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Nation in brief: Brownback quits presidential race

Sat., Oct. 20, 2007

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback abandoned his 2008 presidential bid Friday, his White House aspirations dashed by a lack of support and money.

Said the Kansas senator: “My yellow brick road just came short of the White House this time.”

The conservative managed to gain the support of only 1 percent of Republicans in this month’s Associated Press-Ipsos poll after peaking at 3 percent in June. Fundraising reports this week showed that his campaign was struggling financially, with $94,000 available to spend.

Brownback, 51, is known for his passionate opposition to abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research. But his pledge to “rebuild the family and renew the culture” didn’t resonate with enough voters as he ran for president.

Brownback is expected to run for Kansas governor in 2010 when his second term expires. He has said he won’t run for the Senate again.

Williamston, Mich.

Strong storms kill at least six people

A couple spending their first night in a new house were among at least six people killed as unusually severe October storms destroyed homes, downed trees and knocked out power in several states, authorities said Friday.

The thunderstorms, some spawning tornadoes and high winds, destroyed homes in Michigan and Indiana and collapsed a trailer in Kentucky as they struck Thursday and early Friday.

The bodies of Duane Bentley and Susan Bentley, both in their 50s, were recovered Friday morning hours after tornadoes, strong winds and oversized hail pushed through much of Michigan, overturning vehicles and destroying homes. The Bentleys’ home was ripped off its foundation and sent into a nearby pond in Ingham County’s Locke Township, near Lansing.

National Weather Service officials in Gaylord, Mich., believe as many as four tornadoes, plus a water spout over an area lake, may have touched down in Kalkaska, Cheboygan, Alpena and Mio. Tornadoes were confirmed in eight Michigan counties.

San Diego

Courts-martial ordered for Haditha

Two Marines were ordered Friday to face courts-martial for their roles in the killings of Iraqi civilians in Haditha.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani faces charges of dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order for allegedly failing to accurately report and investigate the Nov. 19, 2005, killings of 24 Iraqis.

Chessani is the most senior U.S. serviceman since the Vietnam War to face a court-martial for actions or decisions made in combat, said Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge who teaches law of war at Georgetown University Law Center.

Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum faces a court-martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.


 

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