National briefs (3/10/13)

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Susan Rice a top adviser?

UNITED NATIONS -- Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who lost out in a bruising bid for the job of secretary of state, may have the last laugh.

Ms. Rice has emerged as far and away the front-runner to succeed Tom Donilon as President Barack Obama's national security adviser later this year, according to an administration official familiar with the president's thinking. The job would place her at the nexus of foreign policy decision-making and allow her to rival the influence of Secretary of State John Kerry in shaping the president's foreign policy.

The appointment would mark a dramatic twist of fortune for Ms. Rice, whose prospects to become the country's top diplomat fizzled last year following a round of television appearances in which she provided what turned out to be a flawed account of a Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Hispanic pick for Labor?

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is close to choosing an assistant U.S. attorney general, Thomas Perez, as labor secretary, according to two people familiar with the matter, drawing objections from a senior Republican senator.

Mr. Perez would replace Hilda Solis and ensure that the Labor Department was led by another Hispanic, according to the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss personnel matters that haven't been announced.

White House officials are working to ensure that his Cabinet reflects the coalition of Latinos, blacks and women that helped re-elect him, the sources said.

TV sportsman slain

WHITEFISH, Mont. -- The Sportsman Channel says it is deeply saddened by the shooting death in northwestern Montana of one of its TV hosts who traveled the world in search of big game and shared his adventures on his program "A Rifleman's Journal."

The company in a statement early Saturday said it will miss Gregory Rodriguez's "thoughtfulness, candor and dedication to encourage a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for all."

Police said Mr. Rodriguez, 43, of Sugar Land, Texas, died Thursday in the town of Whitefish when he was shot by another man in an apparent jealous rage while the TV personality visited the shooter's wife.

Whitefish police Chief Bill Dial said Wayne Bengston, 41, shot Mr. Rodriguez at about 10:30 p.m. at the home of his wife's mother. Chief Dial said Mr. Bengston then beat his wife, took his 2-year-old son to a relative's house and drove to his home about 25 miles away in West Glacier, where he killed himself.

Offshore wind power

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After three years of debate, countless revisions and lots of downsizing, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to subsidize development of offshore wind energy passed the state Senate on Friday, all but ensuring final approval in coming days.

The victory for Mr. O'Malley on a signature environmental initiative came as his bill to repeal the death penalty advanced in the House of Delegates and as he inched toward support of a measure to legalize medical marijuana.

-- Compiled from news services



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