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Port Authority chief resigns in wake of bridge scandal, Christie says

Trenton, N.J.

port chairman resigns amid lane closings scandal

Gov. Chris Christie on Friday announced the resignation of the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — the highest-ranking public official to resign during the scandal over lane closings at the George Washington Bridge — as he embarked on an aggressive campaign to re-establish himself on the national stage. David Samson had been under fire for his role in the closings since January, when emails showed he was more concerned about political ramifications for Christie than drivers stuck in traffic. Christie used the departure to try to signal a new era at the Port Authority and for himself.

Washington

GOP Rep. Mike Rogers quitting for radio show

Rep. Mike Rogers, the brash-talking Republican security hawk who has criticized the Obama administration yet commanded uncommon bipartisan support as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday he was retiring from Congress next year. The 50-year-old from Michigan made the surprising announcement in a radio interview, saying he would leave when his seventh term expires to launch his own radio show. His departure comes despite a sharp climb in his national profile, as he considered a Senate run and his name was floated as a possible candidate for FBI director.

Detroit

U.S. recognizes Mich. same-sex marriages

Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold. Holder's action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to the Michigan couples who married Saturday, which means they can file federal taxes jointly, get Social Security benefits for spouses and request legal immigration status for partners, among other benefits. Previously, Holder did the same thing in Utah.

New York

Security boss out at 1 World Trade Center

A spokesman for the company that manages 1 World Trade Center says the building's head of security has resigned. The Durst Organization's Jordan Barowitz says David Velazquez resigned Friday. His departure comes days after the arrests of three skydiving enthusiasts who in September parachuted off the building. It comes about two weeks after officials say a New Jersey teenager sneaked onto the site, climbed to the top of the 1,776-foot tower and took pictures. Barowitz says Durst took over security of the tower in January. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey controls the site and is responsible for security around the perimeter.

Houston

Texas high court halts drug source disclosure

Texas' new supplier of execution drugs will remain a secret, at least for now. The state Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a ruling that prison officials must disclose the information to attorneys for two death row inmates. Earlier Friday, an appeals court upheld a district judge's ruling from a day earlier that prison officials should disclose the source of a new batch of pentobarbital to the attorneys of the inmates scheduled to be executed with the drug next month. The high court's order allows officials to withhold the supplier's name while justices consider the issue.

Elsewhere

MontANA: U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail.

Belgium: Former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway will lead NATO starting Oct. 1, the alliance announced Friday.

South KoreA: South Korea on Friday repatriated the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers killed during the Korean War six decades ago, a gesture symbolic of warming ties between the nations.

South Africa: The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius was adjourned unexpectedly Friday after a judicial assessor became ill, the judge said. It will resume April 7.

Times wires

Port Authority chief resigns in wake of bridge scandal, Christie says 03/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 10:56pm]
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