- - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. — Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s communications director has resigned.

Anne Torres is stepping down a little more than a week after the mayor drew flak from fellow Democrats for criticizing President Obama’s campaign.

In a statement Tuesday, Ms. Torres wished Mr. Booker good luck. She says she enjoyed her six years of working for him.

Mr. Booker was considered one of Mr. Obama’s biggest supporters, but in a May 20 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” he described as “nauseating” the attack ads against Bain Capital, the private equity firm once run by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Mr. Booker subsequently backed off the remarks in a YouTube video, saying he was just expressing frustration with negative campaigning.

Ms. Torres‘ resignation was first reported by politickernj.com


Money-shifting problems costly at Weather Service

The head of the National Weather Service suddenly retired and the agency is seeking an emergency $35.6 million from Congress because of allegations of financial mismanagement and money shifting within the agency.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco, who oversees the Weather Service, said in a memo investigators found that agency officials moved tens of millions of dollars around without congressional approval, as required by law. The money went from being appropriated for technology improvements to meeting shortfalls in payroll and operations at local Weather Service offices.

Weather Service director Jack Hayes retired Friday. His chief financial officer was already on administrative leave.

Agency spokesman Scott Smullen said investigators found no evidence of corruption or personal financial gain. The agency will soon release a report on the issue.


Romney welcomes expulsion of Syrian diplomats

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for more “assertive measures” against Syrian President Bashar Assad, including arming the Syrian opposition. The Obama administration so far has declined to help arm the opposition.

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