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State sues over polar bears

ANCHORAGE | Alaska says it intends to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over protections recently put in place to help polar bears faced with the effects of climate change.

Polar bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and because of that, more than 187,000 square miles of critical habitat in the Arctic has been designated to help the species recover.

The state says the critical habitat includes areas where there is little or no evidence that the areas are crucial to polar bear conservation.

The state on Tuesday put the federal agency on notice that it would sue unless the critical-habitat designation is changed. If no action is taken in the next 60 days, the state says it will file a lawsuit.


Obama won’t give up ‘Dream’

The White House says President Obama is not giving up on legislation that would offer a path to legal status to young illegal immigrants.

Mr. Obama on Tuesday met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and reiterated his support for the Dream Act, which died in the Senate last weekend and appears to have even less chance when a new, more Republican Congress convenes in January.

The legislation would have provided a route to legal status for illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before age 16, have been here for five years, have graduated high school or gained an equivalency degree, and have joined the military or are attending college.

Mr. Obama also told lawmakers a broader reform of the immigration system should be a priority for the next Congress.


Farewell speech slams ‘cannibalism’

Departing Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday said conservative Republicans who backed “tea party” challengers against establishment candidates in the recent elections engaged in political cannibalism.

In his final floor speech, Mr. Specter complained that there’s scant room for centrists like himself in a polarized Senate, where civility is in short supply.

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