Inside Politics

WHITE HOUSE

Obama calls Giffords on attack anniversary

President Obama called Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Sunday to offer his support on the anniversary of the tragic shooting, telling her that she is an “inspiration” to his family and the rest of the country.

Ms. Giffords suffered a debilitating wound to the head during the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting spree in a Tucson parking lot that left six dead and 11 people other than Ms. Giffords wounded.

Mr. Obama also said he is amazed by Ms. Giffords‘ courage and determination during her road to recovery, adding that he and the first lady are keeping her, the families of the fallen and the entire Tucson community in their daily thoughts and prayers and join her in continuing to mourn those who lost their lives. Suspect Jared Lee Loughner remains in custody awaiting trial.

INTERIOR

Department to ban mining near canyon

The Interior Department is moving forward with a plan to ban new mining claims on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon, even as congressional Republicans try to block efforts to limit mining operations in an area known for high-grade uranium ore.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to finalize a 20-year ban on new mining claims on public land surrounding the Grand Canyon at an event Monday in Washington.

Mr. Salazar twice imposed temporary bans as officials studied the environmental and economic effects of a longer-term ban.

Conservation groups hailed the 20-year ban, first announced in October, as a crucial protection for an American landmark. The mining industry and some Republican members of Congress called the ban detrimental to Arizona’s economy and the nation’s energy independence.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Group to air film critical of Romney

MANCHESTER — An independent political committee supportive of Newt Gingrich is planning to release a film critical of Mitt Romney’s tenure at a private-equity firm, just days after a Las Vegas billionaire contributed $5 million to the group to bolster the former House speaker’s White House run.

The Gingrich-leaning Winning Our Future PAC said Sunday that the 28-minute video — which assails Mr. Romney for “reaping massive awards” while head of Bain Capital — will be posted online soon and could show up on TV ahead of this month’s primary elections.

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