WASHINGTON

Anti-violence bill passes

The Senate overcame election-year gender politics Thursday to pass a bill renewing the government’s main domestic violence program. The 68-31 vote marked the first time since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994 that its renewal has drawn opposition in the Senate, reflecting the increasing polarization of the chamber and hair-trigger political sensitivities over women’s issues in this presidential and congressional election year. House Republicans are writing their own version of the bill, which is likely to resemble a GOP alternative widely rejected by the Senate.

ORLANDO, FLA.

Web donors help shooter

George Zimmerman’s attorney said a website created to raise money for his legal defense has raised more than $200,000. Mark O’Mara said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday night that he learned about the money Wednesday and will inform a judge at a Friday hearing. Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin, was released from jail this week after paying 10 percent of $150,000 bail. O’Mara said the bail amount may have been higher if the judge knew Zimmerman had raised $200,000. The website used to raise the money has since been shut down, but O’Mara said he’ll likely start a new defense fund for Zimmerman.

GREENSBORO, N.C.

Ex-aide admits spending

John Edwards’ ex-aide acknowledged Thursday that much of nearly $1 million in campaign supporters’ cash went to build his North Carolina dream house, not to buy the silence of the presidential candidate’s pregnant mistress. Andrew Young testified for a fourth straight day at Edwards’ campaign finance fraud trial, peppered with questions from Edwards attorney Abbe Lowell about the money from two donors that flowed into personal accounts controlled by Young and his wife. Young has said he took secret payments from wealthy donors at Edwards’ direction to help conceal the presidential contender’s affair with Rielle Hunter and keep his 2008 presidential campaign viable.

Compiled from wire reports