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Striving to end a cycle of crisis

In this Oct. 7, 2015, photo, outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens at right as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a new conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner wants out. He really does. But the Ohio House Republican is staying put, for now _ and that could improve the chances for a debt limit increase by early next month to avoid a market-shattering government default and possibly a bipartisan budget deal to head off a government shutdown in December. Conservative hardliners have already forced Boehner to announce he’s leaving and then caused further chaos by blocking the ascension of McCarthy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In this Oct. 7, 2015, photo, outgoing House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens at right as House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a new conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner wants out. He really does. But the Ohio House Republican is staying put, for now _ and that could improve the chances for a debt limit increase by early next month to avoid a market-shattering government default and possibly a bipartisan budget deal to head off a government shutdown in December. Conservative hardliners have already forced Boehner to announce he’s leaving and then caused further chaos by blocking the ascension of McCarthy. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to end a cycle of crisis, congressional leaders and the White House united Tuesday behind an ambitious budget and debt deal aimed at restoring a semblance of order to Capitol Hill and ending the threat of government shutdowns and defaults until well after a new president takes office.

The outgoing House speaker, Republican John Boehner of Ohio, prepared to push the deal through his unruly chamber on Wednesday as his last act before departing Congress at the end of the week.

All but forced to resign under conservative pressure, Boehner was nonetheless going out on his own terms. The budget deal stands as an in-your-face rebuttal to his hardline antagonists, on Capitol Hill and off, who angrily oppose spending increases and compromises with Democratic President Barack Obama.

They seethed but acknowledged they were powerless to stop an agreement all but certain to pass with votes from Democrats and a fair number of Republicans. Boehner brushed off their complaints, declaring that he intended to make good on his promise to leave a “clean barn” for his successor, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who is set to get the GOP nomination for speaker on Wednesday and win election on the House floor the day after that.

“I didn’t want him to walk into a dirty barn full of you-know-what. So I’ve done my best to try to clean it up,” a good-humored Boehner told reporters after a closed-door gathering of House Republicans, his last such weekly meeting after nearly five years as speaker and a quarter-century on Capitol Hill.

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Sheriff: Deputy’s arrest of texting student, now a civil rights case, made him want to vomit

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A girl who refused to surrender her phone after texting in math class was flipped backward and tossed across the classroom floor by a sheriff’s deputy, prompting a federal civil rights probe on Tuesday.

The sheriff said the girl “may have had a rug burn” but was not injured, and said the teacher and vice principal felt the officer acted appropriately. Still, videos of the confrontation between a white officer and black girl stirred such outrage that he called the FBI and Justice Department for help.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott suspended Senior Deputy Ben Fields without pay, and said what he did at Spring Valley High School in Columbia made him want to “throw up.”

“Literally, it just makes you sick to your stomach when you see that initial video. But again, that’s a snapshot,” he said.

Videos taken by students and posted online show Fields warning the girl to leave her seat or be forcibly removed on Monday. The officer then wraps a forearm around her neck, flips her and the desk backward onto the floor, tosses her toward the front of the classroom and handcuffs her.

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10 Things to Know for Wednesday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday:

1. BREAKTHROUGH BUDGET DEAL ON TRACK IN CONGRESS

The agreement would end the threat of U.S. government shutdowns and defaults until well after a new president takes office.

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Defense secretary: US retooling fight against IS, including unilateral ground raids if needed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Signaling a possible escalation of U.S. military action in the Middle East, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday that the United States is retooling its strategy in Iraq and Syria and would conduct unilateral ground raids if needed to target Islamic State militants.

The U.S. has done special operations raids in Syria and participated in a ground operation to rescue hostages last week in northern Iraq that resulted in the first U.S. combat death in Iraq since 2011. Carter did not say under what circumstances the U.S. might conduct more ground action, but said, “Once we locate them, no target is beyond our reach.”

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter said, using an acronym for the militant group.

Carter and Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Republicans harshly criticized the Obama administration’s strategy in Syria and Iraq, where IS militants have captured large swaths of territory and have largely fought the U.S.-led coalition to a stalemate.

With little recent progress in defeating the militant group, the defense secretary’s testimony outlined a changing U.S. approach to the fight against IS. The changes point toward the prospect of deeper U.S. military involvement, although President Barack Obama has said he would not authorize a major commitment of ground combat forces.

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Despite political risk, Carson won’t back off Nazi, slavery talk: ‘I don’t buy the PC stuff’

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (AP) — On the eve of the his party’s third debate, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson promised not to curb his penchant for using extreme examples to prove his points, such as equating abortion with slavery and comparing Islamic State fighters to patriots of the American Revolution.

“I don’t buy the PC stuff. I just don’t buy it,” Carson said in a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press. He said the country can discuss complicated issues as adults, and he suggested people could learn from his example.

“One of my goals is to get us to mature as a society,” he said. “We should be mature enough to be able to talk about things without going into a tizzy.”

