Mass. Buddhist monk sues over sex recording

A Buddhist monk has filed a lawsuit against five people she alleges illegally distributed a video of her having a sexual encounter with another monk. Maya Men says in her lawsuit filed last week in Middlesex Superior Court that the five defendants violated her right to privacy and her constitutional rights. She also says their actions intentionally inflicted emotional distress. The Sun of Lowell ( ) reports that, according to the lawsuit, Men “has been held up to her relevant community as an individual who should be shunned and scorned, called a thief, and referred to by a plethora of pejorative terms.” The lawsuit seeks damages and seizure of all copies of the recording. Continue Reading

Amnesty criticizes Haiti over evictions from camps

Haiti has violated international human rights obligations by failing to protect people who have been forced to leave the impromptu settlements that sprang up in the Caribbean nation after the 2010 earthquake, a global advocacy group said Tuesday. A report by Amnesty International said it found that thousands of displaced people have been evicted from public spaces and private properties. People kicked out of settlements find themselves “further marginalized and driven deeper into poverty,” it said. The government of President Michel Martelly has condoned the evictions led by mayors, police officers and others, the report charged. “They are tolerated by the state and carried out in total impunity by state agents and private individuals or groups (non-state actors) alike,” it said. Continue Reading

New-homes sales rise 1.5 percent in March to 417K

U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in March to the second fastest sales pace in three years, adding to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season. The Commerce Department says sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. Sales had reached a pace of 445,000 in January. New-home sales are still below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But they have risen 18.5 percent from a year ago. Continue Reading

Central IL Farmer, Grain Co. Manager to be Tried for Fraud

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois farmer and a former grain company manager will be tried in federal court in June on charges they organized a $14 million fraud scheme.  

Farmer Robert Printz of Fairbury and former Towanda Grain Co. manager Timothy Boerma of Lincoln are scheduled to be tried June 17 in federal court in Peoria. Court records show that Printz is charged with mail and wire fraud and money laundering. Continue Reading

Iowa Legislators Seek Middle Ground on E-D Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers are set to hash out their differences on the state’s economic development budget.  

The joint committee will meet Tuesday to work on a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the economic development budget. The Senate seeks $78 million and the House wants $45 million. The measure includes funding for Iowa Workforce Development, the Economic Development Authority, Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Finance Authority, Public Employment Relations Board and initiatives at Iowa’s three public universities. Waterloo Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler says the Senate plan provides funds to reopen five unemployment offices. Continue Reading

French Nat’l Assembly to Vote on Gay Marriage

PARIS (AP) — Police say legions of officers and a small battery of water cannon are at France’s National Assembly as lawmakers prepare for a final vote to legalize gay marriage.  

Christophe Crepin, spokesman for the police union UNSA, says the extraordinary security is in place protectively for Tuesday’s vote. In recent weeks, violent attacks against gay couples have spiked and some legislators have received threats — including one who got a gunpowder-filled envelope. One protest against gay marriage ended with some demonstrators fighting police and damaging cars along the Champs-Elysees avenue. When President Francois Hollande promised to legalize gay marriage, it was seen as relatively uncontroversial. Continue Reading

Most Rivers Falling, but More Rain May Change That

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) — The rain that’s expected from Oklahoma to Michigan through today could bring some stretches of rivers to an even higher crest than had been forecast earlier.  

A hydrologist with the National Weather Service says the latest dousing could be especially troubling for communities along the Illinois River, which is headed for record-high crests. In Clarksville, Mo., on the Mississippi River, a makeshift floodwall of sand and gravel is showing signs of strain, and crews are scrambling to patch trouble spots. Additional rain could be troublesome in Michigan, too, where the Grand River drove hundreds from their homes in Grand Rapids and flooded downtown. Continue Reading

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Mass. Authorities Say More Charges Await Tsarnaev

BOSTON (AP) — He’s already been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, in the Boston Marathon bombings — but more charges are ahead for Dzokhar Tsarnaev. State prosecutors expect to charge him separately in the killing of an MIT police officer who was shot in his cruiser Thursday night on the school’s campus in Cambridge. Federal prosecutors could also add new charges when he’s indicted in the bombing. Still unable to speak because of wounds, Tsarnaev answered questions in writing yesterday. U.S. officials say Tsarnaev and his brother appear to have been motivated by their religious views, not any connection to any Muslim terrorist groups. Continue Reading

W.Va. investigating death of Md. man

Authorities in West Virginia are investigating the death of a 28-year-old man who had been competing in an endurance course. Berkeley County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ted Snyder says Avishek Sengupta of Ellicott City, Md., was found Saturday in water at the “Walk the Plank” obstacle of a “Tough Mudder” endurance event near Glengary. He died Sunday at a northern Virginia hospital. The Virginia medical examiner’s office in Manassas said an autopsy has been completed but a cause of death wasn’t immediately available. Continue Reading

Coast Guard repatriates 32 Cuban migrants

The U.S. Coast Guard has repatriated 32 Cuban migrants who were recently picked up in waters off South Florida and the Keys. A cutter dropped off the migrants Thursday in Bahia de Cabanas, Cuba. They had been interdicted in three different cases since April 12. Officials say 13 migrants were picked up April 12 after a Carnival cruise ship reported a rustic vessel near Key West. The same day, a Coast Guard ship picked up another 17 migrants, also near Key West. Continue Reading