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Secret Service director in the hot seat ... Hong Kong protests could grow ... Stocks end lower

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has acknowledged her agency's failure in its mission of protecting the White House when a man with a knife entered the mansion and ran through half the ground floor before being subdued. Pierson faced blistering criticism from lawmakers as she testified before Congress today. But her promised review of how the storied but blemished agency carries out its mission of protecting the president left lawmakers from both parties cold.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will become the first state that allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the legislation today. The bill was proposed by several Democrats following to a deadly rampage in May near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Supporters had said such a measure could have prevented the attacks, winning out over critics who said it would erode gun rights.

HONG KONG (AP) — Public holidays in Hong Kong could mean the pro-democracy protests could grow even larger. Tens of thousands of demonstrators counted down to midnight and cheered as the deadline for Hong Kong's leader to meet with them passed. The protests are the stiffest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks have closed slightly lower, leaving the Standard & Poor's 500 index in the red for September. It was only the third monthly loss for the benchmark index this year. Today's results: The S&P fell five points, while the Dow lost 28 points. The Nasdaq fell 12 points. The S&P fell 1.6 percent in September, but is still up 6.7 percent for the year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The feds are getting out of the football broadcast blackout business. The FCC voted today to end the 1975 blackout rule, which bars NFL home games that haven't sold out from being televised in the local market. But the vote won't actually end blackouts. It just shifts the responsibility entirely to the NFL and its television partners.

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