Turkey fortifies Syrian border; bomb injures three
BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and other weapons along its border with Syria on Thursday, a military buildup that came as world powers showed new urgency to resolve the crisis before it ignites the region.
A bomb exploded in central Damascus near a busy market and the country’s main justice complex, wounding at least three people, damaging cars in a parking lot and sending a black cloud rising above the Syri...
Colorado fire destroys 346 homes
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A raging Colorado wildfire that forced tens of thousands to flee destroyed an estimated 346 homes this week, making it the most destructive fire in the state’s history, officials said.
From above, the destruction becomes painfully clear: Rows and rows of houses were reduced to smoldering ashes even as some homes just feet away survived largely intact.
On one street, all but three houses had burned to their founda...
Facebook change brings criticism
NEW YORK (AP) — In yet another change that upset users, Facebook has replaced the email addresses users chose to display on their profile pages with (at)facebook.com addresses.
Previously, users may have displayed their personal yahoo.com or gmail.com address to let people know how to contact them outside of Facebook. Now, Facebook has hidden those addresses and put a Facebook email listing in its place.
The changes raised users’ suspicions. B...
Ruling offers inmates rare chance at freedom
DETROIT (AP) — The Supreme Court ruling that banned states from imposing mandatory life sentences on juveniles offers an unexpected chance at freedom to more than 2,000 inmates who had almost no hope they would ever get out.
In more than two dozen states, lawyers can now ask for new sentences. And judges will have discretion to look beyond the crime at other factors such as a prisoner’s age at the time of the offense, the person’s background a...
Experts doubt 9/11 caused many cancers
NEW YORK (AP) — Call it compassionate, even political. But ... scientific? Several experts say there’s no hard evidence to support the federal government’s declaration this month that 50 kinds of cancer could be caused by exposure to World Trade Center dust.
The decision could help hundreds of people get payouts from a multibillion-dollar World Trade Center health fund to repay those ailing after they breathed in toxic dust created by the coll...
Romney closes in on Obama in poll
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fighting a swell of economic anxiety, President Barack Obama has lost much of the narrow lead he held just a month ago over Mitt Romney and the two now are locked in a virtually even race for the White House, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The survey also found a majority of Americans disapproving of how the Democratic president is handling a national economy that fewer people think is improving.
Less than five...
Video shows Zimmerman’s account of fight
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman re-enacted the fight he had with Trayvon Martin in police video released Thursday, giving his most detailed account yet of what led him to fatally shoot the unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman claims in the video that Martin said “you’re going to die” and reached for Zimmerman’s gun just before the shooting.
The police recording was taken a day after the Feb. 26 shooting. The vid...
Court throws out FCC penalties
WASHINGTON (AP) — Broadcasters anticipating a major constitutional ruling on the government’s authority to regulate what can be shown and said on the airwaves instead won only the smallest of Supreme Court victories Thursday.
The justices unanimously threw out fines and other penalties against Fox and ABC television stations that violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on television airwaves.
Obama’s security record gives few openings for GOP
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s not-so-secret counterterrorism fight against al-Qaida in Yemen and Somalia, the killing of Osama bin Laden and strong hints of a cyber war against Iran give Republicans few openings to challenge the commander in chief.
This aggressive national security policy has undercut the derisive label Republicans have successfully attached to Democrats in the past: the soft-on-defense Mommy Party. It has been on...
Drones used in U.S. raise concerns
WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of drones patrolling U.S. skies?
Predictions that multitudes of unmanned aircraft could be flying here within a decade are raising the specter of a “surveillance society” in which no home or backyard would be off limits to prying eyes overhead. Law enforcement, oil companies, farmers, real estate agents and many others have seen the technology that was pioneered on battlefields, and they are eager to put it to use.
Epic clash nears over tax boosts, spending cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) — A budget showdown for the ages could begin after this year’s election and stretch well into 2013 — despite the threat that an impending half-trillion-dollar avalanche of tax increases and spending cuts might rekindle a national recession.
The reason: an unprecedented collision of high-stakes fiscal decisions, coming at a time of intense partisanship, a teetering economy, record federal deficits and, possibly, a new president....
With Alzheimer’s, hospital stays can be hazardous
WASHINGTON (AP) — For people with Alzheimer’s disease, a hospital stay may prove catastrophic.
People with dementia are far more likely to be hospitalized than other older adults, often for preventable reasons like an infection that wasn’t noticed early enough. Hospitals can be upsetting to anyone, but consider the added fear factor if you can’t remember where you are or why strangers keep poking you.
Now a new study highlights the lingering i...
Parties are worlds apart on economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans are desperate for work, runaway government spending clouds the future and Democratic and Republican candidates are busy making one thing clear: They’re light years apart on what to do about it.
They do agree that in this election, the economy is everything. President Barack Obama calls it “the defining issue of our time.” But for voters wishing Washington would come together in a time of crisis, Obama, h...
Obama, Putin discuss Syria
LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — Seeking common ground, President Barack Obama said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Monday on the need for a political process in Syria to prevent civil war in the violence-torn country and said any tensions between the United States and Russia can be worked out.
The two men were meeting for the first time since Putin returned to the presidency amid friction over Syria and a recognition that both need one...
Ban on big sodas may face legal test
NEW YORK (AP) — If New York City bans big sodas, what’s next on the list? Large slices of pizza? Double-scoop ice cream cones? Tubs of movie-theater popcorn? The 16-ounce strip steak?
The proposed crackdown on super-sized drinks could face a legal challenge from those who oppose the first-in-the-nation rule and fear the city isn’t going to stop with beverages.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to bar restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, foo...
Low prices, weak hiring raise odds of Fed action
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. job market is flagging, and consumer prices are barely rising. The picture sketched by data released Thursday has made some economists predict the Federal Reserve will announce some new step next week to boost the economy.
Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week, pointing to a fourth straight month of sluggish hiring in June. And consumer prices were pulled down in May by a plunge in gas prices.
KU wants $30 million for project
TOPEKA (AP) — The University of Kansas will ask the state for $30 million to help fund a new medical education building on the university’s medical campus in Kansas City, Kan.
The new building will cost an estimated $75 million and replace a building erected in 1976 that has become outdated, university officials said.
The Kansas Board of Regents will consider the request, along with other funding requests from all public institutions of higher...
Students attend KHP academy
SALINA (AP) — The morning starts with push-ups, sit-ups and laps around the gym.
“It’s better than coffee,” said Haden Finley of Wakeeney.
“If you say so. I have to have coffee to wake myself up afterward,” replied Daniel Frazier of El Dorado.
After the morning exercises, breakfast and flag ceremony, the real fun begins for Finley, Frazier and 33 other participants in the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Cadet Law Academy. They shoot rifles, pistols an...
Shooting spree survivor wins Giffords’ Arizona House seat
PHOENIX (AP) — Ron Barber, who almost lost his life in the Arizona shooting rampage that wounded former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, won a special election to succeed her, giving Democrats a psychological boost after last week’s failed effort to recall Wisconsin’s Republican governor.
Appearing with Giffords at a Tucson hotel after his victory Tuesday night, Barber told supporters, “Life takes unexpected turns and here we are, thanks to you.” Giff...
Romney hopes to ride 2010 wave in battleground Ohio
LORAIN, Ohio (AP) — The office of Chase Ritenauer, the Democratic mayor of this north-central Ohio city, overlooks peacefully moored sailboats on Lake Erie — and a sewage treatment plant. So it goes for Ohio Democrats this election year: Some things look a lot better than others.
Republican Mitt Romney, they admit, has a real chance of putting the state back into the GOP column after President Barack Obama’s hard-fought win in 2008.