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POSTED January 29, 2012 7:30 p.m.

CONGRESS TRIES TO POLICE ITSELF ON INSIDER TRADING: WASHINGTON (AP) — Aware that most Americans would like to dump them all, members of Congress hope to regain some sense of trust by subjecting themselves to tougher penalties for insider trading and requiring that they disclose stock transactions within 30 days.

A procedural vote Monday would allow the Senate later this week to pass a bill prohibiting members of Congress from using nonpublic information for their own personal benefit or "tipping" others to inside information that they could trade on.

Insider trading laws apply to all Americans, but the CBS TV news magazine "60 Minutes" in November said members of Congress get a pass, citing investment transactions by party leaders and a committee chairman in businesses about to be affected by pending legislation.

The broadcast report raised questions about trades of House Speaker John Boehner; the husband of Democratic leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi; and Rep. Spencer Bachus, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

All three denied using any insider information to make stock trades, but the broadcast set off a flurry of efforts in Washington to deal with the public perception.

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of registered voters found 56 percent of them favor replacing the entire 535-member Congress. Other polls this year have given Congress an approval rating between 11 percent and 13 percent, while disapproval percentages have ranged from 79 percent to 86 percent.

CONN. MAYOR: I DESERVED CRITICISM FOR TACO QUIP: EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The mayor of a Connecticut town who has been criticized for his quip about eating tacos in response to an anti-Latino bias investigation says he brought the criticism on himself.

A reporter had asked East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo last week about what he would do for the Latino community, and he answered by saying he "might have tacos."

He told WFSB-TV on Sunday that he wants to move on from the comment.

Four East Haven officers are accused of depriving Latinos of their rights in a pattern of harassment, intimidation and unlawful searches. They face federal charges.

Maturo says East Haven is not a biased community. He stops short of defending its police against the federal allegations, though. He says he's awaiting more information from investigators.

ASSAULT CHARGE DROPPED IN BOY'S FATAL BEATING: WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge has dismissed assault charges against the fiancée of a man accused of fatally beating his 7-year-old son on Father's Day 2009.

The judge said there was insufficient evidence to pursue assault charges against 31-year-old Tiffany Hyman, who still awaits trial on charges of reckless endangerment and being an accessory after the fact.

Prosecutors say Hyman failed to intervene when Leslie Schuler allegedly inflicted a fatal beating on his 7-year-old son on June 23, 2009. The boy, Nathaniel Turner, had come to Massachusetts from his home in Eufaula, Ala., about a month earlier to spend the summer with his father.

The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester reports a judge has approved an attorney's request for separate trials for Hyman and Schuler. No trial dates have been set.

CANDIDATE BARRED FOR ENGLISH DEFICIT VOWS APPEAL: YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — A city council candidate in Arizona who was barred from running because she doesn't speak English proficiently is vowing to appeal the judge's ruling.

Alejandrina Cabrera conceded in an interview with the Yuma Sun that she needs to improve her command of English. But the San Luis resident said the judge's decision that she doesn't satisfy a state law requiring elected officials to be proficient is unjust.

"He can't take away my constitutional rights, and if he takes away my rights, he takes away the rights of the community," Cabrera told The Sun's Spanish-language edition on Saturday.

Her language skills are adequate in a southwestern Arizona border city where Spanish is used as frequently as English, Cabrera said. She declined to give details of the appeal.

The case has brought national and international attention to the city after San Luis Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla filed a court action last month asking for a determination on whether she had the English skills necessary to serve on the council.

OFFICERS CHECKING ROBBERY FIND 5 DEAD IN ALA. HOME: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Police investigating a possible robbery at a Birmingham home early Sunday instead found five people dead inside, authorities said.

Birmingham Police Sgt. Johnny Williams said officers arrived at the house around 3:30 a.m. Sunday after getting a call that a robbery was in progress and soon discovered the five victims. He told reporters that investigators are interviewing potential witnesses but so far have made no arrests.

"Someone out there knows more information," said Williams. "We know someone is going to do the right thing."

The victims' identities and the causes of death were not immediately released. Birmingham authorities launched a homicide investigation and police believe more than one person was involved.

"It obviously appears to us this horrific crime was not a random act of violence," said Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper.

The two-bedroom house, which is made partly of cinderblocks, was built along a busy street in west Birmingham. Vacant homes sit beside houses where some residents have lived for years. One is Beatrice Houston, who lives across the street from the home where the bodies were found.

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