ALL RECENT AP STORIES

  • Pooches in a pot? Pet-mad young Koreans say no to elders' taste for dog, prefer to raise pups
    Aug 28, 2014 3:05 AM CDT

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For more than 30 years, chef and restaurant owner Oh Keum-il built her expertise in cooking one traditional South Korean delicacy: dog meat. In her twenties, Oh traveled around South Korea to learn dog meat recipes from each region. During a period of South Korean reconciliation with North Korea early last decade, she went to Pyongyang as part of a business delegation and tasted a dozen different dog dishes, from dog stew to dog taffy, all served lavishly at the Koryo,...

  • Correction: Thailand-Six-Legged Livestock story
    Aug 28, 2014 2:44 AM CDT

    THANON NANG KLARN, Thailand (AP) — In a story Aug. 25 about insects being raised for food around the world, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the first cricket farm in the United States will open this year in Youngstown, Pennsylvania. The farm is in Youngstown, Ohio, and is now operating. A corrected version of the story is below: Edible insects a boon to Thailand's farmers Do bamboo caterpillars and grasshoppers have a future on dining room tables? By DENIS D. GRAY Associated...

  • Poll: Nearly half of parents uncomfortable with their children playing football
    Aug 28, 2014 2:43 AM CDT

    Parents are worried about their children playing football, but most haven't decided to keep their kids from putting on a helmet and stepping onto the field. According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, nearly half of parents said they're not comfortable letting their child play football amid growing uncertainty about the long-term impact of concussions. In the poll, 44 percent of parents weren't comfortable with their child playing football. The same percentage was uncomfortable with ice hockey,...

  • Tripping on treadmills? Scientists make seniors slip in lab to see if it can stop future falls
    Aug 28, 2014 12:22 AM CDT

    CHICAGO (AP) — Researchers are tripping seniors on purpose, and it's not some kind of warped practical joke. The experiment is among techniques being studied to prevent falls, the leading cause of injury in older adults. Falls in the elderly cost $30 billion yearly to treat and can send them spiraling into poor health and disability. Conventional efforts to prevent falls include exercises to boost strength and balance, but researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago are trying a completely...

  • Cowabunga! Hurricane-spawned waves pound Southern California; surfers hit the water
    Aug 27, 2014 10:02 PM CDT

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot waves as crowds of spectators lined the shore. Despite the danger, surfers, body-boarders and body-surfers flocked to favorite spots such as the notorious Wedge at Newport Beach, where the interaction of swells and a jetty produced huge waves, and cars...

  • Philadelphia honors Little League team's performance, star pitcher Mo'ne Davis with a parade
    Aug 27, 2014 8:17 PM CDT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ryan Howard, meet Mo'ne Davis. The 13-year-old star female pitcher and her Taney Dragons teammates who thrilled Philadelphians — and many others — at the Little League World Series got to meet their favorite major league team Wednesday night. The Philadelphia Phillies hosted a pre-game tribute to the team at Citizens Bank Park. Their game against the Washington Nationals started 28 minutes late because of the festivities. The Dragons walked through a procession onto the field...

  • Budget carrier Ryanair offers business-class, a bid to woo Europe's austerity-minded companies
    Aug 27, 2014 8:04 PM CDT

    DUBLIN (AP) — European budget carrier Ryanair is offering business-class tickets in an attempt to woo companies and governments during penny-pinching times. Marketed under the slogan "Your boss will approve," the new ticket reverses some of the airline's more reviled policies for fee-dazzled travelers. The Dublin-based company, long Europe's fastest-growing airline with a sell-it-cheap, stack-'em-high philosophy, says it hopes to capture three-fourths of all business travel between Britain and...

  • Fans of 5-pound Pomeranian named Jiff knew he was cute; now they know he's officially fast too
    Aug 27, 2014 7:35 PM CDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jiff was already cute, lovable and talented. Now he's proven he's speedy too. The 4-year-old, 5-pound Pomeranian blazed into the 60th edition of the Guinness World Records book that comes out Sept. 10. He can run 10 meters (9.1 yards) on his hind legs in 6.56 seconds and 5 meters (4.55 yards) on his front paws in 7.76 seconds. Both times are faster than any other dog on the planet has clocked. It's the first glimpse of the new book, and Jiff appears in it in 3-D. He's used...

  • With tricky health care agreement in hand, negotiations proceed on West Coast port contract
    Aug 27, 2014 6:43 PM CDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Negotiators hoping to forge a new contract for dockworkers and keep hundreds of billions of dollars in cargo moving smoothly through West Coast seaports made significant progress with a tentative deal on health care benefits, a knotty issue that tied up talks for months. West Coast dockworkers already have unusually generous health benefits — so generous, argue their employers who pay for the coverage, that the insurance plan has become riddled with fraud. Doctors and clinics...

  • RV outside family court offers legal advice on child support to New York, New Jersey parents
    Aug 27, 2014 6:22 PM CDT

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Forget going to the food truck for lunch. Now you can get free legal advice on collecting child support from a nonprofit on wheels. The mobile Project Child Support program rolled out this week, operating out of a brightly painted pink and teal recreational vehicle. The RV parks in front of family courthouses in New York and New Jersey, passing out fliers and lending an ear to upset parents as they exit child support hearings. Founder Kai Patterson decided to create Project...

  • Utah approves winery in town largely controlled by polygamous sect, whose members often drink
    Aug 27, 2014 6:20 PM CDT

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A town on the Utah-Arizona border largely controlled by Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect moved closer to opening its first commercial winery, a new venture and a signal of yet another lifestyle choice that separates the sect from mainstream Mormon teachings. State liquor authorities say the owners of Vintage Reserve Estates plan to make red and rosé wines with grapes purchased out of state and sell it through Utah's state-owned liquor stores. Abe Kader, a state inspector, said...

  • Experts: Back-to-school blues hit dogs, too, when their young owners go back to school
    Aug 27, 2014 6:18 PM CDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Young people aren't the only ones who get back-to-school blues. Pooches used to months of constant playtime can get upset when their best buddies disappear with the dog days of summer. Many dogs whine and wait eagerly at the front door but eventually adjust to the absence of their young owners when they are in class. But millions of dogs can feel abandoned, sad and unable to cope — and they look for ways to lash out. Many of the nation's 80 million dogs have separation anxiety,...

