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Posted: July 26, 2011 6:23 a.m.

Tuesday briefing

Here's a roundup of events from the Associated Press for Tuesday:

WEATHER

There's a 40 percent chance of rain for today and the high should reach 92, according to the National Weather Service.

ECONOMY

WASHINGTON - Rival Democratic and Republican plans to raise the government's borrowing ability have thrust Congress into a standoff one week away from a potentially devastating debt crisis. President Barack Obama made a last ditch call for compromise, but House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House had been futile.

"We can't allow the American people to become collateral damage to Washington's political warfare," Obama declared Monday in a prime-time address to the nation.

Boehner, in a nationally televised rebuttal, said he had given "my all" to work out a deal with Obama.

"The president would not take yes for an answer," he said.

The extraordinary back-to-back appeals to the public gave no indication that weeks of brinkmanship and sputtering talks over long-term deficit reductions were on the verge of ending. With an Aug. 2 deadline rapidly closing, Congress and the White House had limited options to avoid a potential government default that could send the already weak economy into a damaging swoon.

WORLD

OSLO - Norway's justice minister told reporters Tuesday that employees from his department were still missing after an attack on government headquarters in Oslo and a shooting spree at a nearby island that killed at least 76.

Police have not released the names of the victims yet but hope to start that process Tuesday. Justice Minister Knut Storberget gave no information about the missing.

Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to last week's bombing in the capital and a rampage at a Labor Party retreat for young people. In all, 76 people have been confirmed killed in the twin attacks that have stunned peaceful Norway.

"The Justice Ministry has people who are missing, we have people who are very hard hit by this and we are without offices," Storberget told reporters.

Storberget also offered a defense of the police, who announced a substantial reduction in the official death toll on Monday, adding to a growing series of missteps in their response.

GOVERNMENT

WASHINGTON - The Postal Service is considering closing more than one in 10 of its retail outlets.

The financially troubled agency was announcing Tuesday that it will study more than 3,600 local offices, branches and stations for possible closing.

Currently the post office operates more than 31,000 retail outlets across the country, down from 38,000 a decade ago, but in recent years business has declined sharply as first-class mail moved to the Internet. In addition, the recession resulted in a decline in advertising mail, and the agency lost $8 billion last year. Most of the offices that face review are in rural areas, but postal officials say they are looking into alternative service, such as locating offices in local businesses, town halls or community centers. In those cases the so-called Village Post Office would replace one to be closed.

ENTERTAINMENT

NEW YORK - Now playing: Movies at Walmart.com.

The world's largest retailer on Tuesday started streaming many movies the same day they come out on DVD, in a second bid for a share of popular movie rental and streaming website Netflix Inc.'s business and just two weeks after Netflix announced new price increases.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. bought video-streaming service Vudu.com 18 months ago and now offers 20,000 titles that can be viewed on almost any device with Internet access, from computers to televisions to Sony's PlayStation3 and other Blu-Ray disc players.

Movies are available at Walmart.com to rent for $1 to $5.99 or to purchase for $4.99 and up. Wal-Mart is not offering subscriptions, making its service more similar to Apple Inc.'s iTunes, which charges $3.99 to rent newly released movies and $14.99 to buy a movie.

TECHNOLOGY

WASHINGTON - When terrifying battlefield memories come rushing back to mind, in night sweats, flashbacks or a panic attack, some troops and vets now find comfort by reaching for their smartphones.

Using new-age technology to cope with age-old wounds of war, they tap into mobile phone applications, or "apps," designed to help with post-traumatic stress and brain injuries.

"I'm not going to lie - when this came out, we sort of wanted to slam it," a once skeptical Staff Sgt. Meg Krause said of her group of veteran friends.

"But it surprised us and has been a phenomenal tool," said the 29-year-old reservist and medic, who has had counseling for PTSD.

A half-dozen apps with names like "T2 MoodTracker," ''PTSD Coach" and "Breathe2Relax" have been developed by the Pentagon and Veterans Affairs Department, but not to diagnose illness or replace psychiatric counseling. Rather, the apps offer at-your-fingertips information about what the military calls "invisible wounds" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and techniques for managing the symptoms.

SPORTS

ATLANTA - Chipper Jones couldn't make it through his first game back from the disabled list without a new injury concern.

Jones gave the Braves their only offense by hitting a homer after he strained his right quadriceps in Atlanta's 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

Jones, who had arthroscopic surgery on July 9 to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, came off the disabled list with two hits, including his ninth homer, and a stolen base. He will have his quadriceps injury evaluated on Tuesday.

Jones, 39, told manager Fredi Gonzalez he felt discomfort in his quadriceps after charging Neil Walker's slow grounder from third base in the sixth. Jones told Gonzalez he'd need a pinch-runner if he got a hit in the eighth - and then he led off the inning with the homer.

Jones was receiving treatment and was not available for comment following the Braves' third straight loss.

WASHINGTON - Let's talk Peyton Manning touchdown passes, not antitrust lawsuits. Let's talk Troy Polamalu interceptions, not court interventions. And let's talk football, not lockout. Finally, 4½ months after the NFL's first work stoppage in 24 years, Commissioner Roger Goodell could say the words fans awaited: "Football's back."

OUTDOORS

ANCHORAGE - The teens had been advised to play dead if they encountered a grizzly during their excursion in the Alaska wilderness.

But with the massive, snarling bear suddenly looming over them, 17-year-old Sam Gottsegen of Denver and the other participants of a backcountry survival course did what so many others would have done: They ran.

The bear pounced on some of the students, including Gottsegen, who was among four seriously injured.

"When I heard that bear, when I saw it, it was all just like natural instincts," he said. "All night long I was thinking I should have played dead."

The attack Saturday night in the Talkeetna Mountains north of Anchorage came as the group of seven was nearing the end of the 30-day survival course. The teens were at a stage where they could try out their skills without adults around.

 

 

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