Lincoln document sets auction record

NEW YORK - A copy of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln and purchased by Robert F. Kennedy sold Friday for more than $3.7 million, an auction record for a U.S. presidential document.

Sotheby's said the sale, to an anonymous bidder, was more than double its maximum presale estimate. The price included a buyer's premium.

Kennedy bought the printed copy of the document, which declares all slaves "forever free," in 1964 for $9,500. It's one of 48 printed copies Lincoln signed. About half are known to survive, Sotheby's said; 14 are in public institutions, and eight to 10 are privately owned. The original handwritten Emancipation Proclamation is in the National Archives. - AP

Ft. Hood suspect being evaluated

FORT WORTH, Texas - A panel of health professionals is evaluating an Army psychiatrist to determine his mental state during last year's Fort Hood rampage that killed 13 soldiers, his attorney said Friday.

The three-member military panel met with Maj. Nidal Hasan this week in jail and has until mid-January to submit its report, said Hasan's lead attorney, John Galligan. It also will review any evidence presented by prosecutors and defense attorneys, though Galligan has objected to the exam, citing a lack of access to some government reports about the case.

The panel also will determine whether Hasan, 40, had a severe mental illness during the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting, and if so, whether it prevented him from knowing then that his alleged actions were wrong. A brigade commander, after receiving the panel's report, will recommend whether Hasan should go to trial and face the death penalty. - AP

U.S. probe clears ex-Interior head

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department has closed an ethics probe of former Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

Norton had been accused of using her post to steer lucrative oil leases to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, where she now works. But a two-year investigation failed to prove a conflict of interest, said Mary Kendall, the acting Interior inspector general, who announced Justice's decision Friday.

Kendall said that Interior appeared to give Shell preferential treatment in at least two instances, but that she could not link either case to Norton, who was Interior secretary from 2001 to 2006. Norton could not be reached for comment Friday. - AP

Elsewhere:

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, was hospitalized Friday in Washington. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Holbrooke, 69, was undergoing evaluations, but he declined to provide details.

A nun who was vice president of finance at Iona College outside New York City embezzled more than $850,000 in college funds and spent it on herself, federal prosecutors said Friday. Sister Marie Thornton, 62, has pleaded not guilty.