• Senate OKs Obama's choice for No. 2 diplomat

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to approve President Barack Obama's nominee to be deputy secretary of state, despite criticism from Sen. John McCain and other Republicans. Tony Blinken is replacing William Burns, who retired. Blinken joined the White House in 2009 as a top aide to Vice President Joe Biden. He later became Obama's deputy national security adviser and a key player on foreign policy issues, including the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. During his confirmation hearing last month, McCain asked Blinken whether he was wrong two years ago when he said "Iraq today is less violent, more democratic and more prosperous." The nation is embroiled in conflict again today.

  • Sony facing 2 suits by ex-workers over data breach

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment now faces two lawsuits from four former employees who claim the company did not do enough to prevent hackers from stealing nearly 50,000 social security numbers, salary details and other personal information from current and former workers. The lawsuits seek to gain class-action status on behalf of those employees whose private data, including medical records, have been released by hackers in recent weeks. Two employees sued Sony in federal court on Monday, alleging the company failed to secure its computer systems despite "weaknesses that it has known about for years," and instead made a business decision to accept the risk.

  • Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings commits suicide

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    PENNSBURG, Pa. (AP) — An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives in a shooting and slashing frenzy was found dead of self-inflicted stab wounds Tuesday in the woods of suburban Philadelphia, ending a day-and-a-half manhunt that closed schools and left people on edge. Bradley William Stone's body was discovered a half-mile from his Pennsburg home, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The 35-year-old former Marine sergeant had cuts in the center of his body, and some kind of knife was found at the scene, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.

  • Movie Review: "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"

    BY NATHAN POPPE | Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Peter Jackson returns to his cinematic rendition of J.R R. Tolkien’s beloved “Hobbit” prequel for the third and final time with mixed results.

  • Restaurateur who moved Mexican food to masses dies

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Larry J. Cano once said it was not his love of food so much as it was the way he was treated in a Mexican restaurant during a visit to his father's homeland that led him to help popularize Mexican food in the United States. Cano, who been a fighter pilot during World War II, paid a visit to Mexico City with a military buddy soon after the war. There, the pair were "treated like kings" wherever they went in uniform, including to a crowded restaurant that had been too busy to serve them when they were dressed as civilians. "That was great, but it got me thinking that all customers should get that treatment," the founder of the El Torito restaurant chain told the OCWeekly newspaper in 2011. "And it got me th

  • Police officer-involved car accident reported in McLoud

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Authorities are investigating an accident involving a trash truck and a McLoud police officer, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported Tuesday.

  • Keystone pipeline to top Senate agenda next year

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell declared Tuesday that approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January, potentially setting up an early veto confrontation with President Barack Obama. Congressional Republicans have been pushing for approval of the pipeline for years. Obama has resisted because of environmental concerns. "People want jobs and this project will create well-paying high-wage jobs for our people," McConnell told reporters. "We're optimistic we can pass it and put it on the president's desk." The $8 billion pipeline would carry oil from Canada into the United States and eventually to the Texas Gulf Coast. It has become a symbol for divisions over the countr

  • Green Day, Reed, Starr into rock hall

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The punk trio Green Day, poet of the New York underground Lou Reed and "Lean on Me" singer Bill Withers will lead a new class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. The hall announced Tuesday that it will also welcome Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, who famously sang about loving rock 'n' roll, and make Ringo Starr the fourth ex-Beatle enshrined as an individual. Besides Reed, the class includes other posthumous inductees Paul Butterfield and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The 30th annual induction ceremony will be held at Cleveland, Ohio's Public Hall next April 18. Public tickets go on sale Thursday. Green Day made it in the group's first year of eligibility.

  • Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick's parade

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — For the first time in its history, the sponsors of Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade will allow a group representing the gay community to participate, drawing cheers from Mayor Martin Walsh, who boycotted the event last year over the exclusion. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which has long resisted the inclusion of gay groups and won a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1995 upholding their right to ban them from the annual parade that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators, voted 5-4 on Monday night to allow the group OutVets to march in the parade scheduled for March 15. They will be allowed to carry a blue banner with five white stars representing the branches of the military and six vertical

  • Insurers ease 'Obamacare' deadline

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Trying to head off a new round of consumer headaches with President Barack Obama's health care law, the insurance industry said Tuesday it will give customers more time to pay their premiums for January. America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry trade group, says the voluntary steps include a commitment to promptly refund any overpayments by consumers who switched plans and may have gotten double-billed by mistake. Though the HealthCare.gov website is working far better this year, the industry announcement highlights behind-the-scenes technical issues between the government and insurers that have proven difficult to resolve. Last year's enrollment files were riddled with errors, and fixing those

  • Vatican offers olive branch to US nuns

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — A sweeping Vatican investigation into Roman Catholic nuns in the U.S. that began amid fears they had become too feminist and secular ended up praising the sisters for their selfless work caring for the poor — a major shift in tone that reflected the social justice mindset of Pope Francis. The overwhelmingly positive report Tuesday also promised to value their "feminine genius" more, while gently suggesting ways to serve the church faithfully and survive amid a steep drop in their numbers. It was cheered by the American sisters themselves, dozens of whom swarmed the Vatican news conference announcing the results in a rare occasion of women outnumbering men at the Vatican.

