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Law slows calls for Obama birth certificate

HONOLULU — The persistent quest for President Obama's Hawaii birth certificate has died down since the state passed a law allowing it to ignore repetitive requests for the document.

Far fewer "birthers," who claim Obama is ineligible to be president, have asked state officials to provide the document since the law was enacted in May, according to the state.

The law has never been put to use, said Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

Mother of escaped inmates arrested

PAYSON, Ariz. —The mother of one of three inmates who escaped from a northwestern Arizona prison was arrested Saturday after authorities suspected she helped two of them.

Claudia Washburn, 68, was arrested at her home and place of business in Jakes Corner, south of Payson, on charges of conspiracy to commit escape, hindering prosecution and facilitation to commit escape, said Thomas Henman of the U.S. Marshals Service.

He said Washburn is the mother of John McCluskey, who escaped from the medium-security Arizona State Prison near Kingman on July 30.

Attempt to repair space station fails

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. —A pair of space station astronauts had to hammer loose a stuck connector during a spacewalk to restore a crucial cooling system Saturday, then an ammonia leak erupted and hampered the entire repair effort.

Despite making one of the longest spacewalks ever, Douglas Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson had to give up trying to remove a broken ammonia pump and go inside.

Disappointed managers said two more spacewalks will be needed to replace the pump to get the cooling system operating.

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