Statue of Liberty to reopen July 4
NEW YORK - The Statue of Liberty, whose feet remained dry but whose home was badly damaged by superstorm Sandy, will reopen July Fourth after extensive work to repair the infrastructure on her perch in New York Harbor is completed, officials announced Tuesday.
The statue was not damaged when Sandy hit the East Coast last October, but officials said the infrastructure on Liberty Island, which houses Lady Liberty, "was almost a total loss."
Docks for the boats that carry millions of tourists to the Statue of Liberty each year were destroyed. The electrical system for the island was knocked out.
Feds drop scary labels on packs of cigarettes
RICHMOND - The U.S. government is abandoning a legal battle to require that cigarette packs carry a set of often macabre warning labels depicting the dangers of smoking.
Instead, the Food and Drug Administration will go back to the drawing board and create labels to replace those that included images of diseased lungs and the sewn-up corpse of a smoker, according to a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder obtained by The Associated Press. The government had until Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision upholding a ruling that the requirement violated First Amendment free speech protections.
Former Gov. Sanford makes it to GOP runoff
CHARLESTON - Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford advanced Tuesday to a runoff in the Republican contest for an open congressional seat, taking a step toward reviving a political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair while he was governor.
With all precincts reporting, unofficial results showed Sanford received about 37 percent of the vote in the southern coastal district. It was unclear who he would face in the April 2 GOP runoff.
The eventual Republican candidate will square off in the May 7 general election against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert. She won the Democratic primary for the seat.
Child-welfare office checks on boy's gun
CARNEYS POINT - The ruddy-cheeked, camouflage-clad boy in the photo smiles out, proudly holding a gun his father gave him as a present for his upcoming 11th birthday.
The weapon in the photo, posted by his dad on Facebook, resembles a military-style assault rifle but, his father says it's actually a .22-caliber copy. The family believe that's why child welfare case workers and police officers visited the home last Friday and asked to see his guns.
New Jersey's Department of Children and Families declined to comment specifically on the case.