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Jan. 22, 2013 at 10:32 PM
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Obama nominates 4 for Cabinet

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday sent the Senate four Cabinet nominations in the first step to reshape his administration for his second term.

The names were among 16 sent for approval and had been announced earlier.

Obama nominated John Brennan to head the Central Intelligence Agency, replacing David Petraeus, who resigned amid revelations of an affair with his biographer; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., to replace Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., to be secretary of state, replacing Hillary Clinton, and Jacob Lew to replace Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary.

He also nominated Lew to the U.S. representative at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Inter-American Development Bank -- posts also being vacated by Geithner.

DA to review new priest abuse documents

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Los Angeles prosecutors say they will review documents showing Catholic Church officials discussed ways to hide sexual assaults by priests from law enforcement.

However, a former Los Angeles County district attorney says it may be too late to prosecute under the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles Times said Tuesday.

The newspaper reported Monday internal church documents from 1986 and 1987 show Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who was archbishop at the time, and Monsignor Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese's top adviser on sex abuse cases, discussed ways to keep authorities from finding out children were being sexually abused by priests.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Jackie Lacey said prosecutors will "will review and evaluate all documents as they become available to us," the Times reported Tuesday.

Former District Attorney Steve Cooley, whose office conducted a five-year investigation of clergy sex abuse in Los Angeles, told the Times "it would be great" to prosecute Mahony and Curry for what he called "horrendous, unethical and immoral to the point of biblical proportions" but the three-year statute of limitations might make it impossible.

U.S. begins Mali airlift from France

STUTTGART, Germany, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. military transport planes are ferrying French troops and supplies from southern France to Mali, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The airlift is expected to continue for several days, The New York Times reported. Tom Saunders, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said there were two flights Monday and one Tuesday.

French military authorities reported that two important towns were retaken Monday. Defense Minister Jean-Yves Drian called the capture of Diabaly and Douentza "a clear military success for the government in Bamako and for French forces intervening in support of these operations."

Diabaly is 275 miles north and Douentza on the Niger River, 300 miles northeast of Bamako, the Malian capital. Diabaly residents, some of them waving flags from both France and Mali, cheered an armored French convoy that arrived Monday.

France launched Operation Serval after Islamic rebels took control of parts of the country. Britain and the United States have provided air transport but have both said they will not put troops on the ground.

Support for Roe decision still strong

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A poll released Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, finds 70 percent of U.S. residents do not want the landmark on abortion ruling overturned.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 54 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances, the highest number since the survey began asking that question 10 years ago. The 70 percent support for the ruling is the highest level since 1989.

At the same time, many states are making legal abortions harder to get, NBC reported.

In 2012, Virginia became the eighth state to require women to undergo ultrasound examinations before getting abortions, and three states passed laws requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

Mississippi could become the first state with no legal abortion clinic, because the only remaining one is having trouble meeting the legal requirement on hospital admitting privileges. Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota have only one clinic each.

"When you're the only provider in a state, you become a target," Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, N.D., told MSNBC.

Abortion opponents point to polls that show most U.S. voters do not want tax dollars used for abortions.

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