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US News: Health Care Squabbles; Christie; 'Whigs' Return? (not the hair); School Lice Issue Downgraded?; Tsunami Debris Overblown; Doolittle Raiders

By: ap
By: ap
Republicans dissect Obama health care apology... Chris Christie - NJ and beyond... Philadelphia, a Democratic bastion, elects a Whig (as in political party)... Obama: US must continue updating Cuba policies... Probe: Police unit told to stand down at Navy Yard... Schools chief: No evidence Nevada shooter bullied... 4 hurt in S. California hot air balloon explosion... More lenient school lice policies bug some parents... NOAA: No giant floating island of tsunami debris... WWII Doolittle Raiders make final toast...

April 18, 1942; 16 B-25 Mitchell medium range bombers lifted off a specially equipped aircraft carrier - the USS Hornet and bombed parts of Tokyo, Japan. The event turned out to be a massive morale booster for the US public as well as a great shock for the Japanese, many of whom thought Japan was out of reach of US forces. The Doolittle Raid plus the Battle of Midway just 2 months later were instrumental in turning the tide of war in the Pacific, although it would be another 3 years before Japan surrendered. Only 4 airmen from the raid survive, and 3 of them met for the last time officially Saturday evening November 9 in Dayton, Ohio, to toast all of the 80 airmen who flew on the raid 71 years ago. (U.S. Navy photo/file)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican foes of President Barack Obama's health care law appear unmoved by his apology to Americans who are losing health insurance plans that he had repeatedly said they could keep.
Obama told NBC that he's "sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation" based on assurances he gave.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says, "If the president is truly sorry for breaking his promises to the American people, he'll do more than just issue a halfhearted apology on TV."
In the interview, Obama promised to find fixes that might allow people to keep their coverage. Officials say Obama was referring to fixes the administration could make on its own.
But a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) says the Ohio Republican is "highly skeptical" that Obama could take administrative action to ensure that Americans can keep their health plans. The spokesman says Obama needs to work with Congress on legislation that would let insurance companies continue to offer existing policies.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Newly re-elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is working to bolster his resume as a get-it-done Republican leader and he's trying broaden a national network of political allies.
It's an aggressive course designed to strengthen his appeal as he considers whether to run for president in 2016.
Christie faces persistent skeptics on all sides, even though he won re-election on Tuesday by 22 percentage points.
Democrats who control the New Jersey Legislature are questioning Christie's second-term priorities.
Some conservative activists in important presidential primary states remain outright hostile to the Republican governor who embraced Democratic President Barack Obama last fall during Superstorm Sandy just days before the country picked a president.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Democratic bastion of Philadelphia has elected a Whig to public office.
Voters chose Robert "Heshy" Bucholz (BUCK'-holtz), a member of the Modern Whig party, to be an election judge in the Rhawnhurst section of the city.
Bucholz believes he may be the first Whig to win at the ballot box in Philadelphia in nearly 160 years. Democrats presently outnumber Republicans by a more than 6-to-1 margin in Philadelphia.
Bucholz beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 on Tuesday. As election judge, he's responsible for overseeing equipment and procedures at the polls.
Bucholz told The Associated Press on Thursday that Whigs represent a sensible middle path between Democrats and Republicans.
Four U.S. presidents have been Whigs. The party largely disappeared in the 20th century, but was revived in 2007.

MIAMI (AP) -- President Barack Obama says the U.S. must continue updating its policies toward Cuba.
Obama says the U.S. has started to see changes on the island. Obama says U.S. policy aims will remain the same but the nation must find new tools to speak out.
Obama points out that he was born around the same time Fidel Castro took power. He says it doesn't make sense that policies put in place more than 50 years ago would still be effective in the Internet age. The U.S. cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1961 and imposed a full economic embargo the next year.
The administration has engaged in recent discussions about migration and mail and relaxed travel and remittance rules for Cuban Americans.
Obama spoke at a Democratic fundraiser in Miami.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new report says a specially trained tactical Capitol Police squad was recalled from the scene of the Washington Navy Yard rampage in part because of concerns about possible threats to the U.S. Capitol.
That is according to a two-page document released Friday by a panel investigating the police agency's response to the Sept. 16 shooting. The report says the four-person unit wasn't even able to make it to the scene because of traffic.
The investigation was launched days after the shooting amid reports that a Capitol Police supervisor told a tactical response team to stand down rather than respond to the Navy Yard shooting.
The gunman, Aaron Alexis, a former Navy reservist and government contractor, killed 12 people inside the building where he worked before dying in a police shootout.

