Top Stories

  • Phillies' feeble offense spoils Burnett's start

    Updated: 8 min ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia offense wasted a good outing by a starter Former Phillies outfielder Hunter Pence drove in all of San Francisco's runs with a double in the ninth inning, and Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night. One night after blowing just his third save in 26 chances, closer Jonathan Papelbon (2-2) took the loss. The Phillies' offense, which ranks near the bottom of the National League in several categories, managed just seven hits, and Philadelphia lost its fourth straight and seventh in eight. "It's really been the problem we've had the last three games, stranding guys out there," Phillies manager Ryne

  • Brownback urges compromise on Kansas energy rule

    Updated: 11 min ago

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback called Wednesday for a compromise between wind-power advocates and opponents of a renewable-energy law for Kansas utilities to settle the rule's future, but his office later said he wasn't proposing to phase out the policy. Brownback faced questions about a 2009 state energy law during an impromptu meeting with Statehouse reporters. The policy requires utilities to have wind and other renewable sources account for 15 percent of their peak capacity for generating electricity by 2016 and 20 percent by 2020. Supporters contend the law has spurred the development of a vibrant wind-energy industry without much cost to consumers. Critics argue it is driving up electric bills and that the gov

  • Yankees top Rangers 2-1 in rain-shortened game

    Updated: 12 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A wet field gave the New York Yankees one weird win. Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking homer off All-Star ace Yu Darvish, and New York beat the Texas Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night in a rain-shortened game called in the fifth inning under bizarre circumstances. Once the rain stopped, the grounds crew did its best to dry out the field. But both managers expressed concern about players getting hurt on the soft basepaths, and the game was called after an unusual delay that lasted 1 hour, 49 minutes. "The field was just not playable," umpire crew chief Dale Scott told a pool reporter. During the delay, the last-place Rangers reached an agreement to trade closer Joakim Soria to Detroit for minor league pit

  • Australia vows help to secure Ukraine crash site

    Updated: 12 min ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's foreign minister said Thursday that her country stood ready to provide whatever resources were needed to secure the Malaysian airliner's crash site in Ukraine, as newspapers reported Australian troops and police could soon be sent. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was traveling with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans to meet with Ukraine leaders in Kyiv to discuss securing the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine. She said securing the crash site was the next priority for Australia after repatriating the 37 Australian citizens and residents aboard the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 which was shot down by a suspected surface-to-air missile last week, with the loss of 298 lives.

  • Cruz suggests flight ban is boycott of Israel

    Updated: 13 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday questioned whether President Barack Obama used a federal agency to impose an economic boycott on Israel after the Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. airline flights to Tel Aviv because of safety concerns amid fighting between Israel and Hamas. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf rejected Cruz's comments as "ridiculous and offensive." "The facts suggest that President Obama has just used a federal regulatory agency to launch an economic boycott on Israel, in order to try to force our ally to comply with his foreign-policy demands," Cruz said in a statement in which he posed five questions about the agency's actions, including whether it was politically moti

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo

    Updated: 23 min ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over the logo it uses for its two pizza shops and on merchandise sold online. It said in the suit that the company is trying to trade upon the fame of the Garden State Parkway logo to attract customers and potential franchisees. JoyAnn Kenny, a lawyer with the Red Bank-based firm of Marks & Klein LLP, which represents the company, defended its use of the logo in a letter to turnpike authority lawyers included in the suit. She wrote that there's no way anyone would confuse a highway and

  • Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

    Updated: 25 min ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started. Wood's lawyers had filed emergency appeals with federal and state courts while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour." Gov. Jan Brewer said later that she's ordering a full review of the state's execution process, saying she's concerned by how long it took for the admin

  • Darrell Wallace Jr. wins Mudsummer Classic

    Updated: 26 min ago

    ROSSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Darrell Wallace Jr. won the Mudsummer Classic on Wednesday night on the dirt at Eldora Speedway for his second Camping World Truck Series victory of the year. Wallace took the lead from Kyle Larson on the final restart on the half-mile oval and held on for his third career series victory. He gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its eighth victory in the first 10 races of the season. In addition to Wallace, Busch has won in all five of his starts and Erik Jones also has won for the team. Toyota also extended its winning streak to 12 races. "That's so cool — on the dirt at Eldora," Wallace said. "Really? Eldora? The coolest things about it is I came into this hoping we'd finish in the top five. I was worr

  • Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

    Updated: 27 min ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — There are no secrets to Hunter Pence's approach to hitting in crucial situations. His simple strategy worked again. Pence drove in all of San Francisco's runs with a double in the ninth and Madison Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night. "Just go up to compete, try to see the ball and hit the ball," Pence said. Bumgarner (12-7) gave up five hits while striking out six and walking none in a pitchers' duel with A.J. Burnett. "It was good to get quick outs tonight," Bumgarner said. It was the sixth win in seven games for first-place San Francisco, which moved two games ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport

    Updated: 28 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights to Israel, which it had imposed out of concern over the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets. The agency made its decision late Wednesday after working with other U.S. government entities to assess the security situation in Israel. Its decision was effective at 11:45 p.m. EDT. The FAA instituted a 24-hour prohibition Tuesday on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport in response to a rocket strike that landed about a mile from the airport. The directive, which was extended Wednesday, applied only to U.S. carriers. The FAA has no authority over foreign airlines operating in Israel. The FAA's flight ban was criticized

  • House, Senate advance competing border proposals

    Updated: 28 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — At an impasse on immigration, House Republicans and Senate Democrats advanced competing proposals Wednesday for dealing with tens of thousands of young migrants showing up at the southern border. Each side quickly ruled the other's approach unacceptable, leaving any solution unclear with Congress' annual August recess looming. Unless Democrats capitulate, "We're going to be at an impasse and we will have earned even greater disdain from the American people than we already have," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said. But Republicans were having difficulty agreeing even among themselves.

  • UN humanitarian chief calls for aid revamp

    Updated: 32 min ago

    TOKYO (AP) — The U.N.'s top humanitarian official called Thursday for major changes in the delivery of relief, as funding falls short because of a growing number of conflicts and disasters. "Needs are growing so fast, the funding cannot keep pace," said Valerie Amos, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs. With crises in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, U.N. funding appeals have risen to a record $16.9 billion in 2014 to help more than 50 million people, up from $6 billion in 2004. Amos, who is in Tokyo for a U.N.-organized meeting on improving relief in Asia, advocated a "step change" in the way humanitarian aid is delivered.

  • Taiwan airline suspects bad weather caused crash

    Updated: 34 min ago

    TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — An airline said Thursday it suspected typhoon weather caused one of its planes to crash land on a small Taiwanese island, killing 48 people. The ATR-72 operated by Taiwan's TransAsia Airways was carrying 58 passengers and crew when it crashed into houses on the Penghu island chain in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China late Wednesday, authorities said. The plane was on a flight from the city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. Two people killed on the plane were French citizens and the rest Taiwanese, an airline representative, Phoebe Lu, told The Associated Press on Thursday. The airline identified the French passengers as Jeromine Deramond and Penelope Luternauer.

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Israel

    Updated: 38 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — FAA lifts ban on US flights to Israel.

  • Farm bank donates $10 billion for rural projects

    Updated: 41 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bank that serves farmers and agribusiness is donating $10 billion to spur private investment in rural America. The White House was announcing the money Thursday as part of a rural conference it is holding this week. Colorado-based CoBank is part of a network of banks that provides financing to agribusiness and rural areas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he hopes private investors will follow with additional dollars for the fund, which will be managed by private partners. The Agriculture Department will help identify needed projects such as rural health care and educational facilities, water and wastewater systems, energy projects, and broadband improvements.

  • Cuba looks to mangroves to fend off rising seas

    Updated: 42 min ago

    HAVANA (AP) — Many people in this tiny hamlet on the southern coast of Cuba remember when the shore lay about 100 meters (yards) farther out. That was four decades ago. Since then, rising waters have gradually swallowed up rustic homes, a narrow highway that once paralleled the coast, even an old military tank that people now use to measure the sea's yearly advance. "There was a road there," said Jose Manuel Herrera, 42, a fisherman and former charcoal harvester, pointing toward the gentle waves. "You could travel from here all the way to Mayabeque.

  • Cobb outduels Lynn, Tampa Bay beats St. Louis 3-0

    Updated: 42 min ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn was at the top of his game on Wednesday night. So was Tampa Bay right-hander Alex Cobb and the Rays beat the Cardinals 3-0. Lynn gave up one earned run over 6 1-3 innings and continued a streak of four strong outings. "Some nights you are going to get out-pitched," Lynn said. "That was my view of the game. You go out there and match up with someone and he beat me. "That's baseball." Lynn (11-7) has allowed just five earned runs over his last four starts covering 25 2-3 innings. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked three against Tampa Bay. Lynn left trailing 1-0. "Lance did a great job," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

  • Alaska tourist train derails, injuring 9 slightly

    Updated: 47 min ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A popular tourist train derailed Wednesday in southeast Alaska, and nine people suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said. The derailment occurred during the afternoon run of the White Pass & Yukon Route tourist train, which goes from Skagway, Alaska, into Canada. There were few immediate details of what happened, but railroad President John Finlayson said the train derailed as it reached the White Pass Summit. State officials said they weren't sure late Wednesday afternoon how many cars derailed or whether the accident even occurred in Alaska or Canada. The National Transportation Safety Board was informed of the accident, but it wasn't immediately clear if rail safety personnel

  • Tampa Bay beats St. Louis 3-0 behind Cobb

    Updated: 51 min ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb threw 10 pitches off the mound on Tuesday and was unhappy. "It was horrible," Cobb said. "I was not looking forward to coming into tonight." However, he was very glad he made the start Wednesday night. Cobb struck out 10 and drove in a run with his first major league hit, leading the Rays to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rays' seventh straight win. Cobb (6-6) blanked the Cardinals on five hits over seven innings. It was the fourth time this season he has thrown at least seven innings without an earned run. Cobb missed 50 games last season with a concussion after he was hit near the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City's Eric Hosmer.

  • Tigers acquire closer Joakim Soria from Rangers

    Updated: 53 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The first-place Detroit Tigers have reinforced the back end of their shaky bullpen, acquiring closer Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers for minor league pitchers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel. The trade was completed Wednesday night during Texas' rain-shortened loss to the New York Yankees. Soria says he was informed of the deal during the delay at Yankee Stadium. Soria is 1-3 with a 2.70 ERA and 17 saves in 19 chances. Detroit has been looking to upgrade a relief corps that ranked 12th out of 15 American League teams with a 4.37 ERA. Soria moves from the last-place Rangers to the AL Central-leading Tigers and gets reunited with the closer he replaced in Texas this season. Joe Nathan, a Rangers relie