Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso arrested in DUI case; says he will 'pursue my innocence'
Aug 22, 2014 2:40 PM CDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Ben Hueso was arrested for investigation of drunken driving early Friday in Sacramento, the latest black eye for the state's majority party and the 40-member chamber. Hueso, 44, of San Diego was arrested by the California Highway Patrol at 2:39 a.m. near midtown Sacramento and booked into Sacramento County Jail, sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said. He was released shortly before noon after posting bail of nearly $1,500. "I think I have the right to...
Prime minister of Central African Republic names cabinet with representatives of armed groups
Aug 22, 2014 2:34 PM CDT
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The prime minister of Central African Republic has named a 31-member cabinet, including representatives of two groups that have been involved in horrific violence for more than a year. Mahamat Kamoun announced the cabinet Friday just hours after interim President Catherine Samba-Panza reiterated confidence in his ability to lead the country to elections next year. The cabinet includes three Seleka and two anti-Balaka members. The mostly Muslim Seleka rebel...
World's central bankers pursue sometimes conflicting policies as economic prospects diverge
Aug 22, 2014 2:33 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The central bankers meeting this week at their annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, aren't exactly in sync. Many are taking steps that clash with the policies of others. The Federal Reserve is preparing to reduce its economic support. By contrast, the European Central Bank is considering more stimulus. So is the Bank of Japan. The Bank of England seems to be moving toward raising interest rates. It isn't just the biggest economies whose central banks are pulling in different...
Gaza militants kill 18 alleged spies for Israel to plug security breach, deter others
Aug 22, 2014 2:33 PM CDT
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza militants Friday gunned down 18 alleged spies for Israel in an apparent attempt to plug security breaches and deter others, a day after Israel killed three top Hamas military commanders in an airstrike likely guided by collaborators. In one incident, masked gunmen lined up seven men, their heads covered by bags, along a wall outside a Gaza City mosque and shot them to death in front of hundreds of people, witnesses said. A note pinned on the wall said they had...
US officials intensify scrutiny of Islamic State backers, fearing a domestic threat
Aug 22, 2014 2:32 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — Officially, the FBI agents who swarmed Donald Ray Morgan at Kennedy Airport this month were there to arrest him on a mundane gun charge. But they whisked him away to their Manhattan office and grilled him for two hours on an entirely different topic: Islamic State extremists. Over and over, they asked Morgan, a 44-year-old North Carolina man, converted Muslim and author of pro-extremist tweets, whether he had traveled to Syria to support the militant group. More important, they...
Coalition files suit over lack of access to lawyers at New Mexico immigrant detention center
Aug 22, 2014 2:31 PM CDT
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of lawyers filed a lawsuit Friday to halt the quick deportation of Central American woman and children, saying immigrants at a New Mexico detention center don't have proper access to lawyers and are being forced to clean restrooms and retell stories of violence and rape in front of children. The American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of immigrants being held at an...
Obama offers new birth control fixes to religious nonprofits, some for-profits companies
Aug 22, 2014 2:31 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to quell a politically charged controversy, the Obama administration announced new measures Friday to allow religious nonprofits and some companies to opt out of paying for birth control for female employees while still ensuring those employees have access to contraception. Even so, the accommodations may not fully satisfy religious groups who oppose any system that makes them complicit in providing coverage they believe is immoral. Effective immediately, the U.S. will...
Russia sends truck convoy into Ukraine; Kiev government calls it a 'direct invasion'
Aug 22, 2014 2:22 PM CDT
LUHANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated sharply on Friday as Moscow sent more than 130 trucks rolling across the border in what it said was a mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Ukraine called it a "direct invasion," and the U.S. and NATO condemned it as well. The trucks, part of a convoy of 260 vehicles, entered Ukraine without government permission after being held up at the border for a week amid fears the mission was a Kremlin ploy to help the pro-Russian separatists...
Correction: SmallBiz-Small Talk
Aug 22, 2014 2:19 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — In a story Aug. 20 about lending to women-owned businesses, Maria Coyne, head of small business banking at KeyBank, was quoted by The Associated Press as saying the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. examines banks' lending records and makes a judgment about whether they're being prudent lenders. The Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency actually have those responsibilities. The story also quoted Frank Gallo, senior commercial lending officer at Tropical Financial...
No good time for vacation: Obama taking less days off than predecessors, too much for critics
Aug 22, 2014 2:18 PM CDT
CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama has spent less time away from the White House than his predecessors. But his two-week break on the resort island of Martha's Vineyard and hours on the golf course have his detractors teeing up as they highlight the slew of foreign policy crises currently facing the United States. The criticism has the president's aides confronting a question it faces whenever Obama gets away: Is there ever a good time for the commander in chief to take a few days off?...
Lawsuits filed challenging stricter FAA rules for model aircraft, commercial drone operations
Aug 22, 2014 2:11 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone operators and investors have filed lawsuits challenging a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens a ban on commercial drone flights. The three lawsuits filed Friday ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the validity of the directive, which the Federal Aviation Administration issued in June. The agency said its move is...
Mexico creates special force to fight widespread economic crime
Aug 22, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico launched a special 5,000-strong police force Friday to combat industrial, farm and business crime that has extended far throughout the country's economy, strangling commerce in some regions. Drug gangs have long penetrated some Mexican mining and agricultural sectors, but officials now reveal that everyone from fishermen to tourist resorts to banana growers have been hit by the wave of extortion, kidnapping and thefts by the gangs. In some cases, like the western state...
