In brief: Pardoned man welcomed home

Boston – Former President Jimmy Carter landed Friday in Boston with a U.S. citizen whose release he obtained from a North Korean prison, achieving the main goal of a trip to Pyongyang.

The freed American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 31, arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport with Carter after having been pardoned by North Korea’s reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il.

After descending the stairs from the aircraft, Gomes, who had worked as a teacher and human rights activist in South Korea, embraced assembled family members in a tearful reunion on the airport tarmac as Carter looked on. The group then walked into a terminal building without speaking to reporters.

Carter’s mission was also noteworthy for what did not happen: a meeting with Kim that had been widely anticipated when Carter left for Pyongyang on Wednesday.

Washington – Sen. Harry Reid’s support for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees has cost him the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in his re-election bid.

The absence of the NRA’s blessing represents a setback that Reid’s campaign was quick to address Friday by noting that NRA executive Wayne LaPierre once called him a “true champion of the Second Amendment.”

Christopher W. Cox, chairman of the NRA’s Political Victory Fund, said Friday that the organization strongly opposed the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, and it had warned lawmakers that the NRA would weigh that vote when it came to its endorsements.

Cox stopped short of saying whether the group would support Reid’s opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, or stay neutral in the race.

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