US News: Budget, Debt Limit Talks; Rescued Captain's Story has Inaccuracies; Door Falls off Plane

Rick Hohensee of Washington holds a "Fire Congress" sign near the House steps on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in the second week of the partial government shutdown. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some Democrats are expressing optimism and some Republicans are expressing resolve about the standoff that has the government closed and no agreement on raising the federal borrowing limit.
Senate leaders from both parties have taken control of the efforts to end the impasse.
Majority Leader Harry Reid gave a White House update Saturday afternoon to President Barack Obama.

(AP) -- Saturday was a day of disruption for shoppers using food stamps in 17 states across the country.
Debit-style cards used by the recipients wouldn't work for hours.
The electronics benefits system is run by Xerox, which blames the glitch on maintenance procedures.
Major states including Alabama, Michigan, California and Texas were among those impacted.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Statue of Liberty will reopen to the public Sunday after the state of New York agreed to shoulder the costs of running the site during the federal government shutdown.
Ferry trips to Liberty Island National Park from Manhattan's Battery Park will resume at 9 a.m. Tickets go on sale at 8:30 a.m.
A National Parks service spokesman says tickets for Liberty Island access for the days it's been closed will be honored, but only limited spots are available inside the monument or at the crown.
A spokesman for ferry operator Statue Cruises said Saturday that it's still unclear when service might resume from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state would pay about $61,600 a day to reopen Liberty Island.

(AP) - A growing number of people who have saved cellphone messages of dead loved ones as a source of comfort are becoming victims of technology upgrades and policies that are silencing those voices forever.
Lisa and Tom Moore of Terre Haute, Ind., spent $1,700 over the past five years to preserve their 19-year-old daughter's voice mail greeting following her death in a 2008 car crash.
But Alexis Moore's greeting was deleted during a Sprint upgrade that her family didn't learn of until it was too late.
Other victims include a widow of an Army major killed in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and a Washington state man who lost his mother to cancer.
Experts say voice recording can help people maintain a connection to those who've died.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Dramatic accounts of the Navy SEALs rescuing the captain of an American cargo ship made headlines around the world in 2009. The military said SEAL snipers killed a trio of pirates in a tense standoff. Three shots, three kills. It was the lethal, coordinated precision that has made SEALs famous and feared.
It was an unbelievable story, with a new retelling that hits the big screen Friday with Tom Hanks playing Capt. Richard Phillips.
But the official version that unfolded in the Indian Ocean wasn't as tidy as Hollywood's, or the versions in Phillips' own book or in contemporaneous news reports.
In fact, many more than three shots were fired, $30,000 went missing and the integrity of the SEALs was questioned.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The U.S. and Afghanistan are in agreement on the framework for a deal that would allow American troops to stay in Afghanistan after 2014.
That's according to U.S. officials traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Kabul.
One sticking point that remains is the issue of jurisdiction over those forces.
The U.S. has about 52,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan now, and wants to bring home all but 10,000 to go after al-Qaida.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A major cold case has been cracked in New York, where police say a relative has admitted sexually assaulting and smothering a four-year-old girl found in a picnic cooler in 1991.
It wasn't until this week that police learned the identity of the child dubbed "Baby Hope."
The case was cracked by a tip and DNA sampling.
Fifty-two-year-old Conrado Juarez, a cousin of the baby's father, has been arrested on a murder charge.

CONROE, Texas (AP) -- Texas prosecutors hope new evidence helps them obtain justice for a boy who was doused with gasoline and set on fire on his eighth birthday back in in 1998.
Robert Middleton survived the attack and endured years of surgeries. But he died 13 years later, at age 20, from cancer that authorities say was caused by third-degree burns.
Montgomery County authorities last month filed a murder charge against Don Willburn Collins, a neighbor who 13 at the time. He had been arrested in the case years ago but was later released. Collins is now 28.
The case lay dormant for years. But shortly before he died in 2011, Middleton alleged that Collins had sexually assaulted him before he was set on fire. That allegation prompted a new investigation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- From county chairmen to national party luminaries, veteran Republicans across the country are accusing tea party lawmakers of staining the GOP with their refusal to bend in the budget impasse in Washington.
The Republican establishment also is signaling a willingness to strike back at the tea party in next fall's elections.
Anger emanating from more mainstream Republicans toward the tea party comes just three years after the GOP embraced the insurgent political group and rode its wave of new energy to return to power in the House.
They're lashing out with polls showing Republicans bearing most of the blame for the federal shutdown, now in its 11th day.

MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) -- A door that fell off a small plane has been found on a Monterey motel roof.
The Salinas Californian reports ( the door fell from a Beechcraft King Air twin-turboprop plane that took off from Monterey Regional Airport Thursday afternoon. The pilot heard a pop and turned around the land. He realized the door was missing when he was back on the ground.
But the door wasn't discovered until Friday morning when a contractor working outside the motel noticed it.
The front desk manager at the El Castell Motel says no one heard the 75-pound door crash into the tile roof because the room below was unoccupied.
The National Transportation Safety Board will examine the door and the plane to determine why it came loose and fell.

HILLSBORO, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico's child services department says at least four of the nine teenagers reported missing from a rural ranch for troubled youth are back home with his parents.
Child, Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela says that "one, possibly more, have been returned." Varela added Saturday that the agency is working with the other families.
A search warrant was executed Friday at the Tierra Blanca High Country Youth Program as part of an investigation of abuse. The teens weren't at the 30,000-acre compound in Sierra County and neither was program operator Scott Chandler, a person of interest in the case.
The Albuquerque Journal reported authorities investigated claims about beatings at the unlicensed program. Chandler denied the teenagers have been harmed.

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Police say five people were shot during an attack at a Hmong (mung) New Year's festival in Tulsa, Okla.
The Tulsa World reports that police detained a "person of interest" who was spotted by a police helicopter following Saturday night's attack at the Green Country Event Center. Police say they recovered a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Authorities say about 400 people were at the festival. Capt. Mike Williams says he thinks the attack was the result of "some type of personal grudge."
The five victims were taken to hospitals. Police say two of them were shot in the torso and the other three were shot in the arms or legs.
Police say the victims range in age from their late teens to their early 50s.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A 50-year-old man in Long Beach, Calif., is under arrest for allegedly stabbing to death a teacher in front of her students.
Police say 53-year-old Kellye Taylor was attacked Friday while watching her students from Huntington Academy play at a nearby park during an outing her school called "Fun Friday."
Police later arrested Steven Brown, who's the father of Taylor's grandchildren. Police say investigators also have recovered the "sharp instrument" they believe Brown used.
He's being held on $1 million bail.
Witnesses tell the Long Beach Press-Telegram that Taylor was stabbed in the neck while two dozen children played nearby.
Taylor's sister, Pamela Huffman, who also works at the school, says, "How could they do something like this in front of these babies?"

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Contracts talks have resumed between two unions and the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system.
A BART spokesman said the bargaining session began Saturday afternoon. He declined to go into further detail about how close the two sides were to averting a commute-crippling second strike in less than three months.
The session was supposed to begin at 9:30 a.m. PDT Saturday after a 12-hour negotiation Friday. The unions say they will strike at midnight Sunday if an agreement isn't reached over the weekend.
The unions want a raise of nearly 12 percent over three years while BART has proposed a 10 percent increase over four years. BART said workers from the two unions now average about $71,000 in base salary and $11,000 in overtime annually.

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Lulu the giraffe is celebrating her first birthday with a special cake at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Lulu was born Oct. 12 of last year with an audience on social media closely following regular updates. Ever since, she's been a big draw at the zoo.
The name Lulu is Swahili for "precious." She was named in a public contest that saw more than 5,000 submissions
Lulu began the birthday celebrations early by enjoying a cake with her parents, Tessa and Kimba.
The cake was made of frozen gelatin, pureed produce, bamboo stalks and other vegetation.
Lulu is the second giraffe born at the zoo in more than 25 years. The first, Zuri, was euthanized last year at 3 months old after suffering a debilitating leg injury.