  • Philadelphia honors Little League team's performance, star pitcher Mo'ne Davis with a parade
    Aug 27, 2014 5:33 PM CDT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The youth baseball team whose star 13-year-old female pitcher and performance in the Little League World Series drew a wide following received a champion's treatment in a parade Wednesday in downtown Philadelphia. Thousands of office workers and city residents lined a major thoroughfare to cheer on the Taney Dragons and their pitcher Mo'ne Davis, who made it onto the cover of Sports Illustrated. "A lot of people were here," Mo'ne told WPVI-TV after the parade. "I didn't think...

  • Out of frying pan, into fire: Bistro removes bacon sign called rude to vegans, gets criticized
    Aug 27, 2014 4:45 PM CDT

    WINOOSKI, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont restaurant that removed a bacon advertisement called insensitive to vegans and Muslims is being criticized for doing so. Sneakers Bistro and Cafe in Winooski last week took down a sign saying "Yield for Sneakers Bacon" after comments were posted in an online community forum by "a vegan and a member of a Muslim household." Vegans and Muslims don't eat pork. Sneakers' menu features items including a breakfast sandwich with homemade turkey bacon. Owner Marc Dysinger...

  • Boston Marathon bombing victim marries nurse who helped him heal
    Aug 27, 2014 2:53 PM CDT

    BOSTON (AP) — If something good could come out of the Boston Marathon bombing, James Costello and Krista D'Agostino seem to have found it. Sixteen months after the attack killed three people and injured more than 260, including Costello, he married D'Agostino, the nurse who helped him recover. The couple exchanged vows Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Boston in front of about 160 guests. A photograph of Costello with his clothes ripped to shreds and parts of his body burned became one of the most...

  • 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe offers smart packaging and value
    Aug 27, 2014 11:23 AM CDT

    The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe mid-size sport utility vehicle stands out from the crowd for its attractive styling, comfortable ride, value pricing, surprising standard features and warranty. In fact, sales of Hyundai's best-selling SUV are up 26.4 percent so far this calendar year — to more than 60,000 — compared with the same period a year ago. And this is the Santa Fe that had only minor changes in standard and optional equipment for the model year. Maybe more shoppers are finding the Santa Fe...

  • Ebola prompts Air France to suspend flights to Sierra Leone, maintains ones to Liberia, Guinea
    Aug 27, 2014 11:08 AM CDT

    PARIS (AP) — France on Wednesday recommended that its citizens leave the African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia because of the outbreak of Ebola there, and Air France temporarily suspended its three flights a week to Sierra Leone. The disease has now killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa. Air France announced that it temporarily halted its flights to Freetown, Sierra Leone because of the Ebola outbreak there and at the request of the French government. The French national carrier...

  • Budget carrier Ryanair offers business-class, a bid to woo Europe's austerity-minded companies
    Aug 27, 2014 10:44 AM CDT

    DUBLIN (AP) — European budget carrier Ryanair is offering business-class tickets in an attempt to woo companies and governments during penny-pinching times. Marketed under the slogan "Your boss will approve," the new ticket reverses some of the airline's more reviled policies for fee-dazzled travelers. The Dublin-based company, long Europe's fastest-growing airline with a sell-it-cheap, stack-'em-high philosophy, says it hopes to capture three-fourths of all business travel between Britain and...

  • Correction: Dwindling Bathhouses story
    Aug 27, 2014 10:33 AM CDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a story Aug. 23 about the declining number of gay bathhouses The Associated Press reported erroneously that Todd Saporito, the CEO of Ohio-based Flex Spas, ran the Gay Games that were held in Cleveland. Saporito held events at his bathhouse and nightclub in conjunction with the games but was not involved in running the event. A corrected version of the story is below: Gay bathhouses nationwide face uncertain future As gay acceptance rises and hooking up goes online, US...

  • Earthquakes rock Iceland volcano with some 500 since midnight
    Aug 27, 2014 10:07 AM CDT

    LONDON (AP) — Earthquakes are rocking Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, adding to concerns that magma movements may trigger an eruption that could hinder air traffic. Iceland's Met Office says two earthquakes measuring over magnitude 5 shook the volcano under the vast Vatnajokull glacier on Wednesday. Some 500 quakes have hit the area since midnight. Iceland's aviation alert level remains at orange, the second highest. On Sunday, the Met Office lowered the alert level, saying there was no sign of...

  • Fact sheet: Hyundai Santa Fe
    Aug 27, 2014 9:35 AM CDT

    2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited FWD BASE PRICE: $29,900 for GLS with FWD; $31,650 for GLS with AWD; $34,000 for Limited FWD. PRICE AS TESTED: $39,720. TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, six-passenger, mid-size, sport utility vehicle. ENGINE: 3.3-liter, double overhead cam, direct injection V-6. MILEAGE: 18 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway). TOP SPEED: NA. LENGTH: 193.1 inches. WHEELBASE: 110.2 inches. CURB WEIGHT: 4,145 pounds. BUILT AT: South Korea. OPTIONS: Ultimate Limited package (includes...

  • 3 playful lion cubs debut at Johannesburg Zoo, bringing a new generation and hope for breeding
    Aug 27, 2014 9:17 AM CDT

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Three playful lion cubs made their public debut Wednesday, pouncing their way into a large enclosure at the Johannesburg Zoo. Their arrival heralds a new generation of lions at the zoo, which hasn't successfully bred the king of the jungle in five years. Male white lion Letaba and his two sisters Sabi and Jubba were born in April at a private game farm in Thabazimbi, which is about 230 kilometers (143 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa's commercial center. The...

  • Video games come of age as a spectator sport as Amazon buys Twitch for $970 million
    Aug 27, 2014 9:09 AM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Video games have been a spectator sport since teenagers crowded around arcade machines to watch friends play "Pac-Man." And for decades, kids have gathered in living rooms to marvel at how others master games like "Street Fighter II" and "Super Mario Bros." But today there's Twitch, the online network that attracts millions of visitors, most of whom watch live and recorded footage of other people playing video games —in much the same way that football fans tune in to ESPN. Twitch's...

  • 13-year-old Texan gets fall line in Nordstrom stores, show at New York Fashion Week
    Aug 27, 2014 8:44 AM CDT

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — At the age of 9, Isabella Rose Taylor — a painter since she was 3 — took a weeklong sewing class with an eye toward incorporating textiles into her artwork. She quickly discovered a love for fashion design as well, taking the class twice more that summer. Now, at 13, her line is debuting at Nordstrom stores this fall and she's set to hold her first show at New York Fashion Week. "It just started out as a really fun hobby and it grew into a business over the years," Taylor...

