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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 5, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas FROM THE WIRE From The Associated Press SHERIFF: MISS. TEEN BEATEN, BRANDED AT DRINKING PARTY JACKSON, Miss. — A 15-year-old hoy was beaten and branded with hot metal after a confrontation with a 12-year-old girl at a party in Mississippi where teens had been drinking, authorities said Friday Five people are charged in the case, including the 12-year-old girl. Lauderdale County Sheriff Billie Sollie said Denise Randall, 46, was hosting the party in the east-central Mississippi community of Meridian last weekend when the victim bumped into the girl. Someone then called the girl’s 15-year-old boyfriend. HARVARD PRESIDENT WELCOMES ROTC AFTER 4-DECADE BAN BOSTON — Harvard University officially welcomed the military back to the nations oldest college Friday as eyes turned to other elite campuses that are also considering lifting their bans now that Congress has voted to allow gays to serve openly in the military. Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus signed an agreement that establishes the Naval ROTC’s formal presence on campus for the First time since the Vietnam War era. Other campuses, including Columbia and Yale, are discussing whether to follow suit. ROTC first exited Harvard amid anti-Vietnam War sentiment, and the school lately kept it off campus and stopped funding the program because of the military policy on gays. But Faust said she had worked toward ROTC’s return after Congress repealed the so-called don’t ask, don’t tell policy in December. FLA. HIGH COURT: GOVERNOR CAN REJECT RAIL FUNDING TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Friday that he plans to send $2.4 billion in high-speed rail funding intended for Florida to other states after the state Supreme Court upheld Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to reject the money. The Republican governor’s decision effectively kills the Tampa-Orlando route, but Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said LaHood later agreed to consider a last-ditch attempt to revive the project. His idea is to let a regional rail authority in central Florida compete with other states for the money Scott rejected. “If it can’t be done, then we’re done,” Nelson said, calling the proposal a “Hail Mary pass.” DIABETIC ORE. MAN 'DOING FINE' AFTER DOG EATS TOES ROSEBURG, Ore.—A diabetic man from Oregon who awoke to find that his dog had eaten three of his toes says he is recovering and hopes to leave the hospital soon. James Little told The Associated Press on Friday that he is “doing fine” and resting, but he declined to speak further. Little called 911 on Tuesday to say his dog had eaten part of his right foot while he was sleeping, including three toes. The hospital says Litde is in fair condition and was expected to go home Friday. Little had no feeling in his feet because of diabetes. Roseburg veterinarian Alan Ross says the man’s dog may have been trying to rid his owner of dead tissue. Saturday, March 5, 2011 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A 37 killed in Libya as Gadhafi battles rebels TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi’s regime struck back at its opponents with a powerful attack Friday on the closest opposition-held city to Tripoli and a barrage of tear gas and live ammunition to smother new protests in the capital. At least 37 people died in fighting and in an explosion at an ammunitions depot in Libya’s rebellious east. The bloodshed signaled an escalation in efforts by both sides to break the deadlock that has gripped Libya’s 18-day upheaval, which has lasted longer than the Egyptian revolt that led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and inspired a wave of protests across the region. So far, Gadhafi has had little success in taking back territory, with several rebel cities repelling assaults and the entire eastern half of the country under rebel control. But the opposition forces have seemed unable to go on the offensive to march on pro-Gadhafi areas. Meanwhile, in Tripoli — Gadhafi’s most important bastion — his loyalists have waged a campaign of terror to ensure that protesters do not rise up in significant numbers. Friday’s assault on the rebel city of Zawiya, about 30 miles west of 'IYipoli, appeared to be the strongest yet by Gadhafi’s forces after repeated earlier forays against it were beaten back. In the morning, troops from the elite Khamis Brigade — named after the Gadhafi son who commands it — bombarded the city's western edges with mortar shells, heavy machine guns, tanks and anti-aircraft weapons, several residents said. By the evening, another brigade had opened a front on the eastern side. Armed Zawiya citizens backed by allied army units were fighting back. ► GAY MARRIAGE Boehner: Let court determine law’s fate Burst of hiring could mark turning point for workers WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Friday the House may go to court to defend the federal law against gay marriage, which President Barack Obama’s