Nation in brief: Executions set to begin again

Barring a last-minute judicial intervention, a condemned killer who shot his live-in girlfriend is likely to become the first inmate put to death since a U.S. Supreme Court review halted executions last September.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles on Monday denied William Earl Lynd’s appeal for clemency, rejecting his lawyer’s argument that forensic evidence at his 1990 trial was flawed and clearing the way for his execution today.

Lynd would be the first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that Kentucky’s method of executing inmates with a three-drug injection is constitutional.


Fed chairman urges mortgage action

A rising tide of late mortgage payments and home foreclosures poses considerable dangers to the national economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned anew Monday as he urged Congress to take additional steps to alleviate the problems.

“High rates of delinquency and foreclosure can have substantial spillover effects on the housing market, the financial markets and the broader economy,” Bernanke said in a dinner speech to Columbia Business School in New York.

Some 1.5 million U.S. homes entered into the foreclosure process last year, up 53 percent from 2006, Bernanke said. The rate of new foreclosures looks likely to be even higher this year, he said.

To provide more relief, Bernanke again called on Congress to give the Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages, more flexibility to help distressed borrowers at risk of losing their homes. He also again urged lawmakers to move ahead on legislation revamping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which finance mortgages.

Morgantown, W.Va.

WVU president under fire

West Virginia University’s Faculty Senate on Monday demanded that the school president resign over the improper awarding of a degree to the governor’s daughter, saying the college cannot rebuild its reputation until he leaves office.

The nonbinding motion of no confidence – which passed 77-19, with one abstention – demands that President Mike Garrison step down, or that the WVU Board of Governors require his resignation.

Garrison has repeatedly said he won’t resign. He has support from the Board of Governors and Gov. Joe Manchin, who appointed the majority of the board.

Faculty discontent and outrage has grown since an independent panel concluded April 23 that WVU administrators and educators gave Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, a degree she didn’t earn.


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