December 16, 2008 in Nation/World

Kennedy, governor discuss Senate seat

 

Caroline Kennedy told New York’s governor on Monday that she’s interested in the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her the highest-profile candidate to express a desire for the job.

“She told me she was interested in the position,” Democratic Gov. David Paterson said. “It’s not a campaign. She’d like at some point to sit down.”

Kennedy is the daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy. Her uncle, the late Robert F. Kennedy, once held the Senate seat she wants. Paterson has sole authority to name a replacement for Clinton, who was first elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2006.

WASHINGTON

Report says official tainted rulings

A high-ranking Interior Department official tainted nearly every decision made on the protection of endangered species over five years, a new inspector general report finds, concluding she exerted improper interference on many more rulings than previously thought.

Julie MacDonald, a former deputy assistant secretary overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service, did pervasive harm to the department’s morale and integrity and may have risked the well-being of species with her agenda, Interior Inspector General Earl Devaney said in his report Monday.

The Interior Department last year reversed seven rulings that denied increased protection after an investigation found MacDonald had applied political pressure. She resigned in May 2007.

PHARR, Texas

Santa letter spurs sex abuse arrest

A Texas man has been arrested after a 9-year-old girl wrote to Santa Claus asking that a relative stop touching her and her sister.

The Monitor of McAllen reported that a man was arrested Friday and is in the Hidalgo County Jail.

A criminal complaint says the girl turned the letter in at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. Authorities interviewed the girl after a school counselor reported the letter.

The man is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child and could face 99 years in prison if convicted.

From wire reports

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