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Kenyan foreign minister says some attackers from Minnesota

Questions over who first reported priest’s abuse; homeless count; St. Cloud employment hits record; Target, others watching Bangladesh protests; and more.

A Kenyan official is saying that some of the Nairobi attackers had Minnesota connections. Will Lester of the AP says: “Two or three Americans and one Briton were among those who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall, Kenya’s foreign minister said Monday. More than 60 people have been killed in the assault on the upscale mall, which has lasted for three days. The foreign minister, Amina Mohamed, said in an interview with PBS’ ‘NewsHour’ program that the Americans were 18 to 19 years old, of Somali or Arab origin and lived ‘in Minnesota and one other place’ in the U.S. The attacker from Britain was a woman who has ‘done this many times before,’ Mohamed said.” This, of course, would still fall short of confirmation.

For MPR, Tom Scheck and Madeleine Baran continue their reporting on the archdiocese’s handling of the convicted sex-offender priest: “The police investigative file does not say who first contacted authorities when the allegations against Wehmeyer came to light. It says the mother of the victims told police that she talked to another priest in the archdiocese about the allegations first — and that she and one of her children met with a church official before being interviewed by police. A spokesperson for the archdiocese said that its director of clergy services at the time, Deacon John Vomastek, reported the allegations to police but declined to say when. Vomastek himself is a former police officer. … late yesterday, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released a statement saying, ‘In hindsight and in light of what we now know, we also recognize that our handling of past concerns could have been better addressed.’ ”

No doubt among the “moochers” expecting free food stamps … Amy Bowen at the St. Cloud Times reports: “More families, teenagers and older women are homeless in Central Minnesota. The findings are part of annual summer Point-in-Time Homeless Persons Count, which was done July 24. More than 40 households with children did not have shelter and more than 60 were doubled up in July, the count showed. In January, 17 households with children did not have shelter. Older women, ages 70 and older, also are an increasing number of the homeless, according to A.G. Lynch, coordinator of the Central Minnesota Continuum of Care, which collects the data on unsheltered people twice a year to provide a count of unsheltered people.”

While simultaneously … Kevin Allenspach of the Times reports: “If the numbers reflect reality, employment in St. Cloud reached record levels in August. A total of 103,316 people [were] identified as employed in the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area last month, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That’s more than at any time since DEED began keeping the statistics. Partly as a result, St. Cloud’s unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent. It was 4.7 percent last November … but hasn’t been lower since November of 2007. It was 3.9 percent then, one month before the beginning of the Great Recession. St. Cloud’s one-month improvement matched that of Duluth, which experienced a decline of 0.5 percentage points to 6.0 percent. The unemployment rates for Mankato and Rochester dipped to 4.1 percent … Minneapolis-St. Paul experienced the same decline and also had a 4.7 percent unemployment rate.”

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And speaking of moochers … who can’t live on $38 a month? Martin Moylan of MPR reports: “Target and other retailers are keeping an eye on violent protests by garment factory workers in Bangladesh who are demanding higher wages. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday in the third day of clashes with thousands of workers. Most of the confrontations have occurred just outside Dhaka, where hundreds of factories produce clothing for many big global brands. Police said more than 100 factories were closed for the day. Workers are demanding that their minimum monthly wage be raised to about $100, from the current $38. Factory owners say such a hike would inflate their production costs too much. Target is monitoring the situation closely and has seen ‘minimal impact’ on its supply chain so far.”

You’d like to think the court system had better things to do … . Randy Furst of the Strib writes: “Attorneys for former Gov. Jesse Ventura … tangle[d] Tuesday morning in U.S. District Court with lawyers for the widow of a Navy SEAL whom Ventura is suing for defamation over the man’s book, ‘American Sniper.’ The hearing in St. Paul is expected to focus on the site of the trial. The widow, Taya Kyle, wants to move the trial to Dallas, near her home, because she is a single mother with two children. The trial could take two weeks or more.” In an update, Furst reports the trial will be held in Minnesota.

The GleanMinnesota’s attorney general and 39 others are calling for regulation of … e-cigarettes. The AP says: “The letter dated Tuesday is co-sponsored by Massachusetts Attorney Martha Coakley and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. It says e-cigarettes are being marketed to children through cartoon-like advertising characters and by offering fruit and candy flavors, at the same time they are becoming more affordable and available. The letter says e-cigarettes are also being advertised during prime-time television hours and are portrayed as safe alternatives to traditional cigarettes. But it says they are addictive and capable of delivering high doses of nicotine. An industry group, the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, says it agrees that e-cigarettes should be regulated as a tobacco product.” “Hi, I’m Seymour, with the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association. Here’s my card.”

PiPress columnist Ruben Rosario gets into the Vikings stadium deal, saying: “[I]n the end, to someone like me, it doesn’t matter whether the Wilfs have enough dough to hold their part of the deal. They probably do. It doesn’t matter that the judge in New Jersey on Monday ordered the Wilfs to pay damages of $84.5 million in the case. It doesn’t matter that an entity like the Metropolitan Sports Facility Authority is supporting banking this public disaster like a street corner drug pusher more than willing to make a profit by fueling the drives of a dope addict. It doesn’t matter that gullible and complicit ‘we know better than you’ local radio, print and TV sports personalities have been cheering on this boondoggle. This was a bad deal for the public from the get-go and a great deal for millionaires and billionaires. Wake up, Minnesota.” Now if Charley Walters, Pat Reusse and Dan Barreiro would say the same thing …

Finally, Today in the Annals of Constitution Hatin’ ‘n Gun Grabbin’ … Gina Barton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says: “In many Wisconsin counties, judges don’t know if domestic abusers own firearms — even though a state law makes it illegal for them to do so. And if an abuser lies about owning guns or ignores a court order to turn them over, there is often no follow-up and no penalty. That could soon change under a bipartisan bill that would set up a process for allowing courts to verify whether people subject to domestic violence and child abuse restraining orders surrender their weapons.”