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MASSACHUSETTS

Obama's uncle makes court appearance

FRAMINGHAM — An uncle of President Obama has completed a brief appearance in a Massachusetts court on a drunken-driving charge.

A Framingham District Court judge on Thursday scheduled Onyango Obama to return to court Nov. 17.

The accused and his attorney refused to comment outside court.

He pleaded not guilty after he was arrested last month in Framingham. Police say he registered a reading of 0.14 percent on a blood-alcohol breath test, above the state's legal driving limit of 0.08 percent.

Onyango Obama, originally from Kenya, is a half brother of the president's late father.

He was initially held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on allegations he violated an order to return to Kenya. He was released and ordered to regularly check in with immigration officials.

 

WHITE HOUSE

Biden takes ownership of weak U.S. economy

Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in a radio interview Thursday that the Obama administration, not the Bush administration, has ownership of the weak economy.

"Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that's not relevant," Mr. Biden said on WLRN in Miami. "What's relevant is we're in charge."

Asked by the radio host why Mr. Obama is losing so much support in Florida, a state that was crucial to his victory in 2008, Mr. Biden replied that the economy hasn't improved quickly enough.

"Right now, we are the ones in charge, and it's gotten better but it hasn't gotten good enough," the vice president said. "I don't blame them for being mad. We're in charge. So they're angry."

Mr. Biden also said it is "totally legitimate" for the 2012 election to be "a referendum on Obama and Biden and the nature and state of the economy."

Asked whether Mr. Obama agrees, presidential press secretary Jay Carney said the president "fully expects" voters to make their decisions "based on their assessment of his record, what he's done, what's he accomplished, and obviously comparing that and what his vision is for the future."

CAMPAIGN

Perry says he would stop border drugs, violence

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is defending his policy of allowing tuition assistance for illegal immigrants at state colleges and universities, saying the lack of a cohesive federal immigration policy forced his hand.

Mr. Perry told CNBC that "we need to have an immigration policy that's thoughtful."

The Republican said that when he embraced the concept of tuition assistance in 2001 for illegal immigrants, he believed "it was in the best interest of our state to have these young people educated [rather] than kicking them to the curb."

Mr. Perry also said that if elected president, he would solve the problem of drug trafficking, illegal immigration and violence along the southern border of the U.S. He declared that "we will stop the drug cartels and we will stop the illegal immigration."

MONTANA

Tester protests GOP ad showing another's hand

HELENA — Sen. Jon Tester, Montana Democrat, isn't happy about a Republican attack advertisement portraying him with all five fingers on his left hand — even though he lost three fingers in a childhood accident with a meat saw on his family's farm.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee ad portrays Mr. Tester as cozy with Washington lobbyists and also shows a photo of Mr. Tester happily greeting President Obama. But the edited photo erroneously portrays Tester as having a left hand with all five fingers.

Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy said that "from the made-up photo to the misleading message, the whole ad is an inaccurate picture of Jon and his record of transparency and accountability."

Mr. Tester, a first-term lawmaker, is being challenged in his 2012 re-election by Rep. Denny Rehberg, and polls have shown the race very tight.

Republicans said Thursday that someone else's left hand was accidentally left in the photo when people in the background were cut out to show just Mr. Tester and Mr. Obama. The NRSC argues the mix-up doesn't change the message of the ad.

NRSC spokesman Chris Bond said, "It's understandable that his campaign would want to distract voters with a phony controversy."

CONGRESS

Onion's 'hostage' spoof angers Capitol Police

Capitol Police were not amused by tweets and an article written by the satirical newspaper the Onion falsely reporting that members of Congress had taken a group of schoolchildren hostage.

The satirical newspaper's Twitter accounts and related story Thursday reporting gunshots and hostage-taking in the Capitol came a day after the FBI arrested a Massachusetts man accused of planning to bomb the Pentagon and the Capitol with explosive-filled model airplanes.

"It has come to our attention that recent Twitter feeds are reporting false information concerning current conditions at the U.S. Capitol," Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider said in a statement. She said conditions at the Capitol, now largely empty because lawmakers are on vacation, were normal.

The Onion tweets and article spoke of congressional leaders "brandishing shotguns and semiautomatic pistols," taking a class of schoolchildren hostage and threatening to kill them if they didn't get $12 trillion in cash. It showed a doctored picture of House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, holding a gun to a child's head and reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, was firing a handgun and wearing a black pantyhose over his head.

MASSACHUSETTS

Democratic Mayor Warren exits U.S. Senate race

NEWTON — Mayor Setti Warren has announced dropping out of the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts.

Mr. Warren conceded at a news conference outside his home Thursday that the entry into the race by consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren was a "huge" factor in his decision. The two are not related.

Mr. Warren said he wasn't pressured by Democratic leaders to drop out and that he made the decision after consulting with his family. He has polled poorly and had difficulty raising money.

Other Democrats running for the seat held by Republican Scott P. Brown include City Year youth program co-founder Alan Khazei, immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco, state Rep. Tom Conroy, Newton resident Herb Robinson and former lieutenant governor candidate Robert Massie.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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