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NATION: Justice Dept. asks to delay 'Don't ask' ban

Justice Dept. asks to delay ‘Don’t ask’ ban

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department asked a federal judge Thursday to allow the military’s ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy to continue while it appeals the order to end the ban on gays serving openly.

The government’s court filing came two days after U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in California ordered the Pentagon to cease enforcement of the law approved by Congress in 1993.

Allowing Phillips’ ruling to go forward immediately ‘‘will irreparably harm the public interest in a strong and effective military,’’ the government’s court papers stated.

Repeated and sudden changes in policy regarding ‘‘don’t ask, don’t tell’’ will be ‘‘enormously disruptive and time-consuming, particularly at a time when this nation is involved in combat operations overseas,’’ the papers said.

The government asked Phillips to respond by Monday ‘‘given the urgency and gravity of the issues.’’

New bridge cuts travel time near Hoover Dam

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — A soaring bridge that will let drivers bypass Hoover Dam — and steer clear of its security checkpoints and gawking tourists — is set to open after nearly eight years and $240 million worth of work.

The 1,900-foot engineering wonder perched 890 feet above the Colorado River is expected to drastically cut travel time along the main route between Las Vegas and Phoenix, as motorists will no longer have to make their way across the dam’s winding two-lane road at a snail’s pace.

‘‘I know that the Hoover Dam is one of the wonders of the world,’’ U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at a dedication ceremony Thursday. ‘‘I don’t know who gives that designation, but I hope the bridge will become another wonder of the world.’’

Verizon to join AT&T in selling Apple’s iPad

NEW YORK — In a sign of warming relations between the two companies, Verizon Wireless is going to start selling Apple Inc.’s iPad at the end of this month, the companies said Thursday.

The news follows published reports that Verizon Wireless will start selling a version of the iPhone early next year. The companies have not confirmed the reports, and Verizon Wireless has downplayed the possibility of an iPhone for its current network.

AT&T Inc. is Apple’s exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. It’s also the only U.S. carrier that’s compatible with the “3G” version of the iPad, which allows for cellular data access.

Verizon Wireless won’t sell the 3G version. Instead, it will sell the Wi-Fi version, with the option of bundling it with a “MiFi” gadget for about $130. MiFi, a Post-It-pad sized, battery-powered device, connects to Verizon’s 3G network and relays the data to the iPad via Wi-Fi. Data plans will start at $20 per month for 1 gigabyte.

The iPad is also sold by several retail chains, including Best Buy Inc. AT&T said separately Thursday that will also begin selling the iPad in its stores on Oct. 28. The carrier’s data plans for the iPad start at $15 per month.

White House turns pink for cancer awareness

WASHINGTON — The White House is becoming the ‘‘Pink House’’ in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

President Barack Obama announced via Twitter that the building will be bathed in pink light Thursday, just for one night.

The American Cancer Society says there are roughly 40,000 breast cancer deaths each year in the U.S.

Obama signed a proclamation at the beginning of the month designating October for breast cancer awareness.