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House panel seeks new rules on ethics

Washington

House Panel seeks new ETHICS RULES

Saying that public trust was at stake, a special House ethics panel on Tuesday called for new rules to prevent lawmakers and their staffs from violating conflict of interest standards, and proposed other measures to keep partisan squabbles from undermining future investigations.

The recommendations were released as the House ethics committee completed a three-year investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., an inquiry that itself was caught up in such partisan disputes and ambiguous ethics rules.

The chairman and vice chairman of the panel appointed to handle the investigation of Waters concluded, as they had hinted last week they would, that she had not violated House rules in 2008 when she called Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to set up a meeting that included executives from a financially troubled bank in which her husband then owned about $350,000 worth of stock.

North Korea

Improvements in education promised

North Korea ended a rare second session of parliament in a single year Tuesday without making the announcements on economic reforms that many analysts had expected.

The one-day session ended instead with an announcement of changes to the country's educational system, including adding a year of free education.

It is unclear what the silence on economic reforms means. Recent reports by the South Korean media and Seoul-based websites that rely on sources in North Korea have said that new leader Kim Jong Un was considering a series of important changes to try to jump-start the moribund economy.

Elsewhere

NEW YORK: An auction of the contents of philanthropist Brooke Astor's two homes brought in over $18.8 million, Sotheby's said Tuesday, far beyond the initial estimate of $6 million to $9 million.

WASHINGTON: Army Secretary John McHugh was being treated Tuesday in a hospital for injuries he received in a bicycle accident but was expected to return to work soon.

Russia: Legislators called Tuesday for stronger measures against drunken driving after a gruesome weekend accident in which a car crashed into a bus stop at 125 mph, killing seven people, five of them teenagers with learning disabilities.

Times wires

House panel seeks new rules on ethics 09/25/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:43pm]
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