- President Barack Obama's announcement Wednesday that he'll lift bans on new drilling for oil and natural gas off much of the U.S. coastline drew criticism from environmentalists and only a lukewarm welcome from Republicans. Obama called the proposal only one part of a broad strategy to reduce foreign oil dependence and enact climate-change policy.
- The Pakistani army has launched a military operation to clear insurgents from North Waziristan — long a haven for al Qaida and the Afghan Taliban — and hopes to wind up offensive actions in all its tribal areas by June, according to the Pakistani general who's in charge of the special paramilitary force for the area.
- South Carolina's U.S. senators urged state officials to take a stand against a new federal health care law, something they said would aid efforts to change the law. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, both Republican, said the law would cost the state an additional $914 million and might cause some doctors not to see patients covered through government programs.
- Tea party groups from around North Carolina's Piedmont area are planning to protest President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and other policies Friday. Tea party organizers said they expect protesters from as far as Asheville to descend on southwest Charlotte, near the Celgard plant the president plans to tour.
- Nearly four weeks after losing her bid to unseat Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison abandoned plans Wednesday to resign from the Senate, saying she intends to serve the remainder of her term to fight the growth of the federal government.
- Gov. Charlie Crist's handpicked former GOP chairman is the subject of a criminal probe concerning a secret contract that funneled party money to a consulting company he owned, the party and the state's top law enforcement agency disclosed Wednesday.
- In a year when he was saying government needed to tighten its belt to get through the recession, Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt increased spending on his taxpayer-funded congressional office by 11 percent, federal records show. The reason? The increased number of calls complaining about President Barack Obama, a spokesman said.
- Critics of private organizations that support public universities have seized on Sarah Palin's upcoming appearance at CSU Stanislaus as the latest reason to expand California's public records law. Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and the California Faculty Association, the union representing CSU professors, are incensed the foundation bringing Palin in to speak won't say how much it is paying for her appearance.
- The Missouri Broadcasters Association has written state Attorney General Chris Koster asking him to determine whether white supremacist Glenn Miller is a "legally qualified" Senate candidate. Miller has filed as a write-in candidate for the office and bought time on several stations to air ads that demean Jews and non-whites, sometimes using racist language.
- The Kansas City man convicted of gunning down Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller will be sentenced today. Scott Roeder, 52, goes before Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert at 9 a.m. Roeder was found guilty of first-degree murder on Jan. 29 after testifying that he shot Tiller in the forehead on May 31 while Tiller was serving as an usher in his church.
- Duke University has settled a lawsuit with Mike Pressler, the man at the helm of the men's lacrosse program when a stripper brought false rape accusations against three team members. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
- Pop quiz, who said the following: "We do not want socialized medicine ... Behind it will come other government programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until one day ... we will wake to find that we have socialism ... We are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free."
Sen. Jim DeMint? Nope. Rush Limbaugh? Nope. House Minority Leader John Boehner? Nope. Speaker at a Tea Party rally? Nope.
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