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AROUND THE STATE

Three football players still lost at sea; one rescued

Three men are still missing after their boat capsized in the Gulf Coast Feb. 28. They face diminishing
survival odds after more than two days missing at sea.

Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, both NFL players, might be able to fend off hypothermia because of their physical size and good health. But Coast Guard officials declined to speculate on any of the three missing men’s chances of being rescued alive. Hypothermia can set in within 18 hours in 64-degree water. The water temperature in the gulf is currently in the mid- to upper-60s.

One survivor, Nick Schuyler, was rescued March 2, after he was spotted clinging onto a capsized boat.

AROUND THE NATION

Congress rejects Obama plan for earmark reform

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer sent a blunt message to President Barack Obama concerning the issue of earmarks: Back off.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a press conference that Obama would be pushing for earmark reform.

“I think that you’ll see the president is going to draw some very clear lines about what’s going to happen going forward,” Gibbs said.

While the White House can “suggest ways for us to reform,” Hoyer said, “I don’t think the White House has the ability to tell us what to do.”

The majority leader was quick to point out that before Obama hit the campaign trail, he was serving the people of Illinois in the Senate and obtaining federally funded projects himself.

AROUND THE WORLD

U.S. committed to diffuse Iran’s suspected nuclear use

The U.S. and five other powers said March 3 they were committed to a direct conversation with Iran in an attempt to diffuse a standoff over its suspected nuclear work.

Speaking at a U.N. nuclear watchdog meeting, the six voiced serious concern at Iran’s atomic advances and increasing restrictions on U.N. inspectors’ efforts to keep track of them, but they did not mention toughening sanctions as a way to rein in Iran.

“We remain firmly committed to a comprehensive diplomatic solution, including through direct dialogue,” according to a statement from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors.

“[We] urge Iran to take this opportunity for engagement with us and thereby maximize opportunities for a negotiated way forward.”

Compiled by James Cannon II.