- - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Obama campaign is running its first Spanish-language television ads aimed at rallying support among Hispanics, an increasingly important voting bloc.

The four television spots each feature an Obama supporter talking about the president’s education policies, including improving Head Start centers that serve more than 362,000 Hispanic children and increasing funding for Pell Grants to help nearly 2 million Hispanic students pay for college.

The ads will air in Colorado, Nevada and Florida, political battleground states with growing Hispanic populations. The campaign says the promotions are the first in a series of Spanish-language ads.

The campaign also announced a wider appeal to Hispanics on Wednesday, launching “Latinos for Obama.” The effort is aimed at increasing Hispanic voter registration and helping Hispanics volunteer for the Obama campaign.

STATE DEPARTMENT

TransCanada submits new route for Keystone pipeline

The company planning the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline has proposed a new route through Nebraska that avoids the state’s environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Calgary-based TransCanada submitted a series of proposed routes — including a preferred alternative — late Wednesday to Nebraska environmental officials.

The state has become a focus of concern for the 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. President Obama blocked the pipeline earlier this year, citing uncertainty over the Nebraska route, which would travel above an aquifer that provides water to eight states.

Details of the preferred route were not immediately available. A spokesman for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality said officials hope to post the full proposal on the Internet as soon as Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the State Department said U.S. officials had not received notification of a new route. State Department approval is needed because the $7 billion pipeline would cross a U.S. border.

FLORIDA

Republican lawmaker won’t face state charges

MIAMI — U.S. Rep. David Rivera won’t be charged with a state crime in Florida after a year-plus investigation of the Republican’s finances, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

A 16-page memo released by Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle concluded that law enforcement officials “have exhausted all active criminal investigative avenues” and closed the case despite lingering questions.

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