BALTIMORE (AP) -- Cardinal William Keeler apologized for the first time to those sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests and said he regrets reinstating a priest who was shot this week by an alleged abuse victim.
In an opinion piece published Friday in The (Baltimore) Sun, Keeler said he takes "full responsibility" for the decision he made in 1993 to reinstate the Rev. Maurice Blackwell after the priest spent three months undergoing psychiatric evaluations.
Blackwell remained a pastor until 1998, when he admitted having a consensual relationship with a teen-ager in the 1970s before he was ordained.
"In light of what has occurred and of what was revealed in 1998, I would not make the same decision today," Keeler said.
Dontee Stokes, then 17, accused Blackwell of sexually abusing him in 1993. Stokes, now 26, allegedly shot Blackwell on Monday.
Firefighters still to battle wildfire
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- A wind-whipped fire that charred 1,000 acres and burned five homes was 45 percent contained, but still threatened up to 2,000 homes on the edge of this mile-high city, fire officials said.
Firefighters struggled through the day Thursday to establish the fire line, concentrating particularly on keeping the flames from slipping through a roughly quarter-mile gap.
Appeals court says abortion activists can be held liable
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- An ardent abortion foe who runs a Web site denouncing abortion doctors said he will remain online despite an appeals court ruling that he can be held liable for what amounts to making illegal threats, as opposed to engaging in free speech.
Neal Horsley said he would "add six bloody, baby-butchering judges to the Web site," referring to the federal judges who sided with four doctors and two clinics on Thursday in the closely watched case.
At issue was whether "wanted"-style posters and Horsley's Web site, which listed personal information about abortion providers, violated a 1994 federal law that makes it illegal to incite violence and threaten abortion doctors. In its 6-5 decision Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called the works a "true threat."
However, the court ordered a lower-court judge to reduce the $108.5 million in punitive damages a Portland, Ore., jury awarded to the four doctors in 1999 when a federal jury had found that the Web site and some of the posters amounted to "threats to kill."
Ground Zero ceremony May 30
NEW YORK (AP) -- An empty flag-draped stretcher symbolizing the human remains not recovered in the ruins of the World Trade Center will be carried out of the site during a ceremony on May 30 marking the end of the cleanup.
The ceremony is to begin at 10:29 a.m. -- the time when the second tower collapsed -- in the seven-story pit where the twin towers once stood. Thousands of victims' relatives and rescue workers are expected to attend.
Judge tells Enron to pay legal bills for whistle-blower Watkins
NEW YORK (AP) -- A bankruptcy judge ordered Enron Corp. on Thursday to pay more than $200,000 in legal bills racked up by whistle-blower Sherron Watkins.
Watkins, who alerted her superiors at Enron about its questionable accounting practices before the company imploded last fall, received legal advice costing about $400 an hour after she refused free representation by Enron, citing conflicts of interest.
Her warning to former chairman Kenneth Lay that Enron "might implode in a wave of accounting scandals" went unheeded and the company collapsed as its web of complex deals unraveled.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez ordered Enron to pay Watkins' lawyers $222,000, said Philip Hilder, one of her lawyers.
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