Arson convict to be freed?
A man whose murder conviction in a 1970 Arizona hotel fire that killed 29 people was called into question has entered a plea, clearing the way for his freedom.
The plea deal Tuesday marks a stunning reversal for an inmate who was just 16 years old when he was arrested in the fire. Louis Taylor has been behind bars ever since and will leave prison at the age of 59.
Taylor has since spent more than four decades in prison, consistently maintaining his innocence after being sentenced to 28 consecutive life terms in the December 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson.
Taylor, who is black, contends he was wrongly convicted by an all-white jury after he says police failed to investigate other suspects.
Gunmen in military uniforms burst into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad, stabbing and beating employees, staff and officials said Tuesday.
One editor said he recognized the attackers as members of a Shiite militia, saying the raids came after his newspaper published an article criticizing a prominent hard-line cleric. It underscored the dangers facing the media in Iraq, one of the most dangerous places in the world for reporters.
Also Tuesday, gunmen killed two men and kidnapped another in a trailer camp on a remote gas field near the Syria-Iraq frontier. Iraq intelligence officials say al-Qaida militants are growing stronger in the border region, taking advantage of the lawlessness on the edge of Syria’s civil war.
In Baghdad, some 50 assailants participated in the coordinated, brazen Monday evening attack, said Bassam al-Sheikh and Ali al-Daraji, two editors of newspapers whose offices were attacked.
Gov. candidate emerges
Tom Wolf, a wealthy central Pennsylvania businessman and former state revenue secretary, said he is running for governor and vowed to put up at least $10 million of his own fortune in his campaign for the 2014 Democratic nomination.
“I’m in,” Wolf declared in a draft of an email going to supporters Tuesday, ending months of speculation about his intentions.
Wolf, whose professional experience and personal wealth make him a strong candidate in the eyes of many party leaders, echoed other Democratic hopefuls in portraying GOP Gov. Tom Corbett as insensitive to the needs of middle-class Pennsylvanians and beholden to corporate interests.
Ex-PSU players: Oust trustee
Eleven former Penn State football players including Franco Harris are calling for a fellow former player to be voted off the school’s Board of Trustees because of how the panel handled the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, including firing longtime coach Joe Paterno.
The board member, former Nittany Lions linebacker Paul Suhey, said in a statement that while he made a “stunningly unpopular decision,” his obligation as a trustee was to vote his conscience.
In a letter dated last week and addressed to other former players, the group said the board’s actions tarnished the reputation and legacy of Paterno, the football program and current coaches and players who had nothing to do with the scandal. The NCAA levied severe sanctions on the program for the scandal, including strict scholarship cuts and a four-year bowl ban.
Among the signers of the letter were former running back Lydell Mitchell, quarterbacks Todd Blackledge and Michael Robinson and linebacker Brandon Short.