WILKES-BARRE, Pa.

Death of elephant handler ruled accidental by coroner

A coroner says a circus elephant that kicked a handler and killed him before a performance in northeastern Pennsylvania did so accidentally.

Luzerne County coroner John Corcoran said 48-year-old Andrew Anderton died from multiple traumatic injuries after he was kicked Friday afternoon at the Irem Shrine Circus in Wilkes-Barre.

Corcoran said it happened after a disturbance, which is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Circus spokesman John Richards said he knows of no other problems with the elephant, named Dumbo.

WASHINGTON

Obama gives press the slip for daughter’s soccer game

President Obama quietly breached years of protocol Saturday morning by leaving the White House without the press with him.

About two hours before reporters were supposed to be in position to leave with the president, Obama left the grounds of the White House. Members of the press were told he was attending one of his daughter’s soccer games in northwest Washington, D.C.

The White House press corps traditionally travels with the president anywhere he goes, inside and outside the country, to report on the president’s activities for the benefit of informing the public and for historical record.

CHEBOYGAN, Mich.

Stupak’s move to step down may not benefit tea partiers

Even as tea party activists gloat over Rep. Bart Stupak’s decision to retire after becoming one of their top targets for defeat, it’s far from certain that his constituents will choose a successor who shares the conservative movement’s antipathy to government spending.

Michigan’s sprawling northernmost 1st District has a history of electing moderates more concerned with getting federal money for local projects and helping constituents deal with government agencies than with partisanship or ideology — as long as they stay on the right side of hot-button issues such as protecting gun ownership.

Stupak, a Democrat who said Friday he would not seek a 10th term, repeatedly was re-elected by large margins — sometimes over well-financed Republicans.

WASHINGTON

Document raises questions about Kissinger role in Chile

A newly declassified document has added to long-standing questions about whether Henry Kissinger, while secretary of state, halted a U.S. plan to curb a secret program of international assassinations by South American dictators.

The document, a set of instructions cabled from Kissinger to his top Latin American deputy, ended efforts by U.S. diplomats to warn the governments of Chile, Uruguay and Argentina against involvement in the covert plan, known as “Operation Condor,” according to Peter Kornbluh, an analyst with the National Security Archive, a private research organization that uncovered the document and made it public Saturday.

Five days after Kissinger’s message, Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and a colleague were killed in Washington in a car bombing later tied to Chilean secret police working through the Condor network. The murders are considered one of the most brazen acts of terrorism ever carried out in the capital.