Posted: Dec 28, 2012 10:46 PM
Updated: Dec 28, 2012 10:46 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says he's "hopeful and optimistic" about reaching an agreement to avert across-the-board spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect Tuesday. McConnell and the other three congressional leaders met at the White House Friday with President Barack Obama, who said "immediate action" is needed.
WASHINGTON (AP) A $60.4 billion emergency spending package for victims of Superstorm Sandy has sailed through the Senate with the backing of Democrats. But it faces opposition in the House, where Republicans say they favor a smaller version. Sandy battered the East Coast in late October and was the most costly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) Federal prosecutors say the ex-con who ambushed firefighters who responded to a fire in western New York got his weapons through a neighbor who knew he wasn't allowed to have them. She faces state and federal charges. William Spengler was armed with a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun when he killed two firefighters on Christmas Eve in Webster, N.Y. He killed himself.
SAUSALITO, Calif. (AP) California authorities say a man and a juvenile fishing near the Golden Gate Bridge died after being swept into the ocean by large waves on Friday. A third fisherman managed to make it back to shore and flagged down bystanders who called 911. They'd been fishing a rocky coastline northwest of the bridge that is exposed to large swells.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) The Portland, Maine, City Hall opened at midnight to issue the first same-sex marriage licenses under a new law approved in November. There were free carnation boutonnieres, and a jazz trio played. Maine and two other states were the first to approve same-sex marriages by popular vote. A similar law is already in effect in Washington state; Maryland's takes effect on Tuesday, the first day of 2013.