administration has concluded is unconstitutional. Boehner said he would convene a group of bipartisan congressional leaders that has the authority to instruct the House counsel to represent the chamber in court. The panel would include Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “The constitutionality of this law should be determined by the courts — not by the president unilaterally,” the Ohio Republican said in a statement. “This action by the House will ensure the matter is addressed in a manner consistent with our Constitution." The Obama administration last month announced it would no longer defend thé constitutionality of the federal law that bans recognition of gay marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder said the section of the 1996 law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is unconstitutional. Nonetheless, he said the Justice Department would continue to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, and it remains in effect. Boehner said he was convening the panel of House leaders “for the purpose of initiating action by the House to defend this law.” But there was no immediate indication of specifically what action it would direct or when the group would meet. Democrats on the panel were unlikely to support any defense of the law. Pelosi has lauded Obama’s decision to stop defending it as a "victory for civil rights, fairness and equality.” On Friday, she criticized die move as a costly burden on House staff. “This is nodiing more than a distraction from our most pressing challenges” such as creating jobs and reducing the federal deficit, she said. The White House declined to comment on Boehner’s announcement. The law’s supporters lauded the new House speaker. WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies added more workers in February than in any month in almost a year — a turning point for the economy that finally pushed the unemployment rate below 9 percent. Economists say the stronger hiring should endure all year. The 222,000 jobs the private sector created more than offset layoffs by financially squeezed state and local gov-ernments. They slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. The unemployment rate sank to 8.9 percent, the lowest since April 2009. The rate has now fallen almost a full percentage point in just three months — the sharpest drop in a generation. Hiring last month was broad — factories, trucking companies, health care providers, construction firms, hotels and restaurants all added jobs. "Bottom line: The labor market is turning the comer,” said Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, * an economic research firm. Pick-up or Delivery AND We Install! HOURS* Mon-Sat 8-5:00 • Sun CLOSED (830) 037-8873 • 19050 1-35 S. MHO) Staff photos by LAURA McKENZIE/Herald-Zeitung Women read along in their programs while attending the World Day of Prayer event Friday at Holy Family Catholic Church. Each year, a different country writes the worship service.This year's theme was "How Many Loaves Have You?" and was provided by the World Day of Prayer Committee of Chile. Angie Kiesling delivers a reading Friday while participating in the World Day of Prayer event hosted by Holy Family Catholic Church. WORLD DAY OF PRAYER GOP: Obama budget-cut offer too small WASHINGTON (AP) —Senate Democrats on Friday detailed their opening budget offer of $6.5 billion more in spending cuts this year, but neither it nor the $61 billion in cuts passed by House Republicans is expected to survive test votes next week. The votes will show the need for both sides to narrow the $50 billion gap between President Barack Obama’s latest offer and Republican cuts that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid called “mean-spirited.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the lat- the Pentagon without enough money to meet vital military requirements. Reid also promised a vote on the Democratic alternative; neither it nor the House GOP plan is likely to win enough support to advance. “Our plan recognizes that we’re not in a competition to determine who can cut the most, without regard for the consequences,” Reid said, adding the House GOP plan “is based in ideology, ours is based in reality. These are decisions about real money that solve real problems that affect real lives.” est Democratic proposal to meet them halfway was “nonsense.” Facing a deficit of $1.6 trillion, the Reid White House and Congress have struggled to produce a plan for the ongoing budget year. House Republican leaders are under pressure from the tea partyers for significant spending cuts, putting them at odds with the Democrats who control the Senate. The Democratic plan unveiled by Reid completely McConnell restores the House GOP’s cuts to education, health programs and job training. It provides a modest increase to the Department of Homeland Security rather than the 2 percent cut proposed by Republicans. And it restores or softens cuts to housing subsidies and community development grants. But it's not likely to please the Defense Department, which complained that the House measure would leave ;