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WHITE HOUSE

Obama to hold press conference

President Obama will hold a press conference at the White House on Sept. 10.

The White House said Mr. Obama would use the event as an opportunity to discuss his administration’s work on the economy, capping a week in which the president will also travel to Wisconsin and Ohio for economic events.

Mr. Obama has been criticized for rarely holding news conferences, preferring instead to communicate through one-on-one media interviews.

The president last held a White House news conference in May to address the Gulf oil spill.

NEW YORK

Poll: Lazio has ‘shaky’ GOP lead

ALBANY | Rick Lazio is maintaining a lead over Carl Paladino in the race for the Republican nomination for governor in New York, but it could be shaky.

Mr. Lazio, a former congressman, has a 47 percent to 35 percent lead over Mr. Paladino, a millionaire Buffalo developer.

But the Quinnipiac University poll found a lot of unsure Republicans as the Sept. 14 primary approaches.

Eighteen percent are undecided, and nearly half say they could change their mind.

Mr. Paladino’s voters say they are more certain they will stick to their choice.

The winning Republican will face Democratic nominee Andrew M. Cuomo.

Mr. Lazio also has the Conservative Party line, and Mr. Paladino has his newly formed Taxpayers line, which could keep the candidates in the race until the November general election.

OHIO

Fox News accused of aiding candidate

COLUMBUS | The Democratic Governors Association has filed an elections complaint in Ohio alleging Fox News Channel illegally helped the Republican gubernatorial nominee solicit funds during a television appearance.

In documents filed Thursday, the association says Fox allowed former Rep. John R. Kasich to request contributions from viewers during an Aug. 18 telecast of “The O’Reilly Factor” and displayed the address of his campaign website.

The complaint alleges the free publicity is an improper in-kind contribution to Mr. Kasich’s campaign.

The association wants Democratic Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland re-elected in November. Mr. Kasich, a former congressman, Lehman Brothers managing director and Fox commentator, is keeping pace with Mr. Strickland in polls and fundraising.

A message and e-mail seeking comment were left with a Fox News spokeswoman. A Kasich spokesman declined comment.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Candidates debate immigration law

CONCORD | A Republican U.S. Senate candidate in New Hampshire is making the immigration debate a central issue of the campaign, far from the Mexican border.

Bill Binnie is a naturalized citizen who immigrated legally to the U.S. with his parents from Scotland when he was 5 years old.

The 52-year-old multimillionaire businessman has been running a television ad calling for English to be the country’s official language.

The ad has moved fighting illegal immigration, an issue that plays well with Republicans, to the center of the campaign.

Mr. Binnie’s move is risky, because it has drawn attention to his opposition to Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law, which many Republicans and his three main rivals support.

POSTAL SERVICE

Stamp to honor Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is being recognized for her humanitarian work with the issuance of a new U.S. postage stamp.

The 44-cent stamp showing a portrait of the Roman Catholic nun is being released at a ceremony Sunday at Washington’s National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Mother Teresa won the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her half-century of work with the sick and destitute of India and other areas. She was declared an honorary U.S. citizen by a joint resolution of Congress in 1996.

WHITE HOUSE

Obama’s ‘mainstream’ religion defended

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says President Obama is a “committed, mainstream Christian,” contrary to the claims of Fox News Channel commentator Glenn Beck.

Mr. Beck recently claimed that Mr. Obama practices a version of Christianity that is not recognized by most people. Mr. Beck says this “liberation theology” is all about “oppressors” and “victims.”

Mr. Gibbs was asked about Mr. Beck’s assertions Thursday at the White House press briefing.

Mr. Gibbs says, “I can only imagine where Mr. Beck conjured that from.”

TREASURY

Faster refunds issued on cards

A new Treasury Department program to give people without bank accounts faster access to their tax refunds will help some avoid costly short-term loans. But careless consumers could end up racking up fees and padding bank profits.

The pilot program using debit cards has two goals: steering Americans toward lower-cost ways of getting their refunds quickly, and saving the government the cost of printing and mailing checks and other overhead expenses.

“It’s part of a broader set of initiatives … to move toward the all-electronic Treasury,” said Michael Barr, Treasury’s assistant secretary for financial institutions. He said taxpayer savings are “a factor” in the move, but that Treasury sees tax time as an moment to encourage the use of lower-cost banking products.

Starting next year, the pilot tax-account program will be offered to several hundred thousand Americans. Treasury will offer several different kinds of cards and study which are most effective. Eventually, the program could be expanded to reach the 9 million American households that don’t have bank accounts.

For consumers, the debit cards will be virtually identical to checking accounts, though there won’t be any checks. They will be insured like bank deposits and will shield consumers from having to pay for fraudulent purchases when cards are lost or stolen. In some cases, the cards will store other income and offer bill-paying services.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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