EPA official in Texas quits over 'crucify' video

Washington

EPA OFFICIAL IN TEXAS QUITS OVER 'CRUCIFY' VIDEO

The top Environmental Protection Agency official in Texas has resigned over a video of a speech he made two years ago. In the video he said that the agency should hit polluters with its full powers, citing the Roman practice of crucifying enemies as a deterrent. Al Armendariz, who oversaw federal environmental enforcement in Texas and four other states, offered his resignation Sunday in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who accepted it on Monday. It had become clear that Republicans intended to continue to use Armendariz's comments as ammunition in their fight with the Obama administration over environmental regulation.

Japan alliance called linchpin

President Barack Obama on Monday reaffirmed the United States' defense commitment to Japan, calling the relationship the "linchpin" of security in the Far East. Appearing with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda after they met at the White House, he hailed the recent agreement to relocate 9,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to other bases in the western Pacific, saying the move will help allay concerns of residents of the Japanese island.

MADISON, Wis.

Governor raises $13 million in recall

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has raised more than $13 million in three months for a recall election. Walker became the target of the recall after he pushed through legislation last year eliminating most public union workers' bargaining rights. His showdown with labor leaders and their Democratic allies made him a celebrity in GOP circles and enabled him to rake in campaign cash at a pace never before seen in Wisconsin.

Elsewhere

Myanmar: The party of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi backed down Monday in a dispute over Myanmar's oath of office, agreeing to enter Parliament for the first time and reviving hopes for the country's reconciliation program.

Bahrain: A court on Monday ordered retrials for a political activist who has been on a hunger strike for nearly three months and 20 others who were convicted by a military tribunal for their participation in protests last year against Bahrain's ruling monarchy. Some of the activists received life sentences.

Mali: Gunfire rang out over the capital, Bamako, on Monday as soldiers loyal to the president who was deposed in a coup appeared to be attempting a countercoup against the ruling military junta. The junta seized power March 22, ending 20 years of democracy.

India: An overcrowded ferry boat capsized in heavy winds and rain in remote northeastern India late Monday, killing at least 41 people and leaving at least 150 others missing, police said.

Times wires

EPA official in Texas quits over 'crucify' video

05/01/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:26am]

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