  • Alec Baldwin visits mother's cancer research booth at New York State Fair
    Aug 27, 2014 8:17 AM CDT

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Alec Baldwin has paid a visit to his mother's cancer research booth at the New York State Fair. The Post-Standard reports (http://bit.ly/1pGv45P ) that the actor spent a couple hours Tuesday at the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY Inc. booth at the suburban Syracuse fairgrounds. The former "30 Rock" star signed autographs and posted for pictures with his mother, who lives in Camillus, outside Syracuse. Carol Baldwin's organization has had a booth at the...

  • Earthquakes rock Iceland volcano with some 500 since midnight
    Aug 27, 2014 8:15 AM CDT

    LONDON (AP) — Earthquakes are rocking Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, adding to concerns that magma movements may trigger an eruption that could hinder air traffic. Iceland's Met Office says two earthquakes measuring over magnitude 5 shook the volcano under the vast Vatnajokull glacier on Wednesday. Some 500 quakes have hit the area since midnight. Iceland's aviation alert level remains at orange, the second highest. On Sunday, the Met Office lowered the alert level, saying there was no sign of...

  • Film Review: Former 007 actor embraces a darker take on spycraft in 'November Man'
    Aug 27, 2014 8:02 AM CDT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Onetime 007 Pierce Brosnan embraces a darker take on spycraft in Roger Donaldson's "The November Man," playing a former CIA agent whose autumnal nickname acknowledges his tendency to leave few alive when he passes through a town. A familiar string of dark secrets, shifting allegiances and (wo)man-who-knew-too-much pursuit propels the storyline (adapted from one in a series of Bill Granger novels), giving Brosnan the opportunity to prove his cool remains intact, sans tux and gadgets....

  • Spanish town drenched in red pulp as thousands take part in annual 'Tomatina' tomato battle
    Aug 27, 2014 5:22 AM CDT

    BUNOL, Spain (AP) — The streets of an eastern Spanish town are awash with red pulp as thousands of people pelt each other with tomatoes in the annual "Tomatina" battle that has become a major tourist attraction. At the annual fiesta in Bunol on Wednesday, trucks dumped 125 tons of ripe tomatoes for some 22,000 participants —many from abroad — to throw during the hour-long morning festivities. This was the second year non-resident participants were charged — 10 euros ($13) — to take part. The...

  • Fat socialists: Venezuela to battle obesity, which critics blame on shortages of healthy food
    Aug 26, 2014 11:13 PM CDT

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Venezuela's socialist government is sounding the alarm about growing waistlines in a country where record food shortages are making it harder to put healthy meals on the table, prompting many people to fill up on empty calories. Authorities launched a public relations campaign Tuesday to halt a steady rise in obesity that threatens to lead to a costly, public health crisis if left unchecked. Under the slogan "Get informed, eat healthy" President Nicolas Maduro's government...

  • Travis Wood pitches 6 innings as Chicago Cubs beat Cincinnati Reds 3-0
    Aug 26, 2014 10:43 PM CDT

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Travis Wood got his first win in months and impressed his former pitching coach along the way. Wood pitched six innings of two-hit ball against his former team, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 3-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. Wood (8-11) struck out five and walked one in his first victory since he pitched eight innings in a 3-0 win at Philadelphia on June 15. The left-hander, who made the All-Star team last season, was 0-6 with a 5.45 ERA in his previous...

  • Australia and US sign visa, immigration information sharing pact to help identify travelers
    Aug 26, 2014 10:21 PM CDT

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian and U.S. governments signed an information-sharing agreement Wednesday to bolster each country's ability to confirm identities of foreign travelers. The agreement for the sharing of visa and immigration information, which was signed at Parliament House, will enable two-way information sharing between the countries, the Australian government said in a statement. The agreement comes as Australia tightens its border security to prevent Australian jihadists...

  • Club Fed: Michael Jordan cheers on Roger Federer at US Open
    Aug 26, 2014 9:08 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — His Airness is now a member of Club Fed. Michael Jordan was a special guest in Roger Federer's courtside box at the U.S. Open on Tuesday night, the rare spectacle of an all-time great in one sport cheering on an all-time great from another. "I know nothing about tennis," Jordan said in an interview with ESPN, adding that he was nevertheless fascinated by how smooth Federer looked on court. "He's a good athlete. I know he played basketball a bit." Jordan, seated in the same row...

  • Club Fed: Michael Jordan cheers on Roger Federer at US Open
    Aug 26, 2014 8:58 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — His Airness is now a member of Club Fed. Michael Jordan was a special guest in Roger Federer's courtside box at the U.S. Open on Tuesday night, the rare spectacle of an all-time great in one sport cheering on an all-time great from another. "I know nothing about tennis," Jordan said in an interview with ESPN, adding that he was nevertheless fascinated by how smooth Federer looked on court. "He's a good athlete. I know he played basketball a bit." Jordan, seated in the same row...

  • Tortoises in controversial Aspen, Colorado, art exhibit removed at vet's request
    Aug 26, 2014 8:39 PM CDT

    ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Three tortoises wearing iPads for a controversial Aspen, Colorado, art exhibit have been removed at a veterinarian's request because of wet, cool weather. The tortoises at the Aspen Art Museum were taken to undisclosed conservation site on Monday, less than three weeks after the exhibit opened. The Aspen Art Museum says the conservation site will be the permanent home for the African sulcata tortoises. The Aspen Times reports (http://bit.ly/VLIsJO ) that museum insists the...

  • California earthquake marks first major test of hard-luck city of Vallejo after bankruptcy
    Aug 26, 2014 8:31 PM CDT

    VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The historic blue-collar town of Vallejo is a short distance but a far cry from the touristy Napa Valley vineyards and quaint towns. So when Sunday's earthquake struck, the damage to the wine industry took center stage and the rubble in Vallejo got scant attention. The bayside city that twice was briefly the capital of California sustained millions of dollars in damage and dozens of people were injured, with a couple hospitalized. Just 10 miles from the quake's epicenter,...

  • Archive of pre-Holocaust images of European Jews made available to the public, researchers
    Aug 26, 2014 8:08 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — A vast archive of photographs of pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish life is being made available to the public and researchers. The International Center of Photography in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday announced the joint creation of a digital database to facilitate access to photographer Roman Vishniac's archive. Vishniac was a Russian-born Jew who moved to Berlin in 1920. He documented the rise of Nazi power and its...

