Herman Cain: ‘We can do this’

WEST CHESTER, Ohio, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Onetime Republican presidential front-runner Herman Cain, plagued by harassment and affair claims, said Wednesday his character is being assassinated.

“They’re attacking my character, my reputation and my name in order to try and bring me down, but you see I don’t believe that America is going to let that happen,” Cain told a group of 100 supporters in a West Chester, Ohio, hotel ballroom.

“I happen to believe that we the people are still in charge of this country.”

The former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive’s campaign was set on its heels Monday when Ginger White of Atlanta came forward with allegations she and Cain had a 13-year affair.

Cain told ABC News Wednesday he is still “reassessing” whether to move forward with his presidential bid.

“We are reassessing as we speak. Reassessment means re-evaluation,” he said.

“As the great philosopher Emeril Lagasse said, kick it up a notch,” Cain told supporters, referencing the popular television chef.

“Stupid people are running America. I didn’t go to political correctness school. … They’ve been trying to do character assassination on me. Some of them even predicted that this room would be empty today. I don’t think I see any empty seats in here.”

In a fundraising letter Tuesday, Cain called White a “troubled Atlanta businesswoman.” He has acknowledged knowing White but has denied any impropriety.

“We can do this. We can do this,” Cain said in his closing remarks Wednesday.

Muslim Brotherhood claims lead in Egypt

CAIRO, Nov. 30 (UPI) — The Muslim Brotherhood announced its political party was the largest winner in an unofficial tally of the first round of Egyptian parliamentary elections.

Egyptians voted this week in the first round of elections since a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power after nearly 30 years in office. Demonstrations in Tahrir Square in Cairo preceded the election, though voting was largely peaceful.

The Muslim Brotherhood, through its official Web site Ikwanweb, said its Freedom and Justice Party was “the biggest winner so far.” The Salafist al-Nour party was second followed by the left-leaning Egyptian Bloc, the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement.

An official tally isn’t expected until later this week. Nevertheless, the Muslim Brotherhood said the Egyptian people supported the spirit of the revolution by isolating members of the Mubarak regime from the political process.

The Muslim Brotherhood said its members had noted irregularities at the polls. It faulted the Interior Ministry for failing to equip some polling stations for sorting ballots. Armed forces were observed at some polling stations, the organization added.

Political groups that emerged after the country’s revolution complained entrenched groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wafd Party, both founded in the 1920s, had an unfair political advantage.

The United Nations praised the Egyptian people for their support for the democratic process. The U.S. State Department said it sees the Muslim Brotherhood as a supporter of that aim.

Toomey: GOP Will Attempt Reshaping Automatic Spending Cuts

Supercommittee member Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said that the Republican Party will seek to “change the configuration” of the automatic spending cuts that resulted from the failure of the committee on ABC’s This Week With Christiane Amanpour, according to The Hill.

“I think it’s important that we change the configuration [of the cuts]. I think there’s a broad consensus that too much of the cuts are weighted on [our national defense],” Toomey said during the televised interview.

CNN reported that Toomey wanted to change the formula for making the $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, which were mandated under legislation that was passed in August. The Senator opposed how the cuts had to be evenly divided between domestic spending and national defense.

According to the news outlet, the forced spending cuts, taking place under a process called sequestration, were intended to act as a painful consequence for both parties if they failed to come up with a compromise over reducing the deficit.

Toomey argued that the cuts would be weighted toward Democrats.

“Let’s face it, there are a lot of Democrats whose lifelong ambition has been to cut defense spending,” the Senator said on Townhall Radio.

Cybersecurity bill to promote info-sharing

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) — U.S. House Intelligence Committee leaders Wednesday introduced a cybersecurity bill to facilitate information sharing between the private and public sectors.

Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., presented the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which follows recommendations made last month by the House Republican cybersecurity working group, to advance comprehensive cybersecurity legislation in Congress, The Hill reported.

“There is an economic cyber war going on today against U.S. companies,” Rogers said. “There are two types of companies in this country, those who know they’ve been hacked, and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked.”

“We simply can’t stand by if we have the ability to help American companies protect themselves. Sharing information about cyber threats is a critical step to preventing them,” Ruppersberger added. “This bill is a good start toward helping the private sector safeguard its intellectual property and critical cyber networks, including those that power our electrical, water and banking systems.”

