SEOUL – The heir to the Samsung empire bowed in apology Wednesday for company misconduct including a controversial plan for him to ascend to the leadership of the world’s largest smartphone maker. Lee Jae-yong is vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics and was jailed for five years in 2017 for bribery, embezzlement and other offences in connection with the scandal that brought down South Korean president Park Geun-hye. “We are recognized for our top-class technology and products but the public eye towards Samsung is still critical,” Lee said./PN The 51-year-old was released a year later on appeal but is currently undergoing a retrial. Lee Jae-yong is vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics and was jailed for five years in 2017 for bribery, embezzlement and other offences. POOL/AFP / KIM HONG-JI
DES MOINES — A bill that would re-establish the death penalty in Iowa has emerged in the Iowa Senate, but it’s unlikely to become law.A key member of the Iowa House who supports the concept of capital punishment tabled a similar plan last year. He concluded it costs taxpayers less to put someone in prison for life than to pay for years of legal challenges to a death sentence.Governor Kim Reynolds, when asked about the bill’s prospects during her weekly news conference, said Senators now have an opportunity to discuss the issue.“But there’s a lot of things that go into considering that and I haven’t seen any shift from where we were last year,” Reynolds said Wednesday.House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake doesn’t sense a death penalty bill is a priority for her fellow Republicans in the House.“Sometimes I hear from people: ‘I want to do this.’ ‘I want to work on this,’” Upmeyer told Radio Iowa and The Cedar Rapids Gazette. “I have not heard that, so I guess that would surprise me if that became an issue.”Another wrinkle in this year’s debate is an announcement last August from the head of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis said the death penalty is “inadmissable” and it’s the goal of the church to abolish capital punishment worldwide. Tom Chapman of the Iowa Catholic Conference said priests are talking about the issue in their parishes.“We don’t want to commit violence to try to protect people from violence,” Chapman told Radio Iowa.Twenty Republicans in the Iowa Senate are co-sponsoring a bill to impose the death penalty on those found guilty of kidnapping, raping and killing a child. It takes the support of 26 senators to pass a bill.Iowa abolished the death penalty 54 years ago.
MASON CITY — The Iowa House has passed two bills designed to address a lack of mental health services for Iowa children. The first bill established a state board to oversee the system.“A robust children’s mental health piece of legislation that lays the groundwork for what will come in the state of Iowa,” said Representative Joel Fry, a Republican from Osceola who guided the bill through the legislative process.The second bill, which passed unanimously, gave counties more flexibility to build up cash reserves in order to finance expansion of mental health services. Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said legislators need a better plan, particularly for kids who need long-term mental health care.“Our suicide rates are increasing in Iowa, especially among our young people,” Mascher said. “We are failing them.”Mascher and Mason City Democrat Sharon Steckman were among just 14 House members who opposed the bill establishing the framework for a children’s mental health system. Representative Mark Smith, a Democrat from Marshalltown, was another no.“I think that there are way too many unanswered questions on this,” Smith said.While a few others expressed similar reservations, Democrats like Representative Lisa Heddens of Ames said it was worth supporting.“Families want something. We have absolutely nothing out there for them,” Heddens said. “They want some sort of structure in place. They want somewhere to go to find out: ‘How do I navigate this mental health system?’ They don’t know where to go.”The bill sets a goal of developing and maintaining a children’s mental health system in Iowa to provide services regardless of where the child lives or whether the child’s parents can afford to pay for the care. Both bills now go to the Iowa Senate for consideration.