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Nov. 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Axelrod: Obama opposes abortion measure

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama remains opposed to prohibiting abortion coverage in plans offered through a new health insurance exchange, an adviser says.

Obama adviser David Axelrod said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that the president hasn't wavered in his opposition to the Stupak Amendment, a measure authored by conservative Democrats to ban abortion coverage which last week passed the House with solid Republican support.

"The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn't believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion," Axelrod told CNN. "He's going to work with the Senate and the House to try to ensure that at the end of the day the status quo is not changed."

The U.S. broadcaster said progressive, pro-abortion rights congressional Democrats are organizing in an effort to eliminate the Stupak Amendment from the final version of the bill that will be voted on by both chambers.

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Six Fort Hood victims laid to rest

WEST JORDAN, Utah, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Six victims of the Fort Hood, Texas, mass shootings were laid to rest around the United States Sunday, mourners said.

Among them were Pfc. Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19, who was buried in snowy West Jordan, Utah, CNN reported.

The combat engineer was laid to rest at the Utah Veterans Memorial Park in a freezing wind while "Taps" was played for a group of military members, veterans and family members, the U.S. broadcaster said.

The other victims buried Sunday included Pfc. Michael Pearson, 22, of Bolingbrook, Ill.; Spc. Jason Dean Hunt, 22, of Tillman, Okla.; Sgt. Amy Krueger, 29, of Kiel, Wis.; Capt. John Gaffaney, 54, of San Diego, Calif.; and Staff Sgt. Justin DeCrow, 32, of Plymouth, Ind.

U.S. Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of opening fire at a Fort Hood military processing center Nov. 5, killing 13 people and injuring many others. Hasan was seriously wounded in the incident and has been charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder.

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Leahy: Court trial for 9/11 suspects right

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama made the right decision moving to try key Sept. 11, 2001, terror figures in civilian criminal court, a senior senator says.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that Obama's move to have self-avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four other terror suspects placed on trial in a federal court in Manhattan will show the world the United States is not afraid of terrorists.

"I think that Eric Holder, our attorney general, is right; I think the president is right in holding the trials of these murderers in New York City," Leahy told CBS. "What we're saying to the world is, the United States acts out of strength, not out of fear."

Disagreeing was U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.

"We're going to go back into New York City, the scene of the tragedy on 9/11," Hoekstra told "Face the Nation." "We're now going to rip that wound wide open, and it's going to stay open for, what -- two, three, four years, as we go through the circus of a trial in New York City?"

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Clinton 'looks forward' to Palin coffee

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she would "look forward" to having coffee with former Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if she had seen a passage in Palin's new memoir in which she writes that if she ever sat down to a coffee chat with her she would praise her for hard campaign work, Clinton responded that she'd be glad to.

Palin writes, "Should Secretary Clinton and I ever sit down over a cup of coffee, I know that we would fundamentally disagree on many issues, but my hat is off to her hard work on the 2008 campaign trail."

"Well, I absolutely would look forward to having coffee," Clinton said. "I've never met her. And I think it would be very interesting to sit down and talk with her. And I've got more than I could say grace over to read, but obviously in the next week there's going to be a lot of attention paid to her book."

Clinton wouldn't comment on Palin's conservative brand of Republicanism, saying, "I'm out of politics," but added, "Maybe I can make a case on some of the issues that we disagree on."

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