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U.S. Rep. Giffords resigning to focus on recovery

ROUGH CUT. (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords said on Sunday (January 22) that she will step down this week from the U.S. Congress to focus on her recovery. "I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down this week," Giffords said, posting the announcement on YouTube. "I'm getting better. Every day my spirit is high. I will return and we will work together for Arizona and this great country. Thank you very much," she added. Giffords, a Democrat representing Arizona's District 8, is serving her third term. She was shot through the head on January 8 last year when a gunman opened fire on her first congressional outreach meeting of the year in Tucson, killing six people and wounding 12 others. A 23-year-old college dropout, Jared Loughner, was arrested and charged with crimes, including attempting to assassinate Giffords. He pleaded not guilty, and was found unfit to stand trial. In August last year, walking gingerly and to thunderous applause she made a triumphant return to Congress for a vote on raising the U.S. debt ceiling. U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi called her "the personification of courage, of sincerity, of admiration throughout the country," as Giffords's colleagues clapped.

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