Sharpton to lead march against death of unarmed New York man placed in chokehold by officer
Aug 22, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — Marchers are set to protest the death of an unarmed black man who was placed in a chokehold by a white New York police officer, the latest high-profile call to change relations between police and communities of color in the wake of recent violence. The march, which is being led Saturday by the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, will begin at the street where 43-year-old Eric Garner was placed in the fatal chokehold and culminate with a rally at the office of Staten Island...
Miss. election trial bumped to Sept. 16; Sen. Cochran asks court to dismiss McDaniel lawsuit
Aug 22, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A judge has adjusted the trial schedule for a lawsuit seeking to overturn Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran's Republican primary win. In an order Friday, Judge Hollis McGehee says the trial will start Sept. 16 and end by Oct. 6. The original dates were Sept. 15-Oct. 3. Cochran's attorneys say state Sen. Chris McDaniel's lawsuit was filed too late and should be dismissed. Cochran defeated McDaniel in the June 24 runoff, and the state GOP certified the results July 7. In court...
Group urges rehiring of Los Alamos lab worker who says he was fired for anti-nuke views
Aug 22, 2014 2:08 PM CDT
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A group of scientists who work to limit the spread of nuclear weapons is urging the U.S. Energy Secretary to intervene on behalf of a fired Los Alamos National Laboratory worker. Santa Fe political scientist James Doyle was fired after 17 years on the job in July after writing an article for a nonprofit website in support of abolishing nuclear weapons. Doyle worked on the lab's non-proliferation team. Doyle said he was fired after lab officials claimed his article raised...
Man freed from prison after 24-year-old arson conviction overturned in daughter's death
Aug 22, 2014 2:04 PM CDT
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former New York businessman whose arson-murder conviction was overturned in the death of his daughter was freed from prison Friday after 24 years, following a judge's ruling that the case against him was based on now-debunked arson science. Han Tak Lee, 79, walked out of a federal courthouse in Harrisburg after a judge released him on unsecured bond and restricted his travel to New York, where he plans to live, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. An attorney said his first stop...
Stocks edge lower as Ukraine tensions worsen; Investors consider Fed chief Yellen's speech
Aug 22, 2014 2:02 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged mostly lower Friday after a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left investors unsure about how the nation's most important financial voice feels about raising interest rates in the coming months. Investors were also monitoring another flare-up in tensions between Ukraine and Russia. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,001 as of 2:48 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.2...
Possible 2016 presidential candidates expressing caution on Ferguson shooting
Aug 22, 2014 2:00 PM CDT
ATLANTA (AP) — The police shooting and death of Michael Brown has gripped the nation amid clashes between protesters and the police in suburban St. Louis. But for most of those who want to lead the nation, there's little to gain in an election year by taking a stand or proposing new policy. Instead, a group of potential 2016 presidential candidates are preserving their electoral prospects and retreating into safe rhetorical territory by saying very little, if anything at all. Amid tensions over...
3 blacks are among 12 grand jurors hearing evidence on whether to charge Ferguson officer
Aug 22, 2014 1:56 PM CDT
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Three black people are among the 12-member grand jury hearing evidence in the Michael Brown case. Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for St. Louis County Circuit Court, confirmed the racial and gender makeup of the grand jury on Friday. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said it will be several weeks before a decision is made on whether to charge Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who shot and killed Brown on Aug. 9. The grand jury consists of six white...
Obama administration condemns Russian convoy into Ukraine; calls on Moscow to remove it
Aug 22, 2014 1:54 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday condemned the movement of a Russian convoy into eastern Ukraine, calling it a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and demanding that it be withdrawn. "We are deeply concerned about this," said Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama. Rhodes said Russia would face additional costs if the convoy is not removed. He said the U.S. would discuss the matter Friday with its partners on the U.N. Security Council. "Russia...
Canadian PM bans Chinese media from Arctic trip after reporter tussles with PM staff
Aug 22, 2014 1:52 PM CDT
TORONTO (AP) — Canada said Friday "past incidents and behaviors" are to blame for China's official news agency and the Communist Party newspaper being banned from an Arctic trip with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Jason MacDonald, the top Harper spokesman, said in an email from the Arctic that "some media outlets are not welcome on the trip" when asked if reporters for the People's Daily and the Xinhua News Agency had been banned. The decision follows Li Xuejiang of the People's Daily having...
Pentagon cites 'dangerous' and 'unprofessional' intercept of US plane by Chinese fighter
Aug 22, 2014 1:52 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday accused a Chinese fighter jet of conducting a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of China in international airspace. The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, calling the fighter pilot's actions "unsafe and unprofessional." At a news briefing at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where President Barack...
European Central Bank head: Governments must encourage hiring, reduce jobless rate
Aug 22, 2014 1:35 PM CDT
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said Friday the bank is ready to do more to boost the shaky recovery in the 18 countries that use the euro — but warns governments must join in efforts to reduce stubbornly high unemployment. "We stand ready to adjust our policy stance further" if needed to help the weak recovery, Draghi said in the text of a speech at the U.S. Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The bank has cut interest rates, offered cheap loans...
Humbled by 2012 missteps, Texas Gov. Perry courts New Hampshire Republicans; no 2016 decision
Aug 22, 2014 1:33 PM CDT
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday in a visit to a key early voting state that he was unprepared for and humbled by his first run for president in 2012 and will work harder if there's a next time around. Perry addressed a group of business leaders in New Hampshire Friday and told them he had not decided yet whether to run again in 2016. His 2012 campaign ended badly when he made several missteps, including a highly-publicized gaffe when he froze up during a televised debate....
