GOP filibuster blocks vote on PICK FOR court
Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked confirmation of Caitlin Halligan, a prominent New York lawyer, to be a federal appeals court judge. Democrats failed to pick up the 60 votes needed under Senate rules to break a filibuster of a confirmation vote for Halligan, a former New York state solicitor general. President Barack Obama had nominated Halligan for one of three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said her record demonstrated that she viewed the court as a means of advancing a social agenda instead of as a forum for even-handedly deciding legal questions.
Israeli airstrike kills militant
An Israeli airstrike hit a group of militants along the volatile border between Israel and the Gaza Strip early today, killing one and wounding two others in a burst of violence that shattered a recent lull and threatened to set off more fighting. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Adham Abu Salmia said the violence erupted when Israeli troops moved into a buffer zone east of Gaza City. Palestinian militants then engaged the troops in a gunbattle before an Israeli aircraft fired a missile at the gunmen, he said.
State official faults immigration law
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange on Tuesday became the highest-ranking Republican official to suggest throwing out parts of his state's tough new immigration law. He recommended that lawmakers repeal some portions of the statute that have been put on hold by federal courts and clarify some others. He said the proposed changes would make the law easier to defend in court and "remove burdens on law-abiding citizens."
Mom in shooting had sought aid
A Texas woman who for months was unable to qualify for food stamps pulled a gun in a state welfare office and staged a seven-hour standoff with police that ended with her shooting her two children before killing herself, officials said Tuesday. The children of Rachelle Grimmer, 38 — a 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl — remained in critical condition Tuesday.
Asheville, N.C.: The Rev. Billy Graham, 93, was released from the hospital on Tuesday after spending six days recovering from pneumonia, his son said.
Cuba: Elian Gonzalez, the boy who survived a perilous raft journey that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the United States and Cuba, celebrated his 18th birthday Tuesday