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Nation & World Briefly

GOP candidate Cain fights to overcome allegations

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain struggled to overcome the storm of controversy from sexual harassment accusations on Thursday as the threat of a damaging written statement by one of his accusers and shifting explanations by a top aide left his efforts and even his candidacy in doubt.

“This will not deter me” in the race for the White House, Cain declared, repeatedly denying the accusations in interviews on conservative media outlets.

“Did you tell a woman she looked good?” radio host Sean Hannity asked. “That dress looks hot?”

“Nope.”

“Any flirtation that you can think of?”

Senate blocks competing infrastructure plans as quarrel continues over Obama jobs plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans in the Senate Thursday dealt President Barack Obama the third in a string of defeats on his stimulus-style jobs agenda, blocking a $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure like roads and rail lines.

Supporters of the failed measure said it would have created tens of thousands of construction jobs and lifted the still-struggling economy. But Republicans unanimously opposed it for its tax surcharge on the wealthy and spending totals they said were too high.

The 51-49 vote fell well short of the 60 votes required under Senate procedures to start work on the bill. Every Republican opposed the president, as did Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and former Democrat Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who still aligns with the party.

Obama’s loss was anything but a surprise, but the White House and its Democratic allies continue to press popular ideas from Obama’s poll-tested jobs package in what Republicans say is nothing more than a bare-knuckle attempt to gain a political edge by invoking the mantra of jobs but doing little to seek compromise.

“The truth is, Democrats are more interested in building a campaign message than in rebuilding roads and bridges,” said Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “And frankly, the American people deserve a lot better than that.”

House panel agrees to subpoena the White House for documents related to Solyndra

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Republican-led House panel on Thursday agreed to subpoena the White House for documents related to Solyndra Inc., the failed California solar company that received a half-billion-dollar federal loan. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee voted 14-9 along party lines to authorize subpoenas of top White House officials. GOP lawmakers say the subpoenas are necessary because the White House has denied or delayed requests for thousands of documents related to Solyndra.

The Fremont, Calif., company received a $528 million federal loan before filing for bankruptcy protection and laying off 1,100 workers.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said getting White House documents on Solyndra was like “extracting a tooth without anesthesia” — painful and time-consuming.

“I wish it had not come to this, but it has,” said Upton, R-Mich., who called the White House “downright obstructionist” on Solyndra.

Democrats called the solar loan subpoena an overreach.

Texas judge says daughter posted beating video because he was reducing her financial support

McALLEN, Texas (AP) – A Texas family law judge says his daughter posted a YouTube video of him beating her several years ago because he told her he was reducing her financial support and taking away her Mercedes.

Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams issued a statement through his lawyer on Thursday in which he questions his daughter Hillary’s motives for posting the secretly-made 2004 video online last week.

The judge does not apologize in the three-page statement for lashing his then 16-year-old daughter 17 times with a belt while she wailed and pleaded with him to stop. He told a TV station Wednesday that the video “looks worse than it is” and that he was just disciplining his child.

Police are investigating and Adams says he will “respond” to any investigations.