Nation briefs 6/23/15

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jesse Jackson Jr. out of halfway house

WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. representative Jesse Jackson Jr. returned to his family's Washington, D.C., home on Monday after leaving a halfway house where he had lived for several months after serving 2*½ years in prison for spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items. Jackson, an Illinois Democrat, was released from the Volunteers of America halfway house in Baltimore in the morning and left in one of two black SUVs that were there for him. He traveled to his home in Washington, where family members say he's expected to stay while on home confinement. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross said Jackson's home confinement release is expected Sept. 20, after which Jackson's wife, former Chicago city council member Sandi Jackson, is scheduled to serve prison time on a related conviction.

Lawsuit challenges debate rules

NEWARK, N.J. -- A nonprofit group and the Green and Libertarian parties filed suit Monday, seeking to force open the general election presidential debates to candidates from outside the two major political parties. The lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission seeks to force it to crack down on the Commission on Presidential Debates, which it argues is violating FEC rules that dictate debates must be staged in a nonpartisan manner and candidates selected for participation based on objective criteria. Alternatively, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeks permission to sue the debate commission directly. The plaintiffs, led by the advocacy group Level the Playing Field, also want to force the FEC to revise its current rules governing presidential debates.

Spider-Man toy inventor loses case

WASHINGTON -- The inventor of a popular Spider-Man web-shooting toy can't keep reeling in royalties after his patent ran out, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The justices ruled 6-3 against Stephen Kimble in his long-running dispute with Marvel Entertainment over a Web Blaster toy that shoots foam string from a glove. Kimble sold his patent on the toy to Marvel in 2001 and has earned more than $6 million in royalties under terms of a settlement agreement. Marvel stopped making payments in 2010 once the patent expired. Kimble had urged the high court to overrule a half-century-old case that says a licensing agreement cannot pay royalties once a patent ends.

Feral cats stink up Cincinnati suburb

ST. BERNARD, Ohio -- The suburban Cincinnati village of St. Bernard is being taken over by the smell of cats. Residents keep their windows shut because of the foul smell that has plagued neighborhoods. The St. Bernard village councilwoman Diana Schildmeyer said the stench of waste from the cats is so bad, the council needs to act. "I have residents calling me. They can't even go out of their house," Schildmeyer said. Ohio Alleycat Resource said it hopes residents will capture the cats using traps and take them to be spayed or neutered, reducing the problem.

-- From wire

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