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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 17, 2017 1:00 am

Nation/World

Iceland prime minister resigns after letter flap

News Services

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Iceland's president on Saturday accepted the resignation of the island's prime minister, who says a new election most likely will be held on Nov. 4.

Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson lost his nine-month-old, center-right coalition after one party quit over an attempt by the prime minister's father to help clear the name of a convicted pedophile. President Gudni Th. Johannesson met Saturday with Benediktsson.

The Bright Future party quit the ruling coalition Friday after it emerged that Benediktsson's father had written a letter urging a pardon for Hjalti Sigurjon Hauksson, convicted in 2004 of raping his stepdaughter almost every day for 12 years.

Myanmar accused of violating airspace

Bangladeshi authorities summoned Myanmar's envoy to protest what they said were violations of their airspace as the number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in western Myanmar in the past three weeks reached more than 400,000. Myanmar's presidential spokesman said there's no evidence of any trespassing.

Teacher on leave after Pledge incident

A teacher in eastern Michigan has been placed on administrative leave after she was accused of “violently snatching” a sixth-grade student from his chair as he stayed seated for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Brian Chaney of Farmington Hills, Michigan, said a teacher consultant forced his 11-year-old son, Stone, to stand for the pledge last week at East Middle School. Chaney called the action a violation of his son's civil rights, explaining that Stone had been making a personal decision not to salute the American flag – but to honor God and his family – for the past several years.

Official: Student's notes held threats

A student accused of a deadly school shooting in eastern Washington had been suspended for bringing threatening notes to school shortly before the attack. Freeman School District Superintendent Randy Russell tells The Spokesman-Review that the district followed protocol by suspending the student and sending him for a mental evaluation.

The shooting occurred on the first day Caleb Sharpe, 15, returned from the suspension to Freeman High School in Rockford, the newspaper reported.

California toughens 'sanctuary' bill

California lawmakers approved a “sanctuary state” bill on Saturday that would put new restrictions on interactions between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, drawing the ire of federal officials who argued the legislation prioritizes politics over public safety.

The legislation is the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in California, home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization, to create barriers to President Donald Trump's campaign pledge to step up deportation efforts.