(CNN) - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden - the son of Vice President Joe Biden - is continuing to make "favorable progress" after suffering a mild stroke, according to a Delaware Department of Justice statement released Wednesday.
"He will continue to follow standard protocol and receive medical therapy over the coming days, as is typical for any patient recovering from an event like this," the statement noted. "He looks forward to returning to his duties as attorney general in the near future."
Biden, 41, is recovering at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was initially admitted Tuesday morning to Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
Washington (CNN) - A pending Justice Department vacancy may not generate as much interest as the soon-to-be open Supreme Court seat, but Elena Kagan's rise to the nation's top bench would leave a vacancy in her current job.
Government sources tell CNN two of the leading contenders for solicitor general are White House lawyer Donald Verrilli and Kagan's deputy, Neal Katyal.
The solicitor general represents the federal government's interests before the Supreme Court, and is part of the Justice Department. Kagan was
nominated to the high court Monday to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. The White House says she is still in charge of pending cases but will not take on new ones as she prepares for Senate confirmation hearings.
Much of the office's workload will fall to Katyal, 40, who came to the job from Georgetown Law Center. While there he represented a number of foreign prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay military detention center.
Washington (CNN) – Local officials in three states are awaiting word Wednesday to see which city national Republicans have chosen to host the party's 2012 presidential nominating convention.
At stake is international exposure and perhaps as much as $170 million pumped into a metropolitan area's economy, according to an estimate provided by the Republican National Committee.
Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Tampa Bay all bid for the convention and will learn their fates Wednesday afternoon. RNC officials visited each city over the past two months looking at the municipalities' infrastructure, hotel room capacity, transportation, accessibility and entertainment options for attendees.
The RNC says that 45,000 people attended the 2008 Republican National Convention held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The convention was responsible for "nearly $170 million in new money … generated for the local economy."
Tampa Bay is considered to be well positioned because Florida is a battleground state, has 27 electoral votes and the infrastructure to hold such a big event. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics and choosing the city would be a sign that the Republican Party is reasserting itself in the West. President Obama won Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico in 2008, states that President Bush carried four years earlier. And there is speculation that Phoenix's chances of landing the convention might be harmed because of Arizona's new controversial law dealing with illegal immigrants.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday he is "confident" his administration will meet its self-imposed deadline to start a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July of 2011.
But there's "going to be some hard fighting" over the next few months, he warned. Taliban and other extremist forces are "tough," he said.
He also stressed that the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan will continue long after the deadline.
"We are not suddenly, as of July 2011, finished with Afghanistan," he said during a meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House. "This is a long-term partnership."
Kagan, who won confirmation as solicitor general a little more than a year ago, started off with a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada. The pair posed for pictures but refused to answer any questions from reporters.
"There's nothing more exciting than the [confirmation process] we're about to undertake," Reid told Kagan. "The great country that we're in is ruled by law, and that's what you're going to make sure continues."
He later issued a statement noting that his meeting left him confident that Kagan "is the right choice to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court. She has a strong belief that the Supreme Court should be a forum where the rule of law wins out and where people from every walk of life can receive a fair hearing."
Kagan was also scheduled to meet Wednesday with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky; Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont; Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama; and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois.
Updated: 12:09 p.m.
He said there is "no denying the progress that the Afghan people have made in recent years," but also said the country still faces major challenges, including "a brutal insurgency."
The U.S. and Afghan governments have reaffirmed their intention to "disrupt, dismantle, and defeat" al Qaeda and its allies, the president said, and noted that U.S. military forces have regained the momentum in Afghanistan.
Obama made his remarks while meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the White House, one day after the Afghan leader met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of a series of high-level discussions regarding the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
(CNN) – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will release her second book in November, publisher Harper Collins announced Wednesday.
"America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag " will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation's founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies," the publisher said in a statement announcing the new book. "The book will also include portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family. She will also draw from personal experience to amplify these timely (and timeless) themes-themes that are sure to inspire her numerous supporters and all readers across the country."
The second book was inspired by the people Palin met during her 35-city tour in support of her first book, "Going Rogue," Harper Collins also said. The upcoming book "celebrates the enduring strengths and virtues that have made this country great," the publisher added.
"America By Heart" will hit bookshelves on November 23, according to Harper Collins.