- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NEW YORK

Hoffman concedes for second time

ALBANY, N.Y. | The Conservative Party candidate has conceded an upstate New York race for a U.S. House of Representatives seat for the second time, saying he doesn’t have enough votes.

Doug Hoffman said Tuesday that he has no hope of winning.

He had withdrawn his first concession to Democratic Rep. Bill Owens last week, saying the race was close enough that absentee ballots could change the outcome.

Mr. Hoffman had started the race as a long-shot candidate labeled as a spoiler. With support from big-name Republicans, including Sarah Palin, Mr. Hoffman built enough support to force the Republican Party’s candidate out of the race.

The rural upstate district had long been represented by Republicans. Mr. Owens was sworn in Nov. 6.

CONGRESS

GOP probes climate e-mails

Congressional Republicans are investigating e-mails stolen from a British climate-change research center that they say show scientists attempting to suppress data that does not support man-made global warming.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, a global warming skeptic, sent letters Tuesday to the inspectors general of several agencies and to scientists asking them to retain records related to the e-mails.

House Republicans want to know how much the scientists contributed to a widely cited U.N. report on climate change. The report has served as the basis for action in Congress and by the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gases.

NEWSPAPERS

Post to close 3 bureaus in U.S.

NEW YORK | The Washington Post is closing its bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York as the money-losing newspaper retrenches to focus on politics and local news in the nation’s capital.

“At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure, it’s necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the countries politics, policies and government,” the paper’s top editor, Marcus Brauchli, wrote in a memo to employees that was obtained by Reuters news agency.

The news comes after The Post told several employees at its Web site that they would be laid off, too, and follows several rounds of buyouts in recent years.

IMMIGRATION

Arrests drop at Mexico border

Twenty-three percent fewer illegal immigrants were arrested at U.S. borders in fiscal 2009, while drug seizures went up significantly, the Customs and Border Protection agency said Tuesday in its annual report.

From October 2009, about 556,000 illegal immigrants were arrested mostly at the U.S. border with Mexico, a 23 percent drop from the previous fiscal year when 723,000 were arrested, the CBP said.

The decrease was largely attributed to the Border Patrol’s greater clout, after its force was boosted from 12,000 to 18,000 agents, and to better detection technology, the CBP said.

Overall illegal drug seizures went up by 57 percent in the past fiscal year, totaling 4,500 pounds.

TREASURY

Geithner to visit India next year

The United States and India announced Tuesday they were launching a dialogue to expand economic cooperation, with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to visit the emerging power next year.

The two countries’ finance chiefs announced the new “U.S.-India Economic and Financial Partnership” as President Obama hosted Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the first state visit since he entered the White House.

The Treasury Department said Mr. Geithner would head to India in early 2010 to launch the forum, which will meet once a year and look at ways to cooperate in “macroeconomic policy, the financial sector and infrastructure development.”

“India is an emerging global power and a country with which the United States has an increasingly important economic and financial relationship,” Mr. Geithner said.

PARKING

Schwarzenegger admits mistake

LOS ANGELES | California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says photographs of his Porsche illegally parked in a Beverly Hills red zone are proof that even he makes mistakes.

The Republican governor said Tuesday that his Saturday violation shows “no one is perfect - not even me.”

The photos displayed Monday on celebrity Web site TMZ.com show Mr. Schwarzenegger getting into the silver convertible.

The photos were snapped just weeks after his wife, first lady Maria Shriver, apologized for parking her Cadillac Escalade in a red zone and was caught holding a cell phone while driving.

STATE DEPARTMENT

U.S. won’t sign land mine treaty

The United States will not sign a treaty banning anti-personnel land mines but will send representatives to a meeting in Colombia reviewing the document, the State Department said Tuesday.

The Obama administration “undertook a policy review, and we decided that our policy remains in effect,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

“We determined that we wouldn’t be able to meet our national defense needs, nor our security commitments to our friends and allies if we signed this convention,” he said.

The second conference reviewing the 1997 Ottawa Convention will be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 in Cartagena, Colombia.

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