Sen. Harry Reid apologizes for 'you're smarter' joke at Las Vegas Asian business luncheon
Aug 22, 2014 1:30 PM CDT
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Friday for jokes he made about Asians during a luncheon of business leaders in Las Vegas earlier this week. Reid was addressing the city's Asian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday when he told the audience, "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are." When another man was summoned to the podium, he grabbed the microphone and quipped, "One problem I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."...
Ice bucket challenge may be a game changer for nonprofit world
Aug 22, 2014 1:27 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — The ice bucket challenge's phenomenal success is making other charitable organizations rethink how they connect with a younger generation of potential donors. Since the ALS Association began tracking the campaign's progress on July 29, it has raised more than $53.3 million from 1.1 million new donors in what is one of the most viral philanthropic social media campaigns in history. Thousands of people, including celebrities like Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey, have posted videos...
FBI, Homeland Security: No credible threats to the US homeland from Islamic State militants
Aug 22, 2014 1:22 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there are no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland from the Islamic State militant group. An intelligence bulletin, issued to state and local law enforcement, says while there's no credible threat to the U.S. as a result of recent American airstrikes in Iraq, officials remain concerned that Islamic State supporters could attack overseas targets with little warning. U.S. law enforcement has been trying to identify...
Jeffords remembered by family and friends for taking Vermont roots to Washington
Aug 22, 2014 1:21 PM CDT
RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — Sen. Jim Jeffords left his mark on the state and the nation during more than 30 years in Washington, but family and friends said he never lost his affinity for the Vermont countryside or let his position eclipse his love for his family and the simple things in life. The three members of Vermont's congressional delegation led mourners who filled the Rutland church where Jeffords went to Sunday school as a child and where loved ones said he learned many of the values that he...
AP Interview: UN food agency says without more funding, it may pull out of North Korea
Aug 22, 2014 1:20 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Food Program may have to shut down its operations in North Korea by early next year unless it gets more funding from international donors by this fall, the U.N. agency's director for Asia said Friday. WFP, which has the largest presence of any U.N. agency in the isolated country, has already scaled back its planned two-year, $200 million program to feed 2.4 million people because it has only enough funds to cover about a quarter of the cost. Regional director Kenro...
Safety advocacy group asks government to investigate Chrysler stalling complaints
Aug 22, 2014 1:08 PM CDT
DETROIT (AP) — An auto safety advocacy group is asking the U.S. government to investigate power system failures in thousands of Chrysler vehicles that could cause them to stall while being driven. The Center for Auto Safety, a group founded by Ralph Nader, filed a petition Friday asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate the problem. The group contends that an electrical power control module used by Chrysler starting in 2007 can go haywire, causing vehicles to stall...
Embattled congressman opts for 'ice bucket challenge' as he signs up for Nov. 4 ballot
Aug 22, 2014 1:00 PM CDT
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana congressman plagued by a cheating scandal registered for re-election and then immediately took the "ice bucket challenge" while standing outside the secretary of state's office. Rep. Vance McAllister was wearing a New Orleans Saints football jersey and standing next to his pickup Friday when aides doused him with ice water. The Republican incumbent faces a crowded field of challengers hoping McAllister was weakened by the cheating scandal and security footage...
Merkel calls Putin, accuses him of risking escalation in Ukraine over convoy
Aug 22, 2014 12:50 PM CDT
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused Russia of risking a further escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine by sending an aid convoy into the region without Kiev's permission. Merkel's office says she called Putin on Friday afternoon to express her "deep concern" about the fact that the convoy had crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. She also spoke to Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko about the incident, praising his government's cool-headed reaction. Merkel says despite...
Huckabee urges fellow conservatives to drop Common Core fight, consider standards' benefits
Aug 22, 2014 12:39 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservatives should "stop the fight" over Common Core and instead consider the benefits that the academic standards offer students in struggling schools, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday. The position puts him at odds with a significant bloc of Republicans. Huckabee, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008 and is considering a 2016 run, acknowledged the standards have become politically unpopular. Tea party-styled conservatives brand the...
Supporters of Yemen's Shiite-rebel group set up tents near ministries, escalating standoff
Aug 22, 2014 12:38 PM CDT
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Thousands of supporters of Yemen's powerful Shiite rebel group escalated their standoff with the government on Friday, setting up tents near three ministries to press for the replacement of a prime minister they depict as "manipulated" by their rival Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. In their fifth day of street rallies in the capital and across the country, tens of thousands of supporters of the Hawthi group —who adhere to a Shiite branch of Islam — marched and waved...
Interest costs for governments fall as markets expect stimulus from European Central Bank
Aug 22, 2014 12:37 PM CDT
Investors appear to be putting their money on the likelihood of more stimulus measures from the European Central Bank to keep the eurozone's shaky recovery from stalling. That much is suggested by a startling fall in recent days in the borrowing rates for European governments. The drop appears to anticipate a possible program of purchases of financial assets such as bonds by the ECB. The bank has said it will wait until later this year to see if its current stimulus measures work before providing...
Ebola outbreak widens in Nigeria to 14, including people sickened outside immediate circle
Aug 22, 2014 12:36 PM CDT
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Two alarming new cases of Ebola have emerged in Nigeria, widening the circle of people sickened beyond the immediate group of caregivers who treated a dying airline passenger in one of Africa's largest cities. The two new cases were infected by their spouses, both medical workers who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into Nigeria from Liberia and Togo and infected 11 others before he died in July. The male and female caregivers also then died...
Yellen says shifts in job market since Great Recession make Fed rate decisions more difficult
Aug 22, 2014 12:27 PM CDT
JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the Great Recession complicated the Fed's ability to assess the U.S. job market and made it harder to determine when to adjust interest rates. Yellen's remarks to an annual Fed conference offered no signal that she's altered her view that the economy still needs Fed support from ultra-low interest rates. The timing of a Fed rate increase remains unclear, though many economists foresee an increase by mid-2015. The...
