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“Those warriors sent a message to the world that if you harm America, we will follow you to the end of the Earth,” Mr. Biden said.

The academy speeches by Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden counter an assertion from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the president has led from behind in world affairs. Mr. Biden said the United States will continue to take charge internationally and focus on Asia, particularly China, which he called “the most critical relationship to get right.”


Senator asks airlines to drop seat fee for kids

NEW YORK — Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging airlines to allow families with young children to sit together without paying extra.

The New York Democrat is reacting to an Associated Press story last week detailing how families this summer are going to find it harder to sit together without paying fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars over the original ticket price.

“Children need access to their parents and parents need access to their children,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement. “Unnecessary airline fees shouldn’t serve as a literal barrier between mother and child.”

Since last year, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines have increased the percent of seats they set aside for elite frequent fliers or customers willing to pay extra. Fees for the seats — on the aisle, next to windows, or with more legroom — vary, but typically cost $25 extra, each way.

Airlines are searching for more ways to raise revenue to offset rising fuel prices. Airfare alone typically doesn’t cover the cost of operating a flight. In the past five years, airlines have added fees for checked baggage, watching TV, skipping security lines and boarding early. Fees for better seats have existed for a few years but have proliferated in the last 12 months.

Mr. Schumer is asking Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to issue rules preventing airlines from charging parents more to sit next to kids. He is also asking the industry’s trade group, Airlines for America, to persuade carriers to voluntarily waive the fee for families.


Romney has tighter state path as Obama takes aim

President Obama faces new warnings in a once-promising Southern state and typically Democratic Midwestern states roughly five months before the election, even amid encouraging economic news.

The Democrat’s new worries about North Carolina and Wisconsin are potential opportunities for Republican Mitt Romney, who must peel off states Mr. Obama won in 2008 to capture the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

If the election were today, Mr. Obama would likely pick up 247 electoral votes to Mr. Romney’s 206, according to an Associated Press analysis of polls, ad spending and developments in states, along with interviews with Republican and Democratic strategists.

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