National News

Nebraska Abolishes Death Penalty
Nebraska became the first conservative state to abolish the death penalty in more than 40 years on Wednesday, overriding the veto of Republican governor Pete Ricketts, who is a staunch supporter of capital punishment. The decision passed with a 30-to-19 vote, repealing the death penalty law with just enough votes to override the veto. The state’s legislature is dominantly Republican and the decision resulted in a vote that cut across party lines. (New York Times)

Texas Flood
As of Wednesday, extreme flooding due to thunderstorms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana has resulted in 12 missing persons and a death toll of at least 35. Flash flooding swept away homes, cars and bridges along rivers in central Texas over the weekend, and commuters on Wednesday drove along bridges that had been clogged with abandoned cars and chest-deep water the day before. The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for parts of east and central Texas, as well as Louisiana, and warned the Red River in Louisiana is approaching flood stage, likely to reach its highest level in 25 years. (NBC)

Horace Mann School Sexual Assault
In a recent investigation prompted by Horace Mann School alumni, the elite New York K-12 grade school was found to have 64 unaddressed cases of sexual abuse inflicted upon students by staff members between the 1960s and the 1990s. According to a report by former judge and sex-crime prosecutor Leslie Crocker Snyder, 20 cases reported by parents between 1962 and 1996 were not forwarded to law enforcement, and the abusers were allowed to stay at the school for years or decades after the first incident was reported. Horace Mann responded saying administration will read the report and make adjustments in child safety procedures, but also defended the policies currently in place. (Washington Post)

International Spotlight

India Heatwave
India has experienced a devastating heat wave over the last month resulting in serious damage to the country’s infrastructure and a current death toll of approximately 1,100. International weather officials have reported El Niño, a warm phase of the fluctuation of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean, could be delaying the rainy monsoon season in India and prolonging the heat spell. Southern India and the state of Andhra Pradesh have suffered the worst of the heat wave, experiencing power cuts and several heat-related illnesses. (ABC)

Tony Blair Resigns as Middle East Peace Envoy
Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Tony Blair sent his official resignation on Wednesday to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to step down from his position next month as the U.N.’s Middle Eastern Peace Envoy. Blair accepted the position as special representative of the Middle East Quartet — which includes the European Union — U.N., U.S. and Russia, in 2007 with the mission of seeking a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but struggled to develop stable Palestinian economy and governance. (The Guardian)

Wednesday morning, Swiss police arrested seven Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officials at the orders of Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who conducted a massive investigation into corruption within the international organization. Although the U.S. does not play a large role in the sport, the U.S. Department of Justice has decided to intervene to end bribery discovered within FIFA. The charges against the seven officials largely relate to “the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks” that were paid by marketing executives who wanted to increase their chances at winning contracts for the rights to market and sell media access to tournaments. (BBC)

A version of this story appeared on page 6 of the Thursday, May 28, 2015 print issue of the Daily Nexus.