Sunni lawmakers suspend talks on new Iraq government after scores killed in mosque attack
Aug 22, 2014 12:22 PM CDT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Sunni lawmakers pulled out of talks on forming a new Iraqi government after militants attacked a Sunni mosque in a volatile province outside Baghdad during Friday prayers, killing at least 64 people. It was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by Shiite militiamen or the Islamic State extremist group, which has been advancing into the ethnically and communally mixed Diyala province and has been known to kill fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to submit to its leadership....
Facts about racial unrest in the United States
Aug 22, 2014 12:16 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, was roiled by racial unrest after 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9. The street clashes there mirrored past, larger-scale riots in multiple U.S. cities, most of them triggered by perceived racial injustice, or an incident involving police, in already tense communities. As calm begins to take hold and Ferguson takes its place alongside past urban riots, here...
Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows
Aug 22, 2014 12:07 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows: ABC's "This Week" — Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and William Lacy Clay Jr., D-Mo. ___ NBC's "Meet the Press" — Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; Rev. Al Sharpton; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his medical mission to Guatemala to perform eye surgery. ___ CBS' "Face the Nation" — Clay; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. ___ CNN's "State of the Union" — Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Jack Reed, D-R.I. ___ "Fox News Sunday"...
Serbia says it wants EU membership, but won't impose sanctions on Russia
Aug 22, 2014 11:50 AM CDT
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Despite pressure from the European Union, Serbia will not impose sanctions against Russia or curb its food exports to that country, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Friday. After the U.S. and the EU slapped sanctions on Russian state banks and major industries last month over the crisis in Ukraine, Russia responded with a wide-ranging ban on food products imported from those countries. Serbia, a traditional Russian Slavic ally which is seeking EU membership,...
Iraq Sunni lawmakers suspend talks on new government to protest mosque attack
Aug 22, 2014 11:31 AM CDT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq Sunni lawmakers suspend talks on new government to protest mosque attack .
Iraq Sunni lawmakers suspend talks on new government to protest mosque attack
Aug 22, 2014 11:31 AM CDT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq Sunni lawmakers suspend talks on new government to protest mosque attack .
A vulnerable Democrat embracing health care law? Signs the issue losing its political punch
Aug 22, 2014 11:14 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's unpopular health care law is losing some of its political punch as vulnerable Democrats see it as less of an election-year minus and Republicans increasingly talk about fixing it instead of repealing. Two-term Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who is locked in one of the most competitive races in the country, says in an ad this week that he voted for a law that prevents insurers from canceling policies if someone gets sick, as he did 18 years ago when he was...
In Ferguson fallout, calls grow for police to wear 'body cameras' _ but with caveats
Aug 22, 2014 11:05 AM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — What if Michael Brown's last moments had been recorded? The fatal police shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, is prompting calls for more officers to wear so-called body cameras, simple, lapel-mounted gadgets that capture video footage of law enforcement's interactions with the public. Proponents say the devices add a new level of accountability to police work. "This is a technology that has a very real potential to serve as a check and balance on police...
Extremists' use of Syria as a sanctuary is at the heart of Obama's counterterror dilemma
Aug 22, 2014 11:02 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — At the heart of President Barack Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group's land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. warplanes to support Iraqi ground operations. On Friday the Pentagon announced that U.S. warplanes made three more airstrikes against Islamic State targets near the Mosul Dam, including a machine gun...
Biden voices support for Georgia's aspirations for NATO membership
Aug 22, 2014 10:59 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden tells Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili that he supports the former Soviet republic's desire to join NATO. Georgia's aspirations to join the Western alliance are a sore point with Russia. The White House says Biden spoke to Garibashvilli Friday. The two leaders also discussed tensions in Ukraine between the Kiev government and Russian-backed rebels. The United States has been offering new assistance to former Soviet nations to draw them closer...
AP Photos: Thousands of Pakistani protesters spend nights on Islamabad streets
Aug 22, 2014 10:08 AM CDT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — They swarmed into Pakistan's capital in their thousands, protesters calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's resignation and the dissolution of parliament. The weeklong protests in the capital and around the parliament building have been loud and boisterous but peaceful. But despite the festive atmosphere, there is another side to the demonstrations — the increased demand for food, water and toilets to accommodate the thousands of people who turned out to support cricketer-turned-politician...
2.2 million bean bag chairs are recalled after 2 children suffocate to death
Aug 22, 2014 9:55 AM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday that the zippers on the chairs, which are made by Ace Bayou Corp., can open. A 13-year-old boy from McKinney, Texas, and a 3-year-old girl from Lexington, Kentucky, were found dead inside the chairs after they suffocated from a lack of air and inhaled the chair's foam beads. The chairs were sold at...
Costa Rica not amused by Swedish comedy show's use of national anthem
Aug 22, 2014 9:20 AM CDT
STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Swedish TV network has apologized to Costa Rica for using the Central American country's national anthem to promote a comedy show. TV4 is using the anthem in a trailer for "Parlamentet," a popular game show featuring some of Sweden's best-known comedians. After receiving complaints from Costa Ricans living in Sweden, Costa Rica lodged a diplomatic protest, calling it a "grave disrespect to our national symbol." Network spokesman Anders Edholm told The Associated Press on Friday...