  • Dutch tourists robbed of cameras at gunpoint on San Francisco's famously crooked Lombard
    Aug 26, 2014 7:48 PM CDT

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police are searching for suspects who robbed two Dutch tourists at gunpoint while they were taking pictures at a popular spot in San Francisco that's known as the "Crookedest Street in The World." Officer Gordon Shyy, a police spokesman, said Tuesday that the victims were standing at the base the oft-photographed, well-traveled and winding Lombard Street when two men in their 20s approached them late Sunday night. Shyy says that one suspect pulled out a gun and ordered the...

  • Federal government proposes ban on daredevil rope-swinging from some iconic Utah arches
    Aug 26, 2014 7:46 PM CDT

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal officials have proposed a two-year ban on rope-swinging from iconic Utah arches and other high-flying activities at two popular landmarks that have led to deaths and injuries witnessed by visitors flocking to the sites for peaceful reflection. The Bureau of Land Management says rope activities at Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges near Moab can disturb other people in easily accessible hiking areas that each receive 40,000 or more visitors a year. People often shout...

  • Federal government proposes ban on daredevil rope-swinging from some iconic Utah arches
    Aug 26, 2014 7:44 PM CDT

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Federal officials have proposed a two-year ban on rope-swinging from iconic Utah arches and other high-flying activities at two popular landmarks that have led to deaths and injuries witnessed by visitors flocking to the sites for peaceful reflection. The Bureau of Land Management says rope activities at Corona Arch and Gemini Bridges near Moab can disturb other people in easily accessible hiking areas that each receive 40,000 or more visitors a year. People often shout...

  • Officials: Birth in wild of 2 Puerto Rico parrots marks comeback
    Aug 26, 2014 6:26 PM CDT

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Two endangered Puerto Rican parrots were born in the wild in a natural nest found outside a national forest in the U.S. territory for the first time in 144 years, officials said Tuesday. Scientists discovered the nest in May near the Rio Abajo Nature Preserve in western Puerto Rico and monitored it with cameras until they saw the parrots take flight in late July, according to Natural Resources Secretary Carmen Guerrero. "The historical importance of this makes your...

  • NASCAR returning to Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend in 2015
    Aug 26, 2014 5:47 PM CDT

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Darlington Raceway will return to its traditional Labor Day weekend date next season in one of the few significant changes to NASCAR's 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule. To get Darlington back to Labor Day weekend after an 11-year absence, Atlanta Motor Speedway gave up the date. Atlanta now goes to the second race of the season on March 1. Darlington will be run on Sept. 6, according to the schedule released Tuesday. "I'm glad they came back. Don't know why they ever left,"...

  • Unable to reach agreement, American and US Airways will pull flight listings from Orbitz
    Aug 26, 2014 4:30 PM CDT

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways are pulling flight listings from Orbitz-run websites in a long-running dispute over fees that the travel company charges to list and sell the flights. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc. fell nearly 5 percent on Tuesday. American said that it had already dropped its fares from Orbitz and that US Airways listings would be pulled on Monday. Corporate customers of the airlines will still be able to book travel through Orbitz, but individuals...

  • A look at legal challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage across the country
    Aug 26, 2014 4:24 PM CDT

    State bans on same-sex marriages have been falling around the country since summer 2013, when the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages. The remaining state bans all face legal challenges, and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago heard arguments Tuesday on cases from Indiana and Wisconsin. Gay couples can marry in 19 states and the District of Columbia. A look at where cases pending in other states stand: ___ — ARKANSAS: A state...

  • Grateful for life after bullet wound, Linval Joseph ready to return to action with Vikings
    Aug 26, 2014 4:06 PM CDT

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Life is good for Linval Joseph. He is grateful he didn't lose it. The Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since he was shot in the leg at a nightclub earlier this month. He's on track to play in the season opener, despite being struck by a stray bullet in the left calf during a downtown nightclub disturbance a few hours after the team finished its first exhibition game. Joseph has been wearing a protective sleeve over the muscle...

  • Workers approve grain company contract, plan to return to work for Northwest wheat harvest
    Aug 26, 2014 2:32 PM CDT

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Employees who had been embroiled in a lengthy and sometimes violent labor dispute have voted to return to work Wednesday for three Northwest grain merchants — in time for the wheat harvest. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said 88 percent of its members voted to ratify a contract running through May 2018. It includes work rule changes and raises. The grain handlers association says the agreement is fair and would allow the companies to remain competitive....

  • Rain turns desert to mush, forcing Burning Man voyagers to party in Wal-Mart parking lot
    Aug 26, 2014 1:57 PM CDT

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics. Except when it rains. That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart. Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a...

  • Quick-hit prosperity vs. slow and steady: 2 ex-Tenn. mining towns try to turn fortunes around
    Aug 26, 2014 1:55 PM CDT

    ROCKY TOP, Tenn. (AP) — In the Appalachian foothills of eastern Tennessee, Rocky Top and Briceville share a common heritage and a common problem: How to revive communities that once boasted bustling main streets and jobs for nearly anyone willing to mine the coal once plentiful in the deep shafts underground. Briceville has embraced the long-range vision of a nonprofit group offering college scholarships to people who are often first in their families to go beyond high school. About five miles...

  • US home prices rise 8.1 percent in June; smallest increase in more than 18 months
    Aug 26, 2014 1:36 PM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices increased at a slower pace in June — a cooldown that could continue for several more months. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 8.1 percent in June from 12 months earlier, according to a Tuesday report. That's down from 9.4 percent a month earlier and the smallest annual gain since December 2012. Yearly price growth weakened in all 20 cities. Home values in Cleveland nudged up just 0.8 percent. Las Vegas led with a 15.2 percent...

  • As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food
    Aug 26, 2014 1:32 PM CDT

    COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — On a hot summer day, nearly two dozen Chinese tourists descended from a white shuttle bus for an afternoon of shopping at one of Southern California's signature upscale malls. One tourist conferred with a salesman at South Coast Plaza about a plum-colored, $610 Prada handbag while fellow visitors on the 10-day tour sauntered through the mall, each with their sole child in tow, after a morning of whale watching off the California coast. It's a common scene at the popular...

  • As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food
    Aug 26, 2014 1:30 PM CDT

    Tourism from China to the United States has soared in the last seven years. Some facts about where the tourists go, what they do and how much they spend: HOW MANY ARE COMING? More than 1.8 million Chinese visited the United States in 2013, up 23 percent from a year before. The number of Chinese visiting the country has more than tripled since 2008, and is expected to surpass 4 million by 2018. WHY ARE THEY COMING? More than half of Chinese visitors say they come to the United States for leisure...

