Los Angeles (CNN) - It's a sign of how fierce the battle for the California Senate seat could become. In the days before the California primary, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Republican frontrunner and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are already trading barbs over national security. But one of the fights isn't what you might expect, its over printer ink.
"Printer ink is not a national security issue", Fiorina told CNN.
Why is that part of the discussion?
Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas, 89, (pictured, center) was considered the dean of the White House press corps and held a privileged seat in the front row of the White House press briefing room. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) – Longtime White House reporter Helen Thomas has retired effective immediately, Hearst Corporation said Monday.
The media conglomerate had employed Thomas, age 89, as a syndicated columnist for its newspaper chain.
Thomas, who was considered the dean of the White House press corps, had come under fire since late last week when a YouTube video surfaced showing her saying that Israel should “get the hell out of Palestine,” and that the Jewish people should go home to “Poland, Germany … and America and everywhere else.”
In a posting on her website last Friday, Thomas apologized for her remarks. “They do not reflect my heart-felt belief that peace will come to the Middle East only when all parties recognize the need for mutual respect and tolerance. May that day come soon,” she wrote.
But the apology was not enough to silence critics who began a rising chorus of calls for Thomas either to be terminated or suspended by Hearst.
Related video: Ari Fleischer slams Thomas
Los Angeles, California (CNN) - A number of high-profile primary battles highlight races in 12 states Tuesday, including a senator trying to save her political life and a runoff in a special congressional election to fill a vacant House seat.
In California, a large state with pricey television markets, campaigning can be expensive. But that doesn't seem to be a problem for wealthy candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner in the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.
Whitman, the billionaire former eBay CEO who also was an adviser and surrogate for Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential bid, has spent around $70 million of her own money. Poizner, California's insurance commissioner and a self-made multimillionaire, has injected some $25 million of his money into his campaign.
The most recent polls of likely GOP primary voters indicate that Whitman leads Poizner by around a 2-1 margin. The Republican winner in Tuesday's primary likely will face off in the general election against state Attorney General Jerry Brown, a former two-term governor and the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Listen: CNN's Paul Steinhauser on Tuesday's big races
New York (CNNMoney.com) - It's one of the first tangible results of the health reform law: This week the government will start mailing $250 checks to seniors to close the Medicare "donut hole," which leaves seniors with a gap in their prescription drug coverage.
The first checks will be sent June 10, three weeks earlier than scheduled, to about 80,000 people. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 4 million seniors will get $250 checks in 2010.
At a press conference last month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said closing the donut hole is "one of the biggest ways the new law is going to help seniors."
Seniors get stuck in the donut hole if their prescription drugs cost too much to be paid for through basic Medicare coverage, but aren't expensive enough to qualify for catastrophic coverage.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden travels to Africa this week with several stops, including South Africa where he will represent the United States at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 World Cup.
Among other engagements, Biden will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday "to discuss a full range of bilateral and regional issues," according to a White House statement.
The vice president had planned on visiting Egypt in March, but Mubarak fell ill and the trip was scrapped.
During his stop in Kenya, the vice president will discuss peace and stability in the region - especially in Sudan and Somalia - with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Biden will be joined by his wife, Jill, during the trip. The two will also stop in South Africa for the World Cup opening ceremonies on Friday and to watch the U.S. team take on England in its first game on Saturday.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a field hearing on the local impact of the oil spill. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images: Grand Isle, Louisiana)
(CNN) - The House Committee on Energy and Commerce will open shop on the bayou Monday morning, holding a hearing in Chalmette, Louisiana.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a field hearing on "Local Impact of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," near ground zero for the growing disaster.
At about the same time, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager to the oil disaster, will be in Washington briefing President Barack Obama and the cabinet on the administration's ongoing response to the incident.
Also Monday, Carol Browner, the president's assistant for energy and climate change will host a video chat to answer questions from the public about the oil disaster. The chat can be viewed at WhiteHouse.gov or at the White House's Facebook page.
(CNN) - Unlike college, high school commencement addresses aren't usually known to draw celebrity speakers.
But for a group of Michigan high school students, Monday will bring a moment they're unlikely to forget.
President Barack Obama will deliver this year's graduation speech for the graduating class of Kalamazoo Central High School.
The school earned a visit after winning the administration's first annual "Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge."
To accommodate the crowd, the school has moved the event to Western Michigan University.
Graduating seniors were each given eight tickets. No tickets were handed out to the general public.
"I congratulate our winner, Kalamazoo Central High School, and all of our six finalists for their innovative and effective approaches to teaching, learning and preparing students to graduate ready for college and a career," Obama said in a written statement in May.
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CNN: Coast Guard's Allen: Too early to be 'pleased' with BP progress
The federal government's response manager to the Gulf oil disaster said Sunday that BP has made progress, but cautioned it was too early to call the effort a success. "We're making the right progress. I don't think anyone should be pleased as long as there's oil in the water," Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. Allen was responding to remarks over the weekend by BP's senior vice president, Bob Fryar, who said the company was "pleased" with its operation to funnel crude up from the ruptured undersea well to a drilling ship a mile above on the Gulf of Mexico.
New Orleans Times Picayune: Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser becomes the face of oil spill frustration
A sweat-soaked fixture on national TV news programs, the gravelly voiced businessman-turned-politician Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser has become a spokesman for thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on the fishing and offshore oil industries. In slamming the sluggish oil-spill response for appearing to "be run by a bunch of seventh-graders," Nungesser has blasted seemingly every federal official from President Barack Obama on down, prompting The New York Times to dub him the "angry everyman."
CNN: Poll: Tea Party backed candidate in Nevada surging
A second straight poll suggests that a candidate backed by a national Tea Party organization is now in the lead in the battle for Nevada's Republican Senate nomination. With two days to go until Nevada's primary, a new Mason-Dixon survey conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates that 32 percent of likely GOP primary voters back Sharron Angle. The former member of the Nevada Assembly has won endorsements in recent months from many conservative organizations, including significant financial backing from the Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group best known for running three cross country bus caravans, and the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative organization.
CNN: Poll: Fiorina front-runner in California GOP Senate battle
With three days to go until California's primary, a second straight survey indicates that former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is the front runner in the battle for the Republican Senate nomination. According to a Field Poll released Saturday, 37 percent of likely GOP primary voters back Fiorina, with 22 percent supporting former Rep. Tom Campbell and 19 percent pulling for state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, with one in five undecided.
Wall Street Journal: Big States Dilute Tea-Party Strength
The raucous and costly Republican primary races in California and Nevada, like those in other states, attest to the tea-party movement's rising influence. But Tuesday's votes in the two states will be the first big test of the movement's promise and limits—and offer clues to its nationwide strength this fall. In Nevada, voters are poised to deliver an upset in the race for the GOP Senate nomination, as tea-party favorite Sharron Angle leads her establishment-supported rival in recent polls. The pride of the California tea party, Chuck DeVore, has failed to catch fire in the Republican Senate race to challenge Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. The California and Nevada primaries illustrate a potential weakness of the tea-party movement: The bigger and more complex the stage, the more money and organization the movement needs. It has little of either now.