Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Senate confirms Kerry nomination for State Dept. Poll: U.S. backs women in combat Gun group to sue N.Y. over gun law Mount McKinley rename up again
WASHINGTON -- The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed President Barack Obama's choice of five-term Sen. John Kerry to be secretary of state, with Republicans and Democrats praising him as the ideal successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The vote Tuesday was 94-3. One senator -- Kerry -- voted present and accepted congratulations from colleagues on the Senate floor. The roll call came just hours after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the man who has led the panel for the past four years.
Kerry could be sworn in as early as today.
Voting against Kerry were three Republicans -- Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas.
The U.S. public solidly backs the decision to allow women to serve in combat units, according to a poll released Tuesday.
According to the survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, 66 percent said they support allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat, compared with 26 percent who said they oppose the changed policy announced last week by Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. The breakdown is about the same from a Washington Post/ABC poll two years ago.
The was no real difference between men's and women's responses, but there was a difference by age. Older Americans were less supportive of the change than younger ones. Among those 65 and older, 52 percent said they support the change while 36 percent said they were opposed. Of those younger than 50, 72 percent said they supported allowing women to serve in combat roles.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A gun owners' group filed notice Tuesday that it intends to sue New York State for a court order striking down the state's restrictive gun law passed two weeks ago.
The New York Rifle & Pistol Association said the new law violates the constitutional right to bear arms and privacy rights. The group says the law unconstitutionally criminalizes guns and magazines that were previously legal and restricts a citizen's ability to do business.
The law bans certain semi-automatic guns and large magazines, requires owners to register within a year any once-legal guns banned under the law's tighter definition of "assault weapons" and outlaws bringing them into New York from elsewhere.
JUNEAU, Alaska -- Alaska's senior senator has once again introduced legislation to rename Mount McKinley, Denali.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski says Denali might not be the name that people in the Midwest recognize. But she says it has long been the name in Alaska, the state where North America's highest peak resides.
Denali is an Athabascan word meaning "the high one."
Debate over a name change goes back decades. Murkowski introduced a version of her bill during the last Congress, where it died. She said Tuesday that she expects some opposition from those who have only known the mountain as Mount McKinley.
Indeed, a spokesman for Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan says Ryan has already introduced legislation to preserve the name Mount McKinley. Ohio is the birthplace of President William McKinley.