Democratic N.D. senator says he won't run again

WASHINGTON — North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan said Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to the Senate in November, a surprise announcement that dealt another blow to Democrats already struggling to protect their Senate majority.

Dorgan, a moderate who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the House, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with family over the holidays. Dorgan, 67, said he "began to wrestle with the question of whether making a commitment to serve in the Senate seven more years was the right thing to do."

"Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life," he said in a statement.

R.I. broadens funeral planning rights

PROVIDENCE, R.I. —Rhode Island lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow same-sex and unmarried couples the right to plan the funerals of their late partners, overriding a veto by the governor, who warned it eroded traditional marriage.

The bill passed 67-3 in the House and 31-3 in the Senate, and enjoyed support from several Republican lawmakers in the same party as Gov. Don Carcieri, an adamant opponent of same-sex marriage in a state that does not recognize gay unions.

The new funeral planning rights also apply to unmarried heterosexual couples.

To qualify for funeral planning rights, a couple must be at least 18, have lived together for one year and prove they were financially dependent, for example, by owning property together or sharing a bank account.