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WASHINGTON: Ruling on whistle-blowers

The Supreme Court placed limits Tuesday on existing whistle-blower lawsuits alleging local governments misused federal money, in a decision that produced newcomer Sonia Sotomayor's first dissenting opinion. The court voted 7-2 to hold that a technical, though important, aspect of the federal whistle-blower law applies to local governments. In an opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens, the court ruled that the language on administrative audits refers to a report prepared by any government, not just a federal government document. Sotomayor dissented, saying her colleagues "misread the statutory text" to limit whistle-blower claims. Justice Stephen Breyer joined the dissenting opinion.

CALIFORNIA: Lost climber feared dead

The climbing partner of a man stranded near the summit of Mount Shasta fears his friend is dead as stormy conditions prevented rescue teams from searching for a second day, officials said Tuesday. Mark Thomas, of Berkeley, was rescued Monday afternoon after he walked down the mountain in far Northern California to seek help. He said his friend, Thomas Bennett, was unresponsive and he was afraid he was dead. Thomas told authorities that the two 26-year-olds had arrived on the mountain Thursday night and had camped and hiked before they decided to climb the summit Saturday. But after reaching the peak, the experienced climbers ran into strong winds that forced them to spend the night at 14,050 feet.

Hecklers oust Rove

Anti-war protesters heckled former White House political adviser Karl Rove off the stage at his book signing in Beverly Hills. About 100 Rove supporters watched Monday as Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans walked toward him with handcuffs, calling him a war criminal and saying she was making a citizen's arrest. Ten protesters repeatedly interrupted Rove's talk at the Saban Theatre as he promoted his memoir, "Courage and Consequence: My Life As a Conservative in the Fight."

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