- - Thursday, November 29, 2012

HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush has been hospitalized in Houston for treatment of a lingering cough.

Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, Jean Becker, said the 88-year-old former president is being treated for bronchitis at Houston’s Methodist Hospital. He was admitted last Friday and is expected to be released by the weekend.

Ms. Becker told the Houston Chronicle on Thursday that the illness was not life-threatening but there had been concerns it could have developed into pneumonia.

Ms. Becker’s office referred questions to Mr. Bush’s spokesman, who did not immediately respond to calls.

Mr. Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush, has been among visitors.


Hawaii’s Akaka emotional at last committee hearing

The goodbyes are beginning for Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, who will retire when the lame-duck session ends after 36 years in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Akaka was the first Native Hawaiian in the Senate and first native-status lawmaker to chair the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. He has held 43 hearings over two years as chairman.

Fellow senators on Thursday lauded the Hawaii Democrat for his work for American Indians. The hearing focused on preserving native cultures and identities.

Mr. Akaka became emotional before dropping the gavel for the last time. Rather than goodbye, he said: “It is with much aloha that I say to you now, ‘a hui hou,’ see you again.” Aloha is a Hawaiian greeting that also means love and care.


Lawmakers consider aid requests in Sandy’s wake

Congress on Thursday took its first hard look at the damage from Superstorm Sandy amid appeals for tens of billions of dollars in additional disaster assistance to rebuild from one of the most destructive storms ever to hit the Northeast.

Testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, lawmakers from states incurring the most damages painted a grim picture of destruction from the late-October storm that left 131 people dead.

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