Late Briefing



Seniors will not receive $250 checks

The Senate rejected a proposal to send $250 checks to 55 million senior citizens who will not receive a cost-of-living increase this year in their Social Security benefits.


The chamber voted 50 to 47 against spending $14 billion for the one-time payments, which lawmakers said would translate into a 2% increase for the average retiree.

President Obama endorsed the idea and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office listed it as one of the best ways to provide a short-term stimulus to the economy. Lawmakers who opposed the idea called it a waste of tax money.

-- bloomberg news NEW YORK

Heroic pilot to make last flight

The pilot who spectacularly landed a crippled US Airways passenger jet in New York’s Hudson River last year is retiring, the airline said.

All 155 people aboard Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, N.C., escaped after pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III glided the plane to an emergency landing in the icy river within view of Manhattan skyscrapers.


Sullenberger, 59, who joined the airline in 1980, was due to fly his last flight Wednesday with co-pilot Jeff Skiles, who was beside him at the controls during the emergency landing, said the U.S. Airline Pilots Assn.

The engines of the plane were knocked out when it collided with a flock of geese shortly after takeoff from La Guardia Airport on Jan. 15 last year.

-- reuters NEW YORK

Rep. Massa opts for retirement

Rep. Eric Massa, a freshman Democrat from New York, says he will retire because of health reasons.

Massa was elected in 2008, defeating GOP Rep. Randy Kuhl in a district long dominated by Republicans.

Massa was stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1996. He underwent aggressive treatment and stayed on as an aide to retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, a presidential candidate in 2004.

-- associated press WYOMING

‘Cowboy ethics’ become law

The principles of “cowboy ethics” are now part of Wyoming law.

Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed legislation adopting an official Wyoming state code.

The symbolic measure spells out 10 ethics derived from a “Code of the West” outlined in a book by author and retired Wall Street investor James Owen.

The ethics code carries no criminal penalties and is not meant to replace any civil codes.

The state code admonishes residents and lawmakers to live courageously, take pride in their work, finish what they start, do what’s necessary and be tough but fair.

It also calls on them to keep promises, ride for the brand, talk less and say more, remember that some things aren’t for sale, and know where to draw the line.

-- associated press CANADA

Brazil slow to aid ship, officer says

The first officer of a sailing ship that capsized off Brazil’s coast said he and 63 others on board could have been rescued within hours if Brazilian officials had ordered planes and other boats to assist the ailing vessel sooner.

At least one other vessel was within four hours of his training ship, the Concordia, before it capsized and sank on the afternoon of Feb. 17, said Kim Smith, from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the Concordia’s home base.

It took nearly 40 hours before merchant ships were able to safely rescue the 48 students and 16 crew members stranded in lifeboats off the Brazilian coast.

The Brazilian navy has defended its response, saying it deployed a search aircraft about 19 hours after it received a distress signal, which is in line with standard procedure.

-- associated press