Obama to sign repeal of gay ban
WASHINGTON - President Obama plans to sign legislation Wednesday morning repealing the military's ban on openly gay service members, the White House said.
Obama's signature would end the Pentagon's 17-year, "don't ask, don't tell" policy and fulfill a 2008 presidential campaign promise.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say how long it would take for the administration to implement the repeal. He said he didn't expect it to be "overly burdensome."
Pending lawsuits against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy will remain unchanged for now. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is considering the government's appeal of a California judge's decision striking down the policy. - AP
ATF seeks data on border rifle sales
WASHINGTON - Moving to crack down on gun smugglers, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has asked the White House for emergency authority to require arms dealers near the Mexican border to report multiple purchases of high-powered rifles.
According to a notice published Friday in the Federal Register, the agency seeks approval of a requirement that border-area gun dealers must report sales of two or more rifles to the same customer within five days.
The ATF's request, intended to help Mexican authorities in their campaign against violent drug gangs, is likely to face stiff opposition from gun-rights advocates. High-powered rifles have become the weapon of choice for Mexico's warring drug cartels. - AP
Paterson is fined over Series tickets
ALBANY, N.Y. - New York Gov. David Paterson contradicted his staff, the Yankees, and common sense when he falsely said he'd always intended to pay for five tickets to the first game of the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium, a state commission said in assessing him a $62,125 fine.
In a report released Monday, the Commission on Public Integrity said that Paterson performed no ceremonial function at the game - and that such a function still would not have entitled him to free tickets for his son and his son's friend. The other tickets were used by the governor and two staffers. He and two of his staff paid for four of the tickets a few days later.
"The moral and ethical tone of any organization is set at the top. Unfortunately, the governor set a totally inappropriate tone by his dishonest and unethical conduct," commission Chairman Michael Cherkasky said.
A call to Paterson's lawyer was not immediately returned Monday. - AP
Robert L. Oswald, 76, brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, said Monday that a coffin that once held the body of the presidential assassin should have been destroyed years ago rather then auctioned off and allowed to exist as a ghoulish keepsake.