The House bill contains no security mandates and its provisions are all voluntary.

“We appreciate that this legislation avoids a prescriptive regulatory regime that does not fit the constantly evolving cyber threat environment and it appropriately allows individual companies to determine how they can best participate,” National Cable and Telecommunications Association President Michael Powell said in a statement.

Bail increased for ex-Colorado sheriff

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Nov. 30 (UPI) — A Colorado judge Wednesday increased the bail for a one-time national Sheriff of the Year who was arrested on drug charges this week.

Patrick Sullivan saw his bail doubled to $500,000 during a brief hearing before a judge in Arapaho County, the same county in which he had served as sheriff 1984-2002.

Sullivan, 68, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly offering a male informant methamphetamine in exchange for sex. Court documents indicated Sullivan and two informants used in the case had engaged in sex in the past with Sullivan allegedly providing them with meth.

The arrest tarnished what had been a distinguished career in law enforcement for Sullivan. The Post said he had been a national expert on cyberterrorism and had been head of security for a local school system since his retirement.

Sullivan was also named Sheriff of the Year in 2001 by the National Sheriff’s Association and was honored for a daring single-handed rescue of two wounded deputies and a hostage during a standoff in 1985.

Bankrupt Wireless Firm Keeps Federal Claims Confidential

A wireless company that had filed for bankruptcy secured a court order to keep an investigation into whether it had “viable claims” against the Federal government under wraps, The Washington Times reported.

According to the newspaper, the order came as the wireless company Open Range Communications told customers to find other Internet providers. The business had won a $267 million loan guarantee in 2008 from the government.

Despite the loan, the company issued a statement that noted “Open Range has discontinued operations. Please seek another Internet service provider NOW.”

According to the Times, Open Range received the Federal money as part of a plan to provide broadband service to 500 rural communities in 17 states.

The company received $78 million out of the Federal allotment prior to filing for bankruptcy. At the time that they collapsed they had paid back only $4.5 million of the loan money.

Fox News 6 WBRC reported that much of the loan came as a part of the 2008 stimulus package, specifically from the Department of Agriculture.

Moscow weighs NATO sentiment

MOSCOW, Nov. 30 (UPI) — With Cold War rhetoric resurfacing amid disputes over a European missile shield, a survey of public opinion in Russia indicated a negative opinion of NATO.

A survey of 1,600 respondents from across the country, taken in late October, indicated little direct support for NATO. Most of those who said they viewed NATO as a threat were respondents who also told pollsters they supported the socialist A Just Russia party and those over the age of 60, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

The poll was conducted by a state-run pollster. The Russian news agency didn’t identify the polling agency or provide statistical data.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week said a 2008 war with the former Soviet republic of Georgia stopped NATO’s expansion eastward.

Washington is pushing for a European missile shield on the premise it would be a deterrent to a threat from Iran. That threat was renewed by an assessment from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was working on some elements of a nuclear weapon.

Medvedev said Moscow would respond in kind should the United States place a missile shield in his country’s backyard. This week, he helped launch an anti-missile station in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad that he said was mean to counter NATO’s “threats.”

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said that despite the rhetoric, Washington wasn’t taking a direct adversarial approach to missile defense.

Cyberattack on Canada larger than thought

TORONTO, Nov. 30 (UPI) — A massive computer hacking attack on the Canadian government in the fall of 2010 was much larger than first thought, a computer security firm says.

Early this year, government officials acknowledged the federal Finance Department and Treasury Board, along with a Department of National Defense had been attacked by computers in China.

The departments turned off Internet access for most users in those departments, and they still have limited or no online access, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Meanwhile, Daniel Tobok, chief of the Digital Wyzdom cybersecurity company told the CBC the “very sophisticated and highly targeted” hacking attacks also affected at least seven major law firms in Toronto.

The crux of the attack appears to have been over a possible takeover of the Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, at the time estimated to be worth $38 billion, the CBC said.

The law firms were all involved in sales negotiations, Tobok said.

Australian resource giant BHP Billiton was trying to acquire the company, which Beijing made no secret of opposing. China is one of the biggest importers of potash, used in agricultural fertilizers.

