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Ruling council in Egypt sets deadline for new constitution

EGYPT

RULING COUNCIL SETS DEADLINE FOR CHARTER

Ten days before the runoff to decide Egypt's first competitive presidential election, the country's ruling military council gave political party leaders 48 hours to agree on a 100-member assembly to write a new, permanent constitution, state media reported. If they fail to comply, the reports said, the generals will issue an interim charter setting ground rules for the assembly. The news came as tens of thousands of demonstrators poured into Tahrir Square in Cairo for a fourth night to protest the life sentence handed down last week against former President Hosni Mubarak for complicity in the killing of protesters. Demonstrators say the sentence was too light. Mubarak's health has taken a turn for the worse since he was sentenced, Egypt's state news agency reported Tuesday night.

BELLEFONTE, Pa.

9 jurors selected for Sandusky trial

Connections to Penn State weren't necessarily keeping prospective jurors from being chosen Tuesday to decide former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's fate on child sexual abuse charges. After nine of the 12 main jurors were seated, their ranks included a longtime football season ticket holder, a rising senior in the university, a man with bachelor's and master's degrees from the university and a former soil sciences professor. Opening statements are set to begin Monday. Sandusky is fighting dozens of criminal charges that he abused 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Washington

Abuse of veterans program reported

A yearlong investigation into a federal pension program for low-income veterans has concluded that weak oversight and unclear rules have made the system ripe for abuse, including by financial planners and lawyers who help well-off retirees qualify for benefits by transferring or hiding assets. The report by the Government Accountability Office, to be released today, found that 200 firms had sprouted up across the country to help veterans "restructure" assets so they can appear indigent and therefore eligible for pensions that can pay $20,000 a year.

New York

Bus driver blamed in deadly crash

A bus crash in the Bronx that killed 15 passengers in March 2011 was caused by the driver's drowsiness and the company's inadequate oversight, the National Transportation Safety Board found. The board said in a ruling released Tuesday that phone records and work schedules indicate driver Ophadell Williams could not have slept for more than three hours at a time in the 72 hours before the crash — mostly in naps on the bus as while passengers gambled in a Connecticut casino.

Elsewhere

Tempe, Ariz.: Arizona authorities now believe five bodies recovered from a torched SUV dumped in the desert 35 miles south of Phoenix over the weekend were not victims of Mexican drug violence, but a family killed in a murder-suicide.

Myanmar: Myanmar's once-hostile state-run press offered praise Tuesday to Aung San Suu Kyi, lauding the opposition leader for working with President Thein Sein for the country's benefit and calling the pair "the hope of Myanmar."

Pakistan: The U.S. government has terminated its funding for Pakistan's version of Sesame Street amid a report in a Pakistani newspaper that the show's local production outfit had been accused of corruption.

Times wires

Ruling council in Egypt sets deadline for new constitution

06/06/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 12:18am]

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