Nation and world news briefs

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LA County district attorney files 6 more sex assault counts against ex-porn star Ron Jeremy

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County prosecutors filed additional sexual assault charges Wednesday against disgraced adult film star Ron Jeremy, with some of the new allegations stretching as far back as 1996.

Jeremy, who was first arrested in June and charged with assaulting four women on the Sunset Strip, has now been criminally charged with attacking 23 women over a quarter-century and faces 34 criminal counts including rape, sexual battery and forcible oral copulation, authorities said.

Jeremy has denied all wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to the new charges in a downtown courtroom Wednesday. He is due back in court in mid-December. A call to his attorney, Stu Goldfarb, was not immediately returned.

The new charges include an allegation that Jeremy raped a 19-year-old woman during a photo shoot in the San Fernando Valley in 1996 and that he assaulted a 17-year-old girl at a Woodland Hills home in 2008. News that some of Jeremy’s accusers were in their teens comes after prosecutors filed a raft of new allegations against him in August, including a charge of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Santa Clarita.

Dozens of women have come forward to accuse Jeremy of a wide array of sexual misconduct, from groping to violent rape, since his arrest in June. Within three days, prosecutors said they had received an additional 25 allegations of misconduct against Jeremy. From June to August, the Sheriff’s Department interviewed 50 additional women who said they had been victimized by Jeremy. Six women also came forward to the Times in August to make their allegations of rape against Jeremy public for the first time.

—Los Angeles Times

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Administration plans to nominate bipartisan pair to hobbled FEC

WASHINGTON — After leaving so many vacancies at the Federal Election Commission that it couldn’t even hold meetings for most of the 2020 campaign cycle, the Trump administration said Wednesday it planned to nominate a bipartisan pair to the hobbled agency.

President Donald Trump’s picks are Republican Sean J. Cooksey, who serves as general counsel to Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, and Shana M. Broussard, who currently serves as counsel to FEC Commissioner Steven T. Walther. Broussard, if confirmed, would be the first Black commissioner in the agency’s 45-year history.

The FEC briefly had four commissioners, a quorum that could take official action, back in May with the confirmation of GOP lawyer James “Trey” Trainor III. But shortly after he took his post, Caroline Hunter headed for the exit in July.

Even when the FEC has its requisite six commissioners — three Republican and three Democratic picks — it is often gridlocked along party lines.

Should Cooksey and Broussard win Senate confirmation, the FEC still would be short one commissioner. And two of the current three commissioners, including Walther, are operating on long-expired terms. The other one is Commissioner Ellen Weintraub.

FEC commissioners are appointed for six-year terms. Weintraub, for example, has been on the commission since 2002.

—CQ-Roll Call

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21 arrested by Border Patrol after boat comes ashore near San Diego

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — Border Patrol agents arrested 21 people in Imperial Beach after a smuggling boat came ashore early Monday morning, officials said.

The panga was spotted around 3:30 a.m. at the south end of Seacoast Drive and a group of people got off and ran. Agents quickly located 13 people near the intersection of Seacoast and Encanto Avenue.

More agents responded and found eight additional people near Seacoast and Cortez Avenue.

The group included 14 men from Mexico, six woman from Mexico and one woman from Guatamala. All 21 were taken to a Border Patrol station for processing. Two of the men arrested will face human-smuggling charges, officials said. The panga was seized.

“Smugglers often overcrowd small open bow vessels that are typically unsafe,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a statement. “Sea conditions, visibility and weather are not important considerations to smugglers as they place an emphasis on profit over their victims’ safety.”

—The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Wild horse found dead on the Outer Banks — but cause is a mystery, officials say

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One of the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks was found dead on a beach at Cape Lookout National Seashore, and the cause remains a mystery, the National Park Service said Wednesday.

The animal was identified only as “a younger horse” living on the Shackleford Banks, an island at the southern end of the Outer Banks.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t discovered soon enough for our staff to determine what exactly caused the death at this time,” the park said in a Facebook post. “The natural mortality rate for the horses on Shackleford Banks is about 6%.”

The gender and age of the horse will be released after a biologist has had a chance to examine the animal, park officials said. It was not one of the 12 foals born this year, officials said on Facebook.

This marks at least the second case of a young horse dying on the Outer Banks this year, with the other in July on Corolla. In that case, a colt named Danny choked to death when someone gave it an apple, according to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

The wild horses are unaccustomed to eating apples, which aren’t native to the Outer Banks, and the fruit can get stuck in their throat, McClatchy News reported.

Disease, venomous snake bites and traffic accidents have also led to deaths in Outer Banks herds in recent years.

The Shackleford Banks, accessible only by ferry or private boat, has a herd of about 118 horses. Around 100 live in the Corolla area, outside the protection of the national park system.

—The Charlotte Observer

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