- - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

JUSTICE

Holder aims to stem killings of police

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. says a sharp increase in the number of deaths of law enforcement officers is tragic.

The attorney general met Tuesday with police chiefs at the Justice Department to ask what needs to be done to address the problem.

Mr. Holder is directing the 93 U.S. attorney’s offices across the country to work with state and local police departments on the issue.

A total of 162 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty last year, up from 117 in 2009. So far this year, 49 officers have lost their lives, a 20 percent rise from the same time last year.

COURT

Judges weigh Obama’s authority on Yucca

Federal appeals court judges are considering whether the Obama administration had the authority to stop plans to bury the nation’s nuclear waste in Nevada.

South Carolina and Washington state are among those suing the president and other federal officials to try to restart plans to ship their radioactive spent nuclear fuel to a repository 90 miles from Las Vegas at Yucca Mountain.

Congress chose Yucca Mountain as the leading candidate for waste disposal, but opponents expressed concerned about contamination. The Obama administration said it would not consider the site.

Arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday focused on whether the federal government has made a final decision that the states can appeal.

UNITED NATIONS

White House backs U.N. gay rights push

The Obama administration is behind a new, nonbinding United Nations statement decrying discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world.

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