VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press

NO SHUTDOWN AGREEMENT YET

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Efforts accelerated in Congress on Friday to keep the U.S. Treasury from defaulting as early as next week and to end the partial government shutdown that stretched through an 11th day. At the White House and Capitol, President Barack Obama and top aides consulted repeatedly with both House and Senate Republicans.

 

"Let's put this hysterical talk of default behind us and instead start talking about finding solutions," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

 

There was no shortage of suggestions. Yet there also was no evidence of agreement to end crises that have caused financial markets to shudder and interest rates to rise, while closing some federal offices and sending 350,000 workers home on furlough, without pay.

 

Senate and House Republicans each offered to reopen the government and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit - but only as part of broader approaches that envision deficit savings, changes to the health care law known as Obamacare and an easing of across-the-board spending cuts that the White House and Congress both dislike. The details and timing differed.

 

"We're waiting to hear" from administration officials, said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

 

While the impact of the shutdown varies widely, lawmakers seemed to be taking care of their own needs.

 

The members-only House gym remained in operation, and enough Senate staff was at work to operate the aging underground tram that ferries senators and others from the Russell Office Building to the Capitol a short distance away.

 

'BIONIC MAN' WALKS, BREATHES WITH ARTIFICIAL PARTS

 

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, after all. We have the technology.

 

The term "bionic man" was the stuff of science fiction in the 1970s, when a popular TV show called "The Six Million Dollar Man" chronicled the adventures of Steve Austin, a former astronaut whose body was rebuilt using artificial parts after he nearly died.

 

Now, a team of engineers has assembled a robot using artificial organs, limbs and other body parts that comes tantalizingly close to a true "bionic man." For real, this time.

 

The artificial "man" is the subject of a Smithsonian Channel documentary that airs Sunday, Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. Called "The Incredible Bionic Man," it chronicles engineers' attempt to assemble a functioning body using artificial parts that range from a working kidney and circulation system to cochlear and retina implants.

 

The parts hail from 17 manufacturers around the world. This is the first time they've been assembled together, says Richard Walker, managing director of Shadow Robot Co. and the lead roboticist on the project.

 

The robot making appearances in the U.S. for the first time this week. Having crossed the Atlantic tucked inside two metal trunks - and after a brief holdup in customs - the bionic man will strut his stuff at the New York Comic Con festival on Friday.

 

 

 

And the cost? As it turns out, this bionic man comes cheaper than his $6-million-dollar sci-fi cousin. While the parts used in the experiment were donated, their value is about $1 million.

 

 

 

PEACE PRIZE GOES TO CHEMICAL-WEAPONS WATCHDOG

 

BEIRUT (AP) -- The watchdog agency working to eliminate the world's chemical weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a powerful endorsement of the inspectors now on the ground in Syria on a perilous mission to destroy the regime's stockpile of poison gas.

 

In honoring the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said "recent events in Syria, where chemical weapons have again been put to use, have underlined the need to enhance the efforts to do away with such weapons."

 

The prize came 10 days after OPCW inspectors started arriving in war-torn Syria to oversee the dismantling of President Bashar Assad's chemical arsenal.

 

While world leaders and former Nobel laureates praised the group's selection, some in Syria lamented that the prize would do nothing to end the bloodshed, most of which is being inflicted with conventional weapons.

 

After focusing on such themes as human rights and European unity in recent years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee this time returned to the core purpose of the 112-year-old Nobel Peace Prize - disarming the world.

 

Founded in 1997, the OPCW had largely worked out of the limelight until this year, when the United Nations called upon its expertise.

Comment Here