- - Monday, March 19, 2012

NORTH CAROLINA

Prosecutors want limits on talk of Edwards‘ health

GREENSBORO — Prosecutors have asked a federal judge in North Carolina to bar those in the upcoming trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards from mentioning his poor health because of concern it could create sympathy among jurors.

Mr. Edwards‘ trial was delayed in January after his lawyers said the Democrat needed treatment for a serious heart condition. Jury selection is to begin April 12.

Prosecutors also asked for an order limiting any mention before the jury of possible pending contempt charges against former Edwards‘ aide Andrew Young stemming from a lawsuit over possession of a sex tape made by the candidate’s mistress. Mr. Young is expected to be a key witness for prosecutors against Mr. Edwards, who has pleaded not guilty to charges related to campaign finance violations.

NEW YORK

First lady Michelle Obama visits Letterman show

NEW YORK — First lady Michelle Obama said she thought for sure her cover was blown during an undercover visit to a Target store last year when a woman approached her in the detergent aisle.

But the first lady told David Letterman on Monday the woman only wanted help with a package she couldn’t reach.

During Mrs. Obama’s visit to CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” her host held up a picture of her after she put on sunglasses and a baseball cap to try to visit a Washington-area store last September.

Mrs. Obama said the woman apparently was oblivious of the fact she had asked a favor of the first lady and said “you didn’t have to make it look so easy” after the detergent was retrieved.

TREASURY

Government sells off $225B in securities

The Treasury Department has sold off the final portion of $225 billion in mortgage-backed securities it purchased during the height of the financial crisis.

Treasury said Monday that the sales of securities issued primarily by troubled mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have netted the government $25 billion in interest. The government began selling its securities one year ago. The final sales were completed last week.

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