Governor signs bill setting up rules for California restaurants that want to allow pet dogs
Aug 22, 2014 9:08 AM CDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fido can feast with you now when you go out to eat in California. Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday said he signed a bill permitting pet dogs at restaurants with outdoor spaces. It doesn't force restaurants to allow dogs, but rather implements guidelines for how they can accommodate pets. Some local public health departments have allowed dogs in outdoor dining areas for years, but the state has banned the practice. Local jurisdictions can still ban it if they choose. The...
Pakistan cricket hero's party quits parliament to pressure PM to resign
Aug 22, 2014 8:30 AM CDT
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The party of Pakistan's famed cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, who has led a week of anti-government protests in the capital, resigned from parliament on Friday in its latest bid to drive Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from power over alleged election fraud. The move came a day after parliament presented a united front against Khan, with opposition parties backing a resolution rejecting his calls for Sharif's resignation as unconstitutional despite the presence of thousands...
Remains of MH17 victims return to mourning Malaysia as govt faces fallout of 2 plane tragedies
Aug 22, 2014 8:29 AM CDT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Carried by soldiers and draped in the national flag, coffins carrying Malaysian victims of Flight MH17 returned home Friday to a country still searching for those onboard another doomed jet and a government battling the political fallout of both tragedies. The bodies and ashes of 20 victims from the Malaysia Airlines jet that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July were given full military honors and a day of national mourning was declared, the first for civilians...
Armed woman stopped at Philippine palace gate wanted to see Aquino, security officials say
Aug 22, 2014 8:15 AM CDT
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A woman armed with a pistol tried to enter the Philippine presidential palace Friday and demanded to see President Benigno Aquino III, security officials said. She was immediately disarmed and turned over to Manila police for investigation, said Commodore Raul Ubando, head of the presidential guards. Sprawling Malacanang palace has several entrances, and the gate where the woman was stopped is far from Aquino's office and living quarters. The woman told reporters she...
More schools are quenching thirst for revenue by opening beer taps at on-campus stadiums
Aug 22, 2014 8:01 AM CDT
Walk through the tailgate area at a college football stadium, and beer drinking is as common a sight as fans adorned in jerseys of their favorite players. A growing number of schools are bringing the party inside, opening taps in concourses that traditionally have been alcohol-free zones. North Texas, SMU and Troy University will begin beer sales to the general public this season. They're among 21 on-campus football stadiums where any fan of legal age can grab a brew. That's more than twice as...
Maryland ban on grain alcohol hurts violin makers; they say it made a good varnish
Aug 22, 2014 8:01 AM CDT
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Binge drinkers and frat boys aren't the only ones despairing over Maryland's new ban on grain alcohol: Violin makers who used the liquor to make varnish are also affected. Silver Spring violin maker Howard Needham tells The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/1sVB1y0) that nothing works better than Everclear grain alcohol for making the varnishes he uses to repair chipped or broken musical instruments. He's been hoarding whatever grain alcohol he can get his hands on since the...
Russian ban on Polish apples sparks debate on whether to encourage cider consumption
Aug 22, 2014 7:53 AM CDT
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's Economy Ministry wants the nation of beer and vodka lovers to drink more cider. The ministry, which is struggling to help apple producers hurt by a Russian embargo on European foods, has proposed exempting cider from a law that bans advertising any alcohol other than beer. But the Health Ministry and other health advocates are fighting the proposal. They say it is dangerous to encourage any alcohol consumption at all in a society that does not share the Mediterranean...
SpaceX launch site project in far South Texas gets 10-year county tax exemption
Aug 22, 2014 7:30 AM CDT
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — Cameron County commissioners have agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes as part of an agreement bringing the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches to the southernmost tip of Texas. The county's governing board on Thursday also approved a draft of an economic agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., also known as SpaceX. County Judge Carlos Cascos tells The Brownsville Herald (http://bit.ly/1ohMsso ) that details of the agreement are...
Kenya Police: Man in custody admits he is suspect wanted in Somalia for murdering journalists
Aug 22, 2014 7:12 AM CDT
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Somali man in Kenyan police custody has admitted that he is Hassan Hanafi, who is wanted in Somalia for the killing of journalists, a senior Kenya police official said Friday. The man was arrested in early August and after weeks of interrogation admitted that he is Hanafi. He had originally identified himself as Yusuf Hassan Abdisalam Yusuf. The official, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said authorities plan to seek Hanafi's...
Army Gen. Dempsey asserts Islamic militants have 'apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision'
Aug 22, 2014 6:56 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — America's top-ranked military officer says the surging Islamic State group has an "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision" in the Middle East and cannot be defeated unless the United States and a coalition of partners confront it head-on in Syria. "They can be contained, not in perpetuity," Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news conference. The United States so far has restricted a series of airstrikes to Iraq, but concerns have increased...
In rare move, Chinese court acquits and releases man convicted of double murder in 2006
Aug 22, 2014 6:51 AM CDT
BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese court on Friday acquitted a death-row inmate who spent eight years behind bars for double murder in a high-profile case that observers say may be a rare exception in a court system riddled with wrongful convictions. Citing insufficient evidence, the high court of the southeastern province of Fujian overturned the guilty verdict against Nian Bin, a grocery shop owner accused of fatally poisoning a fellow villager's two children in 2006. The case attracted some of China's...
Yellen's Jackson Hole speech to be studied for any clear hint on timing of first Fed rate hike
Aug 22, 2014 6:10 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two days after the Federal Reserve revealed an intensifying internal debate over interest rates, Chair Janet Yellen will address the annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with investors seeking any clear hints of when it will start raising rates. The subject of Yellen's remarks Friday will be labor markets, which is the theme of this year's gathering of central bankers. Minutes of the Fed's July 29-30 meeting released Wednesday showed that officials engaged in a sharp...
