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Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:00 PM   |   Comments

Sen. Daniel Inouye dead at 88

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during World War II, died Monday, his staff said. He was 88.

The Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, who also was third in line for the presidency as Senate president pro tem, had been hospitalized with respiratory problems since Dec. 6.

He died at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was transferred Dec. 9 from George Washington University hospital, Roll Call reported.

Fox News said his wife Irene and his son Daniel Inouye Jr. were at his side when he passed. Last rites were performed by Senate Chaplain Barry Black, the network said.

Inouye served in the Senate since 1963, making him the longest-serving member of the body. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to his office, Inouye's last word was "Aloha."


Sen. Warner urges new gun-control measures

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who earns top marks from the National Rifle Association, said Monday it's time for "rational gun control."

Warner told WTVR-TV, Richmond, Va., that after Friday's horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., when 20 children and six adults were killed by a young gunman who also killed his mother and himself, it's time to do something to stop the nation's gun violence.

"I believe every American has Second Amendment rights, the ability to hunt is part of our culture. I've had a NRA rating of an 'A' but, you know, enough is enough," said Warner, whose home state was the site of the nation's worst school shooting, when 32 died at Virginia Tech in 2007. "I think most of us realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control. There are ways to grapple with the obvious challenges of mental illness."

Warner told the TV station he believes the "overwhelming majority of Americans who are gun owners" want stricter gun-control laws.

"Now what those specifics ought to be, there will be time for that," he said. "There should not be a Democrat or Republican position on this. It is time for this kind of senseless violence to end. There won't be one perfect law to stop a crazy person from doing evil things. But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types of gun violence, even if we save a few lives, we make progress."


Sanfords possible House candidates?

COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford, are among the names being floated to run for Senate-bound U.S. Rep. Tim Scott's seat.

Roll Call reported Monday two sources said conservatives have approached Mark Sanford about running and he is considering it. He served in the House in the 1990s before his terms as governor.

Scott is giving up his seat in the heavily Republican 1st District after being appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to take Sen. Jim DeMint's seat. DeMint resigned this month to run the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

Sanford served as governor from 2003 until his resignation in 2011 amid a scandal about an extramarital affair.

Roll Call and Politico both said Jenny Sanford, who ran her husband's campaigns for the 1st District House seat, also is being mentioned as a possible candidate.

Politico said other potential contenders include state House Majority Whip Jimmy Merrill, state Rep. Chip Limehouse, state Sens. Larry Grooms and Chip Campsen, and Carroll Campbell III, son of former Gov. Carroll Campbell Jr.

"It's going to be a free-for-all," Republican consultant Chip Felkel told Politico.

Under South Carolina law, a special primary election is to be held 11 weeks after a resignation, with a runoff election if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. A general election is to be held 18 weeks after the vacancy occurs.


Egypt's prosecutor general offers to quit

CAIRO, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah submitted his resignation as Egypt's prosecutor general late Monday, just weeks after President Mohamed Morsi appointed him.

His resignation had not yet been accepted by the Supreme Judiciary Council, Ahram Online reported.

Abdallah's decision to step down came under mounting pressure from judges and prosecutors, including hundreds who protested at his office earlier in the day, the Egyptian news website said.

They talked to an aide but were denied the opportunity to talk with Abdallah directly. Security forces kept a group of protesters from entering his office.

Abdallah's deputy, Adel El-Said, later presented Abdallah's handwritten resignation to the protesters, Ahram Online said.

The judges and prosecutors were angered by the president's decision to replace Mubarak-era Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud with Abdallah, the website said.

Morsi appointed Abdallah after issuing his constitutional declaration, which was aimed at exempting his decisions from judicial challenge.

Mahmoud has since been appointed as head of Egypt's Court of Appeal.

After his appointment, Abdallah announced he would retry Mubarak-era Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and other former Mubarak officials on charges of killing protesters, al-Masry al-Youm reported at the time.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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