NATIONWIDE: Extension for Haitians
Many Haitians living in the United States under a "temporary protected status" granted by the federal government following last year's earthquakes will now be able to stay until January 2013. The protection, affecting up to 48,000 Haitians, had been set to expire in July. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano modified the program so that Haitians who arrived up to a year after the quakes can qualify to live and work legally here, provided they submit proof of continuous residence and don't have a serious criminal record. There are an estimated 19,700 Haitians on Long Island and many thousands more in New York City, but only about 7,000 had qualified for protected status statewide, according to Homeland Security.
-- VÍCTOR MANUEL RAMOS
WASHINGTON: Big Oil's tax breaks upheld
The Senate, on a procedural vote Tuesday, blocked a bill that would have repealed about $2 billion a year in tax breaks for the five biggest oil companies, a Democratic response to $4-a-gallon gasoline that might fare better when Congress and the White House negotiate a deal later this year to increase the government's ability to borrow. Republicans and some Democrats opposed the tax increase, saying it would hurt domestic drilling while doing nothing to reduce gas prices. The vote was 52-48 in favor, short of the needed 60 votes.
MINNESOTA: Confetti protest for Newt
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista were hit with glittery confetti by a protester Tuesday at a book-signing in a downtown Minneapolis hotel. The man dumped a cracker box full of colorful confetti on the pair and said, "Feel the rainbow, Newt! Stop the hate! Stop anti-gay politics!" Gingrich smiled as he brushed confetti off the table, and said, "Nice to live in a free country." Nick Espinosa, a prankster, emailed reporters later, saying it was a protest against a proposal to amend Minnesota's constitution to ban gay marriage.