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Wrestling hall of fame strips former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of honors

Published May 3, 2016

Hastert loses wrestling kudos

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has stripped all honors from former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison last week by a judge who branded him "a serial child molester." The decision to revoke awards given to Hastert, a former college wrestler and high school wrestling coach in Illinois, came after a review by the hall of fame's ethics committee, Lee Roy Smith, the executive director of the hall of fame, said Monday. The hall of fame is in Stillwater, Okla. Hastert had received the Order of Merit from the hall of fame and two Outstanding American awards. Also revoked was an Outstanding American award from the Illinois Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, and a Sport of Lincoln Award from the Dan Gable Museum. Five former students have accused Hastert of sexual abuse.

Government is now 'Czechia'

The Czech government on Monday approved a plan to use "Czechia" as one-word version of the country's name alongside the official Czech Republic. Unlike most European countries, the Czech Republic has lacked a one-word version of its name in foreign languages. Now, the country can use the name Czechia (pronounced CHEHK'-ee-uh) in English, "Tschechien" in German or "Tchequie" in French, translations of the Czech word "Cesko." The Foreign Ministry said a one-word name is more practical and flexible at times. Before the government's green light, Czech leaders, including President Milos Zeman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the speakers of both chambers of parliament, endorsed the new name last month. The Foreign Ministry will ask the United Nations shortly to include the new name option in its databases.

Three places to look for new life

Astronomers searching for life beyond our solar system may need to look no farther than a little, feeble nearby star. A Belgian-led team reported Monday that it had discovered three Earth-sized planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star less than 40 light-years away. It's the first time planets have been found around this type of star — and it opens up new, rich territory in the search for extraterrestrial life. Because this star is so close and so faint, astronomers can study the atmospheres of these three temperate exoplanets and, eventually, hunt for signs of possible life. They're already making atmospheric observations, using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope will join in next week. The star in question — Trappist-1 — is barely the size of Jupiter and is in the constellation Aquarius.

Times wires

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