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Obama signs into law 9/1 1 support bill

HONOLULU (AP) -- President Obama has signed into law a bill to provide aid to survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and first responders who became ill working in the ruins of the World Trade Center.

"We will never forget the selfless courage demonstrated by the firefighters, police officers and first responders who risked their lives to save others," Obama said in a statement. "I believe this is a critical step for those who continue to bear the physical scars of those attacks."

The bill was one of the last measures Congress passed before adjourning in December. Some Republicans were concerned with how to pay for the bill, and they tried to block the measure. But they dropped their opposition after lawmakers struck a compromise to reduce the costs.

The $4.2 billion measure will be paid for with a fee on some foreign companies that get U.S. government procurement contracts.


Slain suspect in killing of deputy identified

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Authorities have identified a man suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy and injuring a police officer in a gunbattle at a western Ohio trailer park.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office says 57-year-old shooting suspect Michael Ferryman also was killed during the New Year's Day standoff in a mobile home park, about 50 miles west of Columbus.

Deputy Suzanne Hopper was shot dead while investigating a report of gunfire.


Battle lines drawn on raising debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The top White House economic adviser is warning against what he calls "playing chicken" with the need to raise the nation's debt ceiling, but Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is asking people to sign an online petition to urge their representatives not to increase the debt limit.

For some conservatives, refusing to raise the limit on the federal debt would be a tactic to force the government into cutting spending.

The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, says the impact on the economy of refusing to raise the ceiling would be "catastrophic."