Canada’s Conservative government earlier this year ruled out the sale of the corporation to foreign investors.

DRC vote hailed as ‘successful’

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Despite calls to annul the election results, a consortium of African organizations described elections in Democratic Republic of Congo as largely successful.

A joint declaration from the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and three other organizations welcomed “the successful holding of the elections despite the numerous challenges which the country is confronted with and have note the technical and logistical challenges that over shadowed the holding of the elections.”

DRC had presidential and parliamentary elections Monday, only the second time the country held democratic elections since gaining independence in 1960.

Election observers said voter turnout was high though there were isolated reports of violence. Daniel Ngoy Mulunda, the country’s election commission director, said there was nothing to warrant canceling the results.

“There’s nothing to make us annul these elections, truly nothing, we aren’t even thinking of it,” he was quoted by the BBC as saying.

Four of the 10 challengers to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, including one-time ally Vital Kamerhe, said the vote was rigged in Kabila’s favor.

Nearly 20,000 candidates, including the leader of a militia tied to crimes against humanity, vied for seats in the 500-member Parliament.

The BBC reports results for the presidential election are expected next week. Parliamentary results are expected in January.

Syria revolt saps Assad, civil war looms

AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 30 (UPI) — The belief is growing that Syria’s beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad has run out of time in his fight for survival against a stubborn 8-month-old uprising.

Reports that Assad is recruiting mercenaries from Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon to support his increasingly isolated regime have fueled fears the country’s approaching civil war between the Sunni majority and the ruling Alawite minority and its allies.

There is even talk of a military coup, with senior officers in the Alawite-dominated military turning against the regime.

“The Arabs are now preparing for regime change,” observed Paul Salem, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. “A coup is one scenario but the spreading of the unrest is another.”

Assad’s regime has been steadily quarantined by Western states. The United States and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions, including an oil embargo, and that’s starting to bite. The economy is the regime’s Achilles’ heel.

Last Sunday, the 22-member Arab League, which for decades has been little more than a toothless talking shop for Arab leaders whose only interest was maintaining themselves in power, woke from its slumbers and overwhelmingly imposed economic sanctions on the Syrian government.

“To date, there has been little protest from Syria’s merchant and business classes in Damascus and Aleppo, with most of the unrest occurring in the industrial and manufacturing cities of Homs and Latakia,” the Middle East Economic Digest observed.

“But if the sanctions start to impact the economy, the middle classes may turn against their leader.”

The unprecedented move by the league underlined how Arab anger is hardening against Assad amid the ongoing political upheavals across the Middle East that have so far toppled four dictators.

Neighboring Turkey, Assad’s ally until the bloodletting began, has been steadily tightening the screws. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shown little appetite for armed intervention but his patience is clearly wearing thin.

On Nov. 11, Erdogan threatened to cut off power supplies to Syria unless Assad ended the bloodshed. That is likely to have a limited impact but it underlined with the growing anger with Syria in Ankara, particularly after Turkish diplomatic missions in Syria were attacked by pro-regime mobs.

Ten days later, Erdogan called for the first time for Assad to step down.

Even Russia and China, which have vetoed U.N. moves to act against Damascus, are tempering their support and dropping hints Assad should go.

In recent weeks, an armed resistance, largely built around a nascent Free Syrian Army made up of thousands of defecting soldiers and with headquarters in Turkey, has emerged to take on the power of the minority-Alawite Muslim regime in Damascus.

But civilians are also reported to be taking up arms to fight the regime’s brutal crackdown on what until recently were largely unarmed protesters, mainly Sunnis, in which by U.N. count more than 3,500 people have been killed.

The weapons are mainly smuggled in from neighboring Lebanon allegedly by the Muslim Brotherhood, an old enemy of the 41-year-old Assad dynasty and the most organized of the opposition groups, and smuggling networks linked to insurrectionary factions.

The regime appears to remain cohesive, with key military units controlled by Alawite officers and the vast security apparatus, the hated Mukhabarat, still loyal to Assad.

Iran, desperate to avoid losing its key Arab ally and its gateway into the Levant and the Mediterranean, has done pretty much everything except provide direct military force to rescue the Damascus regime.

