WASHINGTON

Homeland Security's ex-inspector on leave

The secretary of the Homeland Security Department put the agency's former internal watchdog on administrative leave Thursday following the release of a Senate report that concluded he was too cozy with senior agency officials and improperly rewrote, delayed, or classified some critical reports to accommodate President Obama's political appointees.

Secretary Jeh Johnson said Charles K. Edwards, who was allowed to quietly resign and take another job within the department in December, was put on leave after Johnson reviewed the 27-page report from a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee.

The report said Edwards wasn't qualified and lacked the independence required of an inspector general. It said he asked for guidance from senior Homeland Security Department officials instead of from his own staff. Edwards has denied any wrongdoing. - AP
ARKANSAS

Voter law voided

An Arkansas judge struck down the state's new voter ID law Thursday, saying it violates the state constitution by adding a requirement that voters meet before casting a ballot. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox voided the measure in a lawsuit over the way absentee ballots are handled under the law. A separate lawsuit had been filed last week directly challenging the law, which requires voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot. Backers of the measure said it was aimed at reducing voter fraud, while opponents said it would disenfranchise voters. - AP
NEW YORK

Bronx Zoo newborns

A New York City zoo is celebrating the arrivals of two baby western lowland gorillas. They're the first gorillas born at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo since 2006. Zoo officials said Thursday the babies' genders aren't yet known.

- AP