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Your morning briefing
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Good morning!

While you slept, the world kept turning. Here's a roundup of what's happening:


Showers and thunderstorms are likely today, with a 60 percent chance of rain today and tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Car hits fence on Ga. Tech campus after chase

ATLANTA - Police say charges are pending against a motorist who led DeKalb County police on a two-county chase that ended in a crash on the Georgia Tech campus.

Officers say no one was injured when the driver of the Dodge Charger plowed into a fence on Georgia Tech's northwest Atlanta campus early Friday.

Officer fired after arrest in Pooler 
SAVANNAH - A Savannah-Chatham County police officer has been fired after being arrested on a stalking charge.

Police chief Willie Lovett said earlier this week that 37-year-old officer Michael Eric Broome was being served a notice of termination. That notice became effective Thursday.

Broome was suspended June 28 when a former girlfriend filed for a bond that would bar him from harassing her. She told Pooler police he'd been spying on her and her new boyfriend and had made harassing calls and text messages and called her repeatedly.

Broome was arrested and charged with stalking when Pooler police found him outside the bar where his ex-girlfriend works.

Debt face-off shifts to Congress

WASHINGTON - Negotiations to increase the nation's debt ceiling shifted to Congress where Republican and Democratic leaders were assessing the mood of their members even as an intricate but potentially face-saving deal to avoid an unprecedented government default was taking shape in the Senate.

With an Aug. 2 deadline looming and no compromise jelling at the White House, President Barack Obama had to settle Friday for asking congressional leaders to take three deficit reduction options to their members to see which, if any, could win a vote in the House and Senate.

Meanwhile, a proposal the White House has termed a "fallback option" was taking root in the Senate as a likely alternative to the brinkmanship that has defined negotiations to secure an increase in the government's borrowing authority.

Obama, who had vowed to meet with congressional leaders every day until a debt limit deal was struck, did not schedule a session for Friday and instead asked leaders to gauge the temperament of their caucuses and to report back to him in 24 to 36 hours. White House officials said a meeting could still be scheduled this weekend.

Obama planned an 11 a.m. news conference Friday to discuss the status of debt limit talks, his second this week. House Republicans and House Democrats planned their own membership meetings earlier in the morning.

Craft to circle giant asteroid in first of double-mission encounter

LOS ANGELES - After four years sailing through space, the Dawn spacecraft was expected to slip into orbit late Friday around a giant asteroid to begin a yearlong investigation into the origins of the solar system.

It is the first of two scheduled tour stops for the NASA probe that almost never made it to the launch pad.

Dawn will spend the next several weeks spiraling ever closer to the surface of Vesta, a dry and rocky asteroid about the length of Arizona that's thought to be the source of numerous meteorites found on Earth.

Scientists are eagerly awaiting the first close-up shots of Vesta, expected next month. Until now, it has only been photographed from afar.

Residing in a vast field of rubble between Mars and Jupiter, asteroids are like the Peter Pans of the solar system that never quite grew into full-fledged planets. That they remain frozen in time is a boon for researchers attempting to reconstruct how Earth and the other planets formed.

Minnesota reaches a deal to end shutdown

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's leaders made a deal that will probably end the nation's longest state government shutdown in a decade, but they didn't really solve their budget problem. Instead, they just shuffled it down the road to be faced another day.

An agreement between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders will deny schools promised aid and convert future tobacco settlement money into cash now. If lawmakers sign off on the deal in the next few days, it would end a two-week shutdown that spread pain to all corners of the state.

Thursday's deal came after Dayton abandoned his long push for tax increases, a painful move he said he made after hearing in recent days from residents around the state who just wanted an end to the shutdown. Yet the deal - although Dayton got about $1.4 billion in new revenue that many Republicans will find hard to swallow - brought more criticism than relief.