News bites: Interior answers questions about decision to suspend scientist

The Interior Department says a decision to put one of its scientists on administrative leave has “nothing to do” with a 2006 article he wrote on polar bears, the Alaska Dispatch reports. The Dispatch also obtained a letter from Interior offshore drilling chief Michael Bromwich in which he defends the decision.

A draft Nuclear Regulatory Commission report says a meltdown at a U.S. nuclear power plant would result in fewer deaths than were originally thought, according to The New York Times.

Oil prices went up on news of a debt deal.

The state of Louisiana is seizing oil spill claims money from people who are behind on their child support, The Advocate of Baton Rouge, La., reports.

Some people in Japan have taken it upon themselves to check for harmful radiation from the country’s nuclear disaster, the Times reports.

A coalition of religious groups has negotiated reduced electricity rates, the Times says.