BOWLING GREEN, KY.

Senator awarded money

in attack by neighbor

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul was awarded more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses on Wednesday in his lawsuit against the neighbor who tackled him and broke several of his ribs in a dispute over lawn maintenance.

A jury in Bowling Green, Ky., deliberated less than two hours before delivering the award to the Republican lawmaker who had been attacked while doing yard work at his Kentucky home.

Paul had testified during the three-day trial that he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Rene Boucher slammed into him in their upscale Bowling Green neighborhood in late 2017.

 

CARACAS, VENEZUELA 

Protesters demand

president step down

Doctors in scrubs, businessmen in suits and construction workers in jeans gathered on the streets of Venezuela's capital Wednesday, waving their nation's flag and demanding Nicolas Maduro step down from power in a walkout organized by the nation's reinvigorated opposition to ratchet up pressure on the embattled president.

Protesters said they were heeding the opposition's call for another mass demonstration despite the heavy-handed response by security forces over the last week to quell anti-government protests.

 

LOS ANGELES

Parole recommended

for Manson follower

A California panel on Wednesday recommended that Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten be paroled after serving more than four decades in prison.

After a hearing at the women's prison in Chino, Calif., commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings found for the third time that the 69-year-old Van Houten was suitable for release.

If her case withstands a 150-day review process, it will rest in the hands of California's new governor, Gavin Newsom. Van Houten was recommended for parole twice previously, but then-Gov. Jerry Brown blocked her release.

 

TORONTO

Canada reducing staff

at embassy in Cuba

Canada announced Wednesday it is removing up to half of the Canadians at its embassy in Cuba after another diplomat was found to have fallen mysteriously ill.

Canada has confirmed 14 cases of mysterious health problems since early 2017. Twenty-six American embassy workers in Cuba have also been affected, suffering a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement Wednesday that tests confirmed a 14th case.

 

 

WASHINGTON

House OKs pay raise

for federal workers

The Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday approved a pay raise for civilian federal employees, a step that lawmakers said shows respect for a workforce that just endured a 35-day partial government shutdown.

The 2.6 percent raise matches the raise given to the military last year and would override a pay freeze imposed by President Donald Trump. The measure, passed by a 259-161 vote, goes to the Senate, where its prospects are unclear.

 

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS

State executes inmate 

for officer's slaying 

A 61-year-old Texas inmate was executed Wednesday evening for killing a Houston police officer more than three decades ago.

Robert Jennings received a lethal injection for the July 1988 fatal shooting of Officer Elston Howard during a robbery at an adult bookstore that authorities said was part of a crime spree.

As witnesses filed into the death chamber, Jennings asked a chaplain standing next to him if he knew the name of the slain officer. The chaplain didn't respond, and a prison official then told the warden to proceed with the punishment.

"To my friends and family, it was a nice journey," Jennings said in his final statement. "To the family of the police officer, I hope y'all find peace. Be well and be safe and try to enjoy life's moments, because we never get those back."

 

MEXICO CITY

Monarch population

more than doubles

The population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144 percent over last year, experts said Wednesday.

The data presented by Andrew Rhodes, Mexico's national commissioner for protected natural areas, was cheered but scientists quickly warned that it does not mean the butterflies that migrate from Canada and the United States are out of danger.

This winter, researchers found the butterflies occupying 14.95 acres of pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan and Mexico states. That's an increase from 6.12 acres a year ago.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires