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Nation in brief: Giuliani might seek U.S. Senate seat

New York – Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has not decided whether to run for governor but is becoming more interested in running for U.S. Senate, two Republican advisers said Thursday.

“From staff, we have been hearing that he has been indicating quietly and privately recently that governor might not be the best fit for him now,” one adviser said, “but the U.S. Senate could be a perfect fit for him.”

The adviser noted that no one is saying Giuliani has made a decision, but that it “certainly sounds” like he is less interested in running for governor.

Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella disputed a New York Times report Thursday that Giuliani wouldn’t run for governor, saying the former mayor told her he hadn’t made a decision.

China, others step up space activities

Washington – America’s once clear dominance in space is eroding as other nations, including China, Iran and North Korea, step up their activities, a panel of experts told the House subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Thursday.

“Others are catching up fast,” said Marty Hauser, vice president for Washington operations at the Space Foundation, an advocacy organization. “Of particular note over the past decade is the emergence of China’s human spaceflight capabilities.”

Russia now leads the world in space launches. China recently became the third nation, after the United States and Russia, to send its own astronauts out for a spacewalk.

Panelists attributed the relative decline in U.S. space leadership to NASA’s fluctuating budgets and repeated changes of direction as administrations and congresses come and go.

Customs finds glass bong cargo

Los Angeles – Customs officials say they got a surprise when they found 316,000 glass bongs disguised as Christmas ornaments at the Los Angeles harbor.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that agents found the drug pipes in 860 boxes shipped from China.

Customs spokeswoman Cristina Gamez said the importer remains under investigation. She said it is illegal to import or export drug paraphernalia in the United States.


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N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

UPDATED: 10:03 p.m.

North Korea said Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site ahead of a new round of negotiations with South Korea and the United States. There was no clear indication in the North’s announcement if it would be willing to deal away its arsenal.