Obama OK's spending bill

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama, sounding weary of criticism over federal earmarks, defended Congress' pet projects Wednesday as he signed an 'imperfect' $410 billion measure with thousands of examples. But he said the spending does need tighter restraint and listed guidelines to do it.

Obama, accused of hypocrisy by Republicans for embracing billions of dollars of earmarks in the legislation, said they can be useful and noted that he has promised to curb, not eliminate them.

On another potentially controversial matter, the president also issued a 'signing statement' with the bill, saying several of its provisions raised constitutional concerns and would be taken merely as suggestions.

3 execs, 81 cars missing in Neb.

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. - Scores of new cars vanished from a car dealership and a prosecutor said Wednesday that some had turned up in other states and warrants had been issued for three missing executives.

The 81 Fords and Toyotas taken from Legacy Auto Sales were valued at about $2.5 million.

The Fords were put on transporter trucks and taken away Saturday and the Toyotas were shipped out late Monday, John Childress, Scotts Bluff County's chief deputy county attorney, said Wednesday.

He said seven of the cars were found Wednesday at an auto auction in Utah.

Octomom: I'm buying house

LOS ANGELES - The Southern California mother of octuplets said in a video posted online Wednesday that she - not her parents - is paying for the four-bedroom, three-bath home where she plans to raise her brood.

In the video posted on RadarOnline.com, Nadya Suleman disputed earlier remarks by the house's listing agent, who said her father was buying the home.

Prudential Realty listing agent Mike Patel confirmed Wednesday that the home's title was made in the name of Ed Doud, who is Suleman's father.

Gas leak delays shuttle launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery just hours before it was to head to the international space station Wednesday because of a hydrogen gas leak that could have been catastrophic at liftoff.

The leak was in the same system that has already caused a vexing one-month delay. Shuttle managers were shooting for another launch attempt tonight provided they could fix the problem quickly.

Plane makes safe landing

NEW YORK - An American Airlines plane landed safely at a New York airport Wednesday with a failed engine dropping metal debris onto a home. No injuries were reported, either on the aircraft or the ground.

The crew reported a loud noise just after takeoff, which Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said indicated the engine on the right side of the McDonnell Douglas 83, a newer model of the MD80 series, had failed.

American Flight 309 had left New York's LaGuardia Airport at 8:15 a.m., heading for Chicago. The plane was quickly diverted to Kennedy Airport, about 12 miles from LaGuardia.

'Clark Rockefeller' gets coins back

BOSTON - The man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller will get more of his gold coins back to help pay for his defense in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter.

Prosecutors have agreed to return another 50 gold coins, in addition to 160 coins that have already been returned. Each of the one-ounce coins is worth between $900 and $1,000.

Rockefeller's real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German national who authorities say has been living under various aliases since moving to the United States in the 1970s.

Person survives Niagara plunge

NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - Niagara Falls Park Police said a person survived after going over the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side Wednesday.

Radio station WBEN-AM said police reported that the person survived the 180-foot plunge. The Buffalo News said rescuers were in the Niagara River below the falls on Wednesday afternoon.

No other details were available.

Former auto parts salesman Kirk Jones of Michigan was the last person known to survive a plunge over the falls in October 2003. Jones said he had been depressed and drinking when he went over.