Nation/World Briefly: Rep. Sestak pressed to reveal White House job details

  • Mon May 24th, 2010 10:35pm
  • News

WASHINGTON — Former Rep. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., has joined the chorus pressuring Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., to disclose exactly who at the White House offered him exactly what administration position in exchange for dropping out of the U.S. Senate primary.

Interest in Sestak’s alleged job offer has intensified after his defeat of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., who was President Barack Obama’s favored candidate. Republicans and Democrats have come forward in recent days saying Sestak has an obligation to set the record straight.

But Sestak, who maintains he was propositioned by the White House to drop out of the race against Specter, refuses to provide additional details. And the White House says whatever conversations took place were “not inappropriate.”

A direct offer conditioned on Sestak getting out of Specter’s way could be illegal. The law says that an administration official cannot use his authority to interfere with the election of any candidate for office. The law also says no one can promise employment in exchange for political activity.

Military exercises scheduled off the Korean peninsula

The Obama administration on Monday announced plans for two major military exercises off the Korean peninsula in a show of force aimed at North Korea, which has been blamed by investigators for a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship in March. The White House called U.S. support for South Korea “unequivocal” and said in a statement that President Obama had directed military commanders to work with the South “to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression.”

South Carolina: Governor candidate denies blogger’s claim of affair

Tea party favorite Nikki Haley, a Republican candidate for governor, vehemently denied allegations Monday that she had an inappropriate relationship with a political blogger several years ago, saying she had been “100 percent faithful to my husband.” Will Folks, a conservative blogger who previously served as disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford’s spokesman, said the relationship took place in 2007 when he did communications work for Haley. He offered no proof of it and refused to go into any details.

Britain: U.S. cable television unaffected by rogue satellite

The owner of a satellite that transmits programming to all U.S. cable systems says it avoided interference from another, out-of-control satellite that was drifting into its path. SES World Skies says programming transmitted by its AMC 11 satellite was not affected by the Galaxy 15 satellite, which is drifting out of control thousands of miles above the Earth. Galaxy 15 was expected to move into the second satellite’s orbit around Sunday — the same date of the “Lost” series finale.

India: Human error possible in crash of Boeing 737-800

Human error might have caused the crash of an Air India Boeing 737-800 plane that killed 158 people over the weekend in Mangalore, India’s civil aviation minister said Monday. Only an inquiry could establish what exactly went wrong as the aircraft overshot the hilltop runway and crashed and plunged over a cliff at dawn Saturday, he said. Only eight people survived the crash.

Iran: Jailed hikers engaged

Shane Bauer wove an engagement ring out of threads from his shirt, then met his girlfriend in an unlikely place for a marriage proposal: the exercise yard of the Iranian prison where the couple has been locked up for nearly a year. The mothers of Bauer and Sarah Shourd said Monday that their children will get married whenever they are released. The third detained hiker, Josh Fattal, will be the best man. Three Americans were detained by Iranian forces on July 31 when they strayed across the unmarked border while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iranian authorities say the three are spies.

From Herald news services