Senate Democrat charged with corruption
Sen. Bob Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants who rose to become one of the highest-ranking Latino members of Congress, was charged with accepting nearly $1 million worth of gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors on the donor's behalf. A federal grand jury indictment accuses the New Jersey Democrat of using the power of his Senate seat to benefit Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor whom prosecutors say provided the senator with luxury vacations and tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to a legal-defense fund. The indictment from a federal grand jury in Newark charged the senator with 14 counts, including bribery, conspiracy and false statements.
Ex-IRS official won't face contempt charges
Lois Lerner, the former IRS official whose office gave improper scrutiny to Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status, won't be charged with contempt of Congress. Outgoing U.S. Attorney Ron Machen disclosed the decision in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner. The decision came 11 months after the House of Representatives voted to hold Lerner in contempt. The House's allegations stem from a May 2013 committee hearing in which Lerner gave a statement proclaiming her innocence and then refused to answer questions, citing her constitutional right not to incriminate herself. House Republicans said that she had waived her right to remain silent. Until May 2013, Lerner oversaw nonprofit groups and the employees who decide whether groups seeking nonprofit status were too involved in politics to qualify for a tax exemption.
World's oldest person dies at 117
Misao Okawa had described her life as "rather short." The world's oldest person, she died just weeks after celebrating her 117th birthday. The Japanese woman, who said 117 years goes by rather quickly, died of heart failure and stopped breathing, said Tomohiro Okada, an official at her Osaka nursing home. "She went so peacefully, as if she had just fallen asleep," Okada said. "We miss her a lot." Okawa, the daughter of a kimono maker, was born on March 5, 1898, in Osaka and was recognized as the oldest person in the world by Guinness World Records in 2013. Okada said Okawa lost her appetite about 10 days ago.
Noose discovered at Duke University
A noose was found hanging outside the main student center at Duke University, prompting an investigation by university officials. The noose was discovered hanging from a tree in the Bryan Center plaza. In an e-mail to students, Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs, said the university will hold the perpetrators of "this act of intimidation" accountable.
Ambassador's alleged assailant charged
Prosecutors indicted a man who allegedly slashed U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert in Seoul last month on charges of attempted murder. Kim Ki-Jong, 55, was also indicted on charges of assaulting a foreign envoy and obstruction. South Korean law requires the trial to start within 14 days.