But the Arab League’s unexpected tough action is seen as a pointer toward more robust efforts by outside powers, such as some form of military intervention.

This is unlikely to involve Lebanon, where Hezbollah dominates the government and possesses the strongest military force in the country, and Shiite-dominated Iraq does what Tehran tells it.

But Turkey, Syria’s northern neighbor, and Jordan, which over the years has crossed swords with the Assad dynasty, could well become the springboards for military intervention — although that seems a long shot at this time.

Free Syrian Army attacks on regime targets in Damascus in recent days, although largely symbolic, indicate the still-fragmented opposition is ready to fight.

“Control of the military and international disunity will keep Assad in control in the short term,” MEED concluded. “But the long-term prospects for the Syrian president look bleak.”

U.S.: Blagojevich should get 15-20 years

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (UPI) — U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich should receive 15 to 20 years in prison for his corruption convictions.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago said, “A sentence in the range of 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment would be consistent with sentences imposed in broadly similar cases.”

The former governor is due to be sentenced next Tuesday.

“Blagojevich, unlike other defendants in this case, has been found guilty of multiple criminal acts of extortion, bribery and fraud, covering multiple episodes, as well as lying to government agents in an effort to obstruct an ongoing criminal investigation,” the memo said.

“Over the course of a relatively brief period of time, during his machinations surrounding the appointment of a United States senator [replacing President Obama], and the shakedowns of hospital and racetrack executives, the defendant revealed his corrupt, criminal character,” the filing said. “But, as the evidence and Blagojevich’s conduct at his trials established, these were not isolated incidents. They were part and parcel of an approach to public office that defendant adopted from the moment he became governor in 2002. In light of Blagojevich’s extensive corruption of high office, the damage he caused to the integrity of Illinois government, and the need to deter others from similar acts, the government suggests a sentence of 15 to 20 years imprisonment is sufficient but not greater than necessary to comply with [federal law sentencing factors].”

Attorneys for Blagojevich said in September said they’re going to seek probation for the former Illinois governor, who was convicted of 17 counts of corruption.

Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky said his client is a fit candidate for probation.

“The taxpayers never lost a dime. Blagojevich never received a dime,” Sorosky told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Breathing protest denied in Belarus

BARANAVICHY, Belarus, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Authorities in Belarus denied a permit to a man who wanted to stage a 2-hour protest he said he’d wage by breathing deeply.

Belarus was criticized for its sweeping crackdown on dissent. Authorities in the past prohibited a protest that was to include clapping demonstrators and a recent anti-government bike-ride protest.

Now, Mikola Charnavus from the central town of Baranavichy, was denied a permit for planning a breathing protest in front of a monument commemorating Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

Charnavus told RFE/RL he wanted to stage the deep-breathing protest because “protest actions involving bicycle riding, walking in a village, applauding, roaring or mooing are banned in this country.”

A panel of independent experts in a report to the United Nations said Monday that new laws curtailing the right to peaceful protest could worsen the “current climate of fear and intimidation” in Belarus.

Hundreds of opponents to President Alexander Lukashenko were arrested following a crackdown that followed December elections in Belarus.

Meanwhile, RFE/RL notes a court Wednesday sentenced two men to death for an April bombing of a subway in Minsk that killed 15 and left 200 injured.

Belarus is the only European country that has a death penalty.

David Duke arrested in Germany

COLOGNE, Germany, Nov. 30 (UPI) — David Duke, a former Louisiana legislator and leader in the Ku Klux Klan, was arrested in Germany, he confirmed on his Web site.

While not releasing details, the former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan said he was arrested for a “gross twisting of travel laws,” The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

The incident, Duke’s Web site indicated, involved a private, peaceful gathering of about 100 German citizens “eager to hear my message of heritage and freedom.”

The Huffington Post said his arrest could to be tied to Duke’s expulsion from the Czech Republic in 2009, where he was detained on suspicion of denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in many European countries, including Germany.

A statement by the Cologne police said Duke “was not entitled to stay in Germany” because of a travel ban against him in another European country, the newspaper said.

Duke spent a year in a U.S. prison in 2003 after pleading guilty to tax fraud and using supporters’ donations to pay gambling debts.

