National Briefs 5/20


Ex-Times editor speaks for first time

In her first public remarks since her abrupt dismissal as executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson told Wake Forest University graduates Monday that she doesn’t know what she will do next, “so I’m in exactly the same boat as many of you.”

Removed Wednesday from the top news job at the nation’s foremost newspaper in a move that touched off discussions about gender equity and modern management style, Abramson threw out her prepared speech, “The Importance of a Truly Free Press,” and focused instead on the theme of resilience — personal and professional.


Civil rights icon opposes nominee

Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis on Monday denounced President Barack Obama’s effort to appoint a former defender of the Confederate flag to a federal judgeship in Georgia.

Lewis’ condemnation of Michael Boggs could be enough to sink his chances of being confirmed by the Senate. Lewis, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, said Boggs’ record “is in direct opposition to everything I have stood for during my career.”


Official resigns after N-word incident

A New Hampshire police commissioner has resigned after calling President Barack Obama the N-word and then refusing (at least initially) to apologize for it.

Police Commissioner Robert Copeland resigned in an email to the commission’s chairman on Sunday evening, the Wolfeboro Police Department said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times.

Copeland, who is white, was one of three elected police commissioners in the town of 6,083. He had just been elected to a three-year term in March, leaving local residents with few options for getting rid of him after his remarks drew condemnation from around the country.

A resident who said she had heard Copeland, 82, use the word in March complained to city officials, which reportedly led to Copeland confirming those remarks in a controversial email that has now been widely circulated in the media.


Overweight teens could face rejection

Overweight adolescents are indifferent about the weight of their friends, but not so the thin peers, who are more likely to choose friends whose weight status is like their own, researchers looking at teenagers’ social networks say.

The role of obesity in friendships among young people is complicated, as are the ways relationships contribute to health, the researchers said. For instance, they wrote in the American Journal of Public Health on May 15, “(f)riendships among overweight adolescents may reinforce unhealthy behaviors that further exacerbate weight problems.”


Justice files charges against Chinese military members

The Justice Department Monday filed unprecedented criminal charges against five members of the Chinese military, accusing them of economic espionage for hacking into the computers of U.S. companies involved in nuclear energy, steel manufacturing and solar energy.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at a news conference that the hacked American companies and organizations included U.S. Steel, Westinghouse, Alcoa, Allegheny Technologies, the United Steel Workers Union and U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld, a German company.

Holder said that in some cases the five Chinese officers stole trade secrets and in other cases they stole “sensitive, internal communications” that provided Chinese companies with valuable information on the strategies or vulnerabilities of U.S. competitors that the Chinese were negotiating with.

McClatchy News Service


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