Sunday, December 17, 2017
News Roundup

Tea party official in photos case dies

Ridgeland, Miss.

Tea party official in photo case dies

A tea party official charged with conspiring to take photos of Sen. Thad Cochran's wife inside a nursing home apparently committed suicide Friday, police said, days after Cochran won a Republican primary.

The body of lawyer Mark Mayfield was found Friday in the garage of his two-story home in a gated community outside Jackson. A gun was found nearby, Ridgeland police Chief Jimmy Houston said. Houston said Mayfield had been shot, and a suicide note was found at the scene.

Tea party-backed state Sen. Chris McDaniel was defeated by Cochran in the Republican Senate runoff on Tuesday. Mayfield had been a board member of the Central Mississippi Tea Party and had raised money for McDaniel's campaign.

Mayfield faced a conspiracy charge after allegations he and others conspired to take photos of Rose Cochran at the nursing where she has lived since 2001. The photos were used in an anti-Cochran political video.

Minneapolis

Obama chides GOP for blocking his initiatives

President Barack Obama rebuked congressional Republicans on Friday for opposing his economic initiatives, saying they should be held accountable for not doing enough for the middle class.

Speaking in Minneapolis, Obama also criticized Republicans for considering legal action over his use of executive orders, arguing that they were allowing a politically motivated vendetta to block actions that could help working people, like raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance.

"We can't afford to wait for Congress right now, and that's why I'm going ahead and moving ahead without them wherever I can," Obama said.

The president, looking ahead to the midterm congressional elections this fall in which his party is fighting to keep control of the Senate, is seeking to insulate Democrats from the anti-Washington sentiment that polls show is increasingly potent among voters. The mood threatens to harm incumbents and dampen turnout.

Elsewhere

Israel: Two Palestinian men suspected of being militants were killed in an Israeli missile strike in Gaza on Friday, according to the military and witnesses. Earlier, an explosive device was detonated against Israeli forces near the border fence with Gaza.

Thailand: The military junta will install an interim constitution next month, and elections will be held around October 2015, its leader announced Friday.

Venezuela: A power plant failure knocked out electricity across a big swath of Venezuela on Friday, darkening the lights at a nationally televised presidential ceremony and disrupting subway and train services.

Los Angeles: People in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., received erroneous alerts Friday as repairs were being made to a nuclear power plant's siren system, including a cellphone message saying "prepare for action."

India: A man poaching crabs in an eastern Indian tiger reserve was killed by a tiger that leapt into the man's boat and dragged him into a mangrove swamp in front of his son and daughter.

Times wires

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