Good morning. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Senate Approves Budget Deal, Sends Bill to Obama
The Senate voted 64-35 early Friday to approve a bipartisan two-year budget deal intended to end years of gridlock and frequent threats of government shutdowns. The bill, which drew criticism from the majority of Republicans for giving up too much to Democrats, now heads to the president's desk. Read more in POLITICS.
2. Bush Scrambles to Reassure Donors After GOP Debate
A lackluster debate performance Wednesday night has sent Jeb Bush and the broader Bush network scrambling to reassure skittish donors who are beginning to look to other candidates to place their presidential bets. Read more in POLITICS.
3. How Syria's President Went From Doctor to Dictator
As world powers sit down around the table in Vienna Friday for marathon talks aimed at ending the war in Syria, a key figure who won't be present is also the major stumbling block — "geeky" ex-doctor and President Bashar Assad. Read more in NEWS.
4. The Real Reasons Behind China's New Child Policy
China announced Thursday it was reversing its one-child policy, a controversial rule implemented 35 years ago aimed at taming its exploding population. But while the policy has been blamed for a number of problems, the government's decision to end it is largely symbolic. Read more in NEWS.
5. Fugitive Rapist Killed by Kentucky Police
Floyd Ray Cook, who was the target of a six-day manhunt after allegedly shooting a Tennessee cop, was killed early Friday in what officials described as a "scary" conclusion. Cook had a handgun and gunfire was exchanged, but no officers were injured in the shootout. Read more in NEWS.
6. New Video Shows Deadly Texas Biker Shootout
A wild security video surfaced Thursday showing the chaos surrounding a deadly biker shootout at a Waco, Texas, bar in May. Nine people were killed and more than 20 others were injured in the battle, although so far no charges have been brought despite 177 people getting arrested. Read more in NEWS.
7. Is Roman Polanski's Extradition Epic Almost Over?
A court is expected to rule Friday on a U.S. request for the filmmaker's extradition over a 1977 child sex-crime conviction. It's the latest in an epic international battle in which Polanski has been accused of portraying himself as the victim. Read more in NEWS.
A skydiver in Peru was left dangling underneath a plane after the leg of his suit got caught on a step when he went to jump.