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June 4, 2008 at 10:00 PM
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Report: Clinton will endorse Obama

NEW YORK, June 4 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton is planning to suspend her campaign and endorse Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, a Clinton adviser said.

Citing the senior Clinton adviser, The New York Times said Wednesday the New York senator is moving toward making the endorsement Saturday in New York.

Howard Wolfson, a chief Clinton campaign strategist, and other aides said Clinton would express support for Obama and party unity, and one Clinton adviser told the newspaper she would concede defeat and pledge to do whatever must be done to win the general election in November.

The development comes on a day when Democratic members of Congress urged Clinton to get out of the nomination race so the party can unite behind Obama, the presumptive presidential nominee, the adviser said.

Addressing supporters Tuesday night following primaries in South Dakota and Montana, Clinton said she would not make a decision on her campaign any time soon.

On the day Obama garnered enough commitments to surpass the 2,118 delegates needed to clinch the party's presidential nomination, Clinton said she was open to being Obama's running mate and pledged to work to unite the party after a long and bruising primary season.

She congratulated Obama for running an "extraordinary race" but conceded nothing, The Washington Post reported.

"I want the nearly 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected, to be heard," she said to loud applause.

Report: Obama-Clinton ticket 'unlikely'

WASHINGTON -- It is unlikely Hillary Clinton will join Barack Obama as the presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential nominee's running mate, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Citing sources in both the Obama and Clinton camps, the newspaper said Wednesday that former President Bill Clinton might be reluctant to release records of his business dealings and information on major donors to his presidential library. Close advisers to Obama, who claimed the nomination Tuesday, told the Journal an Obama-Clinton ticket was highly unlikely, and people in both campaigns said it would be "a deal-breaker" if Bill Clinton refuses to release business and donor records.

Hillary Clinton has indicated a willingness to be considered for vice president but her tenacious refusal to surrender the contest until now has engendered only mixed support for her within the Obama camp, CNN reported Wednesday.

The pairing, however, could produce a so-called dream ticket for Democrats, hoping to shore up Obama's support among white ethnic voters and women who strongly supported Clinton.

Other possibilities, analysts told CNN, include Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., whose strong points include service on the Senate armed services and intelligence committees; Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., whose foreign relations credentials are extensive; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican who could help attract Jewish votes; and former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark, a staunch Clinton supporter who analysts say could help unite the party.

Other possibilities, CNN said, include Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.; Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell; and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.

Court won't delay same-sex marriages

SACRAMENTO, June 4 (UPI) -- The California Supreme Court, by a 4-3 vote Wednesday, turned down a request to delay a ruling reversing a same-sex marriage ban, the court said.

The Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay marriage group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., united with other critics and called for the court to delay its ruling until the issue is voted on again five months from now, the Sacramento Bee reported Wednesday.

The action means the May 15 ruling would be finalized June 16, opening the gates for same-sex marriages the next day.

Opponents argued unruliness would emerge if couples were allowed to wed in coming months, the report said.

Tsvangirai arrested, freed in Zimbabwe

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, June 4 (UPI) -- Zimbabwean opposition leader and presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai has been released after being arrested Wednesday at a roadblock, his supporters said.

Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa told The Telegraph newspaper Tsvangirai was taken into custody near Bulawayo as he campaigned against incumbent President Robert Mugabe in the June 27 run-off election.

Tsvangirai was set free late Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

"It makes absolutely no sense that a presidential candidate in an election is arrested for attracting crowds of people," said Tsvangirai's party in a statement.

Amnesty International condemned the arrest and what it called a "sharp and dangerous crackdown," the Times said.

"It appears they want to disrupt our campaign program," Chamisa told The Telegraph.

He said fair elections in Zimbabwe will be impossible without the intervention of the United Nations and the international community,

The opposition party says 50 of its supporters have been slain by Mugabe's supporters in recent weeks, with soldiers loyal to the president beating and threatening those who voice support for Tsvangirai, The Telegraph said.

Tsvangirai's arrest came hours after it was reported that the Mugabe government accused international charities of engaging in political activities and ordered them to stop operating in Zimbabwe.

Ex-Obama friend convicted in Chicago

CHICAGO, June 4 (UPI) -- Antoin "Tony Rezko," a former friend of Barack Obama and former top adviser to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was convicted Wednesday on corruption charges.

Rezko was charged with trading on his clout as a Blagojevich adviser and fundraiser. The Chicago Tribune reported the conviction could spell trouble for the governor, who made Rezko an important member of his kitchen Cabinet.

A federal jury in Chicago convicted Rezko on 16 of 24 corruption counts after deliberating for parts of 13 days. Rezko was convicted of conspiring with Stuart Levine, a longtime GOP activist, to extort millions from firms seeks state contracts or regulator approval, the Tribune said.

Levine pleaded guilty in 2006 and became a government witness

Trial testimony revealed further allegations, the Tribune said. A former state official told jurors he bought his job with bribes to Rezko and campaign contributions to Blagojevich, and was one of several witnesses who said Rezko talked about derailing the federal investigation by using influence in the Bush White House to get U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald fired.

Witnesses said Rezko's alleged schemes involved political insiders from both parties, the Tribune said.

Rezko was close to many Illinois politicians and had been a major fundraiser for Obama and Blagojevich, the report said.

Neither Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, nor the governor has been charged with wrongdoing.

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