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NEW YORK | The organization planning to build an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center said Friday that the imam who co-founded the project and served as its public face is shifting out of a key leadership role so he can focus on other initiatives.

The nonprofit group Park51 said Feisal Abdul Rauf, who began a national speaking tour Saturday and spends much of his time out of the country, didn’t have enough time to spend on the center.

The group announced it had named a new senior adviser to help lead religious programming, Abdallah Adhami, a scholar with an architecture degree known for his lectures on gender relations.

Mr. Rauf, who helped come up with the idea for the center, and later promoted it amid fierce controversy over its location, announced late this fall that he would be starting a global movement that would fight extremism and promote better relations between people of different faiths and cultures.

Mr. Rauf will remain on the Islamic center’s board and involved in the project, Park51 said in a statement. But the group said it needed someone who could be more focused on the day-to-day business of building a local congregation.


Ex-civil rights chief turns himself in

DAYTON | The former national chairman of an Atlanta-based civil rights organization turned himself in Friday to face charges, including grand theft involving a meal program for low-income older people in southwest Ohio.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Raleigh Trammell declined comment as he was escorted by Montgomery County prosecutors. The former local president and national chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was indicted Wednesday on 51 charges — one count of grand theft and 25 counts each of forgery and tampering with government records. Last year, he denied misusing public funds.

Mr. Trammell, 73, surrendered one day after a nationwide arrest warrant was issued.


Landslides hit Pacific Northwest

PORTLAND | A Pacific storm sweeping through the Northwest has brought heavy rain to Washington state and Oregon, causing multiple landslides that shut down roads across the region.

Oregon transportation officials on Sunday closed U.S. Highway 20, also called Santiam Highway, near Cascadia in central Oregon after a landslide brought about 150 cubic yards of mud, rock and debris onto the road.

KOIN-TV reports that a section of a Portland road was partially underwater Saturday, while a landslide closed the westbound lanes of Highway 26 in the mountains west of Hillsboro.

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