COLUMBIA, S.C. – Tea party favorite Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate for governor whose campaign gained momentum with recent endorsements from Sarah Palin and Jenny Sanford, vehemently denied allegations Monday that she had an inappropriate relationship with a political blogger several years ago.
Haley, a legislator vying to become the state’s first female chief executive and replace disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford, called the claim posted on the blogger’s site Monday a smear. She questioned the timing two weeks before the primary, saying it was an attempt to derail her campaign, once considered a long-shot.
The claim came from Will Folks, a conservative blogger who previously served as Sanford’s spokesman. Folks said the relationship took place in 2007 when he did communications work for Haley, including writing speeches and news releases. He offered no proof of it and refused to go into any details.
Afghan probe includes Fort Lewis
WASHINGTON – About 10 members of an Army unit based at Fort Lewis, Wash., are under investigation for as many as three civilian deaths in Afghanistan, along with other potential wrongdoing, a senior military official said Monday.
The official did not have details of the investigation but confirmed that the 5th Stryker Brigade was under scrutiny.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of an investigation .
The military said last week it was investigating allegations that a “small number” of U.S. soldiers were responsible for the unlawful deaths of as many as three Afghan civilians.
The statement said the allegations also included illegal drug use, assault and conspiracy. It said no charges had been filed but one soldier has been placed in pretrial confinement.
Republicans seek Clinton-Kagan files
WASHINGTON – The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee warned Monday that he would seek to slow Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s path to confirmation unless senators get full access to her files as a Clinton administration aide.
“We’re heading to what could be a train wreck,” Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said. “I don’t believe that this committee can go forward with an adequate hearing” without all records from Kagan’s tenure as a White House counsel and then domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton.
The nation’s archivist told Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee chairman, and Sessions in a letter last week that his staff would begin releasing the documents, which are held at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., by June 4 and try to accommodate the panel’s June 28 deadline.
Iran detainees get engaged in prison
MINNEAPOLIS – Shane Bauer wove an engagement ring out of threads from his shirt, then met his girlfriend, Sarah Shourd, in an unlikely place for a marriage proposal: the exercise yard of the Iranian prison where the couple has been locked up for nearly a year.
The mothers of both young Americans said Monday that their children will get married whenever they are released. They were taken into custody and accused of spying for the U.S. when they went for a hike last July along the border between Iraq and Iran.