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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri airports in Branson and Columbia are among those that will have their towers shut down by the Federal Aviation Administration because of federal budget cuts.

Towers at the Branson Airport and Columbia Regional Airport will stop operations.

The closures will not force the shutdown of either airport. But pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers under procedures that all pilots are trained to carry out.

The plan has raised concerns over the impact on safety and the potential financial effect on communities that rely on airports as economic engines for attracting business.
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:27
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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — President Barack Obama says each of his proposed steps to reduce gun violence should get a vote in Congress — even an assault weapons ban that both parties agree stands little chance at passing.

Senate Democrats dropped the ban from the bill they plan to debate next month out of concern it could sink the whole package. But Obama says he's pushing for it.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says Americans have spoken on gun control. He says they support the ban, plus limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines, school security funding and a crackdown on gun trafficking.

In the Republican address, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah says the Senate Democrats' budget raises taxes by $1.5 trillion without saving entitlements. He says Republicans want a balanced budget.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats staked out their position this morning in the budget battle with Republicans after a long night of considering amendments to a $3.7 trillion package for next year.

The non-binding blueprint passed by a near party line, 50-49 vote. It calls for almost $1 trillion in tax increases over the coming decade while sheltering safety net programs. The House version only envisions spending cuts to balance the budget.

The Democratic plan also proposes to reverse automatic spending cuts that are beginning to strike both the Pentagon and domestic programs.

President Barack Obama's long-overdue budget is scheduled to be released March 8.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Midwest is gearing up for its third major storm in a month, with up to a foot of snow expected barely a week after some cities saw record highs.

The storm system also could generate thunderstorms and tornadoes in parts of the South this weekend.

The National Weather Service says up to a foot of snow could start falling on northwest Kansas on Friday night, while Kansas City, Missouri, Indianapolis and Omaha, Nebraska could get up to 8 inches. Snow is expected to start in those cities late Saturday afternoon and continue through midday Sunday.

The system is expected to carry snow into the Northeast early next week.

In the South, forecasters say the system could spark tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday.
Saturday, 23 March 2013 07:20
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