WASHINGTON (AP) — The immediate and the institutional are on a collision course in the Senate, where majority Democrats want to erode the right of minority Republicans to block confirmation of President Barack Obama's picks for key administration posts.
On one side is the fate of Obama's choices to head the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency and for seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which settles collective bargaining disputes.
On the other side is the near certainty that once weakened, the rights of the Senate minority would be reduced even further the next time either party wants to jam through a four-year appointment to the Cabinet or lifetime seat for a justice whose confirmation might tilt the balance of power on the Supreme Court for a decade or more.
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Jurors have left the courtroom to resume their deliberations in George Zimmerman's murder trial.
Jurors reconvened in the courtroom at 9 a.m. Saturday and will continue discussing whether Zimmerman committed second-degree murder when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.
Jurors deliberated for three and a half hours Friday and decided to stop in the evening. About two hours into their discussions, they asked for a list of the evidence.
Zimmerman claims he shot Martin in self-defense last year.
On Friday, as the jury began their discussions, police and civic leaders in this Orlando suburb went on national television to plead for calm in Sanford and across the country, no matter what the verdict.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation allowing a gun safety course sponsored by the National Rifle Association to be taught to first-graders.
The bill signed Friday allows schools to teach the Eddie Eagle Gunsafe Program and to seek financial grants to do so. But it stops short of mandating the course.
The NRA says its course has been taught to more than 26 million children nationwide since it began in 1988. Virginia enacted a law in 2010 allowing gun-safety courses based on the NRA program.
The Missouri legislation requires schools to conduct an active-shooter drill led by law enforcement officers.
It also assigns the duty of issuing identification cards for concealed gun permits to sheriffs, instead of driver's license clerks.