House resolution praises top U.S. general in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to condemn the liberal advocacy group for a recent advertisement attacking the top U.S. general in Iraq. By a 341-79 vote, the House passed a resolution praising the patriotism Army Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and condemning a ad that referred to Petraeus as “General Betray Us.” The liberal group’s full-page ad appeared earlier this month in The New York Times and has served as a rallying point for Republicans.

Post office to lose $600 million

The U.S. Postal Service expects a loss of about $600 million next year despite increased income and reduced spending. The agency’s governing board on Tuesday approved a fiscal 2008 financial plan that anticipates income of $78.2 billion and expenses of $78.8 billion. The plan for the budget year beginning Oct. 1 does not assume any increase in rates, though the Board of Governors has not taken a formal position on any price changes.

California: Big naval swastika

The Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for modifications to obscure the fact that one of its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air. The four L-shaped buildings, constructed in the late 1960s, are part of the amphibious base at Coronado and serve as barracks for Seabees. From the ground and from nearby buildings, the controversial shape cannot be seen. But once people began looking at images from Google Earth, they started commenting on about how much the buildings resembled the symbol used by the Nazis.

Indiana: Fake bomb incident

Security officials closed a concourse at Indianapolis International Airport for about an hour early Wednesday because of a suspicious package that turned out to be an inert explosive used to train federal security workers. “A TSA training officer had used the components for training purposes overnight and then inadvertently left them at the checkpoint,” a TSA spokeswoman said. Airline passengers were never in danger, she said.

Massachusetts: Nursing ruling

A Harvard student must be allowed extra break time during her nine-hour medical licensing exam so she can pump breast milk to feed her 4-month-old daughter, a Massachusetts appeals court judge ruled Wednesday. Sophie Currier, 33, sued after the National Board of Medical Examiners turned down her request to take more than the standard 45 minutes in breaks during the exam. She said she risks medical complications if she does not nurse her daughter or pump breast milk every two to three hours.

Utah: Spouse faces rape charge

Prosecutors in Salt Lake City filed a rape charge Wednesday against the ex-husband whose marriage was at the center of polygamous-sect leader Warren Jeffs’ trial. The charge against Allen Steed came a day after Jeffs was convicted of rape by accomplice. Steed was 19 and his bride — also his first cousin — was 14 when they were married in 2001. He is accused of having sex with the girl against her will after the arranged marriage.

Michigan: Walkers’ breath check

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked a Michigan law that requires pedestrians under 21 to submit to a breath test without a search warrant. The American Civil Liberties Union, which had sued on behalf of four college students, said the law is the only one of its kind in the country. A U.S. District judge in Detroit ruled that it was unconstitutional to force nondrivers to submit to preliminary breath tests without a warrant. Under the 1998 law, pedestrians under 21 who refuse to take a breath test face a $100 fine.

Afghanistan: Attack on militants

U.S.-led forces used artillery and airstrikes to kill more than 165 insurgents and repel assaults on coalition troops in two strongholds of Taliban militants and Afghanistan’s rampant drug trade, officials said Wednesday. The battles in Helmand and Uruzgan provinces came shortly before President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai met in New York to discuss worsening fighting in Afghanistan and growing opium production, insisting progress was being made.

Italy: Question on pope’s care

A doctor alleged Wednesday that Pope John Paul II violated Catholic teaching against euthanasia by refusing medical care that would have kept him alive longer. In an article in the journal Micromega, an anaesthesiologist questioned why John Paul was only outfitted with a nasal feeding tube three days before he died. She said he clearly was in need of artificial nutrition well before then. However, Vatican officials said Wednesday that the tube had actually been inserted well before March 30 but that the procedure was only announced on that date.

From Herald news services

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