Obama defends tenor of campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) — Denounced by his Republican rival for divisiveness, President Barack Obama on Monday defended the tone of his campaign in a combative election year and insisted it’s actually Mitt Romney’s ads that are “patently false.” But Obama did distance himself from a particularly provocative negative ad by a political group that supports him.
Obama also joined the cascade of criticism from both parties for comments on rape and abortion...
Gambling regulators say charity poker runs are illegal
GARDEN CITY (AP) — Increasingly popular fundraising activities such as poker runs and charity poker tournaments are illegal in Kansas, state gambling regulators said, though violations are rarely prosecuted.
Bill Miskell, a spokesman for the state Racing and Gaming Commission, told The Garden City Telegram for a story published Saturday that most people aren’t aware that they’re breaking law when they organize such events. He said the state le...
Democrats say Romney supports Ryan’s budget
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Led by President Barack Obama, Democrats claimed on Monday that Republican challenger Mitt Romney privately backs controversial plans to overhaul Medicare and cut trillions from social programs that his new vice presidential running mate has publicly proposed.
Rep. Paul Ryan “has given definition to the vague commitments that Romney has been making,” Vice President Joe Biden said as the Democrats welcomed the Wiscon...
Study supports junk food laws
CHICAGO (AP) — Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.
The results come from the first large national look at the effectiveness of the state laws over time. They are not a slam-dunk, and even obesity experts who praised the study acknowledge the measures are a political hot potato, s...
Flights become timelier
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. airlines are more punctual and less likely to lose your bag than at any time in more than two decades.
Travelers still have to put up with packed planes, rising fees and unpredictable security lines, but they are late to fewer business meetings and are not missing as many chances to tuck their kids into bed.
Nearly 84 percent of domestic flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled time in the first half of the yea...
Drone pilot becomes popular Air Force job
WASHINGTON (AP) — Becoming a fighter pilot is still a hotly coveted goal at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
But slowly, a culture change is taking hold.
Initially snubbed as second-class pilot-wannabes, the airmen who remotely control America’s arsenal of lethal drones are gaining stature and securing a permanent place in the Air Force.
Drawn to the flashy drone strikes that have taken out terrorists including al-Qaida leader ...
Romney, Obama bemoan attack ads, but both benefit
PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama both deplored the pervasive presence of televised attack ads in the race for the White House on Thursday, though neither acknowledged being helped as well as harmed. Each blamed his foe.
Romney went first, saying of the president’s campaign, “They just blast ahead” with ads that have been judged false by independent fact checkers.
“I don’t know whatever happened to a campaign of ‘hope...
Obama’s welfare waiver becomes campaign issue
WASHINGTON (AP) — Welfare is causing a ruckus in the presidential campaign. But the program is a shadow of its old self from the 1970s, when Ronald Reagan used the image of “welfare queens” to assail government poverty programs promoted by liberals.
Nowadays government cash assistance to the poor is mainly conditioned on work. And the Obama administration waivers excoriated by Mitt Romney as gutting welfare reform are unlikely to reverse that ...
Negotiators back new Iran sanctions
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is pressing ahead with a new package of crippling sanctions on Iran, expanding on financial penalties and targeting Tehran’s energy and shipping sectors in the hope that economic pressure undercuts its suspected nuclear weapons program.
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement late Monday on legislation that builds on the current penalties directed at financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central ...
Egypt’s leaders promise democracy
CAIRO (AP) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that Egypt’s new president and its military chief have reassured him they will steer the country to full democracy.
“It’s clear that Egypt, following the revolution, is committed to putting into place a democratic government,” Panetta told reporters after meetings in Cairo with President Mohammed Morsi and Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.
It was Panetta’s first encounter with Mors...
Problems grow in besieged Syrian city
BEIRUT (AP) — Humanitarian conditions have grown even more dire in the besieged Syria city of Aleppo with activists reporting on Tuesday dwindling stocks of food and cooking gas and only intermittent electricity supplies as droves of residents flee 11 days of intense clashes between rebels and regime forces.
Government helicopters pounded rebel neighborhoods across Syria’s largest city and main commercial hub. Activists said the random shellin...
Japan pro-nuclear voices grow louder
TOKYO (AP) — A contentious debate over nuclear power in Japan is also bringing another question out of the shadows: Should Japan keep open the possibility of making nuclear weapons — even if only as an option?
It may seem surprising in the only country ever devastated by atomic bombs, particularly as it marks the 67th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima on Monday and Nagasaki three days later. The Japanese government officially renounces ...
Task force seizes designer drugs
SALINA (AP) — Kansas law enforcement officers seized herbal potpourri from three Salina businesses and one alleged supplier even as federal agents nationwide were embarking on an unrelated crackdown against manufacturers and sellers of synthetic designer drugs.
The Salina Journal reported Thursday that no arrests were made during the Salina seizures, which were conducted Wednesday by the I-135-I-70 Drug Task Force. Separately, the Drug Enforce...
Google sets price for its ultra-fast Internet
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Google Inc. revealed Thursday what it will charge for its long-awaited, ultra-fast Internet service in Kansas City: $70 per month.
The service is intended as a showcase for what’s technically possible and as a testbed for the development of new ways to use the Internet. Bypassing the local cable and phone companies, Google has spent months and an unknown amount of money pulling its own optical fiber through the two-stat...
Drought rapidly intensifies
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The widest drought to grip the United States in decades is getting worse with no signs of abating, a new report warned Thursday, as state officials urged conservation and more ranchers considered selling cattle.
The drought covering two-thirds of the continental U.S. had been considered relatively shallow, the product of months without rain, rather than years. But Thursday’s report showed its intensity is rapidly increasing, w...
Drought leaves Kansas rivers dry early
HUTCHINSON (AP) — In the drought of the 1930s, Mark Rogers’ grandfather sank barrels into the dry bed of the North Fork of the Ninnescah River near K-17 in an effort to catch the river’s underflow so the family’s cattle could have water.
The river went dry again in the 1950s and then, one last time that Rogers recalls, in 1966.
But the Ninnescah started going dry north of Cheney Reservoir a few weeks ago. And as he walked the river toward the ...
Organization that helps farmers continues to grow
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A unique farm aid organization started in North Dakota six years ago by an airplane pilot has grown steadily from its humble beginnings with less than a handful of volunteers and very little money and is now expanding into its fifth state.
Farm Rescue this fall will begin harvesting crops for injured, ill or disaster-stricken farmers in Iowa. The organization supported by volunteers, donations and business sponsors for th...
Court victory comes too late
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas woman’s victory in a religious freedom case came too late for a lifesaving liver transplant.
Mary Stinemetz of Hill City is terminally ill with chronic liver disease. The 65-year-old woman is a Jehovah’s Witness, a religion that forbids blood transfusions.
She won a legal battle last year that forced the state to pay for a transplant in Nebraska that did not require a blood transfusion. She continues to receive...
Brownback tries to calm worries over income tax cuts
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas’ finances are solid enough to go forward with the massive state income tax cuts approved by legislators earlier this year, Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday, addressing election-season angst and worries over whether the reductions will create big budget problems in the near future.
Brownback’s comments came as he announced that the state will pay off $25 million in bonds early, debt used to help finance an ongoing renovati...
Heat wave death toll reaches five
TOPEKA (AP) — Air quality advisories remained in effect Tuesday for Kansas metropolitan areas as a heat wave that’s claimed five lives this season continues to grip the region.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said a combination of extreme heat, low wind and clear skies is raising ozone levels in urban areas. The advisories cover Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita and were first issued over the weekend.
Elevated ozone levels are of...