Protesters: Veteran shoots self at Vermont encampment

Posted Nov. 10, 2011, at 9:01 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 22, 2011, at 1:52 p.m.

BURLINGTON, Vt. — A 35-year-old military veteran apparently shot himself Thursday at an Occupy Wall Street encampment in Vermont’s largest city, fellow protesters said. A hospital spokesman said later the man had died.

Deputy Chief Andi Higbee said the public was not believed to be at risk after the 2 p.m. shooting at City Hall Park in Burlington.

People who knew the victim in the encampment said they were sure the man, who said he was a veteran, had shot himself. Police would not characterize the circumstances of the shooting.

The shooting took place in or near a tent at the encampment. Higbee said police were trying to notify the man’s family; his name was not released. He is believed to be from the Burlington area.

Nixon grand jury transcript shows polite but combative ex-president

WASHINGTON — Ten months after resigning the presidency, three years after the botched burglary of a Washington office building that had set his downfall in motion, Richard M. Nixon drove to the Coast Guard Station in San Mateo, Calif., to meet with grand jurors and, for the only time, testified under oath about the Watergate affair.

Nixon’s testimony has remained locked out of sight ever since by grand jury confidentiality rules, a last, tantalizing secret from one of America’s greatest political scandals. The transcript became public Thursday, providing a detailed view of Nixon — combative, condescending, funny, outrageous, defensive and mindful of his place in history.

For historians who sued the National Archives for access to the tapes, as well as for the nation’s legion of Watergate buffs, the testimony closed one of the last gaps in the record of the scandal and provided an irresistible look at a master politician as he sparred with the people who had indicted more than 60 members of his administration.

“Some people can play cards and listen to television and have a conversation at one time. I can’t,” Nixon said at one point. “I do one thing at a time, and in the office of the presidency, did the big things and did them reasonably well and screwed up on the little things, partly because the staff didn’t bring them to me.”

Unlike the often-profane voice captured by Oval Office tape recordings, the Nixon who appears in the transcripts is polite, but often disdainful of the prosecutors and their mission. He already had received a pardon from President Gerald R. Ford by the time he testified on June 23 and 24, 1975, and had only one thing to fear — a lie that might expose him to a perjury prosecution. He made perfectly clear he would not cooperate more than necessary.

First lady announces plans to hire vets, families

WASHINGTON — Assuring military veterans that “America has your back,” first lady Michelle Obama in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced commitments from companies Thursday to hire 100,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014.

The first lady and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, launched their Joining Forces initiative in April to try to motivate citizens, businesses, nonprofits and community groups to do more to support military families.

It has resulted in the hiring of 16,000 veterans and spouses, and pledges to hire an additional 25,000.

Thursday’s announcement of 100,000 additional job commitments for military families includes plans to hire at least 5,000 wounded veterans.

At the same time, the first lady announced an online Veterans Job Bank tool to help veterans and spouses search for jobs with military-friendly employers. The tool has identified 550,000 job postings.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday approved new measures to help unemployed former service members, advancing a modest piece of President Obama’s $447 billion jobs package with rare bipartisan support.

The bill, approved by a vote of 95 to 0, would extend tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans. It would also provide new dollars for retraining older unemployed veterans for high-demand fields and includes programs designed to make it easier to get civilian certifications for military training.

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