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Navy Yard victims had long career of service to nation

A dozen people died in a shooting rampage Monday at the Washington Navy Yard. It was the deadliest attack at a domestic military installation since November 2009, when an Army psychiatrist killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas. Early Tuesday, the stories of some of those who died started to surface. ___ Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Va., was a Navy veteran and avid pilot who was building a light airplane at his home, said his uncle, Steve Hunter. “It would have been the first plane he ever owned,” Hunter said in a telephone interview from
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Navy Yard massacre brings back talk of gun control

A deadly shooting in the heart of the nation’s capital has reignited talk about guns, but it’s uncertain whether the tragedy will revive a legislative debate that has gone cold in the face of opposition from Second Amendment supporters. The case for increased gun control has become increasingly difficult, evidenced by the National Rifle Association-backed recall of two Colorado legislators who supported stricter laws and President Barack Obama’s powerlessness to pass his legislation. As Senate office buildings were closed to visitors Monday following the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, lawmakers from both sides of the debate offered sympathy for
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Obama to Republicans: Shutdown could bring ‘economic chaos’

A potential federal shutdown looming, President Barack Obama on Monday warned congressional Republicans they could trigger national “economic chaos” if they demand a delay of his health care law as the price for supporting continued spending for federal operations. House Republican leaders were to meet Tuesday in hopes of finding a formula that would avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1 without alienating party conservatives who insist on votes to undercut the Affordable Care Act. Even more daunting is a mid- to late-October deadline for raising the nation’s borrowing limit, which some Republicans also want to use as leverage against the
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Congress looking to scale back on mandatory prison terms

Every weekend, Cindy Martinson treks from her home in Mason City, Iowa, about 160 miles roundtrip to Waseca, Minn. She visits the federal prison there, where her daughter Mandy Martinson, a first-time offender, is in the middle of 15-year prison sentence. Cindy Martinson knows her daughter made mistakes and broke the law. Mandy Martinson was at a low point in her life, her mother said, addicted to methamphetamine when she allowed a drug dealer she was dating to move in with her. Within weeks, police raided her house. “She hurt herself and her family. And she knows that. But it
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William Daley abruptly quits race for Illinois governor

Just months ago, former White House chief of staff William Daley was among several influential Democrats threatening primary challenges to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn from within his own party. But Daley’s abrupt decision to drop out of the race now leaves Quinn virtually alone in the Democratic field, free to unite the state’s dominant party behind him despite Illinois’ enormous financial problems — unless a significant candidate makes a late entry into the race. Daley spokesman Peter Giangreco said Monday evening that the son of late Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley was
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Former Navy electrician kills 12 and also dies in Navy Yard shooting

A former Navy man opened fire Monday morning inside a building at the heavily secured Washington Navy Yard, spraying bullets at office workers in the cafeteria and the halls, authorities said. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman. Authorities said they were looking for a possible second attacker who may have been disguised in an olive-drab military-style uniform. But as the day wore on and night fell, the rampage increasingly appeared to be the work of a lone gunman, and Navy Yard employees were being released from the complex and children were let out of their locked-down schools. Investigators said
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Aaron Alexis, Navy Yard shooter, used stolen ID

The Washington Navy Yard shooter — identified as Aaron Alexis, 34, a former Navy aeronautics electrician from Fort Worth, Texas.  Alexis apparently entered the yard using a stolen ID that belonged to Rollie Chance, a civilian Navy employee placed on administrative leave nearly a year ago. For reasons not yet explained, Chance’s ID was still valid and allowed Alexis to enter a building and open fire on the victims. Police originally said they were looking for two additional gunmen but said later that one potential suspect had been located and cleared.  A second person is still being sought.  
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Obama claiming credit for eonomic ‘turnaround’

President Barack Obama is seeking credit for an economic turnaround, using the fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank to highlight signs of recovery and to warn against potentially market-rattling fights over the federal budget and the nation’s debt ceiling. Obama was scheduled to address the state of the economy Monday in a Rose Garden speech, accompanied by a selection of Americans who the White House says have benefited from the administration’s policies. The event marks the start of a week-long focus on the economy after a month of preoccupation with the crisis in Syria. For
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Summers out of Fed chief chase

For weeks, Lawrence Summers had been considered the leading candidate to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman. A renowned economist, Summers built close ties to President Barack Obama when he led the president’s National Economic Council in 2009 and 2010. In that role, he helped orchestrate the administration’s efforts to combat the financial crisis and the Great Recession. But on Sunday, Summers withdrew from consideration for the Fed. His withdrawal followed growing resistance from critics, including some members of the Senate committee that would need to back his nomination. His exit could open the door for his chief rival,
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Was U.S. ‘outfoxed’ on Syria?

Lawmakers assessing the agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons argued Sunday about whether President Barack Obama was outfoxed by the Russians and had lost leverage in trying to end the civil war, or whether his threat of military action propelled the breakthrough. Obama said the turn to diplomacy had laid “a foundation” toward political settlement of the conflict. The deal announced Saturday in Geneva by U.S. and Russian diplomat sets an ambitious timetable for elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons by mid-2014, with rapid deadlines including complete inventory of its chemical arsenal within a week and immediate access by international inspectors to
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