Police probe car chase between White House and Capitol that ends with female driver shot dead
WASHINGTON (AP) — Law enforcement authorities were investigating why a Connecticut woman tried to breach a barrier at the White House, setting off a high-speed car chase that put the Capitol on lockdown and ended with her being shot dead by police.
The harrowing chase Thursday unfolded between two national landmarks, briefly shuttered the chambers where federal lawmakers were debating how to end a government shutdown and stirred fresh panic in a city where a gunman two weeks ago killed 12 people.
Police said there appeared to be no direct link to terrorism and there was no indication the woman was even armed. Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine, whose officers have been working without pay as a result of the shutdown, called it an "isolated, singular matter."
Still, tourists, congressional staff and even some senators watched anxiously as a caravan of law enforcement vehicles chased a black Infiniti with Connecticut license plates down Constitution Avenue outside the Capitol and as officers with high-powered firearms canvased the area. The House and Senate both abruptly suspended business, a lawmaker's speech cut off in mid-sentence, as the Capitol Police broadcast a message over its emergency radio system telling people to stay in place and move away from the windows.
The woman's car at one point had been surrounded by police cars and she managed to escape, careening around a traffic circle and past the north side of the Capitol. Video shot by a TV cameraman showed police pointing firearms at her car before she rammed a Secret Service vehicle and continued driving. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said police shot and killed her a block northeast of the historic building.
Shutdown provides opening for GOP governors eyeing 2016 race to cast themselves as outsiders
BOSTON (AP) — With no end in sight to the federal government shutdown, Republican governors eyeing the 2016 presidential race are pitching themselves as can-do politicians and highlighting records of achievement.
Although unstated, their goal is clear — draw a contrast with their prospective presidential challengers on Capitol Hill aligned with a vocal band of Republicans whose demands that Congress defund the health care law helped trigger the shutdown.
"Republican governors are not going to take it anymore," says Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, among those state leaders and potential presidential candidates using the shutdown to try to position themselves as outsiders at a time of voter disgust with Congress and anyone connected with Washington.
Writing this week in an opinion piece, Jindal added: "We are not going to allow the Republican Party to be defined by the dysfunction in Washington."
From New Jersey to Wisconsin to Michigan, governors with national aspirations are sounding similar tones. Their potential 2016 competitors now in Congress — including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — have been relatively silent about a government shutdown that has closed national parks and forced hundreds of thousands of employees out of work and threatens to further damage the Republican Party's image.
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1. POLICE LOOK FOR ANSWERS AT U.S. CAPITOL
Authorities investigate why a mother described as having post-partum depression tried to breach a barrier at the White House, setting off a chase that ended with her being shot dead.
Karen likely to be first named storm to hit US toward the end of a quiet hurricane season
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tropical Storm Karen was poised to become the first named storm to hit the U.S. during what had been a relatively quiet hurricane season.
Karen was forecast to lash the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a weak hurricane or tropical storm. A hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to west of Destin, Fla. A tropical storm warning was issued for the Louisiana coast from Grand Isle to the mouth of the Pearl River, including the New Orleans area.
From a tiny, vulnerable island off the Louisiana coast to the beaches of the Florida Panhandle, Gulf Coast residents prepared Thursday for a possible hit from the storm.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Friday that Karen was about 295 miles (470 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and was moving northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).
The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased slightly to 60 mph (95 kph) with the U.S. National Hurricane Center saying little change in strength was expected Friday. But forecasters said some strengthening was possible Saturday, when the storm's center would be near the coast.
Obama cancels Asia trip, blames GOP for shutdown he says hurts efforts to promote US trade
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is canceling a trip to Asia to stay in Washington and push for an elusive funding bill to get the nation's business back up and running.
In a statement late Thursday, the White House blamed Republicans, saying the "completely avoidable" government shutdown was hurting the president's efforts to promote trade and U.S. influence in emerging world markets.
Obama's decision to skip upcoming economic summits in Indonesia and Brunei was an indication of how entrenched both sides were as the bitter partisan shutdown entered its fourth day with no end in sight.
Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Bali, Indonesia, on Friday and will head the U.S. delegation to the summits.
Lawmakers said the shutdown that started Tuesday seemed to be quickly merging with a more critical showdown over the nation's expiring line of credit, raising the stakes for the still-fragile economy.
A fire, a stampede and the sea: 114 African migrants die when crowded ship capsizes off Italy
ROME (AP) — The rickety fishing boat was the third of the night to head toward the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, overloaded with African migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Most never reached shore.
