Obama gets Powell's backing
President Barack Obama rallied support for a stalled nuclear treaty from former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday, as both men warned of consequences if the Senate fails to ratify the agreement with Russia. "We're not exactly sure what's going on in the Russian Federation, and they're not exactly sure what's going on in the United States," Powell said.
Ensign's lawyers: He's no target
The Justice Department is no longer targeting Sen. John Ensign in a criminal investigation arising from his affair with a former campaign aide and has no plans to charge him, attorneys for the Nevada Republican said Wednesday.
Food safety bill stumbles
A procedural problem is threatening to derail a landmark food safety measure passed by the Senate on Tuesday, sending congressional leaders scrambling to figure out a way to get the bill enacted into law by the end of the lame-duck session. After the Senate approved the measure, 73 to 25, staffers learned one section could violate a constitutional provision that calls for any new taxes to originate in the House.
$30M award in priest abuse case
A Delaware jury has awarded $30 million in damages to a man who said he was abused by a priest, a verdict that was exceptional for both the dollar value and for finding the local parish liable, not just the diocese. The lawsuit by John Vai said he was abused repeatedly as a boy in the 1960s by Francis DeLuca when the former priest was a teacher at St. Elizabeth's Parish in Wilmington, Del.
Soldier makes plea deal on war crimes
One of 12 Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers accused of war crimes while in Afghanistan pleaded guilty Wednesday after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors. Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for firing in the direction of two Afghan farmers, and reckless endangerment. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements by lying to cover up the crimes, and to dereliction of duty.
SAN ANGELO, Texas
Polygamist leader extradited to Texas
Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs was quietly extradited from Utah to Texas, where he was arraigned Wednesday to face trial on bigamy and sexual assault charges.
Rangel rings up his supporters
Rep. Charles Rangel of New York asked 25,000 campaign donors Wednesday to call the Capitol switchboard and urge their representatives to vote against censuring him for ethical misconduct. Rangel, 80, a Democrat who has served his Harlem district for 40 years, faces a scheduled censure vote today.
Illinois civil unions bill passes
Civil unions for same-sex couples would be allowed in Illinois under historic legislation the state Senate swiftly sent Wednesday to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is expected to sign the measure.