KAILUA, HAWAII

Obama to cut trip short

President Barack Obama is likely to cut short his traditional Christmas holiday in Hawaii to return to Washington as lawmakers consider how to prevent the economy from going over the so-called fiscal cliff. White House officials say Obama could fly back to the nation’s capital as early as today, just five days after arriving in Hawaii. Congress is expected to return on Thursday. Automatic budget cuts and tax increases are set to begin in January. So far, the president and congressional Republicans have been unable to reach agreement. Obama and his family are spending the holiday at a rented home near Honolulu. On Christmas Day, the president and first lady Michelle Obama visited a Marine Corps base to thank the Marines for their service.

TRUCKEE, CALIF.

Ski patrol member dies

A member of a Sierra Nevada ski resort’s patrol team who was injured after being caught in an avalanche has died. Alpine Meadows said in a statement on Tuesday that 53-year-old Bill Foster died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev., where he was taken after the avalanche a day earlier on the resort near Lake Tahoe. Foster was buried in a slide that had been intentionally set with an explosive device by a senior member of the ski patrol team. The team was doing avalanche control in an area on the back side of the resort. The area was closed to the public. Resort officials say the avalanche broke much higher and wider on the slope than in past snow safety missions. Foster was uncovered within eight minutes.

HOUSTON

Bush still in hospital

Former President George H.W. Bush spent Christmas in a Houston hospital with his wife, Barbara, and other relatives who planned to treat him to a special holiday meal. Bush’s son, Neil, and his wife also visited on Tuesday, and one of Bush’s grandsons was planning to stop by as well, said Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston. The 88-year-old has been in the hospital since Nov. 23 with a lingering, bronchitis-like cough. A hospital spokesman had said Bush was likely to be released to spend Christmas at home, but then McGrath said the former president developed a fever.

Compiled from wire reports.