Cheney: OK with gays marrying

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that he supports gays being able to marry but that he thinks states, not the federal government, should make the decision.

"I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone," he told the National Press Club. "I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

Cheney, whose daughter Mary is gay, said marriage had always been a state issue. "Different states will make different decisions," he said. But "I think people ought to get a shot at that." - AP

More disclosures on Blagojevich

CHICAGO - Two weeks before his arrest on corruption charges, then-Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich floated a plan to nominate to the U.S. Senate the daughter of his biggest political rival in return for concessions on his pet projects, people familiar with the plan told the Associated Press.

Blagojevich told Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D., Ill.) he was thinking of naming Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the seat vacated by President Obama, two Durbin aides who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

Such an appointment would have been a shocker because the governor had long been warring with her father, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. The aides said the concessions Blagojevich wanted were progress on capital spending projects and a health-care bill that were stalled in the legislature. Blagojevich ultimately named Roland Burris to the seat.

Also yesterday, the federal judge presiding over the ousted governor's corruption case said he was aiming for a trial in spring 2010. - AP

105-year term in tourist slaying

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - The son of a convicted killer was sentenced yesterday to 105 years in prison for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a pregnant Georgia tourist who made a desperate call to her fiance from the trunk of her assailant's car.

Eliezer Marquez Navedo, 36, was sentenced in a court in Fajardo, the city where he ambushed Sara Kuszak, 36, in February while she jogged alone.

Marquez pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault. The death penalty can be imposed on the U.S. island only for federal crimes.

Kuszak's killing was similar to murders that Marquez's mother, Ines Navedo, was convicted of in 1992. She served seven years for slashing the throats of siblings aged 2 and 3 before being paroled. Police have since reopened the case to probe whether Marquez may have been responsible. - AP

Elsewhere:

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D., W. Va.), 91, who has served in the Senate longer than anyone in history, developed a staph infection that has prolonged his stay in a Washington-area hospital. His office said Byrd was responding well to antibiotics.