EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 6, 2012

News briefs

Associated Press
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — DeMint resigning his Carolina Senate seat

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Jim DeMint, patron saint of the tea party and a would-be Republican kingmaker, announced suddenly yesterday he would resign his South Carolina seat to head Washington’s conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, a shift that reverberated through a soul-searching GOP.

Just two years into a second, six-year term, DeMint said he would step down on Jan. 1 to helm Heritage while continuing the conservative fight. The 61-year-old lawmaker, known to hurry home to South Carolina nearly every weekend, had signaled that this term would be his last, but his abrupt announcement shocked even his closest Republican colleagues.

“When he told me this morning, I about fell off my couch,” said South Carolina’s other senator, Republican Lindsey Graham. “I didn’t see this coming.”

Prizing ideology over electability, DeMint sometimes infuriated fellow Republicans, picking sides in GOP primaries with decidedly mixed results. He had no patience for centrist Republicans, pushing the party to the right while bankrolling candidates with millions from his political action committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund.

In 2010, candidates he ardently supported cost the GOP eminently winnable seats. This year, DeMint had better success.

Morsi offers nothing to defuse crisis after 6 die in Egypt clashes

CAIRO (AP) — An angry Mohammed Morsi refused yesterday to call off a referendum on a disputed constitution that has sparked Egypt’s worst political crisis in two years, drawing chants of “topple the regime!” from protesters who waved their shoes in contempt.

The Egyptian president’s uncompromising stand came a night after thousands of his supporters and opponents fought pitched battles outside his Cairo palace, leaving at least six dead and 700 injured.

Speaking in a nationally televised address, Morsi accused some in the opposition of serving remnants of Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime and vowed he would never tolerate anyone working for the overthrow of his “legitimate” government.

That brought shouts of “the people want to topple the regime!” from the crowd of 30,000 Morsi opponents — the same chant used in the protests that brought down Mubarak.

— Associated Press