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National Briefing

South Carolina: Jenny Sanford files for divorce; New York: Judge: Keep funding ACORN; South Carolina: Swine flu shots for Army recruits; Massachusetts: 98 year old charged in roommate's slaying

December 12, 2009

SOUTH CAROLINA

Jenny Sanford files for divorce

South Carolina's first lady, a former Wall Street executive who helped launch her husband's political career, has filed for divorce -- months after Mark Sanford's tearful public confession of an affair with an Argentine woman. "This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family," Jenny Sanford said in a statement.

NEW YORK

Judge: Keep funding ACORN

A federal judge has ruled the U.S. government's move to cut off funding to ACORN is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon issued the preliminary injunction against the government, ruling it was in the public's interest for the organization to continue receiving federal funding.

The Assn. of Community Organizers for Reform Now is an advocate for low-income and minority home buyers and others. Critics say it has violated the tax-exempt status of some affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Swine flu shots for Army recruits

Thousands of Army recruits in training must line up at least once more before heading home for the holidays, this time for mass inoculations against swine flu.

The Army's largest training camp at Ft. Jackson and other posts are hurrying to finish the shots before the year-end break.

More than 40,000 soldiers in advanced and basic training across the country head home over the next two weeks in a massive troop movement known as "block leave," Army officials said.

H1N1 has proved to be similar to seasonal flu but a bigger threat to children and young adults. Many of the trainees are in their late teens and early 20s.

MASSACHUSETTS

Woman, 98, charged in slaying

A 98-year-old woman was indicted on a second-degree murder charge that alleges she strangled her 100-year-old nursing home roommate after making the victim's life "a living hell" because she thought the woman was "taking over the room."

Laura Lundquist was sent to a state mental hospital for a competency evaluation before her arraignment. Her attorney said she has a "long-standing diagnosis of dementia, as well as issues of cognitive impairment."

Lundquist is believed to be the oldest murder defendant in state history, but might never go to trial because of her mental health issues.

Her roommate at the nursing home in Dartmouth, Elizabeth Barrow, was found dead in her bed Sept. 24 with a plastic bag tied around her head.

-- times wire reports

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