(Posted at 1:04 p.m.) COLUMBUS The new chairman of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission abruptly announced her retirement today rather than face almost certain Senate rejection after she defied the Democratic governor who appointed her and Republican lawmakers over a controversial maternity-leave proposal. Barbara Sykes, a former state representative appointed in August, announced her resignation effective Dec. 31. She had been asked to appear this afternoon in a rare confirmation hearing before an unhappy Senate State and Local Government Committee.
(Posted at 2:25 p.m.) WASHINGTON, D.C. The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by one-quarter of a percentage point Tuesday, trying to keep the U.S. economy out of recession.