VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press
FAA: AIR TRAFFIC SYSTEM SOON AT FULL OPERATION
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said that the U.S. air traffic system will resume normal operations by Sunday evening after lawmakers rushed a bill through Congress allowing the agency to withdraw furloughs of air traffic controllers and other workers.
The FAA said it has suspended all employee furloughs and that traffic facilities will begin returning to regular staffing levels over the next 24 hours. The furloughs were fallout from the $85 billion in automatic-across-the-board spending cuts this spring.
They started to hit air traffic controllers this past week, causing flight delays that left thousands of travelers frustrated and furious. Planes were forced to take off and land less frequently, so as not to overload the remaining controllers on duty.
The FAA had no choice but to cut $637 million as its share of $85 billion in automatic, government-wide spending cuts that must be achieved by the end of the federal budget year on Sept. 30.
The cuts were required under a law enacted two years ago as the government was approaching its debt limit. Democrats were in favor of raising the debt limit without strings attached so as not to provoke an economic crisis, but Republicans insisted on substantial cuts in exchange. The compromise was to require that every government "program, project and activity" - with some exceptions, like Medicare - be cut equally.
DETAILS LEARNED THIS WEEK IN BOSTON BOMBING PROBE
As the Boston Marathon bombings investigation continues, more information from authorities has emerged that clarifies some earlier reports from officials or provides more details on the suspected bombers, brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and their backgrounds:
MIT OFFICER: Officer Sean Collier was shot inside in his patrol car late Thursday, April 18. Authorities initially said he was responding to a disturbance. Police now say there was no disturbance and he was in his parked car when he was shot by one of the bombing suspects.
NO ROBBERY ATTEMPT: Officials at first said that the suspects were pursued after they robbed a convenience store, where the younger one was seen on a surveillance camera. Authorities later corrected their statement to say the suspects were tracked down after they needed to stop for gas and a driver they had carjacked fled and called police.
GUN BATTLE: Federal officials say only one gun was recovered at the scene of a shootout with the suspects early April 20, when more than 250 rounds were fired, according to Police Commissioner Ed Davis. The elder suspect died after that exchange of gunfire, though his exact cause of death is still not known. A federal law enforcement official confirmed his brother ran over his body as he fled the scene in a car.
FOUND IN BOAT: Federal authorities now say the suspect was found unarmed in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, raising the question of how or why authorities started shooting. Rounds of ammunition could be heard firing by the hundreds who gathered nearby.
YOUNGER BROTHER: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev could face the death penalty after being charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill people and destroy property. Federal authorities say he shared information with interrogators until being read his constitutional rights.
OLDER BROTHER: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his mother, Zubeidat, were added to the U.S. database of suspected terrorists 18 months before the Boston explosions, two officials briefed on the situation told The Associated Press.
NEXT TARGET: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly say the brothers had five pipe bombs and another pressure cooker and were heading to New York City when the man they had carjacked escaped and called police to give chase.
PARENTS: U.S. investigators have traveled to southern Russia to question the suspects' parents. The couple says they want to come to the U.S. to see Dzhokhar and to recover Tamerlan's body but so far have not.