NEW YORK -- When this year's Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony unfolds at ground zero, the mayor who has helped orchestrate the observances from their start will be watching for his last time in office. And saying nothing.
Over his years as mayor and chairman of the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum, Michael Bloomberg has sometimes tangled with victims' relatives, religious leaders and other elected officials over an event steeped in symbolism and emotion.
But his administration has largely succeeded at its goal of keeping the commemoration centered on the attacks' victims and their families and relatively free of political image-making.
Memorial organizers expect to take primary responsibility for the ceremony next year and say they plan to continue concentrating the event on victims' loved ones.
Birmingham girls honored
WASHINGTON -- Congress on Tuesday presented the nation's highest civilian award to a representative of four girls who were killed during one of the pivotal moments of the civil rights movement, the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.
Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died in the explosion of a bomb that members of the Ku Klux Klan had planted in the church. Denise was 11 years old, the others 14.
The girls' deaths served as a catalyst for advances in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Debt limit analysis
WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department will be unable to pay all the nation's bills starting sometime between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5 unless Congress raises the debt limit, according to a private analysis released Tuesday.
The new "X date" from the Bipartisan Policy Center gives lawmakers a more specific time frame for action to avoid a government default and provides details about how the Treasury might handle paying bills after exhausting its borrowing ability.
NSA misled secret court
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. National Security Agency violated rules on surveillance of telephone records for almost three years and misled a secret court, raising fresh concerns that spy programs lack adequate controls to protect Americans' privacy, documents released Tuesday show.
"The court entrusted NSA with extraordinary authority, and with it came the highest responsibility for compliance and protection of privacy rights," NSA Director Keith Alexander wrote in one of the declassified documents. "In several instances, NSA implemented its authority in a manner inconsistent with the orders, and some of these inconsistencies were not recognized for more than two and a half years."
Also in the nation ...
A federal appeals court decided Tuesday that Google Inc. can be held liable for violating a federal wiretap law when it collected personal information from Wi-Fi networks while obtaining photographs for Street View. ... A cold and allergy decongestant now being sold nationwide contains a new form of pseudoephedrine that's being billed as difficult to use to make methamphetamine, but the Drug Enforcement Administration said Tuesday that it still won't allow Zephrex-D to be sold over the counter.