By Susan Heavey WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell undercut threats by fellow Republicans to hold the budget process hostage in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood, saying conservatives do not have enough support in Congress to cut off the group, which is under fire from abortion opponents. Instead, the Senate's top Republican said he is focused on funding the federal government when U.S. lawmakers return next week and will work with President Barack Obama to avert a shutdown, which last paralyzed the government in 2013. On the possibility of tying measures that kill funding of the women's health group to federal spending bills, McConnell told Kentucky TV station WYMT: "We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we'd like.
More than 100 police officers using air and canine units were searching northern Illinois on Tuesday afternoon for three suspects believed to be involved in the fatal shooting of a 30-year veteran police officer, officials said. Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was found wounded on Tuesday morning after calling in to communications that he was in pursuit of three suspects, and died later. "Today, not only did Fox Lake lose a family member, I lost a very dear friend," Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit told a news conference.
David Bowie, known for the intellectual bent of his music, is penning music for what will likely be lighter fare -- a musical based on cartoon character SpongeBob. Chicago's Oriental Theatre announced that the English rock icon and artist is leading an array of top musicians in composing the score for "SpongeBob The Musical" which will premiere there on June 7 next year. Other musicians who will contribute material include The Flaming Lips and They Might Be Giants, two US bands with similarly eclectic interests, as well as 1980s pop superstar Cyndi Lauper, members of hard rock legends Aerosmith and singer-songwriter John Legend.