bloomberg sets up super pac to influence races
Seeking to reshape a national political debate he finds frustratingly superficial, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging into the 2012 campaign, creating his own "super PAC" to direct millions of dollars to elect candidates he thinks will focus on problem solving. Bloomberg, a billionaire and registered independent, expects to spend up to $15 million in highly competitive congressional, state and local races. The money will be used for ads on behalf of Republican and Democratic candidates who support three of his biggest policy initiatives: legalizing same-sex marriage, enacting tougher gun laws and overhauling schools. Aides say the Independence USA PAC will be registered today with the FEC.
Russians arrest opposition leader
Russian authorities arrested one of the country's most prominent political opposition leaders Wednesday, accused him of plotting to organize mass riots and said he could face terrorism charges. The arrest of Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the radical socialist group the Left Front, seemed to accelerate the government's efforts to bring serious criminal cases, with the prospect of long prison terms, against critics of President Vladimir Putin.
Man pleads guilty in murder plot
The Iranian-American charged in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy and other counts in U.S. District Court. Manssor J. Arbabsiar, a former used-car salesman from Texas, was accused of conspiring to hire assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million to kill the ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir. At the time the charges were announced, Attorney General Eric Holder said the plot had been approved by elements in the Iranian government. Arbabsiar faces up to 25 years in prison.
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Family: McGovern not responsive
The family of former Sen. George McGovern says the 90-year-old is "no longer responsive" in hospice care. McGovern's family issued a statement Wednesday afternoon through Avera McKennan Hospital. His daughter, Ann McGovern, earlier told the Associated Press her father is "nearing the end" and appears restful and peaceful. McGovern was the Democratic presidential candidate who lost to President Richard Nixon in 1972 in a historic landslide.
Shot Pakistani girl said moving limbs
A Pakistani official says Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting female education, has been doing better since she was airlifted to England for specialized treatment for brain trauma and has even been moving her limbs.