- The Washington Times - Monday, September 26, 2011

CALIFORNIA

‘Diversity bake sale’ condemned by students

SAN FRANCISCO — A Republican group at the University of California, Berkeley has cooked up controversy with a plan to hold an “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” as a satirical way to oppose legislation that would allow public colleges to consider race and other factors in student admissions.

Students at the Berkeley College Republicans’ event set for Tuesday will be charged different prices based on race, gender and ethnicity, with white students charged the most, American Indians the least, and women receiving a 25 percent discount, according to the Facebook event posting.

“If you don’t come, you’re a racist!” the post declares. The group’s website contains a link to the Facebook page.

In response to the sale, the Associated Students of the University of California unanimously approved a resolution Sunday that “condemns the use of discrimination whether it is in satire or in seriousness by any student group.”

NEW YORK

Strauss-Kahn asks court to dismiss maid’s suit

NEW YORKDominique Strauss-Kahn is citing diplomatic immunity in asking a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by the New York City hotel maid who says he sexually assaulted her.

Attorneys for the former International Monetary Fund leader filed the motion in a Bronx court Monday. They say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s time as head of the fund gives him immunity from the civil litigation.

Sex-assault charges against the 62-year-old French diplomat were recently dismissed after prosecutors said they had lost faith in the woman’s credibility.

The maid has accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex in his hotel suite on May 14.

In a recent interview on French television, he called the encounter a “moral failing.” A French writer has accused Mr. Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in 2003.

OHIO

Fake Army general gets 2 years in prison

CLEVELAND — A West Virginia man who posed as an Army general to try to land a six-figure construction management job has been sentenced in Ohio to more than two years in prison.

A federal judge in Cleveland sentenced Randall Keyser, 57, of Barboursville on Monday on his guilty plea to wire and mail fraud.

The judge says Keyser must get mental-health treatment after his release. His attorney said in a sentencing memo that Keyser is on medication for chronic depression.

Prosecutors say Keyser applied for a job pretending to be a major general with references including the Army chief of staff. The Akron-based company became suspicious and contacted the FBI.

Documents obtained by the AP show Keyser was hired under false pretenses in at least four states.

TEXAS

Former prison cook wants last meal continued

HOUSTON — A former Texas inmate who cooked the final meals for hundreds of condemned prisoners is offering to start doing it again at no cost to the state now that officials have ended the practice of allowing the special last requests.

Brian Price, who wrote a cookbook called “Meals to Die For,” about his former duties and now runs a restaurant on Houston County Lake in East Texas, said Monday the move by prison officials was “cold-hearted.” If it’s tax dollars people are worried about, he said, he’ll make a last meal for free for any condemned inmate in Texas.

Officials who oversee the country’s busiest death chamber stopped the practice of giving special final meals last week after a prominent state senator complained about an extensive request from a man being executed for his role in a notorious hate-crime dragging death. The prison agency quickly said condemned prisoners will now get the same dinner that other inmates eat that day.

Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons called Mr. Price’s proposal “a kind offer.” “It’s not the cost but rather the concept we’re moving away from,” she said.

WASHINGTON

2 hurt in gas explosion

SEATTLE — A natural gas leak inside a home caused an explosion and fire that destroyed a north Seattle home and injured two residents, the Seattle Fire Department said.

A couple who lived in the house thought they smelled gas Sunday night but weren’t sure so they didn’t report it, spokesman Kyle Moore said.

“When they woke up this morning and smelled something, they were turning on things and ‘boom!’ — the explosion,” Mr. Moore said.

The gas fumes apparently were sparked by an appliance, he said.

The couple, in their 50s, both suffered second-degree burns and are at Harborview Medical Center. The woman has life-threatening injuries. The man is in serious condition and was able to talk to investigators.

The explosion around 6 a.m. Monday rattled homes across north Seattle. It broke windows in nearby homes and debris fell a block away.

From wire dispatches and staff reports