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Updated: Sat, 05 Oct 2013 01:17:04 EST

BUDGET BATTLE Both sides agree, it's no game WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides are making it clear that they take the partial shutdown of the federal government seriously. House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur), in calling for talks with the White House, said, "This isn't some damn game." And President Barack Obama responded to a question about an unidentified senior administration official who was quoted as saying the White House was "winning" the showdown over the shutdown. Obama said of federal employees, "As long as they're off the job, nobody's winning." Obama again urged the Republican-controlled House to pass a short-term spending measure that would reopen the government without strings attached. Republicans say with both Obama and Congress in town this weekend, it's the perfect time to start talks on ending the shutdown. Republican leaders say the House will be in session Saturday so that it can continue passing bills that would reopen selected parts of the government. The White House is responding by issuing fresh veto threats, saying Congress should reopen the entire federal government. SHUTDOWN-CONGRESSIONAL PAY GOP congresswoman has second thoughts on pay WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina congresswoman who said she needs her paycheck during the government shutdown now says she won't cash the check until the shutdown is over. House member Renee Elmers said Friday she's asked the House's chief administrative officer to have her paycheck withheld as long as the government is shut down. Her decision comes two days after she bluntly told a Raleigh, N.C., TV station that she needs her paycheck. A spokesman for the Office of Chief Administrative Officer, spokesman Dan Weiser, says the Constitution prohibits withholding any pay for members but adds that lawmakers can request their paychecks be delayed until the government reopens. SHUTDOWN-HILLARY CLINTON Clinton: Shutdown shows 'scorched earth' politics CLINTON, N.Y. (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton says the partial government shutdown is emblematic of too many people in politics choosing "scorched earth over common ground." In a speech Friday night at Hamilton College in upstate New York, the former senator and secretary of state said that it's difficult to recall a time when politicians were willing to risk, in her words, "so much damage to the country to pursue their own agendas." Clinton notes that the government shutdown forced President Barack Obama to cancel his trip to an Asian summit. She says countries like Russia and China plan to attend, but, quote, "we're not there." She says when her husband, former President Bill Clinton, worked with Republicans during shutdowns in the mid-1990s, neither side got everything it wanted but still balanced the budget. US-HEALTH-OVERHAUL Feds set repairs on glitchy health care website WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it's planning fixes to the glitch-prone federal website that uninsured people can use to sign for coverage under the new health care law. Officials said late Friday that the application functions of healthcare.gov will be unavailable during off-peak hours this weekend for repairs. Technology problems overwhelmed the launch of new health insurance markets last Tuesday. The federal site, which serves 36 states, drew millions of users. But many consumers were unable to get on the site and others encountered glitches that prevented them from successfully completing their applications. The administration previously announced it is adding equipment to handle the high volume. The general information section of the website will remain available during repairs. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to enroll for coverage that starts Jan. 1. US-CAPITOL-LOCKDOWN-SISTERS UPDATE: Sisters question police actions in deadly DC chase NEW YORK (AP) — A sister of the Connecticut woman shot to death by police in Washington after trying to ram her car through a White House barrier says there were no indications that her sister was unstable. Miriam Carey's sister Amy Carey-Jones said Friday that her sister "seemed OK" the last time they spoke more than a week ago. A second sister, Valarie Carey, said police should not have used deadly force. Valarie Carey is a retired New York City police officer. She said there was "no need for a gun to be used." The sisters spoke late Friday outside Valarie Carey's home in Brooklyn. They say Miriam Carey had been suffering from postpartum depression since the birth of her 1-year-old daughter. Police say they're confident Carey's actions Thursday weren't an accident. NATIONAL MALL-MAN ON FIRE Man sets himself on fire on the National Mall WASHINGTON (AP) — A fire official says a man has been flown to the hospital after setting himself on fire on the National Mall. Fire crews responded Friday afternoon to a report of a man on fire at 7th Street and Madison Drive. A witness says she saw a man dump a red canister of gasoline on his head and then set himself on fire. D.C. Fire Department spokesman Tim Wilson says the man has life-threatening injuries. His name and age weren't immediately known. Katy Scheflen says she was walking along the Mall when she saw a man by himself pick up a can of gasoline and empty its contents on his head before setting himself ablaze. She says passing joggers took off their shirts to help douse the flames. US-CRAIG-FEC-LAWSUIT FEC seeks $140K fine from Craig in bathroom case BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Federal election regulators want former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to pay $140,000 in fines and return more than $216,000 to his campaign, arguing he misused the money to fund his legal defense after his arrest in a 2007 airport bathroom sex sting. The Federal Election Commission proposed the penalties earlier this week in filings to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C. In March, Jackson refused to dismiss the FEC's lawsuit against the Idaho senator alleging he illegally tapped campaign funds. Craig has been fighting the government's claims, arguing that his stop at the airport bathroom in Minneapolis fell under his official duties as a senator because he was traveling between Idaho and Washington for work. He says therefore the legal fees could be paid with campaign cash. US-PEOPLE-ERIN-BROCKOVICH Erin Brockovich resolves Nev. drunken boating case LAS VEGAS (AP) — Environmental activist Erin Brockovich has pleaded no contest to operating a boat while intoxicated following her arrest at Lake Mead. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/18ZPyLL ) she was scheduled to stand trial Oct. 7, but appeared in court Aug. 28. Justice of the Peace Rodney Burr ordered her to take an online boater safety course and complete 25 hours of community service. Records show she paid a $750 fine immediately. Brockovich was arrested in June at a marina on the Colorado River reservoir after a game warden noticed she was struggling while trying to moor her motor boat. Breath tests showed her blood-alcohol level was just over twice the legal driving limit. Brockovich, who's the namesake of a 2000 movie starring Julia Roberts, called the incident "clearly a big mistake." BUDGET BATTLE-FORECAST PLEA Weather forecast includes apparent plea for pay JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — There was more than the forecast in a National Weather Service dispatch Friday for south-central and southwestern Alaska. The "Anchorage area forecast discussion" posted online and sent to media outlets at 5 a.m. contained a secret message: The first letters of each line on the left-hand column read "PLEASE PAY US." Agency employees are required to work during the partial federal government shutdown to provide weather forecasts and any warnings. It's unclear when they'll get paid. A version of the post that was on the agency website later Friday didn't include the apparent message. A person who answered the phone at the Anchorage weather office declined to answers questions about the message or identify himself, saying the office could comment only about the weather. The message was first reported by the Washington Post. TROPICAL WEATHER Karen weakens as it approaches Gulf Coast BRAITHWAITE, La. (AP) — Tropical Storm Karen is weakening as it approaches the Gulf Coast, but forecasters are keeping tropical storm watches and warnings in effect. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Friday that Karen was about 205 miles (330 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds that have decreased to 45 mph (72 kph). It was moving north-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph). A hurricane watch was dropped Friday afternoon. A tropical storm warning was in effect from Morgan City, La., eastward to the mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm watch stretched from the mouth of the Pearl River eastward to Indian Pass, Fla. and includes the New Orleans area. Along with strong winds, the storm was forecast to produce rainfall of 3 to 6 inches through Sunday night.

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