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Election Set to Fill Seat Left Vacant By Kennedy

Amid fevered speculation about possible contenders for the late Edward M. Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat, Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday scheduled a special election for Jan. 19 and said he would keep pushing the state Legislature to change the law so he could name an interim successor.

Shortly before his death last week, Kennedy wrote legislative leaders asking them to revise the law so his seat would not stay vacant for months. The Legislature indicated Monday that it would decide quickly whether to grant his request, scheduling a public hearing on the proposal for Sept. 9. Many lawmakers criticized the proposal in the days before Kennedy’s death, but legislative leaders, at least, have since hinted they would support it.

Excitement is running high about two possible candidates in particular: Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Kennedy’s widow, and Joseph P. Kennedy II, his nephew. Victoria Kennedy is not interested in the seat, people close to the family said.

Joseph Kennedy, a former congressman from Massachusetts, has $2 million in leftover campaign money. Friends say he is still considering whether to run.

Other possible contenders include Reps. Michael E. Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch and Edward J. Markey; state Attorney General Martha Coakley; and former Rep. Martin T. Meehan.

Europe’s Limits on Incandescent Bulbs Start on Tuesday

Restrictions on the sale of incandescent bulbs started taking effect across most of Europe on Tuesday in the Continent’s latest effort to get people to save energy and combat global warming. But even advocates concede the change is proving problematic.

Stores will no longer be allowed to buy or import most incandescent frosted glass bulbs starting on Tuesday. Retailers can continue to sell the bulbs until their existing stock runs out.

While some Europeans are jumping on the bandwagon, others are panicking and have been stockpiling the old-style bulbs for aesthetic or practical reasons. Still others are resigned to the switch, if grudgingly.

The new compact fluorescent lamps are billed as more economical because they use up to 80 percent less energy and do not burn out as quickly. One bulb can cost 10 euros, or $14 — or a lot more, depending on type — whereas traditional incandescent bulbs cost about 70 cents each. But European Union officials argued that the energy savings would cut average household electricity bills by up to 50 euros a year, saving about 5 billion euros a year across Europe.