With deals and cordial words, China's Xi courts public opinion in sometimes skeptical Mongolia
Aug 22, 2014 6:05 AM CDT
ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) — With assurances of mutual development and good neighborliness, Chinese President Xi Jinping courted public opinion Friday in Mongolia, a country that has often been wary of domination by its massive southern neighbor. In an address at the Great Hural, Mongolia's parliament, Xi said China stood ready to share wealth and work with its neighbors for peace and stability. "We will uphold the guidelines of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighborhood...
New Jersey congressman's office apologizes for using photo of Soviet medals in Facebook ad
Aug 22, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
WOODLAND PARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey congressman's office is red-faced over a Facebook ad about veteran benefits that featured Soviet military medals. Rep. Scott Garrett's spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the office was sorry an initial review did not catch the use of the stock photo. Maggie Seidel says the ad was produced by an outside vendor and is no longer running. The ad asked people to like Garrett's page to learn what he's doing to support veterans' benefits. Two veterans...
Tunisia efforts to fight terrorism raise fears of rights infringement
Aug 22, 2014 4:12 AM CDT
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Mosques are being closed, local organizations banned and at least 1,000 people have been arrested as Tunisia cracks down on those suspected of sympathizing with radical Islamists. Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings, but the nation's battle against terrorism is raising fears that it might be returning to its old ways of political repression. Since overthrowing long-ruling dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and kicking off...
Decades-old case shapes how Ferguson police officer to be judged for shooting of unarmed man
Aug 22, 2014 3:26 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The moment Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson shot an unarmed teenager, a 25-year-old Supreme Court case became the prism through which his actions will be legally judged. To most people, an 18-year-old unarmed man may not appear to pose a deadly threat. But a police officer's perspective is different. And that is how an officer should be judged after the fact, Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the 1989 opinion. The Supreme Court case, decided at a time...
India police take fasting activist back to hospital after she is freed from 14-year detention
Aug 22, 2014 3:23 AM CDT
NEW DELHI (AP) — A frail Indian activist who has been on a hunger strike for nearly 14 years to protest alleged military brutality scuffled with police Friday as they took her back to the same government hospital where she had been force-fed. Irom Sharmila, 42, vowed to continue the hunger strike that landed her in prison for the past 14 years. She walked free on Wednesday after a court threw out the charges of attempted suicide against her. Attempted suicide is a crime in India. Sharmila has...
US, Britain have sought to steel allies against ransoms to extremists
Aug 22, 2014 2:48 AM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — By rejecting demands for a nine-digit payment to save kidnapped American journalist James Foley, the United States upheld a policy choice that some European and Arab governments have long found too wrenching to make themselves: ruling out ransom to rescue any citizen held captive by militant organizations, in hopes the tough stand will make Americans safer from kidnapping and attacks by extremists. Foley's beheading by the Islamic State extremist group intensified a debate within...
California attorney general to appeal federal court ruling that struck down death penalty
Aug 22, 2014 2:25 AM CDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's attorney general says she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state's death penalty unconstitutional. The announcement Thursday by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state's death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that the unpredictable delays are arbitrary and unfair. Death penalty foes have long argued that California's delays amounted to unconstitutional...
Heavy Washington rain creates mud, slides that close roads, trap motorists, damage homes
Aug 22, 2014 1:22 AM CDT
TWISP, Wash. (AP) — Thunderstorms dropped heavy rain on areas of north-central Washington hard-hit by wildfires this summer, triggering flash floods and mud slides Thursday night that damaged some homes, blocked portions of at least three highways and stranded some motorists, officials said. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said he heard "a couple" of homes along State Highway 153 near Twisp were damaged. Deputies were trying to reach the residences....
After landslide win, India's new leader faces backlash as voters see few changes
Aug 22, 2014 12:51 AM CDT
NEW DELHI (AP) — When Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power in India's most resounding election victory in decades, he promised to revive the sluggish economy, rein in rising food prices, tackle corruption and overhaul his predecessor's lackluster foreign policy. Many Indians, long accustomed to political stagnation, believed him. But in recent weeks, critics — and even many supporters — have started to accuse him of squandering his powerful mandate in this boisterous country of 1.3 billion...
Let's do it again: Ryan says he'd love to see Mitt Romney run again for president
Aug 21, 2014 11:14 PM CDT
CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would love to see Mitt Romney run again for president and teased the GOP's former nominee at one point that the "third time's the charm." Appearing with Ryan at a public event for the first time since their ticket lost two years ago, Romney offered his own good-humored praise by saying that Ryan "wouldn't be a bad president" himself. Ryan, R-Wis., has said he will wait until after the midterm elections to decide whether to pursue his own presidential...
Today in History
Aug 21, 2014 11:00 PM CDT
Today is Friday, August 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. Today's Highlight in History: On August 22, 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war against Belgium. On this date: In 1485, England's King Richard III was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field, effectively ending the War of the Roses. In 1787, inventor John Fitch demonstrated his steamboat on the Delaware River to delegates from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. In 1846, Gen. Stephen W. Kearny...
NY judge calls Argentina payment plan illegal, unacceptable, but won't hold nation in contempt
Aug 21, 2014 10:42 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday said Argentina's plans to evade his orders by failing to make required payments to U.S. bondholders is illegal and cannot be carried out, but he stopped short of finding the South American nation in contempt of court. U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa called Argentina's actions toward U.S. bondholders "lawless." However, he rejected requests by lawyers for U.S. hedge funds to make a contempt finding, saying he wanted everyone to concentrate...
