District of Columbia
Military rape may bring at least 2 years
WASHINGTON - Angered by the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, the House on Thursday endorsed a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a member of the armed services convicted of rape or sexual assault in a military court.
By voice vote, the House approved the additional punishment as part of a series of steps lawmakers have taken to tackle the growing problem.
The provisions are contained in a sweeping defense policy bill for the 2014 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
"Being in a military uniform should not be a get-out-of-jail card," Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, said as the House began work on more than 170 amendments to the defense bill.
Lawmakers hope to complete the measure today but must reconcile it with a Senate version.
Parking spot sells for $82,000 in Frisco
SAN FRANCISCO - Parking spots apparently aren't immune from the recent surge in San Francisco real estate prices.
A spot in the city's trendy South Beach neighborhood sold last week for $82,000, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday.
The 8-by-12-foot parking space is in an enclosed garage in a condominium building near the San Francisco Giants' ballpark. A Porsche SUV was parked in it on Thursday. The Chronicle said the unidentified buyer did not respond to interview requests.
While it may seem like a lot of money, real-estate agents said parking could be a good investment in densely packed San Francisco, where vehicle spaces go for a premium. They can add as much as $100,000 to the purchase price of a property or be rented out at rates of $400 to $450 a month - the going rate in South Beach.
News Corp.'s Murdoch is seeking divorce
LOS ANGELES - News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from Wendi Deng Murdoch, his wife since 1999, citing a breakdown in the relationship. The matter doesn't alter the succession plan for the media company, which the 82-year-old founder controls through a family trust.
Murdoch filed a one-page document Thursday indicating that he was opening a divorce case in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
A News Corp. spokesperson confirmed the filing.
Philly inspector kills self after collapse
PHILADELPHIA - A veteran Philadelphia building inspector who apparently committed suicide had inspected the site of a deadly building collapse twice in February and an adjacent, related project in mid-May.
The June 5 collapse killed six people when a four-story building tumbled onto a small thrift shop. The demolition site consisted of three attached buildings.
City records show that Ronald Wagenhoffer inspected the site before work began on Feb. 12 and again on Feb. 25, after it got underway. He returned to the strip of attached storefronts on May 14 after a citizen complained about the demolition being conducted at the building next door to the one that collapsed. Wagenhoffer found the complaint unfounded.
Mayor Michael Nutter called the death Wednesday of Wagenhoffer, 52, "astounding" and "painful."
"We had six people who died in the building collapse and now we've had another person perish because of this particular tragedy," Nutter said in Chicago, where he was attending a conference Thursday.
The Associated Press