August 31, 2007 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Lawmakers OK Jan. 15 primary

The Spokesman-Review
 

The Michigan Legislature on Thursday approved moving the state’s presidential nomination contests to Jan. 15, just days after national Democrats vowed to punish states that vote too early.

Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm is expected to sign the bill, but approval of the switch is far from certain. A disagreement among state Democratic leaders over whether to hold a primary or a caucus is complicating final action.

If it moves up, Michigan Democrats risk losing all their national convention delegates, while Republicans risk losing half.

Seeking to impose discipline on the states, the Democratic National Committee’s rules committee voted Saturday to take away Florida’s 210 delegates to the party’s nominating convention in Denver next summer.

ATLANTA

FBI kept tabs on King’s widow

Federal agents spied on the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for several years after his assassination in 1968, according to newly released documents that reveal the FBI worried about her following in the footsteps of the slain civil rights icon.

In memos that reveal Coretta Scott King being closely followed by the government, the FBI noted concern that she might attempt “to tie the anti-Vietnam movement to the civil rights movement.”

Four years after Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, the FBI closed its file on Coretta Scott King, saying, “No information has come to the attention of Atlanta which indicates a propensity for violence or affiliation of subversive elements,” according to a memorandum dated Nov. 30, 1972.

The documents were obtained by Houston television station KHOU in a story published Thursday. Coretta Scott King died in January 2006 at the age of 78.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s activities were known to have been monitored by the federal government as he led the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Intelligence gathering on famous Americans and war critics became so infamous that rules to curtail domestic spying were put in place in the 1970s.

RALEIGH, N.C.

Billy Graham out of hospital

Evangelist Billy Graham was released from a hospital Thursday, nearly two weeks after he was admitted for intestinal bleeding, officials said.

Doctors identified the source of Graham’s bleeding during a colonoscopy last week, said Merrill Gregory, a spokeswoman for Mission Health & Hospitals in Asheville. Physicians were able to treat the condition.

“We have been pleased that he has been able to come back from this incident as well as he has,” said Dr. Lucian Rice, Graham’s personal physician.

Rice said he expects the 88-year-old evangelist will continue to regain his strength.


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