Around the Nation this morning - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Around the Nation this morning

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MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - These are some of the stories breaking this morning in the U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A budget impasse that will set off $85 billion in automatic spending cuts starting Friday is the biggest obstacle to better U.S. economic growth according to an AP survey of economists. Few say they're concerned about reduced consumer spending, expecting it to pick up later this year.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A stalled and contentious cabinet nomination could take a step toward resolution today. A deeply divided Senate is moving toward a vote on President Barack Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel to head the Defense Department. The Senate is slated to vote on proceeding with the Hagel selection after GOP lawmakers signaled an end to delaying tactics.

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Many Kansas school districts have canceled classes today because of a winter storm that forecasters say could bring 8 to 24 inches of snow through the state. The storm has already dumped more than a foot of snow in areas of the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and is blamed for at least two deaths. Amarillo, Texas picked up 19 inches.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - More Americans fell behind on their auto loan payments in the last three months of 2012. That's according to credit reporting company TransUnion. It says the rate of U.S. auto-loan payments at least 60 days overdue climbed to 0.41 percent in the fourth quarter. That's up from 0.38 percent in the third quarter, but down from 0.46 percent from a year earlier.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Safety officials say deaths of teen drivers increased sharply in the first six months of last year, reversing a decade-long trend. A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers in traffic accidents in the first six months of 2012 were up 19 percent over the same period in the previous year.


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