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Sinkhole in Florida seems to be opening again
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:46

THE VILLAGES, Fla. (AP) — A sinkhole between two houses in a sprawling Florida retirement community that was plugged over the weekend appears to be opening again.

A witness said Wednesday that the sinkhole in The Villages expanded overnight by another 5 to 8 feet. Safety crews are on scene.

Rich Corr lives next door to the house which had been at the center of the sinkhole drama. He told The Villages Daily Sun (http://tinyurl.com/lvv7eqx) that he and his wife are packing their bags.

Over the weekend, repair crews filled the sinkhole after neighbors noticed it was growing and alerted authorities. At that time, a Tampa firm had been working on the sinkhole for about three weeks.

District Public Safety Battalion Chief Pete Carpenter said Saturday the sinkhole expanded under the foundations of both houses.

___

Information from: Daily Sun (Lady Lake, Fla.), http://www.thevillagesdailysun.com


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Spacewalking astronauts complete urgent repair job
Written by MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:44

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts replaced a dead computer outside the International Space Station on Wednesday and got their orbiting home back up to full strength.

The two Americans on board, Rick Mastracchio and Steven Swanson, hustled through the urgent repair job, swapping out the computers well within an hour. The new one tested fine.

"Excellent work, gentlemen," Mission Control radioed.

The removed computer, a critical backup, failed nearly two weeks ago. The prime computer has been working perfectly, but NASA wanted to install a fresh spare as soon as possible.

Mission Control waited until after the arrival of a capsule full of fresh supplies Sunday.

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High court tosses $3.4M award to child porn victim
Written by MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday said a federal law limits how much money victims of child pornography can recover from people who viewed their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet.

The justices said in a 5-4 ruling that courts can order people convicted of child pornography to pay restitution to their victims, but only to the extent that there is a strong tie between the victim's losses and the convicts' actions. In this case, Doyle Randall Paroline was held liable by a federal appeals court for the entire amount of the woman's losses, though his computer contained just two images of her.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said for the court that federal judges should exercise discretion in awarding restitution. The case involved a woman known in court papers by the pseudonym "Amy." Her losses have been pegged at nearly $3.4 million, based on the ongoing Internet trade and viewing of images of her being raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old.

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Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name
Written by JOHN MILBURN, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 11:43

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge has granted a request to formally change the name of the soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.

The former intelligence analyst is serving a 35-year prison sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website. Manning is serving the sentence at an Army prison in Kansas.

During a brief hearing Wednesday, Leavenworth County District Judge David King said he'd allow the name change.

The decision clears the way for official changes to Manning's military records, but it would not compel the military to treat Manning as a woman. That includes transferring Manning to a prison with a woman's unit.

Manning has been diagnosed by at least two Army behavioral health specialists with gender identity disorder.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes
Written by STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 06:37

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday.

More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The bonuses were awarded from October 2010 through December 2012.

George's report said the bonus program doesn't violate federal regulations, but it's inconsistent with the IRS mission to enforce tax laws.

"These awards are designed to recognize and reward IRS employees for a job well done, and that is appropriate, because the IRS should encourage good performance," George said. "However, while not prohibited, providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS's charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration."

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