France

Armed man arrested at Disney theme park

A 28-year-old man carrying two guns, ammunition and a Qur’an was arrested at a hotel in Disneyland Paris, raising a new round of fear two months after 130 people were killed in a coordinated series of terrorist attacks on the French capital. The weapons were found in a routine security screening.

 

Japan

Economy minister resigns amid scandal

Japan’s economy minister resigned as he fended off corruption allegations, in a setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s effort to rev up economic growth. Akira Amari denied wrongdoing. The scandal surfaced after reports that Amari and his aides accepted at least $103,000 in cash and hospitality from an unnamed construction company.

 

Netherlands

Trial of ex-Ivory Coast president begins

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo unleashed a wave of violence targeting political opponents in a doomed bid to cling to power after losing a 2010 election, the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor said as the court’s landmark first trial of an ex-head of state got underway in The Hague. Gbagbo and a former youth minister are accused of atrocities that left 3,000 people dead.

 

Germany

Merkel deal averts coalition collapse

Chancellor Angela Merkel reached a deal to end a dispute over how to manage the influx of migrants that threatened to tear apart her coalition. Merkel brokered an agreement with leaders of her three-party coalition meant to reduce the inflow of asylum seekers.

 

Michigan

More aid approved for Flint water crisis

State lawmakers directed another $28 million to address Flint’s lead-contaminated water supply, allocating money for bottled water, medical assessments and other costs. The quick and unanimous approval by the House and Senate came just over a week after the bill was proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

 

Wisconsin

Union membership cratered in 2015

Union membership in the state collapsed in 2015, falling well below national average for the first time. The number of dues-paying workers has fallen steadily since GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed 2011’s Act 10, which repealed collective bargaining for most public workers. In 2015, 8.3 percent of Wisconsin workers, or 223,000 in all, were members of unions. That was down sharply from the 306,000 people, or 11.7 percent of the workforce, in 2014.

 

Illinois

Former speaker’s sentencing delayed

A lawyer for Dennis Hastert said the former U.S. House speaker “nearly died” from a rare blood infection in November and still is recovering from a stroke, leading a federal judge to postpone Hastert’s sentencing in his hush-money case. Sentencing was changed from Feb. 29 to April 8.

 

Texas

‘Affluenza’ teen returns from Mexico

Ethan Couch, the teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck was booked into a juvenile detention center following his deportation from Mexico, more than a month after he and his mother fled the U.S. as prosecutors investigated probation violations.

News services