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Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar announced the ban Tuesday on Myanmar pythons, yellow anacondas and northern and southern African pythons. The snakes are also now banned from being transported across state lines.

Pythons have become a growing problem in Florida’s revered swampland. Many are believed to have been pets that were dumped once they grew too big; others may have escaped from pet shops during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and have been reproducing ever since.


Fuel transfer proceeds smoothly in iced-in city

ANCHORAGE — A Russian tanker that went on an ocean odyssey of 5,000 miles to deliver fuel to the iced-in city of Nome was offloading the gasoline and diesel fuel in what officials said was a smooth operation.

Two parallel hoses, 700 yards long each, are stretched between the tanker Renda and a pipeline that can deliver 1.3 million gallons of fuel to storage tanks near the harbor of the iced-in city. The offloading began with gasoline, and then both gasoline and diesel were being transferred separately.


Chicago drops crackdown on summit protesters

CHICAGO — It looks like Chicago won’t be as tough on protesters as Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it would be when the city hosts two major international summits this spring.

A City Council committee passed an ordinance Tuesday without a hefty increase that Mr. Emanuel had proposed in anticipation of May’s NATO and G-8 summits. The mayor’s office had backed off his proposal to increase the fine for resisting arrest from between $25 and $200 to between $200 and $1,000. That backdown all but assures that the ordinance will pass when the full council votes on it Wednesday.


Governor spares killer from death penalty

DOVER — Gov. Jack Markell, in an apparent first for Delaware, has spared the life of a man whose execution had been scheduled later this week for the shooting death of his former girlfriend.

Inmate Robert Gattis, 49, had been scheduled to die by injection Friday for the killing of Shirley Slay, 27.

The Democratic governor said commuting Gattis’ 1992 death sentence to life in prison without parole was one of the most difficult decisions he has made as a public official.

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