Inauguration funding change
WASHINGTON - In a reversal from four years ago, President Obama will accept unlimited sums from corporations and individuals to pay for events surrounding his inauguration, a spokeswoman said Friday.
Lobbyists, political action committees, and foreign entities will still be banned from underwriting the gala events, spokeswoman Addie Whisenant said. The committee also will reject donations from companies that haven't repaid loans from the 2008 federal bailout of Wall Street, as well as corporate sponsorship deals.
Obama's second term begins at noon on Jan. 20 under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. Since that's a Sunday, a private swearing-in will be held at the White House, followed the next day - Martin Luther King's Birthday, a federal holiday - by a public oath-taking and a series of scaled-back events. - AP
Brawl closes Hawaii school
HONOLULU - A high school on Hawaii's Big Island was temporarily closed after officials say racial tension and multiple fights this week culminated in a brawl involving 20 to 30 students, with eight arrests.
Police and state education officials said Kealakehe High School in Kailua-Kona was closed Friday as teachers and administrators figured out how to get control of problems with students as they begin finals next week.
Nobody was seriously hurt in a Thursday fight that led to a campus lockdown at the school of 1,600 students, Hawaii County police said. Police said seven boys and a girl were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct, and released.
The school's principal, Wilfred Murakami, said the fights resulted from ongoing "bullying through racial and cultural taunts." - AP
Elsewhere: David Axelrod
, a strategist for President Obama, had his trademark mustache shaved Friday on MSNBC after the hosts of Morning Joe
helped raise $1 million for his epilepsy charity. Axelrod, and his facial hair, appear frequently on news shows. His daughter, Lauren, has epilepsy.