By DAVID ESPO
WASHINGTON -- Battle-fatigued and suddenly bipartisan, the House voted Thursday night to ease across-the-board federal spending cuts and head off future government shutdowns, acting after Speaker John Boehner unleashed a stinging attack on tea party-aligned conservative groups campaigning for the measure's defeat.
The legislation, backed by the White House, cleared on a vote of 332-94, with lopsided majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike voting in favor. Final passage is expected next week in the Senate.
The events in the House gave a light coating of bipartisan cooperation to the end of a bruising year of divided government -- memorable for a partial government shutdown, flirtation with an unprecedented Treasury default and gridlock on immigration, gun control and other items on President Barack Obama's second-term agenda.
Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, hailed the vote, saying it "shows Washington can and should stop governing by crisis and both sides can work together to get things done."
By KRISTEN WYATT
DENVER -- Legal marijuana sales in Colorado are set to start on Jan. 1, or so the law says. Knowing when the recreational pot shops will actually open, however, is anyone's guess.
The state's 160 hopeful pot shops are so mired in red tape and confusion that no one knows yet when or if they'll be allowed to open. Not a single shop will clear state and local licensing requirements until about Dec. 27.
"There's a perception that come Jan. 1, Colorado's going to be like Wal-Mart on Black Friday, people pouring through the doors. Not going to happen," said Mike Elliott, spokesman for the state's Medical Marijuana Industry Group.
Even as so-called ganjapreneurs are expanding operations, pouring concrete and planning tentative grand openings, they're still navigating a maze of regulations. Many of the applicants are still waiting on inspections, local zoning hearings and background checks before finding out whether they've been approved to open their doors to adults over 21.
By MATT VOLZ
MISSOULA, Mont. -- A Montana newlywed pleaded guilty Thursday to killing her husband of eight days by pushing him from a cliff in Glacier National Park while they argued about her second thoughts about the marriage.
The surprise plea agreement with prosecutors came just before closing arguments were set to begin in the trial of Jordan Graham, 22.
In exchange for the guilty plea to second-degree murder, prosecutors agreed to drop a first-degree murder charge and a count of making a false statement to authorities.
Graham could face a maximum sentence of life in prison when she is sentenced on March 27.