House rejects probe into Pelosi CIA claims

WASHINGTON - House Democrats on Thursday defeated a Republican push to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's assertion that the CIA misled her in 2002 about whether waterboarding had been used against terrorism suspects.

Republicans Ron Paul of Texas and Walter Jones of North Carolina joined Democrats in voting 252-172 to block the measure, which would have created a bipartisan congressional panel. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, sponsored the resolution.

'This is partisan politics and an attempt by the Republicans to distract from the real issue of creating jobs and making progress on health care, energy and education,' said Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami.

Oil drops below $61 a barrel as big rally pauses

NEW YORK - Energy prices tumbled Thursday after the Federal Reserve predicted that even if the worst of the recession is over, the economy will continue to shrink this year.

Benchmark crude for July delivery fell 99 cents to settle at $61.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices at one point had fallen to a penny within $60. In London, Brent prices fell 66 cents to settle at $59.93 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Officials: 5 dead in Louisiana boating accident

HOUMA, La. - Louisiana officials said five men in town for a fishing tournament died when their 24-foot aluminum boat ran under one end of a barge.

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Captain Samuel Martin said the boat hit the barge late Wednesday but wasn't discovered until Thursday morning.

Martin said all bodies have been recovered, and investigators are working to notify the men's families. He did not know whether they were local.

UAW says it has tentative deal with GM, the government

DETROIT - The United Auto Workers union has agreed on a tentative deal with the government and General Motors Corp. that would cut labor costs, close factories and change the way a union-run trust for retiree health care is funded.

The move is a key step toward GM's efforts to restructure outside of bankruptcy court, but GM still needs bondholders who hold $27 billion in unsecured debt to accept equity in the company in place of the $27 billion they're owed.

Cheney defends Bush's national security policies

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks changed how he viewed his job, but didn't change him.

Alluding to Washington whispers that he had turned from pragmatist to ideologue, Cheney insisted he is the same person, but acknowledged the harrowing day's events had a lasting impact.

Cheney credited Bush administration policies on harsh interrogation tactics and broadened domestic surveillance and lashed out at President Barack Obama for dismantling its national security legacy - from plans to close the jail at Guantanamo Bay to halting the CIA's use of secret prisons and severe interrogations.

New warrant issued for mom in chemo dispute

NEW ULM, Minn. - A new arrest warrant was issued Thursday as the search continued for the Minnesota mother who fled with her 13-year-old cancer-stricken son to avoid chemotherapy treatments.

Colleen Hauser's son, Daniel, has Hodgkin's lymphoma. The two were seen in Southern California on Tuesday morning and authorities have said they could be in Mexico.

Vick begins home confinement in Va.

HAMPTON, Va. - Suspended NFL star Michael Vick arrived at his Virginia home Thursday after being released from federal prison to begin home confinement and try to resume his football career.

Four cars pulled up to Vick's five-bedroom brick home at the end of a cul-de-sac at about 8:25 a.m Thursday. The caravan was led by a black Kia Sedona with curtains shielding the back seat from view and sunshields on the front side windows. Vick was in the Sedona along with his fiancee, Kijafa Frink, said Chris Garrett, a member of Vick's support and legal team.