In the latest round in a long, bitter duel between Democrats and Republicans over which party is more on the side of women voters, White House press secretary Jay Carney was hit with questions on Monday from reporters about a report finding that the salary for the average median White House female staffer is about 12 percent lower than that for a male staffer. The median woman working in the White House makes about $65,000, almost $9,000 less than her male counterpart, according to the report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative group. That difference divides out to women in the White House making about 88 cents for each dollar that men in the administration make, the report said. But it is back and getting tossed like a hot potato to Democrats – just as President Obama is observing National Equal Pay Day on Tuesday by signing two executive orders that address the gender pay gap.
A California state senator denied Tuesday plotting to smuggle guns from the Philippines and trading political favors for cash, in a colorful case centred on San Francisco's Chinatown underworld. Appearing in a federal courthouse, now-suspended Democratic Senator Leland Yee pleaded not guilty to eight felony charges for which he could face life in prison if convicted. The five-year FBI sting that ensnared the politician was initially aimed at triad gangs linked to the West Coast city's renowned Chinatown. He is accused of offering a man he believed to be a mafia member -- actually an undercover agent -- his services as an arms trafficker.