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Tom DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering, South Korean Defense Minister Resigns

Tom DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering, Could Face Life in Prison

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Tex., stands for jury selection in his corruption trial on Oct. 26, 2010 in Austin, Tex. (Ben Sklar /Getty Images)

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Tex., was convicted Wednesday in Texas on charges of money laundering, five years after he was forced to step down. DeLay was accused of funneling $190,000 in corporate funds to candidates for the Texas legislature in 2002. He is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 20, but his lawyers have vowed to appeal the conviction. The charges could bring anywhere from five years to life in prison, though it is unclear what penalty prosecutors will seek. Speaking to lawyers outside the courtroom, DeLay called the verdict “an abuse of power,”, and said, “It’s a miscarriage of justice and I still maintain that I am innocent.”

South Korean Defense Minister Steps Down, Other Nations Weigh Response

In this image provided by a local resident, smoke rises from South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island near the border against North Korea on Nov. 23, 2010.

South Korea’s Defense Minister, Kim Tae-young, stepped down in the face of criticism over his handling of North Korea’s artillery attack on Yeonpyeong island Tuesday, as the country prepared to shore up its military defense of the island.

The skirmish has implications for South Korea’s allies. The U.S. sent an aircraft carrier to hold military exercises and Japan has maintained a state of high alert. China, North Korea’s strongest ally, is under pressure to exert influence over Pyongyang. North Korea has claimed the shelling was in response to South Korean provocation. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for “utmost restraint,” saying “the global community should do more to relax the tense situation.”

President Obama Uses White House Thanksgiving Address to Call for Bipartisanship

President Obama delivered his weekly address from the White House, referencing the economic hardships of the past year and calling for resolve, adding this is “not the hardest Thanksgiving America’s ever faced.” He also issued a call for bipartisan cooperation, referencing next week’s meeting with congressional leaders, and said the nation’s recession could not be resolved by “any one political party” alone.

Iraq’s New Coalition Government Faces Challenges

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was again sworn into office Thursday, ushering in a fragile new coalition government that includes Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish representation. Prime Minister al-Maliki, who has 30 days to assemble a cabinet, will be governing alongside President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and the Sunni-backed rival Ayad Allawi.

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