September 22, 2007 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Rumsfeld hiring draws protest

The Spokesman-Review

Thousands of Stanford University students, faculty and alumni are protesting the conservative Hoover Institution’s decision to appoint former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a visiting fellow.

The Stanford-based Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace announced earlier this month that Rumsfeld would join a task force that will focus on issues related to “ideology and terror” in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

An online petition contesting the appointment on the grounds that Rumsfeld clashed with the university’s core values had more than 2,500 signatures Friday.

“He contradicts the fundamental standards of the university, which are order, morality, personal honor and most importantly, the rights of others,” said Pamela Lee, a Stanford art history professor who helped write the petition. “This person has played a critical role in a disastrously failed military policy. He has aggressively abused international law.”

Rumsfeld resigned from the Bush administration after the November 2006 elections amid widespread dissatisfaction over his handling of the Iraq war.

Peoria, Ill.

Former coach runs for Congress

Former NBA coach and commentator Dick Versace is looking for a new job: congressman.

The 67-year-old Versace, a Democrat, said he will bid for the 18th Congressional District seat in central Illinois. Incumbent Republican Ray LaHood announced in July he will retire when his term runs out in 2009.

Versace said he will tour the district in a 28-foot motor home called the “Common Sense Express” after he formally announces his intention to run for office at a news conference in the next couple of weeks.

Versace is well known to basketball fans around the country. He is a former NBA assistant coach and head coach, and was a longtime television commentator.

In 2005, he stepped down as the Memphis Grizzlies’ general manager after six years with the team.

Greenville, Ohio

10-year-old admits setting fatal fire

A 10-year-old boy who lived in a home where his mother, sister and three other children died in a fire has confessed to setting the blaze, police said Friday.

The boy faces five delinquency counts of murder and one delinquency count of aggravated arson in Darke County juvenile court, Police Chief Dennis Butts said in a statement.

Butts said the boy confessed that the fire was intentional, but that he did not intend its outcome.

The deaths stirred the emotions of this rural Ohio town of 24,000 about 30 miles northwest of Dayton.

“People are heartbroken with the tragedy,” Mayor Gregory Fraley said earlier Friday. “And people’s hearts have been troubled again since we announced last night that it was intentionally set.”

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email