MIDDLE SCHOOL SHOOTING
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A northwestern Nevada superintendent says there's no evidence a seventh-grader was bullied before he fatally shot a teacher, wounded two classmates and killed himself at Sparks Middle School last month.
Pedro Martinez tells KTVN-TV that there's nothing in Washoe County School District records that indicates Jose Reyes was bullied.
Jose and Liliana Reyes have used the word "teased" to describe what their son faced about a speech problem but said he never showed signs of harboring anger or resentment.
Their attorney, Kent Robison, told KTVN that Jose was teased at school and even saw a counselor.
Some students have said bullying played a role in the shooting, but police said they have no evidence of that and have refused to comment about anything that might have provoked the attack.

FOOTBALL PLAYERS-FATAL CRASH
Police: Alcohol not suspected in Pa. triple fatal
SHARON, Pa. (AP) -- Police in western Pennsylvania say a high school football player preparing for a playoff game lost control of his sports utility vehicle, leading to a head-on collision that left him, a teammate and the driver of the other car dead, and two of their teammates injured.
Sharon Police Chief Michael Menster says Sharon High School player Corey Swartz was driving with three teammates when he crossed the median on a highway in Sharon and hit a truck head-on. Swartz and the other players were heading home after watching another playoff game when the wreck occurred at about 10 p.m. on Friday
Also killed were Swartz's passenger, 17-year-old Evan Gill, of Sharon, and the pickup driver, 50-year-old John Zdelar Jr.,, of Brookfield, Ohio.
The Sharon City School District's acting superintendent, Michael Calla, tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that speed may have been a factor. Sharon police say that investigators do not suspect that alcohol, drugs or texting were a factor in the crash.
The playoff game that had been scheduled for Saturday in Erie against Girard High School was postponed until Monday.

BALLOON CRASH
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) -- Officials say a hot air balloon exploded after landing in Southern California wine country leaving four people hospitalized, one of them with severe burns.
The Riverside County Fire Department says the balloon was carrying five people when it landed Saturday morning in vineyards near Temecula and an explosion occurred.
Fire officials say one person was severely burned. Two others had serious injuries, one had minor injuries and one person walked away safely.
Names and details about those on board were not immediately released.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident as they do most aircraft crashes.
Hot air balloons often dot the sky on weekends in the area 60 miles north of San Diego.

BOXER KILLED-ARRESTS
Arrests made in death of national champ boxer
PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix police have made two arrests in connection with the beating death of a 17-year-old national champion boxer.
Police say Alexis Urbina was found unconscious and covered in blood in his family's south Phoenix home in September. He died of his injures two days later.
There was no obvious sign of forced entry into the house, but Urbina's family told police some of his boxing memorabilia was missing.
Sgt. Trent Crump confirms 22-year-old Robert Chavez and 23-year-old Joseph Corrales were arrested Friday night. Both were booked on charges of murder, burglary and trafficking in stolen property.
It wasn't immediately clear Saturday if they had attorneys.
Urbina won the 141-pound Youth Men's Division at the USA Boxing National Championships in April at Spokane, Wash. His family says he had Olympic aspirations.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some parents are scratching their heads over less restrictive head lice policies that allow children with live bugs in their hair to return to the classroom.
Some school nurses are no longer sending home "lice notes" to parents of other children in the classroom. The policy shift is designed to help keep children from missing class, shield children with lice from embarrassment and protect their privacy.
Deborah Pontius, the school nurse for the Pershing County School District in Lovelock, Nev., says lice are not dangerous or infectious, and they're easy to treat.
She says that by the time a child is sent to the nurse, classmates already would have been exposed and there's little additional risk. Once home, the parent would treat the child.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal officials say there is no island of debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami floating toward the United States.
Some media reports have warned of a Texas-sized island of wreckage, based on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map of tsunami debris.
But NOAA marine debris chief Nancy Wallace says that's not true. She said Thursday that there's an area in the Pacific where debris is likely to concentrate more, but there's not much there.
She said if you were on a boat in that area, the chances are you'd only be able to see maybe one or two pieces of debris.
NOAA estimates 1.5 million tons of tsunami debris is dispersed across the vast northern Pacific, but officials have only verified 35 items as from the tsunami.

DOOLITTLE RAIDERS-FINAL TOAST
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) -- The last of the Doolittle Raiders have made their final toast to comrades who died in or since their daring bombing attack on Japan 71 years ago.
Raising specially engraved silver goblets with a bottle of 1896 cognac saved for the occasion, three of four surviving Raiders paid their tribute in a Saturday evening ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton, Ohio. The fourth was unable to attend for health reasons.
The 1942 mission by 80 airmen is credited with rallying Americans and knocking the Japanese off stride.
The museum says as many as 10,000 people turned out for events through the day, including a memorial service and B-25 bomber flyover. Hundreds including family members of deceased Raiders were at the invitation-only toast ceremony.


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