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The Washington Times' political blog.

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** FILE ** Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich speaks Dec. 10, 2011, during a GOP presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Gingrich: 'It would be nice' if Romney were 'honest' in ads

Promising to "fight back cheerfully" against a barrage of attack ads that have slowed his presidential campaign, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an interview nevertheless had some harsh words for the spots being run in Iowa by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his chief rival.

** FILE ** Former Czech President Vaclav Havel is seen in Prague on Oct. 15, 2009, during the 20th anniversary commemoration of the fall of the iron curtain. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)

Obama 'saddened' by Havel's death

President Obama on Sunday said he was saddened by the death of Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright who went on to become a hero of Czechoslovakia's 1989 "Velvet Revolution" against totalitarian rule and later was elected the country's first post-Communist democratic president.

**FILE** Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat (Associated Press)

Ethics panel extends probe of Rep. Waters

The House Ethics Committee has formally extended the special counsel investigation into conflict-of-interest allegations against Rep. Maxine Waters and whether the panel itself overzealously pursued the case against the California Democrat.