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South Carolina lawmakers back off impeachment of governor

Collider records more success

The world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, has recorded its first high-energy collisions of protons, the European Organization for Nuclear Research reported Wednesday. Physicists hope those collisions will help them understand suspected phenomena such as dark matter, antimatter and ultimately the creation of the universe billions of years ago, which many theorize occurred as a massive explosion known as the big bang. The collisions occurred Tuesday in the collider, located in a 17-mile tunnel under the Swiss-French border. Last month, the atom smasher broke the world record for proton acceleration.

Mayor, prostitutes in a dustup

The mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark, Ritt Bjerregaard, sent postcards to all central hotels warning guests of the U.N. climate summit not to patronize Danish sex workers during the conference, London's Guardian newspaper reported. The paper said the Copenhagen union of prostitutes has not taken this insult, as it were, lying down: They have now formally offered anyone carrying one of the mayor's postcards a hefty discount rate. Prostitution is not illegal in Denmark.

South Carolina lawmakers back off impeachment

South Carolina lawmakers voted down a measure to impeach Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday but recommended a formal rebuke for his travels and trysts with an Argentine mistress.

Some members of a legislative panel said the Republican should resign, but they mostly agreed his affair and use of state planes was not serious misconduct that merited removal from office.

Instead, the seven lawmakers on the committee unanimously approved a resolution saying he has "brought ridicule, dishonor, disgrace, and shame not only upon Gov. Sanford but upon this state and its citizens which rises to a level which requires a formal admonishment and censure." Sanford has been under scrutiny since June when he tearfully revealed a yearlong affair. Ensuing investigations of his travel and campaign spending led to more than three dozen state ethics charges and the potential for $74,000 in fines. His second and final term ends in January 2011.

"We can't impeach for hypocrisy. We can't impeach for arrogance. We can't impeach an officeholder for his lack of leadership skills," said Rep. James Harrison, the Columbia Republican who headed the panel. Sanford told reporters he agreed with the panel's decision and again insisted he had done nothing out of step with the conduct of other governors.

Only eight U.S. governors have been removed by impeachment, and the only two removed in the last 80 years each faced criminal charges.

South Carolina lawmakers back off impeachment of governor 12/09/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 10:45pm]
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