Well-dressed protesters crash Romney event

TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 30 (UPI) — Protesters dressed to the nines crashed a Tampa, Fla., fundraiser for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Occupy Tampa said.

Police said none of the handful of protesters inside the Tampa Museum of Art was arrested Tuesday, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

The well-dressed interlopers read from notes that Wall Street was financing Romney’s campaign “and Occupy Tampa wholeheartedly rejects this.”

Fundraiser organizers said they were uncertain whether Romney heard any of the commotion.

One protester inside the museum, Becky Rubright, said she called fundraiser organizers a few days earlier, saying she wanted to go to the event but couldn’t pay $2,500 to attend, the Times said. She said an organizer told her to come and pay what she could afford, which got her name on the guest list.

Outside the museum, about 75 protesters watched security and police officers rush toward the crashers and escort them out.

Tampa is hosting the Republican National Convention in August.

Deputies won’t evict 103-year-old woman

ATLANTA, Nov. 30 (UPI) — Sheriff’s deputies in Atlanta didn’t carry out an eviction order after discovering they were sent to remove a 103-year-old woman from her home, officials said.

Vita Lee, who is just three weeks short of her 104th birthday, shares a house in Northwest Atlanta with her 83-year-old daughter, WSB-TV, Atlanta, reported.

Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies and a moving company hired by Deutch Bank showed up at Lee’s home Tuesday intending to kick her out.

But after taking a look at Lee and her daughter, they changed their minds, said community activist Michael Langford.

“I saw the sheriffs who came to put them out take off and leave,” Langford said.

Lee’s daughter was so upset by the prospect of eviction that she had to be rushed to the hospital.

Lee told WSB she is hopeful things can be worked out with the bank.

London pulls staff from Iran

LONDON, Nov. 30 (UPI) — London said Wednesday it shut its embassy in Tehran and pulled staff out of Iran in response to attacks on two compounds by Iranian demonstrators.

The British government said student members of the Basij paramilitary organization were behind attacks on two of its embassy compounds Tuesday in Tehran. Tehran said riot police fired tear gas at demonstrators though British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the response was belated.

Hague, in an address to Parliament, said Tuesday’s incident was a major violation of international laws regarding foreign diplomats.

“We have now closed the British Embassy in Tehran,” he said in his address. “We have decided to evacuate all our staff and as of the last few minutes all our U.K.-based staff have now left Iran.”

He added that while London would maintain diplomatic ties to Tehran, the immediate response “cannot be the end of the matter.”

The security breach followed a decision by the Iranian government to downgrade diplomatic ties with London. Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, said Tehran had grown weary of London’s adventurist behavior, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

Larijani noted Tehran has, for the past few decades, been unhappy with the British government.

Hague said London was particularly frustrated with Iran’s nuclear program and human rights record.

The U.N. Security Council in response reminded Tehran of its obligations to ensure the protection of foreign diplomats in the country.

No embassy staff members were reported injured during Tuesday’s incident though Tehran said some demonstrators were hurt.

Settlement reached in anthrax death

BOCA RATON, Fla., Nov. 30 (UPI) — The wife of a Florida journalist who died from exposure to anthrax will get a $2.5 million settlement in her long-running lawsuit against U.S. government.

Maureen Stevens sued eight years ago, seeking to hold government officials responsible for the anthrax attacks that killed her husband, Bob Stevens, and four others, and caused serious illness for 17 other people.

“She’s relieved,” her attorney, Richard Schuler, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. “She still misses her husband. It’s been 10 years. She still wears her wedding ring, and she wears his ring around her neck so it is closest to her heart.”

Her wrongful-death lawsuit, which originally sought $50 million in damages, has been creeping toward a settlement for several months, the newspaper said. Papers filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach indicated the settlement was finalized Nov. 23, the newspaper reported.

Bob Stevens, 63, was a photo editor for tabloid publisher American Media Inc. in Boca Raton when he was exposed to the anthrax that was delivered by mail. He died Oct. 5, 2001, several days after being exposed. A co-worker also was exposed but survived after a lengthy illness.

The anthrax discovered at AMI signaled the beginning of the anthrax mail scare. More letters containing anthrax were mailed to New York television networks and a U.S. Senate office building.