  • Unable to reach agreement, American and US Airways will pull flight listings from Orbitz
    Aug 26, 2014 1:29 PM CDT

    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines and US Airways are pulling flight listings from Orbitz after they were unable to reach agreement on a long-term contract. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc. fell more than 6 percent in afternoon trading on Tuesday. American said that it had already dropped its fares from the travel website and that US Airways listings would be pulled on Sept. 1. Corporate customers of the airlines will still be able to book travel on Orbitz, but individuals will have to...

  • Study finds social media users actually less likely to share their opinions, online and off
    Aug 26, 2014 1:09 PM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — People who use Facebook and Twitter are less likely than others to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center. The study, done in conjunction with Rutgers University in New Jersey, challenges the view of social media as a vehicle for debate by suggesting that sites like Facebook and Twitter might actually encourage self-censorship. Researchers said they detect what they call the "spiral...

  • As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food
    Aug 26, 2014 12:49 PM CDT

    Tourism from China to the United States has soared in the last seven years. Some facts about where the tourists go, what they do and how much they spend: HOW MANY ARE COMING? More than 1.8 million Chinese visited the United States in 2013, up 23 percent from a year before. The number of Chinese visiting the country has more than tripled since 2008, and is expected to surpass 4 million by 2018. WHY ARE THEY COMING? More than half of Chinese visitors say they come to the United States for leisure...

  • As tourism from China soars, US caters to visitors with translations, celebrations, food
    Aug 26, 2014 12:46 PM CDT

    COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — On a hot summer day, nearly two dozen Chinese tourists descended from a white shuttle bus for an afternoon of shopping at one of Southern California's signature upscale malls. One tourist conferred with a salesman at South Coast Plaza about a plum-colored, $610 Prada handbag while fellow visitors on the 10-day tour sauntered through the mall, each with their sole child in tow, after a morning of whale watching off the California coast. It's a common scene at the popular...

  • California firm recalls 93,000 pounds of Caesar salad kit products due to listeria concern
    Aug 26, 2014 12:24 PM CDT

    CORONA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California food company has recalled nearly 93,000 pounds of fully cooked chicken Caesar salad kits sold at Sam's Club stores over concerns of possible listeria contamination. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service says the Daily Chef salad kits were shipped to the warehouse chain for sale in its in-store cafes nationwide. The affected products by Corona's APPA Fine Foods come in 11-ounce clear plastic containers with use-by dates...

  • Zoo in Bulgarian capital shuts down to investigate mysterious deaths of 5 rare animals
    Aug 26, 2014 9:54 AM CDT

    SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Sofia Zoo has closed for visitors at the peak of the holiday season to investigate the mysterious deaths of five rare animals over the last few days. Zoo director Ivan Ivanov said Tuesday three gaurs, one camel and one yak had died but refused to elaborate on the possible cause of the deaths. Blood samples from the dead animals have been sent for testing and results are due by the end of this week. Recently, authorities reported that some 3,000 animals have died from...

  • AP PHOTOS: Cubans trek by car, bus, horse-drawn carriage to beat summer heat at the beach
    Aug 26, 2014 8:33 AM CDT

    HAVANA (AP) — In the long, sticky Cuban summer, keeping cool is serious business. Each day, and especially on weekends, thousands of Havana residents rise early to make the trek from rural hamlets and stuffy urban neighborhoods for the more forgiving atmosphere at the island's powdery beaches. Temperatures in the capital can reach as high as 31 degrees Celsius (87 degrees Fahrenheit) in July and August, with humidity hovering above 80 percent. When it's running, many people take a special summer...

  • Review: Sandra Brown's 'Mean Streak' is filled with terrific characters and surprises
    Aug 26, 2014 7:58 AM CDT

    "Mean Streak" (Grand Central), by Sandra Brown Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, finds herself trapped in an isolated cabin with a man hiding from the world in "Mean Streak," Sandra Brown's latest dive into romantic suspense. Although Emory has a tumultuous relationship with her husband, Jeff, they are trying to work things out. She arranges to take a weekend off to head to the mountains to train for a marathon, but Jeff is furious, and they argue before she leaves....

  • National Aquarium in Baltimore developing 'Living Seashore' exhibit, opening next spring
    Aug 26, 2014 7:56 AM CDT

    BALTIMORE (AP) — The National Aquarium says it's adding an interactive exhibit where guests can explore the seashore without leaving the building in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. When it opens next spring, the "Living Seashore" exhibit will include crashing waves, sandy beaches and encounters with more than 150 animals, including clearnose skates, horseshoe crabs and moon jellies. CEO John Racanelli says the $5.5 million exhibit is part of a $10.5 million upgrade to the museum campus. The exhibit...

  • Go For the Food: Winging it to Buffalo? Don't miss the city's signature saucy snack
    Aug 26, 2014 7:54 AM CDT

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Credit for the classic Buffalo wing goes to Teressa Bellissimo, who developed the dish in the kitchen of the Anchor Bar in 1964. Fifty years later, the Main Street eatery remains a must-see for countless culinary visitors. But there's no need to confine yourself to one place if you're winging your way to New York's second-largest city; the fiery finger food is a staple at virtually every pizza joint and pub you'll visit. The fun is that no two wings are quite the same. Anchor...

  • Seoul: Efficient trains, fast cell service, historic palaces and incredible food
    Aug 26, 2014 7:41 AM CDT

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's hyper-efficient capital doesn't immediately spring to mind when you think of exotic Asian destinations. But this mega-city offers much to tempt travelers beyond a layover from the ultra-modern international airport in nearby Incheon. You can explore Korea's rich historic heritage, visiting temples and palaces; wander around the enormous National Museum of Korea, and savor the delights of its surprisingly varied cuisine. As in Tokyo and Hong Kong, Seoul's...

  • Low-fare airline PEOPLExpress offering flights through March, adds service to Orlando
    Aug 26, 2014 7:20 AM CDT

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — Low-fare airline PEOPLExpress says it is offering flights from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport to Orlando, Florida, starting Oct. 16. The airline on Monday also announced that flights to eight destinations can be booked through March 31. PEOPLExpress launched service in June. It offers flights to and from Atlanta; Boston; Newark, New Jersey; Pittsburgh, and West Palm Beach, Florida. Service starts to New Orleans on Aug. 28 and to St. Petersburg, Florida,...