To date, Carson’s style has not affected his climb through the GOP’s ranks to challenge Donald Trump as a front-runner for the Republican nomination. Indeed, many conservatives embrace the unvarnished approach of the retired neurosurgeon who has never before run for office.

Yet Carson’s own advisers worry the rhetorical grenades may complicate his ability to go far in the competitive and still unsettled Republican field.

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Facing dip in polls, Trump asks Iowa voters, ‘Will you get your numbers up, please?’

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A kinder, humbler Donald Trump has emerged at a rally in Sioux City, Iowa.

Unseated as the front-runner in Iowa polls, the billionaire businessman and Republican presidential contender was practically begging voters for support at a rally Tuesday evening.

He urged those gathered to get his poll numbers up and said he thinks it’s terrible being in second place.

Trump also overhauled his usual rally format by taking questions. He even descended from his podium and joined the audience so he could speak directly to a wounded veteran in a wheelchair.

It was his Trump’s first appearance in the early-voting state since a series of polls showed him running behind retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

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Obama says police too often scapegoated for broader failures in society, justice system

CHICAGO (AP) — Defending police officers who have come under scrutiny like never before, President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the men and women who risk their lives to provide security are wrongly “scapegoated” for failing to deal with broader problems that lead people to commit crimes.

Unemployment, poor education, inadequate drug treatment and lax gun laws are not the responsibility of police officers, Obama said in remarks to the International Association of Chief of Police, which held its annual meeting in the president’s Chicago hometown.

He blamed the news media’s tendency “to focus on the sensational” for helping to drive a wedge between police officers and a public they take an oath to protect and serve. He called for rebuilding the trust that once existed between them.

Obama delivered his speech amid a roiling national debate about officers’ treatment of potential criminal suspects following the deaths of unarmed black men in New York, Missouri and elsewhere by police.

“Too often, law enforcement gets scapegoated for the broader failures of our society and criminal justice system,” the president said. “I know that you do your jobs with distinction no matter the challenges you face. That’s part of wearing a badge.”

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Air Force picks Northrop Grumman to build next-generation bomber to replace the 1960s-era B-52

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force said Tuesday it chose Northrop Grumman Corp., maker of the B-2 stealth bomber, to build its next-generation bomber, a highly classified, $80 billion project designed to replace the aging bomber fleet with an information-age aircraft that eventually may be capable of flying without a pilot aboard.

The loser of the high-stakes bidding contest was a team formed by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

“The long-range strike bomber will support America’s defense strategy by forming the backbone of the Air Force’s future strike and deterrent capabilities,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a Pentagon news conference.

Carter said the new bomber will meet the nation’s long-range strike aircraft needs for the next 50 years.

Wes Bush, chairman and chief executive of Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman, said in a brief statement that his company will deliver on its promise to build a highly capable, affordable aircraft.

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Israeli residency proposal leaves Jerusalem’s Palestinians worried about their future

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli proposal that could potentially strip tens of thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem of their residency rights has sent shudders through the targeted Arab neighborhoods — areas that were dumped outside Israel’s separation barrier a decade ago, even though they are within the city’s boundaries.

The government’s review of the status of these neighborhoods, home to tens of thousands of people, illustrates the fragile position of Palestinians in a city where they have long suffered discrimination and are caught between the pragmatic conveniences of living under Israeli control and the loyalties to the Palestinian cause.

With few exceptions, Jerusalem’s Palestinians are not Israeli citizens, and instead hold residency status that can be revoked. Removing residency rights en masse appears highly unlikely due to legal hurdles and domestic and international opposition. But government critics said the fact that it is even being discussed sent an ominous message to Palestinians.

“There is nothing permanent about permanent residency,” said Yudith Oppenheimer, executive director of Ir Amim, an advocacy group that promotes coexistence and equality in the city. “This is another reminder for them how conditional that status is.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the review at a recent meeting called to discuss a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has roiled the area in the past month. About a third of the city’s 300,000 Palestinians live in these neighborhoods.

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Apple reports record earnings, while vowing to increase iPhone sales in December quarter

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Defying Wall Street skeptics, Apple says it plans to keep setting records for selling more iPhones around the world.

The giant tech company reported another quarter of record earnings on Tuesday, boosted by surging sales in China. And in a crucial indicator, Apple forecast healthy iPhone sales during the upcoming holidays.

Apple’s stock rose slightly after the company issued its report, then settled near the day’s closing price of $114.55. Analysts said the forecast eased investor concerns that Apple’s holiday sales might fall short of last year’s phenomenal levels.

Consumer demand for smartphones is slowing worldwide, according to independent researchers, who say the combined sales of all brands are slowing because most people in developed nations already own a smartphone. That’s prompted many analysts to question whether Apple can continue to sell iPhones at an ever-growing pace.

But Apple said it sold 48 million iPhones in the three months ending Sept. 26, 22 percent more than it sold a year earlier. The company’s forecast for the current quarter, ending in December, suggests it will slightly surpass last year’s record for selling 74.5 million iPhones during the crucial holiday season.

 

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