Foley case highlights wrenching debate over whether governments should pay ransom for hostages
Aug 21, 2014 10:32 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The beheading of freelance journalist James Foley has forced a new debate between the longtime U.S. and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, and Europe and the Persian Gulf's increasing willingness to pay ransoms in a desperate attempt to free citizens. The dilemma: How to save the lives of captives without financing terror groups and encouraging more kidnappings. By paying ransoms, governments in the Mideast and Europe have become some of the biggest financiers of terror...
Revising its calculation upward, Mexico government now says 22,322 reported missing since 2006
Aug 21, 2014 8:59 PM CDT
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government has increased its calculation of the number of people who have disappeared since the start of the country's drug war in 2006 and now lists 22,322 as missing, officials said Thursday. It had said in May that 8,000 people were missing. Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez said 12,532 people went missing during the 2006-12 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who declared war on drug traffickers. An additional 9,790 have disappeared since President...
California attorney general to appeal federal court ruling that struck down death penalty
Aug 21, 2014 7:53 PM CDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's attorney general said Thursday she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state's death penalty unconstitutional. The announcement by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state's death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that the unpredictable delays are arbitrary and unfair. Death penalty foes have long argued that California's delays amounted to unconstitutional...
California Democrats plan to spend $3 million to offer legal aid for Central American minors
Aug 21, 2014 7:47 PM CDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers will approve legislation supported by Gov. Jerry Brown to spend $3 million in state money to provide legal help for unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America, Democratic leaders announced Thursday. Making the money available is "the decent thing to do, and it's consistent with the progressive spirit of California," Brown said in a statement. He announced the plan along with Attorney General Kamala Harris, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell...
US, Britain, France, Germany discuss UN resolution to call for Gaza truce, monitoring mission
Aug 21, 2014 7:20 PM CDT
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With Egyptian efforts to end the Gaza war collapsing, the United States, Britain, France and Germany are discussing a possible Security Council resolution calling for a sustainable cease-fire and an international monitoring mission to ensure its implementation, U.N. diplomats said Thursday. Diplomats said the U.S., Israel's main ally, had joined the European effort to produce a resolution that would call for a ceasefire and advance the goal of a durable peace. "This is not...
Congressional investigators say Pentagon violated law with swap of Army prisoner for 5 Taliban
Aug 21, 2014 6:43 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon broke the law when it swapped Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a prisoner in Afghanistan for five years, for five Taliban leaders, congressional investigators said Thursday. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said the Defense Department failed to notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the exchange — a clear violation of the law — and used $988,400 of a wartime account to make the transfer. The GAO also said the Pentagon's...
Albert Reynolds, Irish prime minister who helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, dies at 81
Aug 21, 2014 6:32 PM CDT
DUBLIN (AP) — Albert Reynolds, the risk-taking Irish prime minister who played a key role in delivering peace to Northern Ireland but struggled to keep his own governments intact, died Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 81. His eldest son, Philip, said he died around 3 a.m. at his Dublin home, where in recent years he required 24-hour care. The government ordered flags to fly at half-mast until Reynolds' state funeral Monday. Reynolds, a savvy businessman from rural...
Obama pours cold water on idea of participating in ice bucket challenge for ALS awareness
Aug 21, 2014 6:17 PM CDT
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The ice bucket stops with Obama. Instead of pouring cold water over his head, President Barack Obama has poured it on the idea of becoming the highest-profile participant of the ice bucket challenge, a dare sweeping the nation that has raised nearly $42 million to support research into Lou Gehrig's disease. The disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks nerve cells and can lead to complete paralysis and death. Average life expectancy is two to...
Questions, answers about police use of force after shooting of black 18-year-old in Ferguson
Aug 21, 2014 6:05 PM CDT
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer has opened a debate over what level of force is appropriate when law enforcement confronts a citizen perceived to be a threat. Here is a look at some of the issues involved when officers must decide whether to use force, deadly or otherwise: ___ Q: How often do police use force, or threaten to use it, against citizens? A: A study by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 1.4 percent of the...
Judge formally ends big part of Arkansas schools desegregation case rooted in 1957 crisis
Aug 21, 2014 5:59 PM CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge Thursday ended a large part of an Arkansas desegregation case rooted in the Little Rock Central High School crisis of 1957 but a lawyer for black schoolchildren said inequalities remain in the state's largest district. U.S. District Judge D.P. Marshall Jr. signed an order that will halt payments the state of Arkansas has been making to three Little Rock-area districts to boost integration. The payments, which started in 1989 and have exceeded $1 billion,...
Richard Dreyfuss tells California lawmakers that politics should be a noble calling
Aug 21, 2014 5:26 PM CDT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss told California lawmakers Thursday that he hopes the public will once again view politics as a noble calling, and he pledged to do his part through his civics education initiative. The 66-year-old actor best known for "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was honored by California state lawmakers for his work promoting civics in public schools. In 2008, he founded The Dreyfuss Initiative, a nonprofit that promotes teaching about...
Court decision delayed on Marine who disappeared in Iraq so defense can translate documents
Aug 21, 2014 5:18 PM CDT
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) — A defense attorney said Thursday that a Marine accused of deserting his unit a decade ago in Iraq was kept in Lebanon for eight years while he faced a military trial there. The Marine officer presiding over the hearing for Cpl. Wassef Hassoun adjourned the proceeding for at least a week to allow defense attorneys to translate Lebanese documents they say support his case. The hearing officer, Lt. Col. Scott W. Martin, will eventually recommend whether Hassoun should face...
