US lawmaker to retire after mistress abortion scandal: media

In this April 1, 2014 file photo, U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, questions General Motors CEO Mary Barra about safety defects and the recall of 2.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)
Updated 05 October 2017
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US lawmaker to retire after mistress abortion scandal: media

WASHINGTON: A US congressman who sponsored legislation criminalizing late-term abortion announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election next year, after a report revealed he urged his mistress to have an abortion.
“After discussions with my family and staff, I have come to the decision that I will not seek reelection to Congress at the end of my current term,” House Republican Tim Murphy, who has been popular with members of the pro-life movement, said in a statement according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“I plan to spend my remaining months in office continuing my work as the national leader on mental health care reform, as well as issues affecting working families in southwestern Pennsylvania.”
Criticism of Murphy surged when the Gazette broke a story about the lurid sex scandal just as the House of Representatives voted Tuesday on Murphy’s bill banning nearly all abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Murphy, 65, acknowledged last month that he had an extramarital affair with Shannon Edwards, a psychologist who worked with him on mental health legislation.
On Tuesday the Gazette reported that Edwards sent Murphy a text message in January that excoriated him for an anti-abortion statement on his Facebook account.
“And you have zero issue posting your pro-life stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to abort our unborn child just last week when we thought that was one of the options,” Edwards wrote about an apparent pregnancy scare, the Gazette reported.
The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, congressman Steve Stivers, said in a statement that while he was “extremely disappointed” in Murphy’s conduct he remained confident that the district could remain in Republican hands next year.
Another Republican pro-life congressman, Scott DesJarlais, faced a similar abortion scandal in 2012, but he remains in Congress.


US moves 100 coffins to North Korean border for war remains

Updated 24 June 2018
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US moves 100 coffins to North Korean border for war remains

  • From 1996 to 2005, joint US-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains
  • The transfer of remains is usually done in a somber, formal ceremony, and that is what officials said was being planned

SEOUL, South Korea: The US military said it moved 100 wooden coffins to the inter-Korean border to prepare for North Korea’s returning of the remains of American soldiers who have been missing since the 1950-53 Korean War.
US Forces Korea spokesman Col. Chad Carroll also said Saturday that 158 metal transfer cases were sent to a US air base near Seoul, South Korea’s capital, and would be used to send the remains home.
North Korea agreed to return US war remains during the June 12 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. While the US military preparations suggest that the repatriation of war remains could be imminent, it remains unclear when and how it would occur.
Earlier Saturday, Carroll denied a report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency that US military vehicles carrying more than 200 caskets were planning to cross into North Korea on Saturday. He said plans for the repatriation were “still preliminary.”
US Forces Korea said in a statement later in the day that 100 wooden “temporary transit cases” built in Seoul were sent to the Joint Security Area at the border as part of preparations to “receive and transport remains in a dignified manner when we get the call to do so.”
From 1996 to 2005, joint US-North Korea military search teams conducted 33 recovery operations that collected 229 sets of American remains.
But efforts to recover and return other remains have stalled for more than a decade because of the North’s nuclear weapons development and US claims that the safety of recovery teams it sent during the administration of former President George W. Bush was not sufficiently guaranteed.
US officials have said earlier that the remains are believed to be some or all of the more than 200 that the North Koreans have had for some time. But the precise number and the identities — including whether they are US or allied service members — won’t be known until the remains are tested.
The transfer of remains is usually done in a somber, formal ceremony, and that is what officials said was being planned.
Richard Downes, executive director of the Coalition of Families of Korean & Cold War POW/MIAs, said last week that he had been told the North may have the remains of more than 200 American service members that were likely recovered from land during farming or construction and could be easily returned. But he said the vast majority have yet to be located and retrieved from various cemeteries and battlefields across the countryside.
More than 36,000 US troops died in the conflict, including those listed as missing in action. Close to 7,700 US troops remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, and about 5,300 of those were lost in North Korea.
The last time North Korea turned over remains was in 2007, when Bill Richardson, a former UN ambassador and New Mexico governor, secured the return of six sets.
According to Chuck Prichard, spokesman for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, once the remains are turned over, they would be sent to one of two Defense Department facilities — Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska — for tests to determine identification.