  • Armored car company to reimburse Atlantic City casino after $21K in cash left on roof
    Aug 26, 2014 5:42 AM CDT

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — An armored car company will reimburse an Atlantic City casino after nearly $21,000 fell from the roof of one of its trucks. Police tell The Press of Atlantic City (http://bit.ly/XOrVGA ) an internal investigation by GardaWorld found no wrongdoing. The company picked up the cash at the soon-to-be-closed Revel casino on Aug. 6. Surveillance video showed the bag holding the cash on the roof as the truck left Revel. The bag was still on the roof when the truck pulled away...

  • Florida condo project gets new name after old one is tainted by Islamic extremist group
    Aug 26, 2014 5:34 AM CDT

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A planned South Florida condo that shared its name with a group of Islamic extremists is getting a new identity. ISIS Downtown is a major development being built in West Palm Beach. ISIS is also one of the names for the al-Qaida splinter group behind the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley. The Palm Beach Post (http://bit.ly/VOu4Ac) reports the new building is now being called 3 Thirty Three Downtown. The developers haven't commented on the change....

  • Hurricane Marie weakens, but kicks up high surf along Mexico's Pacific coast
    Aug 26, 2014 4:13 AM CDT

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Marie weakened to a Category 2 storm early Tuesday but continued kicking up high swells along Mexico's northern Pacific coast and threatened to raise dangerous waves along the Southern California coast. The U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami said Marie's maximum sustained winds decreased to 105 mph (165 kph). Additional weakening was forecast and the storm was expected to lose hurricane status in the next day or so. Marie was centered about 550 miles (880 kilometers)...

  • Sweepers at Yangon's revered Shwedagon pagoda toil away in quest for spiritual credit
    Aug 26, 2014 1:47 AM CDT

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Every evening, more than a dozen men and women walk in a tight row in front of Myanmar's most revered Buddhist pagoda, sweeping the vast marble terrace in unison in hopes of keeping it clean for barefoot pilgrims. To these volunteers, this is not a chore but a noble act — one they carry out eagerly in an effort to gain merit, or spiritual credit. Situated on a hilltop in the old capital of Yangon, the 99-meter (326-foot) high Shwedagon draws hundreds of visitors every day....

  • In sea of gowns, Robin Wright went with a jumpsuit; other highs and lows in Emmys fashion
    Aug 26, 2014 1:02 AM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — The gowns came in all shapes at Monday's Emmy Awards, dominated by reds, blues and whites. And then there was "House of Cards" actress Robin Wright, dazzling in a cream Ralph Lauren jumpsuit with a plunging tuxedo jacket front and virtually no back at all. "Of all the stars wearing head-to-toe white, Robin Wright stole the show," said Eric Wilson, fashion news director for InStyle magazine. "It was the ultimate power look from the front with a sexy backless surprise." Wilson,...

  • Hurricane Marie becomes kicks up high surf along Mexico's Pacific coast
    Aug 25, 2014 10:45 PM CDT

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Powerful Hurricane Marie kicked high swells along Mexico's northern Pacific coast on Monday, even as it weakened to a Category 3 storm. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it would likely raise dangerous waves along the Southern California coast this week. The Miami-based center said that on Monday evening Marie had sustained winds of up to 135 mph (215 kph) and was located about 505 miles (815 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. It said the storm...

  • Sony network hacked, executive's American Airlines flight diverted after hacker group's tweets
    Aug 25, 2014 9:58 PM CDT

    DALLAS (AP) — Hackers attacked Sony's PlayStation Network and apparently disrupted the travel plans of a top company executive by going on Twitter to suggest that there was a bomb on his American Airlines plane. American cut short the Sony Corp. executive's flight on Sunday and made an unplanned landing in Phoenix. The plane with 179 passengers and a crew of six was scheduled to fly from Dallas to San Diego but stopped for what the FBI termed a security threat. American Airlines declined to comment...

  • Amazon hopes to become ESPN of video games in purchase of streaming platform Twitch for $970M
    Aug 25, 2014 8:56 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is hoping to become the ESPN of video games. The e-commerce giant is buying streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million in cash as it seeks to take part in video gaming's growth as an online spectator sport. Twitch is a multi-channel online network built for a generation of people who not only enjoy playing video games, but find it entertaining to watch others who might impart tricks and tips for excelling at their favorite games. Amazon's purchase is an acknowledgment...

  • Reds, blues make fashion statement on Emmy Awards red carpet
    Aug 25, 2014 7:53 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Lena Dunham showed up for the Emmys in an awkward pink confection and Kerry Washington went for a bright orange dress with dark sparkle peeking out from underneath, but it was the reds and blues that dominated the carpet Monday. And neutrals, too. On Team Red were best actress in a comedy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who looked a bit pinched in a tight Carolina Herrera, and Christina Hendricks in a gaudy, one-shoulder Marchesa with yards and yards of draping fabric, loud floral...

  • Officials in California wine capital say quake damage may hit $1B but shouldn't deter tourists
    Aug 25, 2014 6:25 PM CDT

    NAPA, Calif. (AP) — The earthquake that jarred California's wine capital caused $1 billion in damage, Napa County officials estimated Monday as business owners mopped up high-end vintages that spilled from barrels and bottles and swept away broken glass in the rush to get the tourist hotspot back in shape for the summer's final holiday weekend. With the dust still settling from Sunday's magnitude-6.0 temblor centered near the city of Napa, government and tourism officials assessing its economic...

  • With day game biz on rise, new legal questions surface for billion-dollar fantasy industry
    Aug 25, 2014 6:05 PM CDT

    Some of the newest incarnations of fantasy football look a lot more like gambling than intricate, outsmart-your-opponent strategy games. Since 2011, the billion-dollar fantasy market has been infused with dozens of daily and weekly games. Those games allow players to win huge prizes quickly, sometimes in one week, sometimes in just one night. With players betting thousands or even tens of thousands a night, legal experts believe it's time to review the section of the 2006 federal law that was...

  • Flight to Barbados returns to Miami International Airport following mechanical problems
    Aug 25, 2014 4:42 PM CDT

    MIAMI (AP) — A plane heading to Barbados had to return to Miami International Airport after experience mechanical problems shortly after takeoff. The Miami-Dade Aviation Department reports that the American Airlines flight had been in the air for about an hour Monday morning when it began to experience hydraulic issues. The plane made it safely back to the airport shortly after noon. No injuries were reported to the 172 people on board.

  • Russian tourist charged with reckless endangerment in Brooklyn Bridge climb, held on $5K bond
    Aug 25, 2014 3:44 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — A Russian tourist climbed to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge to take pictures for fun in the landmark's second security breach in a month, authorities said Monday. Yaroslav Kolchin was charged with reckless endangerment, trespassing and disorderly conduct. Police said they spotted the 24-year-old ascending a cable at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Authorities say the Moscow man reached the top of the tower, took pictures with his smartphone and was arrested as he descended. He told...