Stevens and her attorneys contended a rogue government scientist — or scientists — was responsible for the anthrax attacks. After the July 2008 suicide of Bruce Ivins, an anthrax scientist at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md., an FBI investigation named Ivins as the sole perpetrator of the biological attacks.

Gacy victim identified by DNA

CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (UPI) — An unidentified victim of Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy has been given a name thanks to DNA evidence, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.

Dart told the Chicago Sun-Times 19-year-old William George Bundy was among at least 33 people Gacy killed between 1972 and 1978.

Illinois executed Gacy in 1994.

Dart’s office began an effort in October to use DNA technology to put names to eight unidentified victims whose bodies were exhumed earlier this year.

Bundy’s sister Laura O’Leary and brother Robert Bundy submitted DNA samples that allowed the University of North Texas to link one of the unidentified bodies to William Bundy.

O’Leary said her family will hold a memorial service for her brother next year.

“Today is a terribly sad day for my family,” she said. “But it is also a day that provides closure.”

Vote sets up clash on terrorism detainees

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) — The U.S. Senate, ignoring a veto threat by President Obama, may move forward on legislation to require certain terrorism suspects be held by the military.

The Senate Tuesday defeated an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would have shelved the detainee provisions until a study could be conducted, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The defense bill is critical legislation that includes a range of Pentagon policy, sets troop pay and funding levels for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and commits to weapons systems and other military contracts. If the Senate approves the defense bill, it would be merged with a House-passed version that also drew a veto threat.

“The least we can do is take our time, be diligent and hear from those who will be affected by these new, significant changes in how we interrogate and prosecute terrorists,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., the amendment’s sponsor, said on the Senate floor before the bipartisan 60-38 defeat.

In a message to Congress earlier this month, the White House said, “After a decade of settled jurisprudence on detention authority, Congress must be careful not to open a whole new series of legal questions that will distract from our efforts to protect the country.”

Supporters said the detainee language — which would grant an administration greater authority to use military custody instead of civilian law enforcement and courts — merely codifies the government’s ability to detain terrorism suspects, as it has done since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Civil libertarians said the provisions would give the government far-reaching power to patrol U.S. streets and detain U.S. citizens indefinitely.

More than 200 amendments await the bill, and the Senate is expected to work through some of them this week.

Lawyer admits client stabbed Navy wife

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 30 (UPI) — A Georgia man accused of killing a Florida woman he met on Craigslist lost control when he learned she was a Navy wife with two children, his lawyer said.

Assistant Public Defender Michael Bateh told jurors David Kelsey Sparre admits having sex with Tiara Pool and then killing her but it wasn’t premeditated, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported Wednesday.

Bateh said his client just “snapped” when he found out who Pool really was after the two had sex.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said the prosecution will prove that Pool’s death was a case of premeditated, felony murder.

She was stabbed at least 89 times with the largest knife in her kitchen, he said.

Pool’s husband, Michael Pool, testified Tuesday that he was deployed aboard the USS The Sullivans at the time of his wife’s killing. Their two sons were out of town with family.

Sparre’s public defenders can succeed in making a case for second-degree murder, the finding would keep the Waynesville, Ga., man off Florida’s death row, observers said.

N.C. urges right-to-work for convention

RALEIGH, N.C., Nov. 30 (UPI) — North Carolina lawmakers are moving to require the Democrats to consider non-union, in-state companies for contracts for its national convention in Charlotte.

The North Carolina House Tuesday night passed a non-binding resolution asking the Democratic National Committee to give its business to North Carolina companies whether they are union shops or not.

“I think it’s only fitting that Tar Heel workers at least have the opportunity to benefit,” said sate Rep. David Lewis, the Republican sponsor of the bill.

The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer said Wednesday the DNC has so far awarded three contracts to six companies for work connected to the convention. Only one company is considered a unionized firm.

The lone union company was hired to do printing work. The newspaper said the owner of a company that lost in the bidding publicly complained it was his non-union status that cost him the job.

Democrats called Lewis’ resolution a waste of time, but Lewis said he was just looking out for state businesses and their employees. “It may astonish you — it’s not about politics, it’s about jobs,” he said.