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President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed two executive measures intended to help close long-standing pay disparities between men and women as Democrats seek to capitalize on their gender-gap advantage at the ballot box in a midterm election year. Obama, standing in front of a platform of women in a picture-ready ceremony in the East Room of the White House, said his actions would make it easier for women to learn whether they had been cheated by employers. Neither of the actions Obama took would affect the broad U.S. workforce. The executive order he signed bars federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries and an executive memorandum he issued instructs the Labor Department to collect statistics on pay for men and women from such contractors.

Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marine guard is shot to death by colleague

A Marine standing guard at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina shot and killed another Marine guard with an M4 rifle on Tuesday evening, officials said. The Marine who fired the shot is in custody.

A base news release said that the shooting isn't considered an act of terrorism.

The shooting comes less than a week after a fatal rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.


American in Cuba jail starts hunger strike

An American who has been imprisoned in Cuba for more than four years after illegally setting up Internet access on the island is on a hunger strike, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Alan Gross, 64, said he was protesting his treatment by the governments of Cuba and the United States. He told his lawyer that he ate his last solid meal on the evening of April 2.


Britain: In a historic first, the president of Ireland began a state visit to Britain on Tuesday to mark the growing reconciliation between his nation and the one that long ruled it from afar through centuries of oppression and rebellion.

New Haven, Conn.: Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, on Tuesday opened his campaign for a state Senate seat in Connecticut. He is known as an outspoken advocate for people with disabilities.

San Diego: None of the three federal agencies that helped rescue an ill 1-year-old girl and her family from their broken down sailboat about 900 miles off Mexico's Pacific coast plan to seek reimbursement for the cost, as they don't charge for search-and-rescue missions.

Houston: A Houston woman was convicted of murder Tuesday for fatally stabbing her boyfriend with the 5-1/2-inch stiletto heel of her shoe, hitting him at least 25 times in the face.

Times wires