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Thursday - 10/24/2013, 3:10pm  ET



Obama admin. was responsible for testing

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The contractors responsible for building the troubled website say it was the government's responsibility -- not theirs -- to test it and make sure it worked.

Lead contractor CGI Federal tells Congress the Obama administration made the call to go live with the insurance website, while the company made no recommendation either way.

Another contractor says the company shared concerns about insufficient testing with the Obama administration.

Andrew Slavitt of QSSI says his company talked in detail about the risks its saw, and passed along those concerns throughout the process.

After the federal website serving 36 states got overwhelmed with technical problems, the administration acknowledged it had not done enough testing.


Sebelius to visit Phoenix to promote health law

PHOENIX (AP) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is visiting Phoenix amid calls for her resignation after the clunky rollout of insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's health law.

The former Kansas governor who is the Obama administration's public point person on the health law's implementation will tour an HHS call center in Phoenix on Thursday.

She'll then go to a health center to talk with so-called "navigators" who have been trained to educate people about enrolling for coverage.

The visit will take place amid intense scrutiny of the website's startup. Computer problems have kept many consumers from signing up through new online markets.

Sebelius has said her agency is bringing in more experts and specialists from government and industry to improve the system.


Obama pressing Congress to move on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's a goal that will be hard to meet, given the resistance of many House Republicans -- but President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to finish work on an immigration overhaul by the end of the year.

The issue remains one of Obama's top second-term priorities, but it's been overshadowed for months -- most recently by the government shutdown.

The Senate has passed a measure that would provide an eventual path to citizenship for those who are in the country illegally, and would tighten border security. But it's gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled House.

During an event in the East Room today, Obama said, "It doesn't get easier to pull it off."


Town mourns after teen charged in teacher's death

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) -- Grief counselors are meeting with students at the Massachusetts high school where authorities say a popular teacher was killed by a 14-year-old student in one of her math classes.

Classes won't resume until Friday at Danvers High School, where 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer was described as a caring teacher who would stand outside her classroom and say hello to even students she didn't teach.

Grief counselors will be available for several hours Thursday. Authorities have charged student Philip Chism with the crime that has shaken this middle-class community 20 miles north of Boston. Ritzer's body was found behind the school Wednesday.

Officials haven't released a cause of death or discussed a motive in the killing.


UPDATE: Police: Wash. boy took gun to school to kill bully

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Police say an 11-year-old who took a gun to his Vancouver, Wash., middle school intended to shoot another student to prevent him from bullying a friend.

The police report was released Thursday as the boy appeared in Clark County Juvenile Court.

The report says the boy heard a voice telling him the killing was a good idea.

The Columbian reports ( ) the judge ordered a mental competency hearing. The boy remains in custody and his case will be reviewed Friday.

The boy was arrested Wednesday after a gun, ammo and knives were found on the boy or in his backpack at Frontier Middle School. No one was hurt, and the school is back to normal Thursday.


Ex-Gitmo detainee to seek Supreme Court appeal

NEW YORK (AP) -- A lawyer for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee says he will appeal to the Supreme Court over a ruling that upholds his client's conviction in the bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa.

Ahmed Ghailani (guh-LAHN'-ee) was sentenced to life in prison after his 2010 conviction. Attorney Peter Quijano (Kee-HAH-no) says a federal appeals court in Manhattan was wrong Thursday when it upheld the conviction. Quijano says the Constitution was violated when a trial for his client was delayed more than five years while Ghailani was tortured to extract information.

The 39-year-old Ghailani served for a time as Osama bin Laden's cook and bodyguard. Exactly what happened to him in U.S. custody overseas remains classified.

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