  • Co-owner of California slaughterhouse behind beef recall pleads guilty to criminal charge
    Aug 25, 2014 3:21 PM CDT

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The co-owner of a Northern California slaughterhouse accused of processing cows with cancer while U.S. livestock inspectors took lunch breaks has pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge. Robert Singleton, who co-owns the Petaluma-based Rancho Feeding Corp., entered his plea Friday in a San Francisco courtroom to aiding and abetting in the distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat, the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1tBwLBS ) reported. Singleton,...

  • Review: 'Don't Look Back' by Gregg Hurwitz is terrific reading experience
    Aug 25, 2014 1:25 PM CDT

    "Don't Look Back" (St. Martin's Press), by Gregg Hurwitz A single mother takes a vacation that descends into hell in Gregg Hurwitz's latest thriller, "Don't Look Back." Eve Hardaway struggles at home as she cares for a young boy with severe dietary restrictions and a job that drains her energy. She had planned a vacation with her husband in the mountains of southern Mexico to celebrate their anniversary, but he left her for a much younger woman. Eve decides she needs the break and becomes part...

  • 'Crossword Century' an elegant ode to puzzles; captures charm that solvers will appreciate
    Aug 25, 2014 12:26 PM CDT

    "The Crossword Century: 100 Years of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, and Linguistic Mischief" (Gotham Books), by Alan Connor If you love solving crosswords, you know how it feels to be in the fraternity. There's the rush of matching wits with a mysterious puzzle-maker, the thrill of nailing an elusive answer and the satisfaction of filling in the final square. There's a charm in playing the game, a charm that can be hard to describe. But Alan Connor, a British quizmaster who writes a column...

  • US new-home sales drop 2.4 percent in July to annual rate of 412,000
    Aug 25, 2014 10:53 AM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought new homes in July, evidence that the housing sector is struggling to gain traction more than five years into the economic recovery. The Commerce Department said Monday that new-home sales fell 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. The report also revised up the June sales rate to 422,000 from 406,000. New-home sales plunged 30.8 percent in the Northeast, followed by smaller drop-offs in the Midwest and West. Purchases...

  • As the Mercedes rift continues, Red Bull is showing some encouraging return to form
    Aug 25, 2014 9:42 AM CDT

    SPA, Belgium (AP) — As Mercedes tries to get to grips with the latest dispute between its two bickering drivers in their tussle for the Formula One title, Red Bull is quietly enjoying an encouraging return to form. It has been a difficult season for Red Bull, which had won the past four drivers' and constructors' championships thanks to the previous dominance of its car and the consistency of four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel. The roles have been reversed, with Mercedes rolling over...

  • Tribal casino proposal roils Martha's Vineyard, vacation destination for the well-heeled
    Aug 25, 2014 8:58 AM CDT

    AQUINNAH, Mass. (AP) — On the western tip of Martha's Vineyard, bright clay cliffs and a red brick lighthouse draw visitors as they pile out of cars and tour buses and head up to this town's scenic overlook. But the leaders of the Aquinnah Wampanoags, the federally recognized American Indian tribe whose ancestors first inhabited the island, envision a new destination. They've proposed transforming an unfinished tribal community center a few miles inland into a high-stakes bingo and poker hall...

  • Hotels collecting record amounts in fees; they'll guarantee that king bed for $30
    Aug 25, 2014 7:23 AM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Forget bad weather, traffic jams and kids asking, "Are we there yet?" The real headache for many travelers is a quickly-growing list of hotel surcharges, even for items they never use. Guaranteeing two queen beds or one king bed will cost you, as will checking in early or checking out late. Don't need the in-room safe? You're likely still paying. And the overpriced can of soda may be the least of your issues with the hotel minibar. Vacationers are finding it harder to anticipate...

  • Iceland lowers aviation alert to orange; no signs of imminent eruption from Bardarbunga
    Aug 25, 2014 7:21 AM CDT

    REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland lowered its aviation alert level to orange from red Sunday, saying there was no sign of an imminent eruption at the Bardarbunga volcano. And scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office said their announcement Saturday that the volcano had experienced a subglacial eruption was wrong. But the office cautioned in a statement that seismic activity at the volcano, which has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the past week, was not slowing, and an eruption...

  • Blood of a small nation: Whisky's worries mirror economic concerns over Scottish independence
    Aug 25, 2014 6:58 AM CDT

    ISLAY, Scotland (AP) — Carl Reavey plunged his nose into the glass, inhaled the amber liquid's scent, then sipped. Slowly. It's said that Scotch tastes of the place where it is made, so Reavey's Bruichladdich Black Art single malt would offer a touch of barley, a splash of the sea, and a whiff of salt from the island of Islay, 140 miles (225 kilometers) west of Glasgow. That taste takes time — a long time — to produce, with top-rated Scotch aged for decades. And it means distilleries need to...

  • AP Photos: Underworld spirits let loose to roam during Hong Kong's Hungry Ghost Festival
    Aug 25, 2014 5:27 AM CDT

    HONG KONG (AP) — Countless hungry and restless ghosts are roaming Hong Kong, and the world, to visit their living descendants, at least according to Chinese convention. In traditional Chinese belief, the seventh month of the lunar year is reserved for the Hungry Ghost festival, or Yu Lan, a raucous celebration marked by feasts and music. This year the festival began Aug. 10. According to folklore, the ghosts who wander the physical world are ravenous and envious after dying without descendants...

  • Toyota's most rugged Land Cruiser 70 is back in Japan, a nameplate that represents durability
    Aug 25, 2014 4:51 AM CDT

    TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is bringing back the Land Cruiser 70 in Japan, catering to nostalgic demand for the rugged off-roader that's favored for challenging terrains and as an aid agency vehicle in disaster zones. The 3.6 million yen ($35,000) Land Cruiser 70, the toughest of the Land Cruiser models, arrives at Japanese dealers Monday. But it's on sale for only a year, with planned production of 200 a month. Japan sales were discontinued in 2004, but fans have long wanted the model back...

