The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Pentagon to continue preventing openly gay people from serving in the military while a federal appeals court reviews the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The court did not comment in denying a request from the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, to step into the ongoing federal court review of "don't ask, don't tell." The Obama administration urged the high court not to get involved at this point.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent Michigan Republican said Friday he is running against Michael Steele, arguing the GOP can win in 2012 only if the party chairman steps out of the limelight and allows candidates to be the voice and face of the party. Saul Anuzis, who lost his bid for Republican National Committee chairman two years ago, made his plans known in an e-mail. "My agenda is very straightforward. I have no interest in running for office. I won't be writing a book. It is not my goal to be famous," said Anuzis, who promised to serve just one two-year term and work hard to elect Republicans "from the top to every township and city across this great country of ours."
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Sen. Lisa Murkowski maintained a healthy 90 percent of the write-in vote in the Alaska Senate race Friday, even as election officials threw out a number of oddball entries like "Donald Duck," ''Elmo" and "Revolt." Murkowski said she feels "pretty good about the direction" the vote count is headed and expressed confidence that she'll pull off an improbable write-in victory over Republican nominee Joe Miller.
YOHOHAMA, Japan (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed to Asian leaders Saturday for greater access to fast-growing markets, proclaiming "the United States is here to stay" and its prosperity is tied inextricably to the fate of its Pacific trading partners. "America is leading again in Asia," Obama told a gathering of chief executives at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, stressing anew his goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. "For America, this is a jobs strategy," the president said. "In this region, the United States sees a huge opportunity to increase our exports in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world."
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group of friends and family is obscenely rich after winning a nearly $129 million jackpot with a lottery ticket bought at a Detroit-area porn shop. And some of the money will be devoted to sacred purposes. Mike Greer, a member of the group, came forward Friday to claim the Powerball winnings on behalf of the others, who chose to remain anonymous. Greer — who said only that the group has more than two members and fewer than 100 — indicated some of the riches will be going to a church.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Postal Service said Friday it lost $8.5 billion last year despite deep cuts of more than 100,000 jobs and other reductions in recent years. The post office had estimated it would lose $6 billion to $7 billion, but a sharp decline in mail took a toll. Increased use of the Internet and the recession, which cut advertising and other business mail, meant less money for the agency. For the year ending Sept. 30, the post office had income of $67.1 billion, down $1 billion from the previous fiscal year. Expenses totaled $70 billion, a decline of about $400 million. The post office also was required to make a $5.5 billion payment for future retiree health benefits.
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — Grim police trying to solve the disappearance of a 10-year-old North Carolina girl confirmed Friday what they've long suspected: The freckle-faced child with a prosthetic leg and bone cancer is dead. But the mystery of how Zahra Baker perished deepened as authorities gave a terse briefing, revealing that one of her bones was found five miles away from other remains they believe belonged to the girl.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Former wrestling executive Linda McMahon said Friday she has no regrets about spending nearly $50 million on her failed bid for Connecticut's Senate seat and is not ruling out a return trip to the campaign trail. In a telephone interview Friday with The Associated Press, the Republican first-time nominee said she plans to meet with her consultants and analyze the campaign. She said they'll probably conduct post-campaign polling to determine what went wrong and what could have been done differently.
LONDON (AP) — It was just an old Chinese vase that had been in the family for 80 years. It turned out to be much more. When the intricately painted 18th-century piece went on the block at Bainbridges, a small suburban London auction house, it sold for a record $83 million Thursday, scooped up by a Chinese buyer.
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky man says he was forced to eat his beard after an argument about a lawn mower got out of control. Harvey Westmoreland of Lawrenceburg told WLEX-TV that two men cut off his beard, stuffed it into his mouth and forced him to eat it. Westmoreland said two former friends got angry as they tried to negotiate a price for a lawn mower they wanted to buy from Westmoreland. He said "one thing led to another, and before I knew it, there were knives and guns and everything just went haywire."