Kilpatrick’s chief of staff resigns amid controversy

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s chief of staff said yesterday she is resigning amid allegations that she and the mayor lied under oath about an affair.

In a letter to Kilpatrick that was released by his office, Christine Beatty said she believes she can no longer effectively carry out her duties. Her resignation takes effect Feb. 8.

“I painfully regret the devastation that the recent reports have caused to the citizens of Detroit, to my co-workers, to the Mayor’s family and to my family and friends,” Beatty wrote in the letter.

A prosecutor launched an investigation last week into the allegations, which came to light when the Detroit Free Press reported details of steamy text messages between Beatty and Kilpatrick.

KISUMU, Kenya.

Ethnic violence escalates in Kenya

Thousands of machete-wielding youths hunted down members of President Mwai Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe yesterday in western Kenya’s Rift Valley, torching homes and buses, clashing with police and blocking roads with burning tires.

Witnesses described seeing two people pulled from cars and stoned to death, while another was burned alive in a minibus – the latest victims of a month of escalating violence triggered by a disputed presidential election. The death toll has soared over 800.

Kibaki has said he is open to direct talks with opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is from the Luo tribe, but that his position as president is not negotiable. Odinga says Kibaki must step down and only new elections will bring peace.

RAFAH, Egypt

Hamas works with Egyptians to restore order

Hamas militants joined Egyptian forces for a second day yesterday in trying to restore control at three breaches in the Gaza border, building a chain-link fence to seal off one opening and directing traffic at two others.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have flooded into Egypt unchecked over the past six days since Hamas militants blasted holes in the border partition. They have been voraciously buying up food, fuel and other goods made scarce by Israeli and Egyptian closures of Gaza’s borders.

Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory in June but before the breach, it had no role in policing the border with Egypt. Now the Islamic militant group is hoping that will change now and it is pressing for some kind of future role in border administration.


Obama backer Rezko arrested

Indicted political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who has poured thousands of dollars into Barack Obama’s political campaigns, was arrested by federal agents yesterday after his bail was revoked.

Rezko has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial this month on charges of fraud, attempted extortion and money laundering.

Obama says he had no indication of any problems with Rezko when he accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from him. When prosecutors unsealed their charges against Rezko in 2006, Obama gave $11,50 in Rezko contributions to charities.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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