(Reuters) - Michigan officials and President Barack Obama's Administration are discussing a plan to free up $100 million in federal money to aid Detroit's retired city workers, the Detroit Free Press reported on Tuesday. Citing two people familiar with the talks, the newspaper said the talks were centered around federal money flowing to Michigan for blight removal. Under the plan, $100 million would be earmarked for Detroit, reducing the $500 million the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, plans to use to eliminate blight over the next 10 years. A spokeswoman for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declined to comment on the report.
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into a law a bill allowing state health authorities to conduct surprise inspections of abortion clinics without first obtaining a warrant, handing another victory to abortion foes. The Republican-backed bill, which gained final legislative approval from the state Senate last week, removes a provision from state law requiring a judge to approve any spot inspections conducted at the nine clinics in Arizona licensed to perform abortions. No other medical facilities in the state require such a warrant for unannounced inspections. "This legislation will ensure that the Arizona Department of Health Services has the authority to appropriately protect the health and safety of all patients," gubernatorial spokesman Andrew Wilder said in announcing that Brewer, a Republican, had signed the measure.
The United States praised the holding of successful elections in Guinea-Bissau as an "important step" towards a better future after years of political instability and violence. Almost three-quarters of eligible votes cast their ballots in the watershed polls which were the first to be held in the west African nation since a 2012 military coup. "These elections are an important step toward building a more stable, prosperous, and democratic future for the Bissau-Guinean people," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The polls were "a powerful testimony of the strong desire of the people of Guinea-Bissau for constitutional and democratic government," Psaki added in her statement.
By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Two incompatible ballot measures on background checks for gun buyers in Washington state enjoy majority support in a poll released on Tuesday, but the one advancing stricter gun controls is more popular. They are the latest touchstones in a longstanding fight over background checks on gun buyers. The debate hinges on whether their expansion constitutes a common-sense approach to keeping guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable or a first step in broader restrictions on gun ownership. Initiative 594 would require all firearm sales, including those at gun shows and conducted online, to be predicated on a background check of the buyer.
Lawmakers probing how General Motors used faulty ignition switches in many vehicles are turning their scrutiny to the supplier of the part, Delphi Automotive. A group of senators on Tuesday wrote to Delphi Chief Executive Officer Rodney O'Neal, asking for information about whether the parts supplier pushed back against GM after the automaker apparently did not accept a proposed fix to the switches. "It is our understanding that a fix was proposed by Delphi regarding the ignition switch in 2005 but GM did not adopt the change," the letter said. "As we continue evaluating the GM recall it is critically important that we understand the decisions made by Delphi and the company's interaction with GM." Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat, signed the letter along with three fellow senators - John Thune, the top Republican on the panel, Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Dean Heller.