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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Independent Investigation Indicts Paterno, Penn State Officials

An independent investigation into how Penn State handled allegations that Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing children concluded that beloved head football coach Joe Paterno as well as other Penn State officials not only showed “callous” and “total disregard” for the victims, but also actively “concealed” incriminating evidence. The implications are huge, not just for Penn State and Paterno’s legacy, but also for other universities and sports organizations in dealing with such cases. Louis Freeh, who conducted the investigation, called for personnel training on child abuse and mandatory reporting of wrongdoing. The backlash already began: Nike announced it was removing Paterno’s name from its company child-care center. Paterno’s lieutenant Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

Bad Day for Romney

U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney may have to explain what he was doing between 1999, date at which he says he left Bain Capital, and 2002, date at which his name last appeared under “sole stockholder, chairman, CEO, and president” on Bain SEC filings. A Boston Globe inquiry revived chatter that Romney did buy companies whose success depended on outsourcing U.S. jobs to Asia. If he lied about his activity at Bain, he could be found guilty of “federal felony”. The Romney campaign already issued a denial and called for the newspaper to issue a correction. Separately, Mother Jones reported today that in 1998 (a year before his stated departure), Romney bought a company in China that would only be profitable after outsourcing American jobs.

Syrian Ambassador to Iraq Joins Uprising, Over 100 Dead

Syrian Ambassador to Iraq Nawaf al-Fares said today he was defecting Bashar al-Assad’s regime and resigning his diplomatic post. He called for other party members to do the same, then explained that time for peace plans had come and gone and that Assad must be violently removed. Meanwhile, the conflict escalated: reports say over 100 people died today (200, according to Reuters) as the Syrian government shelled suburbs of the country’s capital, Damascus.

Peugeot-Citroën to Slash 8,000 Jobs in France

French Carmaker Peugeot-Citroën PSA announced today it will close a major plant in the town of Aulnay-sous-Bois, a move that will leave 8,000 people jobless in 2014. The company has struggled with falling sales as the crisis deepened in the South of Europe. This is difficult news for France’s newly elected socialist government, who promised to revive growth in the country as well as in the rest of the continent.

Berlusconi Comeback?

Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi may be getting ready for a return to the political scene, entering next year’s race for the position he used to hold. Encouraged by businessmen, the man who turned Italy into a joke with his bunga-bunga parties and multiple criminal charges may well succeed in this endeavor as voters’ mood soured over austerity measures. PM Mario Monti, who took over the government after Berlusconi’s departure and garnered international respect by steering the country through the crisis, said he would not be serving past the end of his term next year.

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