SURVIVING eXOTIC ANIMALS WON'T GO TO WIDOW
Six exotic animals that were among dozens freed by their suicidal owner and that survived a big-game hunt by sheriff's deputies will be kept under quarantine at a zoo for now instead of going to his widow, the state Department of Agriculture ordered Thursday. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium wanted to stop Marian Thompson from reclaiming three leopards, two primates and a young grizzly bear that the zoo has cared for since last week, when owner Terry Thompson mysteriously set them and other wild animals including tigers and lions free. The other animals were killed by each other or by sheriff's deputies armed with high-powered rifles.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.
Edwards faces trial in January
Former presidential candidate John Edwards failed to persuade a federal judge to dismiss criminal charges that he used campaign donations to cover up an extramarital affair during his 2008 campaign. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled Thursday that a federal prosecution of Edwards can proceed. He is charged with violating campaign finance laws by secretly using more than $900,000 from two wealthy donors to hide the affair, which produced a daughter. The case is scheduled for January in federal court in Greensboro, N.C.
House passes piece of jobs bill
The House voted Thursday to repeal a law aimed at compelling government contractors to pay all their taxes. The measure was among the least controversial elements of President Barack Obama's jobs bill. By 405-16, lawmakers voted to repeal a not-yet-implemented law requiring 3 percent of payments to contractors to be withheld until their taxes are paid. More controversial was another bill intended to pay for the projected loss and to fix an apparent error in last year's health care law under which middle-income early retirees can get nearly free Medicaid coverage meant for the poor. Eligibility is tightened under the new bill, which passed 262-157 over Democrats' opposition.
Rina downgraded to tropical storm
Rina is now a tropical storm forecast to stay far away from Florida. Rina lost its hurricane-strength winds Thursday before brushing between Mexico's Caribbean coast and the island of Cozumel, lashing the area with winds of about 60 mph and rain. Rina was expected to move inland early today and weaken further before curving back out to sea.
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi state TV says Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud, the tough-talking interior minister, was named crown prince and heir to the throne after the death last week of the previous crown prince.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.: Former Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern has been released from a hospital where he was being treated for exhaustion. He plans to return to work.
WASHINGTON: The Army Corps of Engineers says it desperately needs about $1 billion to repair the damage from this year's catastrophic flooding in the Missouri and Mississippi basins.
NEW YORK: Eleven people, including two doctors and a former union president, are charged in a "massive fraud scheme" in which hundreds of Long Island Rail Road workers made false disability pension claims that could have cost a federal pension agency about $1 billion, according to court papers.