Hundreds line up for rice, water in Liberian slum sealed off to stop spread of Ebola
Aug 21, 2014 5:08 PM CDT
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Government officials handed out bags of rice and sachets of drinking water Thursday to residents of an impoverished slum in Liberia's capital where tens of thousands of people have been barricaded in an effort to stop the spread of Ebola. International aid workers warned that more help was needed as the country battles not only the virulent disease but also hunger as travel restrictions have blocked food from getting to parts of the seaside capital. In the tense township...
Naval Academy superintendent says no double standard for athletes will be tolerated
Aug 21, 2014 4:49 PM CDT
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The new superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy said he does not now believe there is "a cultural issue" in Navy sports with the kind of lax oversight of athletes that is being investigated at the U.S. Air Force Academy, but if there is "we're going to take care of it." Vice Adm. Ted Carter spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since he arrived as the new superintendent in July. Carter said he spoke with the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy after it...
US Census study finds that rich got richer, poor poorer between 2000 and 2011
Aug 21, 2014 4:43 PM CDT
NEW YORK (AP) — A report from the Census Bureau is the latest evidence that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. The study released Thursday divided the U.S. into five groups, from wealthiest to poorest. The median net worth of the richest households rose 11 percent between 2000 and 2011, to $630,754. The next-wealthiest group's net worth also rose. But because wealth dropped for the majority of Americans, the median household net worth for the country overall declined about...
Federal appeals court to unseal some documents in probe of Wisconsin Gov. Walker
Aug 21, 2014 4:42 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal appeals court decided Thursday to unseal two dozen documents in a secret investigation into whether Gov. Scott Walker's campaign illegally coordinated with conservative groups in 2012. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had planned to release nearly three dozen documents in the probe on Tuesday but held off after one of the groups, two unnamed parties and prosecutors leading the probe objected. It issued an order on Thursday, however, saying 10 documents would remain...
Justice Dept. announces nearly $17 billion mortgage settlement with Bank of America
Aug 21, 2014 4:35 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bank of America's record $16.65 billion settlement for its role in selling shoddy mortgage bonds — $7 billion of it geared for consumer relief — offers a glint of hope for desperate homeowners. The settlement requires the second-largest U.S. bank to reduce some homeowners' loan balances, provide new loans to low-income buyers and address areas of neighborhood blight. But consumer advocates say relatively few people will be helped relative to the devastation triggered by the...
Federal judge rules Florida gay marriage ban unconstitutional, but delays issuing of licenses
Aug 21, 2014 4:31 PM CDT
MIAMI (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday declared Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, joining judges across the country who have sided with gay couples wishing to tie the knot. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida's constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued...
Mexican police arrest 13 activists at Maya Indian protest against water rate increase
Aug 21, 2014 4:30 PM CDT
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Police on Mexico's Caribbean coast arrested 13 activists during a demonstration by Maya Indians against water rate hikes. The Mayas were the original inhabitants of the area, south of the resort city of Cancun. But they have been pushed into poor, dry farmland inland as resorts pop up along the coast. Households in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, the most important remaining Indian-majority town, had long paid a flat $5.20 monthly fee for water. But the state water authority began...
Pentagon: Islamic State militants hurt by US airstrikes, will regroup, stage new offensive
Aug 21, 2014 4:14 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Speaking alongside Hagel at a Pentagon news conference, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said that although the Islamic State group can be contained it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this...
Gaza war splits US colleges on whether to call off overseas study programs in Israel
Aug 21, 2014 4:09 PM CDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave. Colleges say security was the top concern, citing advisories about hazardous travel from the U.S. State Department and from insurance companies that cover students for health, accidents, security and even the cost of evacuation. "On the one hand,...
Colorado's Mark Udall gets $1M ad boost in tight Senate race against Republican Cory Gardner
Aug 21, 2014 4:05 PM CDT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Senate hopeful Cory Gardner's opposition to abortion rights "is way too extreme for Colorado," women voters say in ads Senate Democrats' campaign arm began running Thursday. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or DSCC, ordered $1 million in ads to run for the next two weeks, the group's first advertising to help first-term Sen. Mark Udall and his close re-election bid. Millions of dollars already had been spent in Colorado, and millions more were expected...
In war of attrition in Gaza, Israel kills 3 top Hamas military commanders, calls up reserves
Aug 21, 2014 3:57 PM CDT
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel stepped up its campaign against Gaza's ruling Hamas on Thursday, killing three of the group's senior military commanders in an airstrike that pulverized a four-story home, the second such attack targeting top leaders in two days. The pinpoint pre-dawn attack on Hamas' inner sanctum was launched minutes after the men emerged from tunnel hideouts, a security official said — displaying the long reach of Israel's intelligence services. The killing of the commanders,...
Ex-Nevada assemblyman to plead guilty in 2 Vegas cases in bid for freedom, mental health care
Aug 21, 2014 3:49 PM CDT
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The only lawmaker ever expelled from the Nevada Legislature agreed Thursday to plead guilty in two Las Vegas criminal cases dating to the days before the 2013 legislative session, in a bid to get out of jail and into a mental health program. Through his lawyer, former Democratic Assemblyman Steven Brooks told Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson that he plans to plead guilty Aug. 28 to resisting a public officer with use of a deadly weapon, a felony that could...
Correction: Emirates-Terrorism Law story
Aug 21, 2014 3:22 PM CDT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In a story Aug. 20 about a new counter-terrorism law in the United Arab Emirates, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Gulf researcher Nicholas McGeehan works for Amnesty International. He works for Human Rights Watch. A corrected version of the story is below: UAE ruler approves lengthy counter-terrorism law UAE ruler approves anti-terrorism law with penalties ranging from execution to counseling By AYA BATRAWY Associated Press DUBAI, United Arab...