Wednesday, August 11, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 8/11

  • Four people survived the crash into a steep, remote Alaska hillside that killed former Sen. Ted Stevens. At least three were flown to an Anchorage hospital in a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. Among the survivors was former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe and his son, Kevin. The bodies of Stevens, 86, and the other victims were still at the site.
  • The craft was part of an operation to rescue people around Sukkur, the city in Sindh province where the wall of water unleashed by the worst flooding in Pakistan's history was cresting Tuesday as it moved south down the Indus River toward the Arabian Sea.
  • The House of Representatives approved the new spending on Tuesday by 247 to 161, and President Barack Obama signed it. The money should begin flowing in time for school systems to rehire and retain teachers early in the school year.
  • Federal regulators lifted a fishing ban off Florida on Tuesday, pronouncing all but a small area far off the Panhandle coast clear of any oil spill stigma. Reopening the areas was symbolically important enough that NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco flew to Panama City Beach to announce that a "rigorous set of steps" had shown seafood in the area was safe.
  • Gesturing at cameras in the room during a recent Friday sermon at his Pembroke Pines, Fla., mosque, Shafayat Mohamed shared his solution for turning what Muslims are calling a tide of anti-Islamic sentiment: Throw the doors wide open — online. During Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer that begins Wednesday, Muslims are opening mosques' doors, online and in person, aiming to improve images of Islam.
  • Alex Spanos, one of the nation's foremost Republican benefactors, has contributed $20,000 to Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown's gubernatorial campaign. The donation is unusual. Spanos has given millions of dollars to Republican causes, and he was a top fundraiser for President George W. Bush and former presidential candidate John McCain.
  • Downgrading its view of the economy, the Federal Reserve on Tuesday projected a "more modest" rate of recovery in the months ahead and announced that it will use proceeds from the mortgage bonds it owns to buy new Treasury debt in an effort to spark growth and investor confidence.
  • The possibility of legal action remained on the table as Texas' Republican political leaders decried a Texas-specific mandate included in a $26 billion jobs bill that won final congressional approval Tuesday. Texas Republicans object to an amendment crafted by the state's congressional Democrats to prevent Gov. Rick Perry and other state leaders from diverting millions of dollars in federal education assistance to other purposes. Republicans have denounced the restriction as a political stunt that would require them to violate the Texas Constitution to receive the money.
  • Ted Stevens died Monday the way Alaskans die, in a plane crash in the wilds of the state he devoted his life to. At 86, he was the last giant of statehood and a major architect of the Alaska that emerged from its territorial history. His constituents called him Uncle Ted and Senator for Life. Even his enemies welcomed his largesse, dished out in federal appropriations that numbered in the tens of thousands and affected almost every Alaskan's life.
  • Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul on Tuesday denied trying to abduct a woman and force her to use illegal drugs while attending Baylor University in the early 1980s. He said the allegations, published on the website of GQ magazine, are "absolutely untrue" and worthy of a lawsuit.
  • Amy, Betty and Cindy Doe just want to dance. The pseudonymous Ms. Does are three Kansas City-area erotic dancers named in a lawsuit challenging new restrictions on adult businesses in Missouri that are set to go into effect later this month. In addition to the dancers, several adult clubs and retailers, a cabaret owner and an industry trade group brought the case against the state.
  • This is a requiem for Willy Brown.
    As these words are written, he lies brain dead and on life support at Miami Children's Hospital. By the time you read this, there's a good chance he will have been disconnected and declared dead. He is, or he was, two years old. His father, 23-year-old Lee Willie DeJesus of Homestead, is in jail, having been denied bond. Prosecutors expect to charge him with first-degree murder.

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