LOS ANGELES – The nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese has agreed to pay $720 million to clergy abuse victims over the past decade and released internal files that showed Cardinal Roger Mahony shielded priests and ordered a surrogate to withhold evidence from police. Yet Mahony and other archdiocese leaders are unlikely to face criminal charges.
With the final $13 million settlement of existing old cases announced Wednesday, Mahony has emerged from the scandal with his reputation tarnished but his place in the church intact – even after being publicly rebuked by his successor.
Parents get prison in sonís deaths
A couple who believed in faith-healing were sentenced Wednesday to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison in the death of a second child who never saw a doctor despite being stricken with pneumonia.
Herbert and Catherine Schaible defied a court order to get medical care for their children after their 2-year-old son, Kent, died in 2009. Instead, they tried to comfort and pray over 8-month-old Brandon last year as he, too, died of treatable pneumonia.
US may exchange Taliban for soldier
Washington has held indirect talks with the Taliban over the possible transfer of five senior Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for a U.S. soldier captured nearly five years ago, a senior Taliban official told The Associated Press.
Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 27, of Hailey, Idaho, was last seen in a video released in December, footage seen as proof of life demanded by the United States.
2 Americans found dead on famed ship
Two American security officers have been found dead on a ship made famous when it was hijacked by Somali pirates, according to a statement by Seychelles police.
The two Americans – Jeffrey Reynolds and Mark Kennedy, both 44 – were found dead Tuesday in a cabin on the Maersk Alabama, police said.
The ship was hijacked by pirates in 2009, an event dramatized in the movie Captain Phillips starring Tom Hanks. The police gave no cause of death.
Coach charged in 10-year-oldís death
A middle-school football coach was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of a 10-year-old girl who was snatched off a street just blocks from her southwest Missouri home as several residents watched in horror.
Craig Michael Wood also faces kidnapping and armed criminal action charges. Wood is accused of kidnapping fourth-grader Hailey Owens in Springfield as she walked home from a friend’s house Tuesday evening.
Imposter patient sentenced in fraud
A Michigan woman who lied about dying of cancer was sentenced Wednesday to one year of imprisonment for cheating an insurance company and swindling sympathetic people in small communities.
The judge said Ylen, 38, will serve the one-year sentence concurrently with a minimum five-year prison term she was sentenced to in a separate case.