Sentenced. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin will spend the next 10 years in prison for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from businesses that wanted city contracts. A jury convicted Nagin in February, and a judge handed down his sentence this morning. In addition to his jail time, he must also pay $82,000 in restitution. He faced up to 30 years in jail. Nagin, 58, became the face of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina battered the city, but his administration was widely criticized for corruption. He is the latest in a long line of Louisiana officials convicted of corruption. Prosecutors argued for a harsh sentence, saying Nagin showed an “astounding unwillingness to accept any responsibility for his actions.”
Summer storms. Powerful storms left a trail of destruction in New York overnight. The high winds and heavy rain brought down trees and power lines and ripped roofs off homes. At least five people died. More than 70,000 people in New York and 130,000 people in Pennsylvania are still without power.
Double agent? German officials are allegedly investigating another government employee on suspicion of spying for the United States. Last week, they arrested a German intelligence employee accused of being a double agent. Few details have been released about today’s raids on property in Berlin. One newspaper claimed the suspected spy worked for Germany’s defense ministry. Another said he was a soldier. This latest spying scandal has further strained the already delicate relations between the United States and Germany, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying earlier this week it put a damper on trust between the two allies.
Moscow’s great this time of year. One winter in Moscow evidently wasn’t enough for Edward Snowden, who has applied for another year of asylum in Russia, according to his lawyer. Snowden, the former National Secuirty Agency contractor wanted in the United States for leaking classified documents to the media, sought refuge in Russia last year after fleeing Hong Kong. He initially talked about seeking permanent asylum somewhere else, but he’s had a hard time finding a country willing to take him in. Despite his desire to stay put, Snowden must be getting cabin fever. During his year in Moscow, he’s reportedly never been seen in public.
He did not inhale. President Barack Obama passed on a chance to get high in the Mile High City last night. During a presidential visit to a Denver bar, a man held out a joint and asked, “Do you want to hit this?”Obama, in Colorado to raise money, laughed and declined. Colorado is one of only two states to legalize recreational marijuana use. Although Obama has admitted to smoking pot as a high school and college student, he now says that was a bad choice. But he’s also said he doesn’t think smoking pot is any worse than drinking alcohol.