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Wisconsin's Ryan to lead Ways and Means Committee

WASHINGTON-House Republican leaders chose Paul Ryan of Wisconsin on Tuesday to head the powerful House Ways and Means Committee for the next two years, giving him a high-profile platform if he decides to run for president in 2016 or beyond.

The next Ways and Means chairman is expected to lead House Republican efforts to overhaul the nation's tax code. If House Republicans offer an alternative to President Barack Obama's health law, the Ways and Means Committee could play a key role. — AP

House Democrats re-elect Pelosi as minority leader

WASHINGTON — Democrats re-elected Rep. Nancy Pelosi to another two-year term as House minority leader Tuesday, two weeks after elections in which the party lost at least a dozen seats in the chamber.

In a closed-door meeting of House Democrats, Pelosi was re-elected by voice vote in a race in which she faced no challenger. The California Democrat has been party leader in the chamber since 2003.-AP

Fast-tracked bill would shield execution-drug firms

COLUMBUS, Ohio-A bill that would shield the names of companies that provide Ohio its execution drugs continued its swift move through the Statehouse on Tuesday as opponents questioned a key defense given for the measure: that it's needed to protect such companies from threats or potential harm.

Those opponents got a minor boost when an official with the Attorney General's Office seemed to suggest that he wasn't aware of any such threats. The bill, introduced only last week, is set for a vote today. — AP

Police say woman strangled neighbor, tried to cook him

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.-A Florida woman charged with strangling and dismembering her neighbor is accused of attempting to cook him to hide evidence.

Angela Stoldt tried to get rid of her neighbor's corpse by putting several body parts in an oven and in pots on the stove. When that didn't work, she bagged the parts and threw them in the trash, police said.

Authorities said money was the motive for the killing. Stoldt is being held without bail. — AP

Four deaths blamed on New York snowstorm

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Four people died during a storm that dumped more than 4 feet of snow around Buffalo and stranded motorists in 150 vehicles, including a bus carrying a women's basketball team, for up to 20 hours on Tuesday.

One person died in a road accident and three others had heart attacks. In a region accustomed to highway-choking snowstorms, this was being called one of the worst in memory. — AP

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