Nation in brief: Sheehan quitting peace movement


Cindy Sheehan, the soldier’s mother who galvanized an antiwar movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush’s ranch, said Tuesday she’s done being the public face of the movement.

“I’ve been wondering why I’m killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush,” Sheehan said while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

“I’m going home for a while to try and be normal,” she said.

Sheehan began a grass-roots peace movement in August 2005 when she camped outside Bush’s Crawford ranch for 26 days, demanding to talk with the president about her son’s death. Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad in 2004.


Diocese settles 14 abuse claims

The Archdiocese of Chicago paid $6.65 million to settle claims made by 14 people who say they were abused by Catholic priests, the church and plaintiffs’ attorneys said Tuesday.

The settlements were reached between March 2006 and March 2007 and cover lawsuits filed against 12 current and former priests for abuse that allegedly occurred from the 1960s to the early 1990s, attorney Jeffrey Anderson said.

All of the priests named in the settlements have been removed from public ministry or are deceased, said Susan Burritt, the archdiocese’s media relations director. She said the archdiocese traditionally has paid settlements with insurance money or by selling unused real estate.


Police call deaths murder-suicide

A young mother who may have been depressed apparently hanged three of her small daughters and herself in a closet using pieces of clothing and sashes, authorities said Tuesday.

A fourth child, an 8-month-old daughter, was also found dangling in the closet but was rescued from the family’s mobile home.

“It’s horrendous. That’s all I can say,” Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said.

The woman was identified as Gilberta Estrada, 25. The infant, Evelyn Frayre, was in good condition at a hospital, Fowler said. Authorities did not immediately identify the other children, but Fowler said they were apparently ages 5, 3 and 2.

The sheriff said the hangings appeared to be murder-suicide because the trailer’s doors were locked from the inside and a relative said the woman had been depressed.


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