By Bill Cotterell TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Republican Governor Rick Scott, off to a rocky start in his second term in office, faced an extraordinary meeting on Thursday with Florida's Cabinet in which he admitted botching the ouster of the state’s top police administrator. Since his narrow victory over former Governor Charlie Crist in November, Scott has run into a series of controversies. In the past month, Scott was rebuked by the state Republican Party, which rejected his choice to lead the party and instead elected state Representative Blaise Ingoglia in an unheard-of snub for a newly re-elected governor. Last week, former state prisons director Michael Crews, who had been ousted by Scott, accused the governor of neglecting staff shortages and crumbling facilities in the Department of Corrections.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday put on hold the execution by Texas of convicted murderer Lester Bower as it considers whether to hear his full appeal including the assertion that his three decades on death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Bower, 67, is one of the longest-serving prisoners on death row in Texas. He was sentenced to death for murdering four men in 1983 in an aircraft hangar near Sherman, Texas. Bower was scheduled to be executed on Feb. 10.
PUGET SOUND, Wash. (AP) — To check on the health of the giant Pacific octopus population in Puget Sound, an unusual census takes place every year. Volunteer divers, enlisted by the Seattle Aquarium, take to Washington's inland waters to look for their eight-tentacle neighbors.