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In brief: Diocese settles abuse lawsuit

Wed., Nov. 25, 2009

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks and representatives of almost 300 alleged victims of clergy abuse have agreed on a settlement of almost $10 million.

The agreement was discussed Tuesday at a status hearing in federal bankruptcy court and will need to be finalized. The deal could be completed by mid-January.

Complaints of sexual abuse of a minor have been filed in recent years against the diocese, with some allegations dating back 50 years.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection last year.

U.S. won’t sign land mine ban

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-era policy.

More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treaty’s provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., criticized the State Department’s review of the land mine policy as “cursory and halfhearted.”

Airlines fined over stranded travelers

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Department said Tuesday it has levied a precedent- setting $175,000 in fines against three airlines for stranding passengers on an airport tarmac.

Thunderstorms forced Continental Express Flight 2816 to divert to Rochester, Minn., where it landed about 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 8. The airport was closed and Mesaba Airlines employees refused to open the terminal for the stranded passengers.

The passengers were kept waiting nearly six hours.


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