National Briefs / Obama assures disabled vets


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ORLANDO, Fla. -- President Barack Obama assured disabled veterans Saturday that his administration is making progress on reducing a backlog of disability claims and said the number of requests for assistance has fallen by nearly one-fifth since peaking at more than 600,000 just a few months ago.

In an address at the Disabled American Veterans' convention in Orlando, Mr. Obama also announced a plan to guide mental health research, as well as commitments from 250 colleges and universities to help veterans earn college degrees or get the credentials they need to find jobs.

Afterwards, Mr. Obama opened the first summer vacation of his second term on Martha's Vineyard.

Teen found safe in Idaho

CASCADE, Idaho -- A man suspected of killing a California woman and her young son before fleeing with her 16-year-old daughter was killed in the Idaho wilderness Saturday, and the teen was found safe, authorities said.

James Lee DiMaggio, 40, was killed at the north end of Morehead Lake, San Diego County Sheriff William D. Gore said. The shooting came after officers participating in a massive manhunt spotted a campsite from the air and an FBI hostage recovery team was sent to the site.

Singer Eydie Gorme dies

LOS ANGELES -- Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, has died. She was 84.

Ms. Gorme, who also had a huge solo hit in 1963 with "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," died Saturday in Las Vegas, said her publicist, Howard Bragman.

Santorum delivers address

AMES, Iowa -- Arguing that Republicans effectively communicated a message rooted in job creation and building businesses in 2012, Rick Santorum delivered a campaign-style speech to conservative activists Saturday suggesting that Democrats outdid them in the rhetorical battle for working-class voters. And that, he said, needs to change.

"Don't agree with the establishment Republicans that we have to change our policies to be more like Democrats. But we do need to change our tactics to be more like Democrats," Mr. Santorum said in an address at a summit hosted by the Family Leader, an evangelical conservative group.

Fox may do Hillary series

LOS ANGELES -- NBC has come under heavy fire for agreeing to broadcast the proposed miniseries on the life of presumed presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But the project may wind up being produced by another company: Fox Television Studios, the sister company of the conservative favorite, Fox News Channel.

-- Compiled from news services

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