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Rhode Island House speaker quits amid inquiry

Providence, R.I.

House speaker quits amid inquiry

Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox is resigning his leadership post and will not run for re-election, he said Saturday, a day after federal and state authorities raided his Statehouse office and home as part of a criminal investigation that they would not detail.

The 52-year-old Democrat from Providence, who became the nation's first openly gay House speaker in 2010, said that he planned to serve out the remainder of his term through the end of the year, but that "my personal focus going forward will be on my family and dealing with the investigation."

Agents from the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the state police conducted the searches at the Statehouse and Fox's home in Providence on Friday, but did not disclose the reason for the raids. Fox, too, has been silent on the raids.

Northern Ireland

Former IRA member charged in '72 killing

A man accused of being a former Irish Republican Army commander was denied bail Saturday after being charged in connection with one of the most notorious crimes of the conflict in Northern Ireland: the murder of a mother of 10 in 1972.

The break in the case, prosecutors said, was found in the recordings of an American college's oral history project that interviewed paramilitary fighters involved in the long sectarian conflict, known as the Troubles.

The man who was charged Friday, Ivor Bell, 77, is accused of aiding and abetting in the abduction and murder of Jean McCon­ville in December 1972 in the wake of allegations that she had passed information to the British army.

The prosecutor said that a transcript from an oral history project at Boston College showed that Bell had "played a critical role in the aiding, abetting, counsel and procurement of the murder of Jean McConville."

Elsewhere

McALLEN, Texas: A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of especially thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, spilling an unknown amount of the fuel into the popular bird habitat. The Coast Guard didn't give an estimate of how much fuel had spilled, but there was reportedly a visible sheen.

Vatican City: Pope Francis named the initial members of a commission to advise him on sex abuse policy Saturday, signaling an openness to reach beyond church officials to plot the commission's course and priorities: Half of the members are women, and one was assaulted by a priest as a child.

Times wires

Rhode Island House speaker quits amid inquiry 03/22/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:05pm]

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