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Controversial Alaska mine project wins one in Congress

WASHINGTON — Supporters of the embattled Pebble Mine project in Alaska are making a desperate effort in Congress and the courts to keep it alive in the face of warnings from the Environmental Protection Agency that it could devastate the finest run of wild salmon left on the globe.

House investigates Commerce watchdog

WASHINGTON — The top watchdog responsible for ferreting out wrongdoing at the Commerce Department is the subject of a broad congressional probe, with lawmakers from both parties alleging a pattern of behavior that “casts doubt” on his “reliability, veracity, trustworthiness, and ethical conduct.”

Obama orders new sanctions against Russia

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration sought to further pinch Russia’s economy Wednesday, bringing its toughest sanctions to date against major Russian banks, energy companies and weapons makers in a bid to convince the Kremlin to end its “provocations” in Ukraine.

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House Democrats seek probe of Motorola’s radio contracts

WASHINGTON — Three senior House Democrats on Tuesday asked the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog to investigate allegations, raised in a McClatchy series, that Motorola’s contracting tactics have led state and local governments to squander millions of dollars on the company’s pricey two-way emergency radio systems.

Mazzant nominated for federal district judge spot

A local magistrate judge could be changing offices soon. An announcement from the White House Friday said President Barack Obama nominated four people to serve as federal district judges. Two of those people were nominated to fill vacancies in the Eastern District of Texas. One of them is Sherman’s own Amos Mazzant III.