerry, US allies push peace talks
The U.S. and several key allies looked again Wednesday for a strategy to end Syria’s civil war, their united efforts unable at the moment to stem the Assad regime’s military gains and Washington still unwilling to join those providing the rebels with lethal military aid.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry allowed that President Barack Obama won’t send American troops to Syria. But he made clear that more aid to the rebels would be coming if the regime refuses to cooperate with an international effort — to be put together in June in Geneva — to form a transitional government.
Weiner launches NYC mayoral bid
Anthony Weiner knows there may be a lot of New Yorkers who would never consider voting for him again, but he says he’s running for mayor because he wants to bring his ideas to the fore — and win.
“I don’t kid myself. I know that this is going to be a difficult slog, and I’m going to have to have a lot of difficult conversations with people along the way,” the former congressman, whose career imploded in a rash of raunchy tweets two years ago, said by phone Wednesday after officially launching his mayoral bid.
With a YouTube video posted late Tuesday, Weiner embarked on an audacious comeback quest, hoping to go from politician whose tweeted crotch shot was emblazoned on the nation’s consciousness to leader of America’s biggest city.
Students protest Afghan rights decree
Hard-line Islamist students protested in the Afghan capital demanding the repeal of a presidential decree for women’s rights that they say is un-Islamic. It was the latest sign of a backlash against the legal protections passed in the 12 years since the toppling of the Taliban regime known for its harsh treatment of women.
The protest came days after conservative lawmakers’ vehement opposition blocked an attempt to cement the decree’s provisions in legislation.
Colo. governor delays execution
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday and said he was unlikely to allow it as long as he is governor.
Hickenlooper stopped short of converting the death sentence to life in prison, as Dunlap’s lawyers had requested.
Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said he had doubts about the fairness of Colorado’s death-penalty system and about the state’s ability to get the lethal drugs required for an execution.