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.


Far-right shuts French rapper out of Bataclan attack site

Updated 35 min 17 sec ago
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Far-right shuts French rapper out of Bataclan attack site

  • Medine, a Muslim, insists his opponents are trying to divide France
  • The father of an attack victim joined protests against the concerts

PARIS: A popular French Muslim rapper said Friday he is canceling sold-out October concerts at the Bataclan music hall in Paris, a target of the deadly 2015 terror attacks, due to pressure from far-right groups who claim he promotes a radical ideology and is desecrating a now-sacred site.
The statement by Medine came as far-right activists announced plans to try to keep concert-goers from entering the hall for his shows. The father of an attack victim joined them, stressing he was apolitical but wanted action. Patrick Jardin said later that canceling the concert avoided the risk of violence.
Since June, the right and far-right have waged a campaign to shut down Medine’s shows.
The singer said on his verified Facebook and Twitter accounts that the far-right activists’ goal was “to divide” the nation, and “they don’t hesitate to manipulate and reawaken the pain of the families of victims.”
He said he was canceling out of respect for victims’ families and out of concern for fans’ safety. Medine said he would perform, instead, in November at another major Paris music venue.
“It’s a decision of good sense,” said Jardin, the father of Nathalie Jardin, a Bataclan lighting engineer who was among 90 people killed on Nov. 13, 2015, when extremists invaded the music hall, one of several targets that night in which 130 people were killed.
“I think they avoided blood running again at the Bataclan,” he said, noting that “very determined” people were expected to show up ahead of the concerts.
Jardin said he wrote twice to Medine but never received a response from him or from the police chief.
A 2005 album by Medine, “Jihad,” with a picture of the singer with a saber, was posted on social media in June, melded to a poster of his upcoming Bataclan show, spurring rancor and leading some to believe he would sing about jihad, or holy war. Medine has noted the album’s subtitle is “The Biggest Combat is Against Yourself.”
In a 2015 album “Don’t Laik,” evoking French secularism in a play on words, he sings, “Crucify (secularists) like in Golgotha,” or Calvary, the site of Jesus’ crucifixion.
“We can’t allow victims to be assassinated a second time,” said activist Richard Roudier of the League du Midi.