National briefs: GOP blocks pay-gap bill

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WASHINGTON -- With sought-after women voters at stake, Senate Republicans blocked election-year legislation Wednesday aimed at ensuring that female workers receive equal pay for doing the same work as men.

A high-profile campaign for the Paycheck Fairness Act, orchestrated by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House, did little to motivate Republicans in a mid-term election year when both parties are seeking women voters. Republican senators blocked the bill on a party-line filibuster, 53-44.

Ex-IRS aide targeted

WASHINGTON -- A congressional committee asked the Justice Department on Wednesday to prosecute a former tax official who is alleged to have improperly targeted conservative political organizations.

On a party-line vote, the House Ways and Means Committee pushed for a review of evidence uncovered by lawmakers to determine whether Lois Lerner, the former head of the exempt organizations division of the Internal Revenue Service, violated criminal statutes.

Day care crash kills child

WINTER PARK, Fla. -- A car smashed into an Orlando-area day care Wednesday, killing a girl and injuring 14 other people, at least a dozen of them children, and authorities were searching for the driver of an SUV who they say started the crash, officials said.

A Toyota Solara convertible went out of control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, jumped a curb and smashed into the day care, breaking through the wall and into the building, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Wanda Diaz said. The convertible driver was not hurt.

The Durango left the scene but was located almost two hours later after it had been abandoned at a home. The Highway Patrol said it was looking for Robert Corchado, 26, who has been arrested eight times since 2000, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. Troopers said he was the driver of the Durango, but wouldn't say how they established that. Troopers said Mr. Corchado may be trying to leave the area, and troopers and deputies headed to Orlando International Airport to look for him.

Also in the nation ...

A New York City police officer died early Wednesday morning from injuries suffered in a high-rise fire over the weekend in the borough of Brooklyn. ... A Navy warship carrying a family whose sailboat broke down in the Pacific Ocean with a sick toddler arrived Wednesday in San Diego.


-- Compiled from news services

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