  • OSU football: Stillwater police responded to call of verbal domestic dispute at Tyreek Hill’s residence in November

    kyle fredrickson | Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    About one month before Tyreek Hill was dismissed from the Oklahoma State football program following allegations that he punched and choked his pregnant girlfriend, Stillwater police were alerted to Hill’s residence when someone called in a verbal domestic dispute. Stillwater police released the incident report following a records request by The Oklahoman. About 1 p.m. Nov. 3, two days after OSU lost 48-14 at Kansas State, an officer was alerted to Hill’s residence, 1012 E Echo Mountain Dr. The incident was listed as a verbal domestic in progress, which means the reporting caller likely heard loud and aggressive yelling from the listed address and requested an officer check in on the situation, a Stillwater

  • Oklahoma football: Remembering Howard Schnellenberger's ego

    Berry Tramel | Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    Howard Schnellenberger was hired to coach Sooner football 20 years ago today. We had no idea what we were in for. Including Schnellenberger’s ego. The Colonel had quite the ego. Books will be written and movies made, he said, about OU football. Schnellenberger was right. A new book about the Sooners comes out about every […]

  • Robin Williams tops 2014 list of Google searches

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams' suicide seared into the world's collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google. The reaction to Williams' death in August topped Google's list of 2014's fastest-rising search requests. It beat notable events such as the World Cup, the Ebola outbreak, the March disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the Ice Bucket Challenge, an Internet video craze to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Other topics of worldwide intrigue on Google included the addictive smartphone game "Flappy Bird," bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst, the Middle East extremist group ISIS, the hit Disney mo

  • 2 bombers kill 26 including 26 students in Yemen

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Two suicide car bombers rammed their vehicles into a Shiite rebels' checkpoint and a house south of the Yemeni capital Tuesday as a school bus was traveling nearby, killing at least 26 people including at least 16 primary school students, according to the Yemeni government, rebels and witnesses. Witnesses said that the first car was loaded with potatoes apparently disguising explosives underneath. When the car bomber arrived at the checkpoint manned by rebels, he blew up the vehicle as the students' bus was passing. After the first explosion, a second car targeted the home of a Shiite rebel leader, Abdullah Idris.

  • Man arrested after 15-year-old reports kidnapping, rape, Oklahoma City police say

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    A teenager told police she met a man at a fast-food restaurant in north Oklahoma City after running away from home a few days earlier and was staying with friends.

  • Letterman pulls curtain on holiday tradition

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — With the curtain soon to fall on David Letterman's late-night television career, the end comes Friday for an odd and emotional holiday tradition that involves comic Jay Thomas, the Lone Ranger, a giant meatball and, most indelibly, singer Darlene Love. Love will sing "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for the 21st and final time on Letterman's annual holiday show. He's retiring from the "Late Show" next May. "I'm looking forward to it this year more than any other year, with mixed feelings, of course," said Letterman's longtime bandleader, Paul Shaffer. "It's been incredibly meaningful for me." Letterman's holiday show has traditions, just not the ones you see in most households.

  • Sydney siege victims lauded for courage, kindness

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    SYDNEY (AP) — The manager of a Sydney cafe where a 16-hour siege ended in a hail of bullets early Tuesday was lauded for sacrificing his life by grabbing the gunman's shotgun, an act that reportedly helped bring the standoff to an end and saved the lives of most of his fellow hostages. Tori Johnson, the 34-year-old manager of the Lindt Chocolat Cafe, who was among the 17 hostages taken by the gunman and one of two who were killed, was remembered for putting his staffers' needs first. The other hostage who died, Katrina Dawson, a 38-year-old mother of three, was known as a brilliant lawyer who taught young students how to prepare for mock trials.

  • Former Browns quarterback Kosar rips team's front office

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar unloaded on the team's front office, saying it lacks vision and switching to rookie Johnny Manziel "is a recipe for disaster." Cleveland's best quarterback in the past 30 years and one of the most popular players in team history, Kosar delivered a harsh critique of his former team in an interview with WTAM radio Monday. Kosar, whose contract as a preseason TV analyst was not renewed last summer, condemned the Browns' current regime. "They don't know how to lead and organize and set a culture to play winning football, to win in the NFL consistently," Kosar said. "You can't play football like this." Manziel made his first start Sunday and played poorly in a 30-0 lo

  • RadioShack hires advisory firm

    Updated: Tue, Dec 16, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — RadioShack is bringing in FTI Consulting as an adviser in the midst of another round of cost cuts as the troubled electronics retailer warned again last week that it may have to seek bankruptcy protection. The company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that Carlin Adrianopoli, a senior managing director with FTI's corporate finance and restructuring service, will take over as interim chief financial officer at RadioShack. Holly Etlin, who became interim CFO in September, will no longer serve in that position. The company hired former Treasury Department adviser Harry Wilson to help with its turnaround efforts in late October. Last week, RadioShack Corp.