VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
ESCAPED FLA. PRISONERS GRILLED
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Back in custody after using forged documents to escape their life sentences, two convicted killers were being grilled on Sunday by law enforcement authorities who said they expect to make more arrests in a case that has given both court and corrections officials in Florida a black eye.
Among the questions being posed to Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker: Who forged the papers? Who helped you run from police? What other prisoners have gotten away with this? Who was coming from Atlanta to whisk you out of Florida?
"I can tell you, there will be more arrests," Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey told a news conference Sunday, hours after Jenkins and Walker, both 34, were arrested without incident at a motel in Panama City.
"We will be backtracking to those who helped carry out this fraud and along the way we will be looking closely at anyone who may have helped harbor these fugitives," Bailey said.
Jenkins and Walker, both 34, were captured Saturday night at the Coconut Grove Motor Inn in Panama City Beach, a touristy area of putt-putt courses and go-kart tracks. Hours earlier, their families had held a news conference in Orlando - 350 miles away - urging them to surrender.
SHUTDOWN COVERAGE BENEFITS CABLE NEWS NETWORKS
NEW YORK (AP) -- The federal government shutdown damaged the reputations of Washington politicians but proved good business for the cable television news networks - and taught some reporters new benefits of virtually instant communications.
CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC saw their viewership increase during the 16-day partial shutdown, peaking at more than five million Wednesday evening when Congress passed a compromise bill to put the government back online.
"It was a drama," said CNN congressional correspondent Dana Bash, who logged many hours of airtime along with Kelly O'Donnell of NBC News and Mike Emanuel of Fox. "Whenever there's a drama, people are interested."
MSNBC, which has struggled in this post-election year, saw its average prime-time viewership jump 35 percent to 978,000 this month through Wednesday, compared to the first nine months of the year, the Nielsen company said. Fox, which chose not to make any of its reporters available for this story, was up 9 percent to 2.22 million in the same period (although the network also benefited from a prime-time schedule change this month). CNN improved by 11 percent to 721,000.
FED-UP VOTERS MEET THE ENEMY AND IT IS ... THEM?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hey, fed-up Americans, here's a scary thought after the dispiriting spectacle of the government shutdown: You're the ones who sent these members of Congress to Washington, and they really are a reflection of you.
For all the complaints about Washington, it was American groupthink that produced divided government in the past two elections and a Congress that has been tied in knots lately.
John Adams, who would become the country's second president, wrote in 1776 that legislators "should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large."
More than 200 years later, members of the current entangled House "are probably a very accurate reflection of how their constituents feel," says Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political scientist.
Not that people are ready to take ownership of the failings of their representatives.
"Of course not," says Baker. "It's a completely dissociative view of American politics - that somehow there are these grasping, corrupt, tone-deaf politicians in Washington who are totally unconnected to the caring and attentive, compassionate person" that an individual voter has elected to Congress.
With the government now powering back up to full speed and the next budget crisis pushed off at least until January, there is no shortage of speculation about whether voters will retaliate in the 2014 elections against lawmakers for this fall's budget impasse. A lot depends on how the next year goes.
President Barack Obama is expressing hope that the same spirit that ultimately produced a deal to end the shutdown and avert default will allow the country to make progress on other issues such as improving the immigration system.
"If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done," Obama said Thursday.
But the president acknowledged difficulties ahead, what with the challenges of divided government and pressures from the political extremes.
"And," Obama added, "let's face it. The American people don't see every issue the same way."
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has pledged to continue GOP efforts to "stop the train wreck" that he calls the president's health law.
For now at least, public sentiment toward Obama, congressional leaders and Congress in general is grim.
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