  • Koch 101: Those billionaire brothers. How'd they got so rich? What's their role in politics?
    Aug 25, 2014 3:45 AM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A primer on the Koch brothers and their role in politics. Q: Who are the Koch brothers? A: Charles and David Koch, ages 78 and 74, are billionaire brothers who helped create a broad network of nonprofit groups that control hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into politics. Through their deep pockets, they are reshaping politics with an uncompromising agenda of reducing regulation, advancing libertarian ideas, promoting free-market Republican candidates and ousting Democrats....

  • Meet the Kochs: 4 brothers who took the family genes and money in way different directions
    Aug 25, 2014 3:43 AM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — They are an outsized force in modern American politics, the best-known brand of the big money era, yet still something of a mystery to those who cash their checks. Meet the Koch brothers. (Pronounced like the cola.) Perhaps the first thing you need to know is that there are four of them. Charles is the steady, driven one. He's grounded in the Kansas soil of their birth. David is his outgoing younger brother. He's a New Yorker now and pronounces himself forever changed by a...

  • Meet the Kochs: 4 brothers who took the family genes and money in way different directions
    Aug 25, 2014 3:42 AM CDT

    WASHINGTON (AP) — They are the outsized force in modern American politics, the best-known brand of the big money era, yet still something of a mystery to those who cash their checks. They're demonized by Democrats, who lack a liberal equal to counter their weight, and not entirely understood by Republicans, who benefit from their seemingly limitless donations. These are the Koch brothers, and perhaps the first thing you need to know is that there are four of them. The constant shorthand reference...

  • Hotels collecting record amounts in fees; they'll guarantee that king bed for $30
    Aug 25, 2014 2:27 AM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Forget bad weather, traffic jams and kids asking, "Are we there yet?" The real headache for many travelers is a quickly-growing list of hotel surcharges, even for items they never use. Guaranteeing two queen beds or one king bed will cost you, as will checking in early or checking out late. Don't need the in-room safe? You're likely still paying. And the overpriced can of soda may be the least of your issues with the hotel minibar. Vacationers are finding it harder to anticipate...

  • Ballet lessons bring grace and hope to the lives of girls in Brazil's gritty slums
    Aug 24, 2014 11:06 PM CDT

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Past the graffiti-covered overpass and subway tracks, in a slum penned in by high-rises, 8-year-old Gabriela Aparecida fixes her curly hair into a bun as she waits for a ride to her new favorite activity: ballet. Peeling back the tarp over the doorway, the skinny girl reaches out into the dirt alleyway to hug the church volunteer arriving to take her to dance class. Growing up amid drug dealers and addicts, Gabriela has yet to learn how to read. Yet she and other girls from a...

  • Charli XCX calls on her yellow spirit animal, Ariana Grande in black moto at MTV music awards
    Aug 24, 2014 10:27 PM CDT

    Katy Perry and Riff Raff took it back to 2001 Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake in matching denim, while Amber Rose channeled Rose McGowan circa 1998 in barely there silver with cascading chains at Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards. Perry popped out of a sports car with the grilled Riff Raff onto the red carpet just before the televised awards began. She called her tight, studded patchwork dress a custom Versace in a "throwback to Britney and Justin," a la the American Music Awards 13 years ago....

  • The latest from AP reporters on scene after California earthquake causes damage, injuries
    Aug 24, 2014 7:46 PM CDT

    NAPA, Calif. (AP) — This is what Associated Press reporters on the scene are learning following the largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years: 5:43 p.m. PDT State and local roads leading to wineries south of Napa, around the community of Carneros, we're closer to the quake's suspected origin and showed more damage than elsewhere. By the middle of the afternoon, road crews had patched a section of state Highway 121 where the roadbed had shifted, cracking open the surface....

  • Seed company sued over wages, living conditions for Michigan migrant workers in 2012
    Aug 24, 2014 7:20 PM CDT

    CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — A major seed company is being sued by 32 migrant farm workers and seven of their children over the workers' claims that they were underpaid and experienced unsafe conditions and poor housing while removing tassels from corn in southwestern Michigan. The workers are mostly from Texas and were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County. Detasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn still is in the ground. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Grand Rapids,...

  • Fashion designers, meet Intel: fitness technology going luxury in a marriage of 2 worlds
    Aug 24, 2014 6:30 PM CDT

    NEW YORK (AP) — Luxury fashion is making inroads in wearable tech as more designers try their hands at developing smart, stylish accessories and clothing aimed at tracking performance and health, or simply making connected lives easier to manage. "We actually think the fashion industry should be in the driver's seat," Ayse Ildeniz, vice president of business development and strategy for Intel's new devices group, said at a January event in Las Vegas. Designers are listening. Luxury brand Ralph...

  • Earthquake strikes at heart of California wine country, just as harvest season begins
    Aug 24, 2014 4:29 PM CDT

    NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Winemakers in California's storied Napa Valley woke up to thousands of broken bottles and barrels as a result of Sunday's earthquake. The earthquake couldn't have come at a worse time for the region, which has just started harvesting the 2014 crop. "It's devastating. I've never seen anything like this," said Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, California. The epicenter of the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Northern California, the strongest...

  • Rebels parade captive Ukrainian soldiers on streets of Donetsk as citizens shout and hurl eggs
    Aug 24, 2014 2:25 PM CDT

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — To shouts of "Fascists!" and "Hang them from a tree!" captured Ukrainian soldiers were paraded through the streets of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Sunday as bystanders pelted them with eggs, water bottles and tomatoes. The spectacle of the bruised and filthy soldiers being marched hands bound and surrounded by gun-toting pro-Russian insurgents came as Ukrainians in Kiev celebrated their country's independence from the Soviet Union — a stark display of the growing...

  • Here's more information on how tearing out a lawn pencils out in drought-stricken California
    Aug 24, 2014 12:04 PM CDT

    As more Californians tear out their lawns and plant drought-friendly gardens, many homeowners wonder how the effort will pencil out. WATER USAGE In some areas, at least half of the daily water use is for lawns and outdoor landscaping, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. Between 1998 and 2010, homes used an average of 2.7 million acre-feet of water indoors and 3 million acre-feet outdoors, together accounting for nearly 13 percent of the state's water use, state figures show....

  • Californians swap out thirsty grass lawns for gardens to cope with state's historic drought
    Aug 24, 2014 11:54 AM CDT

    LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Rick Blankenship was tired of an insatiable lawn he couldn't keep green, no matter how he watered it, so he decided to tear it out. Three years later, he brims with pride at his new front yard in Long Beach, California, carpeted with natural sage- and emerald green-colored ground covers and shaded by flowering magnolia and peppermint willow trees. "It just sounded like a great way to save money and at the same time, kind of beautify my landscape," said the 51-year-old...

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