After the boat started taking on water, someone on board set a fire to get the attention of passing ships. The flames spread and panicked passengers surged to one side to avoid the fire. The vessel capsized, and hundreds of men, women and children who didn't know how to swim were flung into the Mediterranean Sea.
At least 114 people died and some 200 were still unaccounted for late Thursday, Italian officials said.
"We need only caskets, certainly not ambulances," said Pietro Bartolo, chief of Lampedusa health services.
It was one of the deadliest accidents in the perilous crossing thousands make each year, seeking a new life in the prosperous European Union. Smugglers charge thousands of dollars a head for the journey aboard overcrowded, barely seaworthy boats that lack life vests.
Newspaper war: Britain's powerful Daily Mail under pressure over attack on politician's father
LONDON (AP) — Britain's Daily Mail newspaper will tell you that many things you eat can give you cancer, global warming is probably bunk and the British way of life is under threat from pernicious Eurocrats in Brussels.
The Mail is Britain's most polarizing paper, and one of the most powerful. To fans, it's the voice of old-fashioned British values and the enemy of meddling bureaucrats and stultifying political correctness. To critics it's a sensationalist, small-minded rag that demonizes feminists, foreigners and the poor.
To politicians, the Mail is a formidable force whose blessing can help deliver crucial swing votes and whose wrath is best avoided. It's not the paper's conservative bent that bothers them — in Britain, unlike the United States, newspapers are expected to have a strong political stance that comes through in news coverage as well as editorials. (Television stations, again in contrast to the U.S., are expected to remain broadly neutral).
But many feel the Mail went too far when it angered Ed Miliband, leader of the left-of-center Labour Party, by running a story about Miliband's late father, a leading socialist intellectual, headlined "the man who hated Britain."
The Mail warned readers that "Red Ed," who is Britain's main opposition leader and hopes to be its next prime minister, had inherited father Ralph's commitment to class warfare.
NY woman who killed her 3 children in bathtub to ask judge for share of their $350,000 estate
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — Leatrice Brewer drowned her three young children in 2008 believing she was saving them from the deadly effects of voodoo. Afterward she tried to commit suicide twice, but failed.
Now the 33-year-old suburban New York woman who was found not guilty because of mental disease or defect in the deaths of her children, ages 1, 5 and 6, wants a portion of the children's $350,000 estate. Her attorneys say she shouldn't be subject to laws that bar convicts from profiting from their crimes.
Nassau County Surrogate's Court Judge Edward McCarty ruled Thursday that Brewer be taken from an upstate psychiatric facility to testify about her request next month.
Although the case would establish a precedent in New York if Brewer succeeds, she's not expected to see any money because of a $1.2 million lien against her for psychiatric counseling and other services she has received since her arrest, attorneys said.
Brewer admitted she drowned the children in the bathtub of her apartment in New Cassel, on Long Island about 20 miles east of New York City, in February 2008. She later placed the children's bodies on a bed and tried to kill herself by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When that suicide bid failed, she jumped out her second-story window but again survived.
Twitter unseals papers for initial public offering, says it hopes to raise up to $1 billion
NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter has unsealed the documents for its planned initial public offering of stock and says it hopes to raise up to $1 billion in one of the year's most eagerly awaited stock market debuts.
The documents revealed for the first time how much money the social networking company makes. Founded in 2006, Twitter has never turned a profit and has an uninterrupted history of losses totaling $419 million since its inception. But its revenue is growing.
Twitter disclosed three weeks ago that it filed confidential papers to start the IPO process. The company was taking advantage of federal legislation passed last year that allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue in its previous fiscal year to avoid submitting public IPO documents.
On Thursday, Twitter Inc. unsealed the papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission, giving potential investors and its users a look inside its business. Twitter was required to unseal its documents at least three weeks before it starts holding events around the country to woo potential investors. At this rate, the company will likely price its IPO by Thanksgiving.
According to the IPO filings, Twitter generated $317 million in revenue in 2012 and had more than 218 million active users in the second quarter, up 44 percent from a year earlier. That compares with nearly 1.2 billion for Facebook and 240 million for LinkedIn.
Kershaw strikes out 12, allows only 3 hits as Dodgers beat Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of NLDS
ATLANTA (AP) — Clayton Kershaw finally has his first postseason win.
He made sure it was one to remember.
Kershaw struck out 12 while allowing only three hits, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Game 1 of the NL division series Thursday night.
The win soared to the top of Kershaw's list of favorites — no small statement for the right-hander favored to win his second Cy Young Award.
"It's up there," Kershaw said. "It might be the best just because it's my first postseason win. ... This one definitely has special meaning to me for sure."