Nation/World Briefs

NYC teachers’ pension fund divests from guns

NEW YORK – The $46.6 billion pension fund for New York City schoolteachers has sold its stock in companies that make guns and ammunition, city officials announced Friday.

City Comptroller John Liu said the Dec. 14 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., prompted the fund’s board of trustees to review the system’s investments in the gun industry.

He said the board concluded that divestment would be consistent with the fund’s fiduciary standards and overall investment process.

Jesse Jackson Jr., wife agree to plead guilty

WASHINGTON – In a spectacular fall from political prominence, former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife agreed Friday to plead guilty to federal charges growing out of what prosecutors said was a scheme to use $750,000 in campaign funds for lavish personal expenses, including a $43,000 gold watch and furs.

Federal prosecutors filed one charge of conspiracy against the former Chicago congressman and charged his ex-alderman wife, Sandra, with one count of filing false joint federal income tax returns for the years 2006 through 2011 that knowingly understated the income the couple received. Both agreed to plead guilty in deals with federal prosecutors.

Both face maximum penalties of several years in prison; he also faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and forfeitures.

Penn State: Scandal costs more than $27M

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Penn State’s bill for legal fees, consultants and other costs associated with the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal stands at more than $27.6 million.

An updated figure as of November 2012 was provided this week on a university website. It includes a $13 million price tag for board of trustees communications and the internal investigation into the scandal by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

Sandusky, a former assistant football coach under Paterno, is serving a prison term for 45 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 boys. He maintains his innocence.

Photos of Chavez shown after 2-month absence

CARACAS, Venezuela – The world got its first glimpse of Hugo Chavez since he underwent a fourth cancer-related surgery in Cuba more than two months ago, with photos released Friday showing the Venezuelan leader smiling alongside his daughters in Havana.

Along with images of the puffy-faced Chavez came a government explanation for why no one has heard from the longtime president since his surgery: He’s breathing through a tracheal tube that makes speech difficult.

Chavez’s government described his condition as “delicate” and said he continues to undergo “vigorous treatment for his fundamental illness.”

Associated Press