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Biden mistakenly blesses Irish leader's mother

washington

Irish eyes are smiling after biden's gaffE

Vice President Joe Biden asked for God's blessing for the late mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen during a White House celebration of St. Patrick's Day — except she is very much alive. "God rest her soul," Biden said Wednesday night as he introduced Cowen and President Barack Obama. He quickly caught himself and noted that it's Cowen's father who is no longer living. Of the prime minister's mother, Biden said: "God bless her soul." Biden then cited the Irish proverb that "a silent mouth is sweet to hear" and yielded the podium to the president.

EPA says flea, tick products hurt pets

Products intended to treat cats and dogs for fleas and ticks kill hundreds of pets each year and injure tens of thousands, the Environmental Protection Agency said. The EPA said it will develop stricter testing and evaluation requirements for flea and tick treatments that are applied to a pet's skin. It also will begin reviewing labels to determine which ones need to say more clearly how to use the products.

nigeria

12 more killed in religious attack

Attackers killed 12 people in a small Christian village in central Nigeria, cutting out most of the victims' tongues in the latest violence in a region where religious fighting already has killed hundreds this year. The attack almost mirrored the tactics used by those who carried out similar massacres in Christian villages last week when more than 200 were slaughtered. Attacks this month come after more than 300 people — mostly Muslim — were killed in January violence in the nearby city of Jos and its surrounding villages.

new york

Governor's press secretary resigns

Gov. David Paterson's press secretary became the fourth top staffer to quit amid dual scandals, resigning just hours after her boss publicly proclaimed for the first time that he did nothing wrong when he talked to a woman who had accused one of his top aides of abuse. Marissa Shorenstein said she resigned after two years because she could no longer do her job.

new jersey

Wal-Mart apologizes for racial incident

A announcement by a male voice at a Walmart store in Washington Township Sunday evening ordering black people to leave brought chagrin and apologies from leaders of the company. Officials with Wal-Mart Stores, based in Bentonville, Ark., said the announcement was "unacceptable" and that they're trying to determine who made it — whether an employee or a rogue patron — and how it happened.

Elsewhere

Detroit: Doors are expected to shut on more than a quarter of the city's 172 public schools in June as the district faces declining enrollment and a budget deficit of more than $219 million.

Los Angeles: Students at Harvard-Westlake School, an elite private school, who posted death threats and anti-gay messages on the Internet site of a 15-year-old classmate can't claim the constitutional protection of free speech, the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled.

Philadelphia: In the first criminal "sexting" case to reach a federal appeals court, the 3rd U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled a northeastern Pennsylvania prosecutor may not pursue felony charges against a teenage girl who appeared in a racy cell-phone photo.

Times wires

Biden mistakenly blesses Irish leader's mother 03/18/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 18, 2010 12:14am]

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