Gay couples can join Peace Corps

WASHINGTON - The Peace Corps says it will begin accepting applications from same-sex domestic partners who want to serve together as volunteers overseas.

Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet says the change will diversify the pool of applicants who want to help improve the quality of education, health care, and economic development in host countries around the world.

Married couples have been serving together in the Peace Corps since the organization was founded in 1961. About 7 percent of overseas assignments are filled by married volunteers who serve together.

Same-sex couples who want to serve together will be required to sign an affidavit verifying their relationship.

There are more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers working in 76 countries in development programs as varied as HIV-AIDS education or information technology.

- AP

NE rail travel back to normal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After a nearly four-hour commute Tuesday morning, Orlando Cordero was thrilled to hear train service was returning to normal as workers were finishing repair to tracks damaged by last week's train collision in Bridgeport.

Regular commuter rail service from Connecticut to New York City, along with Amtrak service between Boston and New York, was scheduled to resume during Wednesday morning's rush hour on one of the nation's oldest, most heavily traveled railways.

The crash Friday injured 72, including one still in critical condition. It snarled commutes for roughly 30,000 who normally use the train, forcing travelers to navigate a patchwork of cars, rail, and buses. - AP

Mayor, fluoride top ballot issues

Low turnout was forecast in Los Angeles on Tuesday as voters chose a new mayor, while oral health and politics collided as voters in Portland, Ore., decided whether to make sure their city remains the largest in the nation without public fluoridation.

If voters say no, Portland will remain the largest U.S. city yet to approve fluoridation to combat tooth decay.

In Los Angeles, voters chose between two City Hall regulars to succeed Antonio Villaraigosa: Democrats Eric Garcetti, 42, a city councilman who could become the city's first elected Jewish mayor, and City Controller Wendy Greuel, 51, who could become the first woman to hold the job. - AP

Elsewhere:

Arizona's ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy absent a medical emergency was struck down by a U.S. appeals court.