Daily Dispatches
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas.
Associated Press/Photo by Laura Skelding/Austin American-Statesman
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas.

Midday Roundup: Is Rick Perry a criminal or victim of politics?

Newsworthy

Undeterred. Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to continue his unofficial presidential campaign despite a grand jury’s indictment of him Friday for abuse of power. A Travis County grand jury indicted Perry for carrying out a threat to veto state funds to the local district attorney, an elected Democrat, unless she resigned following her conviction for drunken driving. Perry defended the move in an interview on Fox News Sunday, saying, “If I had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision.” He sent a message to his critics, saying, “This is not the way that we settle differences, political differences in this country. You don’t do it with indictments. We settle our political differences at the ballot box.”

Attacked mid-flight. Dozens of refugees died in a shelling attack on a caravan of civilians trying to flee war-torn eastern Ukraine today, a top Ukrainian official said. The government and the rebels blamed each other for the attack. The tragedy highlights the growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands of residents have fled their homes since fighting between the government and Russian-backed separatists began. A Russian aid convoy of about 200 trucks is waiting at the border to enter eastern Ukraine. It first must undergo inspections and receive security guarantees from both sides of the conflict. Ukraine initially suspected the trucks might carry soldiers or weapons but has since acknowledged they carry relief supplies. 

Bibles on base. The U.S. Navy on Friday put a hold on an order to remove Bibles from base lodging. The order came in response to complaints from the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation. The Alliance Defending Freedom sent the Navy a letter explaining that the Constitution allows private groups like the Gideons to place Bibles, at their own expense, on government property. The Constitution also forbids expressing hostility toward religion, which is what the Navy did by giving in to the atheist group. The order is on hold pending review

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Deceased. Former Vermont U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, who in 2001 handed control of the Senate to Democrats when he quit the Republican Party, died Monday. He was 80. Jeffords served more than 30 years in Washington. He won election to the House in 1974 as a Republican, just as Vermont began its shift from a century of conservatism to its current status among the most liberal states. As a senator, he expressed disappointment with the Republican Party’s increasing conservatism. Upset with President George W. Bush’s opposition to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, he announced in 2001 he was becoming an Independent and would caucus with the Democrats. Republicans took back the Senate 18 months later, but Democrats regained control in 2006.

WORLD Radio’s Mary Reichard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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