News April 3

Senator Sanders

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger was sworn in on Monday, the first Democrat in nearly 30 years, The Associated Press reported. The election of independent Bernie Sanders as mayor in 1981 was followed by a Progressive streak with one single-term Republican, Sanders, now a U.S. senator, endorsed Weinberger, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK, LINK


Syria to Pull Back Troops, U.N. Says The Syrian government has agreed to withdraw its security forces from in and around major population centers by April 10, ostensibly paving the way for a general cease-fire two days later, a special envoy told the Security Council on Monday, The New York Times reported. LINK


Obama Warns Supreme Court President Obama said it would be a prime example of judicial overreach if the Supreme Court overturned health care reform, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Court Allows Strip-Searches Justices on Monday ruled 5-to-4 that people arrested for any offense, however minor, may be strip-searched before they are jailed even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband, The New York Times reported. LINK

GSA Scandal Martha N. Johnson, the General Services Administration chief, resigned Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip that featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception. Two of her top deputies were fired and four managers put on leave, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Rx Drugs by Mail Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc. won government approval Monday for their $29.1 billion merger, setting the stage for the creation of a massive new pharmacy-benefit manager that could alter how, and possibly where, patients get their prescription drugs, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Immigration Sweep U.S. Immigration officials arrested 3,168 criminals and others living in the country illegally, including three people in Vermont. The six-day operation was the largest such effort in the agency's history, The Washington Post reported. LINK


Gay Marriage Ban Challenged Five legally married same-sex couples filed a lawsuit on Monday to challenge a 1996 law that bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. A Dummerston, Vt., couple - Frances Herbert and her Japanese wife, Takako Ueda - are among the plaintiffs, the Brattleboro Reformer reported. LINK

Housing Discrimination Vermont Legal Aid found that African Americans, foreign-born people - or people who sound foreign-born, people with children, and people with disabilities face significant discrimination when they try to rent an apartment, Vermont Public Radio reported. LINK

Maple Vandals State Police say someone opened a valve on a holding tank and dumped about 4,000 gallons of maple sap on the ground in Topsham. About 50 gallons of gasoline also had been stolen from a fuel tank at the maple sugaring operation run by Michael Emerson, AP reported.  LINK