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Reid seeks end to filibuster on U.S. judges

Washington

Reid seeks end to filibuster on U.S. judges

Raising the partisan temperature in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Monday used a parliamentary tactic designed to end a Republican filibuster against 17 of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees. Reid, whose move infuriated Republicans, has been complaining for months about the slow pace of confirmations of the president's picks for the federal bench. He filed a petition for cloture, which would limit debate and force a vote on the nominees. He would need a super majority of 60 votes in the 100-member Senate, and Democrats only have 51, plus two independents who caucus with the party. The procedure would require 17 separate votes — one for each judge — to limit debate and force an up-or-down vote. The votes are likely by Wednesday.

Boston

Bulger companion set to plead guilty

Catherine Greig, the companion of reputed Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, is expected to plead guilty to charges that she helped him evade capture for 16 years, say relatives of his alleged murder victims who were briefed on the matter. The relatives met with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz on Monday. Afterward, they said Greig, 60, will plead guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, as well as one charge of credit-card fraud and another of identity fraud. The relatives also said they were told she will not be forced to testify against Bulger.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.

Police say student threatened to kill

A University of Maryland honor student who warned on websites he was going to "kill enough people to make it to national news" was arrested after several people reported the online messages to police, helping to thwart a threatened campus rampage, authorities said. Police set up surveillance on Alexander Song, 19, and arrested him on campus.

IRAQ

14 killed in attacks, holdup of stores

Insurgents struck security forces, a government office and jewelry stores in Iraq on Monday, killing 14 people, security officials said. There was no claim of responsibility for Monday's strikes, and numerous armed groups in Iraq have mixed attacks on political targets with money-making criminal operations. But al-Qaida in Iraq has been believed to fund itself in part with cash and gold stolen from jewelry stores.

ChiNa

Tibetan monk sets self on fire

A Tibetan monk set himself on fire in protest on the 53rd anniversary of the failed uprising against Chinese rule, an overseas activist group said today. The London-based Free Tibet group said 18-year-old Gepey self-immolated on Saturday in Aba, a town that is under heavy security lockdown in western Sichuan province. March 10 marked the start of the failed revolt that caused the Dalai Lama to flee the Himalayan region in 1959.

Elsewhere

Canada: Former Vice President Dick Cheney canceled a speaking appearance in April in Toronto because of security concerns sparked by demonstrations during a visit to Vancouver last fall, a sponsor said Monday.

China: A section of an unopened high-speed railway collapsed last week in central China's Hubei province after heavy rains, officials said Monday, renewing safety concerns prompted by a fatal crash last year.

Times wires

Reid seeks end to filibuster on U.S. judges

03/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 12, 2012 11:33pm]
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