Supporters of tough U.S. sanctions against the Cuban government have given more than $10 million to congressional campaigns over the last seven years, according to a study released late Sunday night by a group supporting campaign finance reform.
The Washington-based nonprofit Public Campaign said the study shows how large sums of money from a small group can influence lawmakers.
"Perhaps it's the age-old story of money and politics, but 18 members switched their votes on the subject, some in very close proximity to when they got donations" from a political action committee that supports the U.S. embargo of the communist island, Public Campaign's David Donnelly said.
The study was released as opponents of the U.S. travel ban to the island prepare for congressional hearings this week on the issue.
Hero to governor?
Mayor Tom Barrett, hailed as a hero for confronting a metal-bar wielding man, is running for Wisconsin governor. Barrett, 55, was thrust into the national spotlight after being attacked in August while defending a woman outside the state fair. He needed 10 pins in his right hand and had the last two removed Friday.
Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Pavle, who called for peace and conciliation during the Balkan ethnic wars of the 1990s but failed to openly condemn extreme Serb nationalism, died Sunday. He was 95.
A peaceful vote
Kosovo's first independent elections ended peacefully, with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci claiming his party won convincingly and some minority Serbs ignoring a call to boycott and casting ballots alongside ethnic Albanians. The elections Sunday for city council and mayors in 36 municipalities were seen as a key test of the fledgling state's viability after its contested February 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.
Flood toll at 192
Authorities say at least 192 people were killed by floods and landslides that swept through the country last week. El Salvador's Civil Protection agency said in a statement that 89 of the victims were killed in the state of San Vicente, where days of heavy rains caused mud and boulders to sweep down the side of the Chichontepec volcano before dawn a week ago.
Scientist is call girl
A British scientist says she is Belle de Jour, the anonymous blogger whose accounts of life as a call girl were turned into books and a TV series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, shown on Showtime. Brooke Magnanti, 34, was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying she decided to reveal her secret because she was afraid an ex-boyfriend would expose her.