• Pope boosts Rome's 2024 bid but warns: 'I won't be around'


    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has given a papal thumbs up to Rome's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics amid talk that the Vatican might host some events. But he is warning: "I won't be around." Francis, 78, met with members of the Italian Olympic Committee at the Vatican Friday for a Mass to mark their 100th anniversary. The soccer-mad Francis extolled the benefits of sport and the peaceful message of the Olympic movement. He said: "Best wishes also for Rome's bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games!" then added "I won't be around." Speculation has mounted that the Vatican might host archery or badminton in St. Peter's Square, if Rome gets the Games. Vatican officials say they've discussed the Olympic bid and areas for co

  • Cloudy Friday in central Oklahoma with chance of rain

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

    Friday will be cloudy in central Oklahoma. Sunny days are ahead for Christmas.

  • Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies


    BEIJING (AP) — Faced with rising cybercrime like the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, companies worldwide are under pressure to tighten security but are hampered by cost and, for some, reluctance to believe they are in danger. The Sony attack, which U.S. officials blamed on North Korea, was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. But it is just the highest-profile case in a growing flood of data breaches that have risen in sophistication over the past five years.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's 114-109 loss in Golden State

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

    Here are five observations from the Thunder’s 114-109 loss in Golden State on Thursday night: 1. KD goes down – Disaster, at this point, seems to be averted. Kevin Durant was walking without crutches, a walking boot or much of a limp postgame. X-rays on his right ankle were negative. He even said he hopes to play as […]

  • Kevin Durant says ankle sprain not serious, hopes to play on Friday against Lakers

    Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Dec 19, 2014

    Kevin Durant disappeared into the halftime tunnel with a worrisome limp and didn’t return to the public’s eye for the rest of the night. But late Thursday night inside Oakland’s Oracle Arena, Durant left the locker room with just a minor gimp on that sprained right ankle. No crutches, no walking boot and apparently no worries that this […]

  • Oklahoma City residents express concerns about oil drilling plan for Lake Hefner

    BY PAUL MONIES, Business Writer | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    Hundreds of residents turned out to presentations Thursday night by city officials and representatives of Pedestal Oil Co. Inc., which wants to drill on the south shore of Lake Hefner.

  • Judge: Slender Man stabbing defendants competent

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fantasy character called Slender Man are mentally fit to stand trial on attempted homicide charges, a judge ruled Thursday. Experts for the state concluded that both girls would be able to assist in their own defenses but their attorneys disagreed with the findings. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren sided with the state during back-to-back hearings to decide the issue Thursday. During the first hearing, the 13-year-old girl watched quietly as experts explained why they thought she was or wasn't fit to go on trial. Wearing a black pantsuit and shackles, she spoke only to tell the judge that she believed she wasn't competent.

  • Sony film took aim at North Korea's biggest taboo

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — If the U.S. government's claim is correct that North Korea was involved in the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures that scuttled Seth Rogen's latest comedy, no one can say they weren't warned. The movie, "The Interview," pushed all of North Korea's buttons. No country would welcome a movie portraying the glib and graphic assassination of its leader. But nowhere could it be expected to generate more official outrage and possible reprisals than in North Korea, home to the world's most intense cult of personality, where even the hint of criticism of the ruling Kim dynasty can mean a long stint in prison and where it's a serious offense to merely crumple up a newspaper with any of the leaders' images.

  • 2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska and Oklahoma on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado's legalization of marijuana unconstitutional, saying the drug is being brought from Colorado into the neighboring states. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the states filed a lawsuit seeking a court order to prevent Colorado from enforcing the measure known as Amendment 64, which was approved by voters in 2012. The complaint says the measure runs afoul of federal law and therefore violates the Constitution's supremacy clause, which says federal laws trump state laws. "This contraband has been heavily trafficked into our state," Bruning said at a news conference in Lincoln.

  • 'Pretty horrible' scene; car slams into crowd

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Pedestrians were filing out of a church Christmas service when a car sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd before hitting another car head-on, police and witnesses said. Three people were killed, and several more were injured, California authorities said. "Someone ran the red light, and bodies started flying. It was pretty horrible," witness Marco Zonno told KNBC-TV. Within moments of the crash Wednesday night along California's famed Pacific Coast Highway, people were at the sides of victims lying in the street, said Mark Milutin, 26, who was in one of the cars stopped at the light. "It was a very fast reaction," he said. "Two or three people were around each

  • Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings. Security was tight at the federal courthouse in Boston for Tsarnaev's final pretrial conference. Tensions ran high, and one bombing victim had a testy exchange with protesters outside. During the brief court hearing, U.S. District Court George O'Toole Jr. made no rulings, saying he would rule in writing on pending motions, including the defense's latest push to move the trial out of Boston.

  • Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to shore up the plummeting ruble and revive the economy within two years. While he issued a litany of sharp rebukes against the West, Putin struck a conciliatory note on Ukraine, saying that the rebellious east should remain part of the country, backing a quick exchange of war prisoners and praising his Ukrainian counterpart. The mixture of blistering anti-Western rhetoric and constructive signals appeared to indicate that Putin is eager to negotiate a face-saving solution to the Ukrainian crisis, but has no intention of conceding defeat in his standoff with the West.

  • Pope Benedict helped free American from Cuba

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis rightly got credit for helping bring the U.S. and Cuba together and free U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross. But it was actually Francis' predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who made the first high-level Vatican manoeuver to release Gross, spurred in part by an unlikely group of papal lobbyists. The American Jewish Committee was one of several Jewish groups that approached the Vatican in the months before Benedict's March 2012 visit to Cuba to ask that the German pontiff raise the issue on humanitarian grounds with President Raul Castro, The Associated Press has learned. "I was told to rest assured that it would be and that it was raised," the AJC's Rabbi David Rosen told the AP o

  • Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    DENVER (AP) — Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornadoes form. Drones can penetrate parts of weather systems that other instruments can't reach, and they can do it at less cost and with less danger than piloted planes, the scientists say. The University of Colorado and University of Nebraska announced this week that they have formed the Unmanned Aircraft System and Severe Storms Research Group to develop the program. Here are some key questions and answers about the research: WHY USE DRONES? Scientists have no other way to get instrumen

  • Correction: Meningitis Outbreak story

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — In a story Dec. 17 about arrests in a deadly meningitis outbreak, The Associated Press erroneously reported Stuart Delery's title. He is the acting associate attorney general, not an assistant U.S. attorney. A corrected version of the story is below: 14 charged in deadly 2012 meningitis outbreak 14 employees at 'filthy' pharmacy charged in meningitis outbreak that killed 64 patients By DENISE LAVOIE Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. Pharmacists used expired ingredients, didn't properly sterilize them and failed to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospitals and pain clinics.

  • Correction: Exchange Student Shot story

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — In a story Dec. 18 about a Montana man convicted in the shooting death of a German teenager, The Associated Press reported erroneously the position of George Zimmerman, acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer, not a security guard. A corrected version of the story is below: Guilty verdict in German exchange student's death Jury convicts Montana man in German exchange student's death in 'castle doctrine' case By LISA BAUMANN Associated Press MISSOULA, Mont.

  • Ebola: 11th Sierra Leone doctor dies; fire destroys supplies

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — One of Sierra Leone's most senior physicians died Thursday from Ebola, the 11th doctor in the country to succumb to the disease, a health official said. In neighboring Guinea, a fire destroyed medicine crucial to fighting Ebola. The fire engulfed a warehouse at the Conakry airport and burned everything inside, said Dr. Moussa Konate, head of logistics for Guinea's Ebola response. He could not immediately say how much had been lost. The world's largest Ebola outbreak has drawn a massive international response, and supplies, including everything from rubber gloves to ambulances, have poured into West Africa.

  • A look at North Korea's cyberwar capabilities

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Most North Koreans have never seen the Internet. But the country Washington suspects is behind a devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has managed to orchestrate a string of crippling cyber infiltrations of South Korean computer systems in recent years, officials in Seoul believe, despite North Korea protesting innocence. Experts say the Sony Pictures hack may be the costliest cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business. The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie "The Interview.

  • US jobless aid applications decline to 289,000

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers. Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since late October. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 750 to 298,750. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The average has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year, evidence the job market is improving. Companies are cutting fewer jobs as the economy expands and hiring has picked up. In the first 11 months of this year, employers have added 2.65 million jobs. That already makes 2014 the best year for

  • Poll: 81 percent back Putin even as ruble falls

    Updated: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    MOSCOW (AP) — From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost about half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah. And yet most Russians see Putin not as the cause, but as the solution. The situation as seen from a Russian point of view is starkly different from that painted in the West, and it is driven largely by state television's carefully constructed version of reality and the Kremlin's methodical dismantling of every credible political alternative.