VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
AFGHAN WAR VET RECEIVES MEDAL OF HONOR
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Four years after risking his life in Afghanistan, William D. Swenson solemnly received the Medal of Honor on Tuesday in a case of battlefield bravery with some odd twists: The young Army captain questioned the judgment of his superiors, and the paperwork nominating him for the award was lost. He left the military two years ago but wants to return to active duty, a rare move for a medal recipient.
The nation's highest military honor - a sky blue ribbon and medal - was clasped around Swenson's neck by President Barack Obama at the White House. The president described how Swenson repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to recover fallen comrades and help save others during a battle against Taliban insurgents in the Ganjgal valley near the Pakistan border on Sept. 8, 2009. The fight claimed five Americans, 10 Afghan army troops and an interpreter.
Swenson is the second Medal of Honor recipient from that fight, just the second time in half a century that the medal has been awarded to two survivors of the same battle, Obama said. Two years ago, Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer for heroic actions in the 2009 fight.
Obama noted that although America's highest military honor has been bestowed nearly 3,500 times, never before had the public been able to see any of the bravery it was designed to recognize. Video taken by the medevac crew's helmet cameras shows Swenson delivering a severely wounded soldier to the helicopter and kissing him on the head before returning to the heat of battle.
"A simple act of compassion and loyalty to a brother in arms," Obama said at the East Room ceremony attended by Swenson's parents, Julia and Carl, along with Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and others.
Swenson also invited some of the Army soldiers and Marines who fought alongside him, and survivors of the five Americans.
Swenson, 34, of Seattle has been unemployed since leaving the military in February 2011. He has requested to return to active duty, rare for a Medal of Honor recipient, and his request is being reviewed, Army spokesman George Wright said.
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VOTE ON GOP PLAN DELAYED AS DEBT DEADLINE NEARS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Time growing desperately short, House Republican efforts to pass legislation averting a Treasury default and ending a partial government shutdown collapsed Tuesday night, and one of the country's top ratings firms warned of a possible downgrade in the nation's creditworthiness.
The decision by Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership to pull a bill they had unveiled earlier in the day appeared to mark the end of what amounted to a daylong detour from separate negotiations in the Senate that had appeared on the verge of bearing fruit.
There was no immediate reaction from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or the Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, on next steps as divided government sought to extricate itself from yet another crisis.
As the day of secret meetings and frenzied maneuvering unfolded in all corners of the Capitol, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., stood on the Senate floor at midafternoon and declared, "We are 33 hours away from becoming a deadbeat nation, not paying its bills to its own people and other creditors."
In New York, the Fitch rating agency warned that it was reviewing the government's AAA credit rating for a possible downgrade, though no action was near. Fitch, one of the three leading U.S. credit-ratings agencies, said that "the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default."
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 133 points after rising a day earlier when optimism spread that a deal might be at hand.
NEW IPADS LIKELY AT APPLE EVENT NEXT WEEK
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) -- Apple is holding an event in San Francisco next week to announce new products - likely updated iPads.
The company announced its most recent iPads around this time last year. The announcement included a smaller version, called the Mini, for the first time.
New iPads would get Apple's latest operating system for mobile devices, iOS 7. The invitation sent Tuesday includes a graphic that mimics the color scheme in iOS 7.
Next Tuesday's event will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco, a venue Apple has often used in the past.
It follows last month's release of new iPhones with iOS 7 - the 5S model with a fingerprint sensor and a cheaper, 5C model with a variety of color options.
It's also possible Apple will use the event to release its new Mac operating system, Mavericks. Apple unveiled the system in June. The system will support tagging to help you find files more easily. It also promises better battery life and a way to keep track of passwords across multiple devices more easily. Apple may also announce new Mac computers at the event.
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