New Jersey HeraldAP News in Brief at 11:58 p.m. EST

Official: New accord on euro will include euro countries plus 6 others

BRUSSELS (AP) – The president of the European Council says a new treaty will include 17 euro states plus 6 other EU states – but not all 27 EU members.

Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said the countries would provide up to €200 billion ($268 billion) in extra resources to the International Monetary fund.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said early Friday he would have preferred a treaty among all the members of the EU, but he could not because of the British position. he said the new accord should be ready by March.

Sarkozy said the British proposed that they be exempted from certain financial regulation. “We could not accept this” because a lack of sufficient regulation caused the current problems, Sarkozy said.

Slain Va. Tech officer identified as father, veteran; gunman apparently killed self

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – a gunman killed a Virginia Tech police officer Thursday at a campus parking lot and then apparently shot himself to death nearby in an attack that shook the university nearly five years after it was the scene of the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.

The shooting took place on the same day Virginia Tech officials were in Washington, fighting a government fine over their alleged mishandling of the 2007 bloodbath where 33 people were killed. before it became clear that the gunman in Thursday's attack was dead, the school applied the lessons learned during the last tragedy, locking down the campus and using a high-tech alert system to warn students and faculty members to stay indoors.

“In light of the turmoil and trauma and the tragedy suffered by this campus by guns, I can only say words don't describe our feelings and they're elusive at this point in time,” university president Charles Steger said. “Our hearts are broken again for the family of our police officer.”

The officer, identified late Thursday as 39-year-old Deriek W. Crouse, was killed after pulling a driver over in a traffic stop. The gunman – who was not involved in the traffic stop – walked into the parking lot and ambushed the officer. Police said they did not know what the motive was and were still investigating whether the officer was specifically targeted.

The university said Crouse was an Army veteran and married father of 5 who joined the campus police force about six months after the 2007 massacre. he previously worked at a jail and for a sheriff's department.

Obama says no vacation till payroll tax cut extended; Republicans advance bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama vowed to delay Congress' year-end vacation as well as his own Thursday for “as long as it takes” to extend Social Security payroll tax cuts and long-term jobless benefits, his second challenge in as many days to conservative Republicans.

Obama stated his position as the House GOP leadership put the finishing touches on legislation that meets White House specifications in important areas but also contains at least one provision the president has pledged to veto.

A vote in the House is likely early next week, and party officials said the president's threatened veto, which relates to a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to Texas, had made it easier to round up support from conservatives eager to be seen defying Obama.

“Frankly, the fact that the president doesn't like it makes me like it even more,” said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a leader of House conservatives, who added he had supported an earlier version, as well.

Separately, the two parties skirmished inconclusively in the Senate – each side blocking action on the other's payroll tax alternative – in a showdown that dramatized the partisan nature of the struggle nearly a full year in advance of the 2012 elections. given the slow economic recovery and the political appeal of renewing tax cuts and unemployment benefits, it seems likely compromise legislation will reach the president's desk in the next two weeks. and while there were signs of an emerging consensus on key points, the day's events made it clear both sides had decided there was still time to bicker.

Wife of ex-Penn State coach says husband innocent, accusers lying about child sex abuse claims

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – The wife of ex-Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky said Thursday her husband is innocent of the child sex abuse allegations made against him and that his accusers are making up their stories, including one suggesting she was home while Sandusky attacked a boy who screamed for help.

Dottie Sandusky's comments defending her husband were the first she has made since Sandusky was arrested last month and accused of molesting boys he met through a charity he founded for troubled youth. he faces more than 50 charges and has maintained his innocence.

She released the statement through her husband's lawyer a day after a grand jury report detailed claims of 2 new accusers, among them the testimony of 1 who said he cried out for her help while Sandusky assaulted him in a basement bedroom.

“I am so sad anyone would make such a terrible accusation which is absolutely untrue,” she said. “We don't know why these young men have made these false accusations, but we want everyone to know they are untrue.”

Dottie Sandusky, who has raised six adopted children, said she has been “shocked and dismayed” by the claims.

Romney and allies go harder after Republican rival Gingrich with fresh criticism, Iowa ads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republican Mitt Romney opened a broad and newly abrasive assault on rival Newt Gingrich on Thursday, dispatching surrogates and staff to cast him as unworthy of the GOP nomination and unfit to be president. Romney's allies also readied a blistering new ad in Iowa that says Gingrich has spent “30 years in Washington flip-flopping on issues.”

The former Massachusetts governor is aiming to undermine his rising rival on both personal and professional fronts ahead of the 2012 campaign's opening contest Jan. 3 in Iowa – a reversal by the 1-time front-runner who had previously all but ignored his Republican foes.

