In brief: More abuse claims trigger BBC probe
LONDON – A sexual abuse scandal shaking the BBC broadened Tuesday, with the broadcaster saying that it is investigating claims of sexual abuse and harassment against nine staff members and contributors, in addition to the late disgraced children’s TV host Jimmy Savile.
The BBC has been rocked by allegations that Savile, who died last year, abused underage teens over several decades, sometimes on BBC premises. Some of the alleged victims have accused other entertainers and BBC staff of participating in abuse during the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.
Director-general George Entwistle told British lawmakers Tuesday that the BBC is looking into historical allegations of sexual abuse or harassment against “between eight and 10” past and present employees.
The BBC press office later clarified the figure, saying there were allegations of “sexual harassment, assault or inappropriate conduct” against nine current or recent staff and contributors to the BBC, which employs some 20,000 people.
The broadcaster said some of the alleged offenses dated to years ago, but the victims had all come forward since the Savile scandal erupted. Some of the cases have been passed to police while others are being investigated internally.
Entwistle said it was too early to say whether sexual abuse had been endemic within Britain’s publicly funded national broadcaster, but insisted the BBC would assist police if detectives chose to investigate whether there had been a pedophile ring at the corporation.
Costa Rica quake hits Pacific side
SAN JOSE, Costa Ri ca – A powerful earthquake struck Costa Rica’s Pacific coast on Tuesday, swaying buildings and sending people running into the streets in the nation’s capital of San Jose.
The 6.5-magnitude quake was centered in the Guanacaste region of the Central American country, only 5 miles from the popular tourist town of Nicoya, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It had a depth of 24.5 miles, according to a preliminary report.
At the beach of Matapalo, an hour drive from Nicoya, residents said they heard a roaring sound when the quake struck.
“I’m shaken. But it doesn’t feel close to how it sounds like. The sound was deafening,” said Alberto Canales, a receptionist at the Hotel Riu Guanacaste.
There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties, however, from the 6.5 quake, which was followed by a magnitude-4.5 aftershock.