Eisenhower project on hold
Funding requested to begin building the planned Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial near the National Mall in Washington was eliminated in the $1.1 trillion spending bill approved by Congress this week. Lawmakers approved $1 million for salaries and expenses to sustain the memorial commission's operations amid an ongoing dispute over architect Frank Gehry's design that has delayed the project for two years. But lawmakers dismissed the commission's $49 million budget request for construction. Language in the spending bill challenges the memorial project to resolve differences before moving forward. Eisenhower's family has objected to the design and called for a simple memorial.
French leader makes visit
President Francois Hollande has visited France's first lady for the first time since she was hospitalized late last week after a gossip magazine reported he was having an affair with an actor. An official at the presidential palace said Friday that Hollande visited Valerie Trierweiler, 48, the previous evening. Holland's office said she had experienced a "crisis of nerves" upon learning of the report in Closer magazine the president has been having an affair with Julie Gayet, 41. At a previously planned news conference Tuesday, Hollande, 59, acknowledged "painful moments" in his relationship with Trierweiler, with whom he has lived since 2007. They are not married.