“He's not a reliable and trusted conservative leader because he's not a reliable or trustworthy leader,” former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, a Romney supporter, said of Gingrich, offering a preview of the attacks Romney's team promised would continue in the next few weeks.

Romney allies, for their part, announced a $3.1 million TV ad campaign in Iowa beginning Friday that includes the new commercial assailing Gingrich on a host of fronts.

“Newt has a ton of baggage … and on the issues? Newt's been on all sides,” says the ad by Restore our Future political action committee, which is made up of aides of Romney's failed 2008 campaign.

APNewsBreak: Former US official says Iranian state TV video shows captured US drone

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tehran's capture of a largely intact, top secret U.S. drone, which it displayed on state television, not only lays bare America's surveillance program over Iran, but it also puts sensitive, advanced technology in hostile hands.

A former U.S. official confirmed to The associated Press that the beige-colored drone featured in the more than two-minute video aired Thursday was indeed an RQ-170 Sentinel that is used for surveillance of Tehran's nuclear facilities. The U.S. military said it lost control of a drone earlier this week.

Iranian officials quickly claimed their military forces had downed the Sentinel with an electronic attack. But U.S. officials on Thursday flatly rejected the claim that any cyber or other electronic related activity was responsible for the loss of the drone.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the drone mission is classified.

The video, which showed Iranian officials examining the drone, provided the first real evidence of the Sentinel's capture. more important, it revealed the aircraft to be nearly in one piece.

Second child shot by mother in Texas welfare office dies, her 10-year-old son

McALLEN, Texas (AP) – a 10-year-old son of a woman who shot her two children and then killed herself during a police standoff at a Texas welfare office died on Thursday, a day after his sister succumbed to her wounds.

Timothy Grimmer died Thursday evening at a San Antonio hospital after he was removed from life support, Laredo police investigator Joe Baeza said. His sister Ramie, 12, who authorities say was also shot by mother Rachelle Grimmer, died Wednesday night at the same hospital.

Their father, Dale Grimmer, spent time at his son's bedside Thursday before consulting with doctors and deciding to pull Timothy off of life support, said Mary Lee Shepherd, the children's grandmother.

“He spent hours with Ramie and finally had to let her go,” Shepherd said. “He's just concentrating on saying goodbye to his children.”

Their mother, 38-year-old Rachelle Grimmer, shot the children Monday and then killed herself, ending a seven-hour standoff at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services office in Laredo. Authorities say she had asked to speak to a caseworker about why her food stamps application had been rejected and pulled a gun after being taken to a private room to speak.

RU1? Texting by drivers is up 50% even as states pass laws banning it, government says

WASHINGTON (AP) – for all the criticism and new legal bans, texting by drivers just keeps increasing, especially among younger motorists.

About half of American drivers between 21 and 24 say they've thumbed messages or emailed from the driver's seat. and what's more, many drivers don't think it's dangerous when they do it – only when others do.

A national survey, the first government study of its kind on distracted driving, and other data released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the difficulty authorities face in discouraging texting and cellphone talking while driving.

At any given moment last year on America's streets and highways, nearly one in every 100 car drivers was texting, emailing, surfing the Web or otherwise using a hand-held electronic device, the safety administration said. and those activities spiked 50% over the previous year, even as states rush to ban the practices.

Last month, Pennsylvania became the 35th state to forbid texting while driving.

Jay-Z to raise money for his education foundation with 2 concerts at New York's Carnegie Hall

NEW YORK (AP) – Jay-Z didn't graduate from high school, but he's encouraging others to value their education.

The rapper announced Thursday that he will perform two shows at New York's Carnegie Hall in February to benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United way of New York City.

“Education is super important,” Jay-Z said. “I don't have a high school diploma or a college diploma, but still for me to articulate, I had to have some form of schooling to articulate my thoughts.”

The concerts will take place on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7. Tickets in the private sale will range from $500 to $2500.

The press conference announced Jay-Z as the first solo hip-hop artist to play at the famed venue, though Wylcef Jean performed there in 2001 with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Whitney Houston.

Roethlisberger plays through leg injury, Steelers hold off Browns 14-3

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played through a painful left leg injury to lead the Steelers to a 14-3 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

Roethlisberger passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns, including a 79-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown with 2:52 remaining to help the Steelers win for the eighth time in their last nine games.

Roethlisberger went to the locker room for X-rays following a gruesome second-quarter sack but returned to start the second half, passing for 178 yards after the break.

Pittsburgh (10-3) moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the race for the AFC North title.

Colt McCoy passed for 209 yards but also threw two interceptions for the Browns (4-9), who lost for the 15th time in their last 16 meetings with the Steelers.

Copyright 2011 The associated Press. all rights reserved. this material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

New Jersey HeraldAP News in Brief at 11:58 p.m. EST

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