PHOENIX

Retired astronaut seeks

McCain's Senate seat

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after his wife, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in a failed assassination attempt, announced Tuesday he will run to finish John McCain's last term in the U.S. Senate.

If he wins the Democratic nomination, Kelly would take on Republican Martha McSally in what is expected to be one of the most closely contested Senate races of the 2020 election.

 

WASHINGTON

General says N. Korea

hasn't curtailed nukes

A top U.S. commander said Tuesday that he has not seen any effort by North Korea to curtail its nuclear weapons program since President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met for nuclear talks last year.

Army Gen. Robert Abrams testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee ahead of Trump's second meeting with Kim later this month in Hanoi, Vietnam. The U.S. hopes North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for an end to punishing international sanctions.

Abrams called the second meeting a "positive sign of continued dialogue," but added, "We have not observed activity that's consistent with a full-court press on denuclearization."

 

SACRAMENTO, CALIF.

Governor abandoning

high-speed rail plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he's abandoning a $77 billion plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco and will focus instead on completing a 119-mile segment in the state's agricultural heartland.

Voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 calling for the linking of Northern and Southern California, a rail project initially estimated to cost $33 billion and be completed in 2020. Subsequent estimates more than doubled the cost and pushed the timeline to 2033.

 

WASHINGTON

Senate approves

public lands bill

The Senate on Tuesday approved a major public lands bill that revives a popular conservation program, adds 1.3 million acres of new wilderness, expands several national parks and creates four new national monuments.

The measure, the largest public lands bill considered by Congress in a decade, combines more than 100 separate bills that designate more than 350 miles of river as wild and scenic, add 2,600 miles of new federal trails and create nearly 700,000 acres of new recreation and conservation areas. The bill also withdraws 370,000 acres in Montana and Washington state from mineral development.

The Senate approved the bill 92-8, sending it to the House.

 

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.

Tiny monkey stolen

from enclosure at zoo

Police in Florida need help finding a little monkey that was stolen from the Palm Beach Zoo.

Zoo spokeswoman Naki Carter announced Tuesday that 12-year-old Kali, a rare Goeldi's monkey, was taken from her enclosure on Monday. A zookeeper discovered the monkey missing during early morning rounds, and then saw that the mesh had been cut open.

Police are seeking help identifying a person seen in surveillance video.

 

CAIRO

Archaeologists find

ancient ship workshop

Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered an ancient workshop used to build and repair ships that dates back to the Ptolemaic era (332 B.C.-30 B.C.) in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Antiquities Ministry said Tuesday that excavations took place in the Tel Abu Saifi archaeological site in Northern Sinai. The site is said to have been the location of the Roman fortress of Silla. The workshop includes two dry dockyards where ships were built or repaired.

 

WASHINGTON

National debt grows

to above $22 trillion

The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department's daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires