National briefs: Debt limit vote Wednesday

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WASHINGTON -- House leaders Monday unveiled legislation to permit the government to continue borrowing money through May 18 in order to stave off a first-ever default on U.S. obligations. It is slated for a vote Wednesday.

The measure marks a change in strategy for House Republicans, who have backed off demands that any extension of the government's borrowing authority be accompanied by stiff spending cuts.

The legislation is also aimed at prodding Senate Democrats to pass a budget after almost four years of failing to do so. It would withhold the pay of lawmakers in either House or Senate if their chamber fails to pass a budget this year. House Republicans have passed budgets for two consecutive years, but the Senate hasn't passed one since President Barack Obama's first year in office.

The current debt limit is $16.4 trillion. The legislation does not set a specific limit; rather it would automatically increase the limit by the amount required to fund U.S. government obligations through May 18, which is not a hard deadline.

ADHD diagnoses up

SAN FRANCISCO -- The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, increased 24 percent during the past decade, a study found, as the condition gained greater recognition by parents and doctors.

The disorder was detected in 3.1 percent of children who received care at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in 2010, compared with 2.5 percent in 2001, according to the study, published Monday by the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Rates rose fastest among black girls.

The study, which looked at medical records of 842,830 patients during the nine-year period, found a total rate of ADHD of 4.9 percent, with a median age of diagnosis of 8 years old to 9 years old.

Rheumatoid arthritis study

SAN FRANCISCO -- The kind of DNA once known as "junk" may influence people's risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Biotechnology that offers the latest look at the complex system of switches that turn disease genes on.

In September, a group of scientists created a map of the regulatory genes, and suggested they might be important for complex diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Long Fla. election lines

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The long Election Day lines around Florida may have turned away more than 200,000 frustrated would-be voters who gave up and went home before they cast ballots.

Analyzing data compiled by the Orlando Sentinel, Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen estimated last week that at least 201,000 voters likely gave up in frustration Nov. 6, based on research Mr. Allen has been doing on voter behavior.

Son held in family deaths

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The New Mexico teenager accused of fatally shooting his parents and three younger siblings told authorities he was annoyed with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts, according to a probable cause statement.

Nehemiah Griego, 15, remained in custody Monday on charges of murder and child abuse resulting in death. He was arrested following the shootings Saturday at a home in a rural area southwest of Albuquerque where he lived with his family.



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