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In the Nation

U.S. grant to help NASA workers

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA workers will get $15 million from the federal government to help them search for new jobs and get additional training once the shuttle program ends, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said Wednesday.

Solis, speaking at Kennedy Space Center, said the emergency grant would assist about 3,200 contractors who work on the shuttle program full time, including those from major aerospace companies. The last launch is scheduled for November.

As many as 20,000 contract and subcontract workers could be laid off, according to Labor Department estimates.

The grant is in addition to $40 million in aid to retrain workers that President Obama promised when he visited here in April. - AP

Shahzad slated to lose Conn. home

SHELTON, Conn. - The suspect in last month's failed Times Square bombing is slated to lose his Connecticut home to foreclosure under a court order.

A notice of judgment filed Tuesday in Milford Superior Court ordered Faisal Shahzad to repay more than $200,000 to Chase Home Finance L.L.C. on his Shelton home by July 31 or lose it to foreclosure. Shahzad, 30, is in federal custody on terrorism charges for allegedly trying to set off a car bomb in New York on May 1.

The Connecticut Post reported the foreclosure judgment Wednesday. It said he also owed delinquent taxes and possibly part of a second mortgage.

Federal prosecutors have won a delay until June 21 for the next step in Shahzad's case. - AP

Ex-GOP official charged in scam

ORLANDO, Fla. - The political unknown once tapped by Gov. Charlie Crist to lead the state GOP was arrested Wednesday on charges he ran a scam to bilk the party, officials said.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement took former state GOP Chairman Jim Greer, 47, into custody at his Orlando-area home. He is charged with one count of organized fraud, four counts of felony grand theft, and one count of money-laundering, said William Shepherd, Florida's statewide prosecutor.

Crist, who abandoned the Republican Party to run for U.S. Senate as an independent, said Wednesday that he was surprised by the arrest and knew nothing of Greer's alleged wrongdoing. "Sometimes you're disappointed by people," he told a news conference in Tallahassee. "I do not feel complicit."

- AP


New York's Brooklyn Bridge, opened in 1883, is getting a $500 million makeover, including a complete repainting and the repair of elements that were part of its original construction. Vice President Biden joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday to mark the start of the four-year project.

New York Republicans picked former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio on Wednesday as their candidate for governor and rejected a challenge from Democrat-turned-Republican Steve Levy. Lazio lost the 2000 U.S. Senate election to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

A lightning strike in Yellowstone National Park injured nine people waiting to see the Old Faithful geyser erupt.