VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
GOP STOPGAP SPENDING PLAN TO BE DELAYED
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A revolt by tea party conservatives forced House GOP leaders on Wednesday to delay a vote on a temporary spending bill required to prevent a government shutdown next month.
GOP leaders pulled the measure from the House schedule after initial vote counts showed them running into opposition from several dozen staunch conservatives who think the leadership is not fighting hard enough to block implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law.
The conservatives are unhappy with a plan by GOP leaders to advance the measure through the House coupled with a provision to derail implementation of the new health care law but allow the Democratic Senate to send it on to the White House shorn of the "defund `Obamacare'" provision so long as there is a vote on it.
The plan by top Republicans like Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia is designed to keep government agencies running through Dec. 15. Cantor's office announced the delay.
The GOP leadership-sponsored strategy features an unusual twist: The measure would pass the House as a single bill but would be decoupled when presented to the Senate, a trick designed to permit the Democratic-led chamber to advance the must-do funding measure to the president as a "clean" bill that's free of the assault on Obama's signature health care law.
The complicated plan landed with a thud among many tea party conservatives seeking to use the must-pass funding bill to spark a last-ditch battle with Democrats and Obama on the health care law. Health insurance exchanges are slated to begin functioning on Oct. 1.
DIPLOMATS MOVE ON 2 FRONTS ON SYRIA WEAPONS
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Key international players were moving on two diplomatic fronts Wednesday to try to put Syria's chemical weapons under international control, and a fresh effort appeared to be underway to get the government and opposition to peace talks.
The five veto-wielding members of the Security Council, who have been deeply divided over Syria, met late Wednesday to discuss what to include in a new resolution requiring that Syria's chemical weapons stockpile be secured and dismantled. They later left Russia's U.N. mission without commenting.
At the same time, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were heading to Geneva with teams of experts for broader-ranging talks Thursday about the nuts and bolts of putting Syria's chemical weapons under international control and destroying them, diplomats said.
The U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, was also heading to Geneva to be available to meet Kerry and Lavrov, whose efforts to start peace talks to end the 2 1/2-year Syrian conflict have been stymied by a government offensive and a deadly suspected poison gas attack on Aug. 21.
The diplomatic flurry follows the threat of U.S. strikes against President Bashar Assad's regime and a surprise offer from Kerry that Syria could avert U.S. military action by turning over "every single bit of his chemical weapons" to international control within a week. Russia, Syria's most important ally, and Assad's government quickly agreed on the broad proposal, but details still need to be worked out.
A senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because contacts have been private, said Thursday's meeting between Kerry and Lavrov will be an exploratory session to gauge whether they can embark on "the herculean task" of dismantling Syria's chemical weapons while the country is at war.
'BREAKING BAD' SPINOFF TO FEATURE SAUL GOODMAN
NEW YORK (AP) -- AMC is calling Saul Goodman for a spinoff of the network's drama series "Breaking Bad."
AMC and Sony Pictures Television on Wednesday confirmed the long-discussed spinoff, which will feature the popular supporting character from "Breaking Bad" in a one-hour prequel tentatively titled "Better Call Saul."
Played by Bob Odenkirk, Goodman is the sleazy New Mexico lawyer whose clients include "Breaking Bad" antiheroes Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, who manufacture crystal meth.
AMC said the new series would focus on Goodman before he crossed paths with those drug czars. The network provided no further details.
The 50-year-old Odenkirk's credits include "Saturday Night Live," `'The Larry Sanders Show" and, paired with David Cross, HBO's "Mr. Show" sketch-comedy series.
"Breaking Bad" concludes its much-acclaimed five-season run on Sept. 29.
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