WASHINGTON

Bill gives home buyers time to complete tax-credit deals

Congress has sent President Barack Obama a plan to give homebuyers an extra three months to finish qualifying for federal tax incentives that boosted home sales this spring.

The legislation would give buyers until Sept. 30 to complete their purchases and qualify for tax credits of up to $8,000. Under the current terms, buyers had until April 30 to get a signed sales contract and until June 30 to complete the sale.

The bill only allows people who already have signed contracts to finish at the later date.

The House approved the measure on Tuesday. Legislation in the Senate, sponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid, was approved Wednesday night by unanimous consent.

REDLANDS, Calif.

Oldest posal worker retires after 37 years on the job

It wasn’t snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night that stopped Chester Arthur Reed from his appointed round. The mail handler just felt it was time to call it quits at age 95.

The forklift operator retired Wednesday as the nation’s oldest postal worker, ending a career without taking a single sick day. It’s a feat he attributes to a healthful diet of watermelon, alkaline water and an onion sandwich with mayo every day.

“If everyone in the nation ate watermelons, they’d get rid of all the doctors,” Reed said.

Despite being partially deaf and walking with a stoop, Reed has worked for more years than many of his co-workers have been alive and has accrued 3,856 hours — nearly two years — of sick leave for not missing a shift in 37 years.

Reed has been a U.S. Postal Service mail handler and forklift operator since he was hired in 1973, making $4 an hour. He hit the $25-an-hour ceiling about 10 years ago.

NEW YORK

Al-Qaida plans to launch online newspaper in English

Al-Qaida is preparing to launch its first online propaganda newspaper in English.

Counterterrorism officials and terror analysts say the newspaper, Inspire, will be run by al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, the group that’s linked to the failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner.

The group is promoting the paper online, with slick animated graphics promising a “special gift to the Islamic nation.” The ad says Anwar al-Awlaki will write a guest column for the first issue. Al-Awlaki is the radical U.S.-born cleric now living in Yemen.

For years, Al-Qaida has used Arabic websites to carry its message. But the group has had success recently attracting followers inside the U.S.

— From news service reports