A twist in Obama’s health care law

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 8:48 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s health care law would let several million middle-class people get nearly free insurance meant for the poor, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed. The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual …
First lady Michelle Obama walks with children as she visits the Emthonjeni Community Center in Zandspruit Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday, June 21, 2011. Also seen at rear are daughters Sasha and Malia Obama, mother Marian Robinson, niece Leslie Robinson and nephew Avery Robinson.

Michelle Obama, family, meets with Nelson Mandela

By Darlene Superville, The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 8:25 p.m.
JOHANNESBURG — Michelle Obama heard stories of South Africa’s racist past Tuesday from Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president who was imprisoned for 27 years in his struggle against brutal apartheid rule. Now 92 and largely retired from public life, Mandela sent word he wanted to meet with the …
Republican presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman waves to supporters before officially announcing his bid, Tuesday, June 21, 2011, at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J.

Former Utah governor Huntsman joins presidential race promising jobs, civility

By Beth Fouhy, The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 7:38 p.m.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Republican Jon Huntsman joined the presidential race Tuesday with the Statue of Liberty over his shoulder, asserting that he and President Barack Obama both love their country but have far different visions of its future. He pledged to halt an “un-American” fading of national confidence and …

Newt Gingrich campaign fundraisers quit

By Philip Elliot, The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 7:32 p.m.
ATLANTA — Newt Gingrich’s top two fundraising advisers resigned on Tuesday, and officials said the Republican candidate’s hobbling presidential campaign carried more than $1 million in debt. The departures of fundraising director Jody Thomas and fundraising consultant Mary Heitman were the latest blow for the former House speaker who watched …

LePage signs bill banning same-day voter registration, but critics vow to fight

By Eric Russell on June 21, 2011, at 3:46 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Gov. Paul LePage has signed a controversial bill that bans voters from registering on an election day, but critics who say the law disenfranchises voters have vowed to challenge that change through the citizens’ referendum process. The governor signed LD 1376 on Tuesday, along with several other …

State lawmakers hold off on borrowing this year

By Glenn Adams, The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 1:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA | This year’s legislative session is notable for something Maine lawmakers didn’t do — send a bond package to voters. Lawmakers submitted 29 bills seeking bonds for a range of projects including railroads, clean water and sewer upgrades, energy efficiency and roads and bridges during the session that’s …

Bill to make special legislative races more accessible to voters

The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 1:08 p.m.
AUGUSTA | A bill awaiting Gov. Paul LePage’s signature would give voters greater voice in legislative special elections. The bill would allow a municipality that hasn’t held a once-every-two-years caucus to hold one within 15 days of the governor’s proclamation that a vacancy in the House exists. In effect, …

Maine bill gives schools health insurance options

The Associated Press on June 21, 2011, at 5:20 a.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill awaiting Gov. Paul LePage’s signature would enable school districts to explore options to reduce their health insurance costs. The sponsor, Republican Rep. Ralph Sarty of Denmark, says the bill gives school districts the flexibility to self-insure or find more affordable plans during this time of financial …