The week at a glance ... United States
Daly City, Calif.Overdoses mar festival: A weekend music festival at the famed Cow Palace theater turned ugly after several concertgoers were hospitalized and one man died of an apparent overdose of party drugs. Anthony Mata, 23, died after ingesting an overdose of Ecstasy, police said. At least four others were hospitalized with complaints ranging from shortness of breath to kidney failure, and police arrested 73 people, mostly on charges of selling drugs. Authorities seized more than 800 Ecstasy tablets and undisclosed quantities of methamphetamine and cocaine. The POP 2010 The Dream festival drew more than 16,000 attendees and featured electronic dance music and elaborate light shows.
Springfield, Ill.Candidate embellished record: Mark Kirk, the Republican candidate in the race for the Senate seat once held by President Obama, admitted this week that he misstated his military service during the Iraq war. Kirk’s campaign website had claimed that he was “the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom” and that he flew missions over Iraq. In fact, Kirk served stateside during the war. The disclosure follows Kirk’s admission last week that he falsely claimed to have won an award as the Navy’s top intelligence officer in 1999. The award was actually given to the entire unit that Kirk led. The embarrassing admissions have given a boost to the candidacy of Democrat Alex Giannoulias, who has narrowed Kirk’s double-digit lead in the polls. Giannoulias has troubles of his own, stemming from the federal seizure of banks owned by his family.
BostonBoy’s murder shakes city: The brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy capped a violent Memorial Day weekend in Boston and prompted calls for a crackdown on gangs. Nicholas Fomby-Davis was attacked and shot to death by two alleged gang members as he rode a moped in the low-income Dorchester neighborhood. Two suspects were arrested, and police were going door to door looking for more suspects. Relatives and neighbors of Fomby-Davis said he had no ties to the rival gangs that plague Boston’s poorer neighborhoods. “He was just a sweet, bright, playful kid who loved to fish and loved to play,” said his mother, Latrina Fomby-Davis. At least three others died in Boston-area shootings or stabbings over the weekend.
Washington, D.C.Miranda rights narrowed: The Supreme Court this week scaled back its historic Miranda decision, ruling 5-4 that a suspect’s words can be used against him if he fails to clearly tell police that he does not want to talk. Previously, the burden rested on the government to show that a suspect had “knowingly and intelligently waived” his rights. Writing for the majority, swing Justice Anthony Kennedy said that a suspect who demands the right to remain silent “must do so explicitly” and that police do not need to wait for the suspect to waive that right before questioning him. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in her first dissent, said the decision “turns Miranda upside down” and “marks a substantial retreat from the protection against compelled self-incrimination.”
New Haven, Conn.Graduation flap: A federal appeals judge has barred two public high schools from holding graduation ceremonies in a Christian church, saying the ceremonies amounted to an unconstitutional state endorsement of a particular religion. Two high schools in the Hartford suburb of Enfield had sought to hold their commencements in the First Cathedral in nearby Bloomfield, after being priced out of alternative venues. Two students and their parents protested, and the American Civil Liberties Union took up the case. With graduations planned for later this month, Enfield school officials promised an expedited appeal. The cathedral “had unlimited seating comfort, convenience, security, safety,” said school board Chairman Greg Stokes. “It was truly the best venue for the best price.”
Washington, D.C. Ending ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’: The U.S. military’s prohibition against openly gay and lesbian soldiers has moved closer to repeal, after the full House and the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to end the 17-year-old policy. But repeal still requires approval by the full Senate and reconciliation in a House-Senate conference committee, and its prospects are unclear. Many Republicans oppose the measure, arguing that it would be “disrespectful of the troops” to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” before the Pentagon finishes its own review, due Dec. 1. Democrats want to push the legislation through by August, to prevent DADT from becoming a major issue in the November congressional elections.