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In brief: Politicians taking Christie at his word

WASHINGTON – A growing number of Republican and some Democratic leaders said Sunday that, for now, they are accepting at face value New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s word that he knew nothing about the George Washington Bridge traffic-jam scheme that has rocked his political career.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he found it “pretty darn credible” that Christie was unaware that his aides shut down lanes to the bridge in September in what was apparently an act of political retribution.

At the same time, Giuliani, a Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week” that “if, for some reason, it’s not true, the man has put his political career completely at risk.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat, was willing to give Christie the benefit of the doubt.

“I take him at his word that he knew nothing about this,” Hoyer told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers.” Hoyer said he expected Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to look into the matter as the traffic tie-up involved the interstate highway system, but he didn’t see Congress getting involved.

Airliner lands at wrong airport

BRANSON, Mo. – A Southwest Airlines flight that was supposed to land at Branson Airport instead landed at a smaller airport just outside of the southwest Missouri town.

Southwest Airlines said late Sunday in a statement that Flight 4013 was scheduled to go from Chicago’s Midway International Airport to Branson Airport. The flight instead landed nine miles north at Taney County Airport. It is also known as M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport.

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said 124 passengers and five crew members were on the flight. He also said the landing was “uneventful.”

U.S. gas prices up 8 cents in 3 weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said the average U.S. price of gasoline is up 8 cents a gallon over the past three weeks.

According to the Lundberg Survey released Sunday, the average for a gallon of regular gas is now $3.35. Midgrade averages $3.54, and premium is $3.68.

Of cities surveyed in the Lower 48 states, the lowest price, $2.97 a gallon, was in Albuquerque, N.M.

Long Island, N.Y., had the highest, at $3.67. Just a penny less was San Diego, with an average of $3.66.

Astronauts finally get Christmas gifts

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The six space station astronauts finally got their Christmas presents Sunday with the arrival of a privately launched supply ship that took an extra month to soar.

The spacemen opened the capsule a day early and started removing items, as soon as the Orbital Sciences Corp. vessel was moored safely at the International Space Station. Packed inside were 3,000 pounds of groceries, equipment and experiments, as well as eagerly awaited Christmas gifts from their families back home and some fresh fruit courtesy of NASA.


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