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Republicans insist on piecemeal approach to government funding

Republicans will stage piecemeal budget votes over the weekend offering symbolic funding to additional public services, as Republicans and Democrats accused the other of deliberately dragging out the wider government shutdown into a second week. The GOP-dominated House of Representatives will attempt to re-open the National Weather Service, the Federal…

Schools damaged in Texas plant explosion to get $2.75 million from FEMA

By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) – Schools damaged by a West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion will receive $2.75 million in federal funds for temporary classrooms and administrative buildings, the government said Friday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the money cannot be used for permanent rebuilding by the…

Confusion after U.S. emergency alert test

The first national test of a US national alert system left many Americans confused and some said the system failed in its goal to reach all broadcasters in the country. Many people watching television at 1900 GMT heard the familiar scratchy noises followed by the test announcement – designed to alert Americans…

Anxiety over upcoming test of U.S. emergency system

WASHINGTON — It’s only a test, but nerves are somewhat frayed over the first nationwide exercise of the system designed to alert Americans of national emergencies. The test occurs at 1900 GMT Wednesday, November 9, and may last over three minutes — longer than the typical 30 seconds or one…

Senators move to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON — Spurred on by the White House, divided US Senators moved late Monday to avert a government shutdown at week’s end and defuse an angry battle over disaster relief in Hurricane Irene’s wake. But the emerging deal did not provide any immediate money for a key Federal Emergency Management…

Hurricane disaster aid at stake as lawmakers feud

WASHINGTON — Polarized US lawmakers hunted Monday for a way to defuse an angry spending feud that risked choking off disaster relief in Hurricane Irene’s wake and even threatened a government shutdown at week’s end. Barely two months after a debt-limit battle cost Washington its sterling debt rating and weighed…

Senate approves billions in disaster aid

WASHINGTON — The US Senate approved $6.9 billion in disaster relief funds over a yearlong period, a measure that faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. By a 62-37 vote, the Senate approved funds for the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help communities cope with…

Obama tours flooded New Jersey

PATERSON , New Jersey — President Barack Obama on Sunday toured the flood-battered state of New Jersey to survey damage from Hurricane Irene, which last week left entire towns underwater and claimed dozens of lives along the US east coast. The president made stops in two waterlogged cities, Wayne and…

Obama to view hurricane damage on Sunday

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama will view damage from Hurricane Irene on Sunday in Paterson, New Jersey, site of disastrous floods sparked by the storm last weekend, the White House said. Thousands of people remain cut off by flooding in Vermont, New Jersey and upstate New York in the…

Hurricane Irene safety tips on Twitter

A Twitter account with the handle @irene is pouring out a stream of tips on how to stay safe as Hurricane Irene batters the United States east coast. The @irene account, which has more than 8,600 followers, is also forwarding messages from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), New…

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