Nation briefs: GOP newcomer wins in Georgia runoff

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ATLANTA — Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in a Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a general election matchup against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

On Tuesday night, unofficial returns showed Mr. Perdue with a lead of more than 6,000 votes, with about 93 percent of precincts reporting.

Mr. Perdue is a former corporate CEO making his first bid for public office. He campaigned as an outsider and called Mr. Kingston a career politician who has done little to solve the nation’s problems.

Mr. Kingston is an 11-term congressman from Savannah.

Koch’s gift fuels debate

WASHINGTON — America’s black colleges are struggling for funds. The Republican Party is struggling to attract black voters.

Enter a $25 million gift to the United Negro College Fund from the conservative Koch brothers, which has pitted the needs of black students against liberals’ insistence that the Kochs are pursuing a racist political agenda.

Whether genuine philanthropy, political jujitsu or some of both, the gift sparked a debate that peaked when Lee Saunders, president of the powerful American Federation for State, County and Municipal Employees union, sent the UNCF a blistering letter ending the union’s financial support.

“I can take their money and use it for good,” said Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.

The brothers are reviled by liberals for donating hundreds of millions to conservative causes, and have been labeled as racists, particularly for their support of laws that critics say make it harder for black people to vote.

“They are white supremacists. They are flooding our country with money,” the activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte said last year.

Report: Slide unpredictable

SEATTLE — The landslide that killed 43 people in March in the tiny community of Oso, Wash., was in keeping with a history of geological instability in the Cascade Mountains going back thousands of years. But it was also linked to more recent events, including the destabilization of soil from a slide in the same place in 2006 and, possibly, logging, scientists said Tuesday.

A new report by the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association said record-setting rains in the weeks before the landslide — an estimated 21 inches fell on the slopes above Oso in March — had clearly played a role, as had changes in how that moisture accumulated or drained.

But the authors stopped short of naming a specific cause or assigning blame, saying that a slide of such devastating size and force was not predictable. No landslide that big had occurred in recorded history in the Stillaguamish River Valley, they said, leaving residents and political leaders to reasonably expect the future would look like the past.

Mich. killings probed

WYOMING, Mich. — Investigators in the town of Wyoming, Mich., a Grand Rapids suburb, released new details about the deaths of Charles G. Oppenneer and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Brooke Slocumb, who was eight months pregnant when she was killed last week. Ms. Slocumb’s unborn child did not survive.

The couple had arranged to meet with a stranger they’d met on Craigslist, police say.

Now their suspected killer, Brady Oestrike, 31, is also dead, having shot himself after crashing his car while fleeing police, officials said.

Ms. Slocumb’s body was in his trunk. Police had been looking for her since her boyfriend’s body was discovered beheaded a day earlier, July 16.

Investigators say Ms. Slocumb had apparently used emails to arrange to meet with Mr. Oestrike in a money-for-sex encounter that was supposed to happen at a park in Wyoming late on the night of July 12.

N.J. casino robbed

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, N.J. — A manhunt was underway Tuesday for masked bandits who reportedly stole roughly $181,000 in an armed robbery at Caesar’s Atlantic City casino in New Jersey, police said.

Authorities were tight-lipped about the robbery, but the Press of Atlantic City reported that two men, one of whom displayed a gun, stole two cash boxes at around 6 a.m. on Monday before fleeing in a car.

Compiled from news services.

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