Top Stories


  • Servier, lab founder in drug scandal, dies at 92

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — Jacques Servier, the founder of France's second-largest pharmaceutical group who became ensnared in a scandal over a diabetes drug widely used for weight loss, has died. Servier Research Group announced the death of 92-year-old Servier late Wednesday. Servier and his lab were at the center of one of France's biggest health scandals, in which the drug Mediator was alleged to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. The European Medicines Agency pulled Mediator from shelves when it found that its active ingredient, benfluorex, could lead to a dangerous thickening of heart valves. The ingredient is a derivative of fenfluramine, whose use in a diet drug in the U.S. was linked to similar problems.

  • What's next in gay marriage's legal odyssey?

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Thursday's hearing in Denver is the second of two hearings on gay marriage that are weighted with legal significance. The cases are the first time an appellate court has considered the ramifications of last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The 30-minute hearing on the legality of Oklahoma's gay marriage ban comes one week after a three-judge panel heard a similar case originating from Utah. Gay rights activists have won eight lower court cases since the Supreme Court ruling, and expectations are high that the nation's highest court will eventually rule that gays can marry in every state. But there's a lot that can happen before then.

  • Robber who was homesick for prison to be sentenced

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Walter Unbehaun has spent nearly all of his adult life behind bars, so it's not surprising that he faces sentencing Thursday for yet another crime, a bank robbery last year. His reason for robbing the bank is surprising, though: He was homesick for prison. The 74-year-old high-school dropout and part-time bathtub repairman probably isn't the first long-term convict to find he prefers being barked at by guards to life on the outside, which has its own demands. But living alone and feeling unhappy, Unbehaun decided to change his situation by committing a crime in order to get caught. On Feb.

  • Oklahoma gay-marriage case before US appeals court

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for two Oklahoma women and the county clerk who would not give them a marriage license go before a federal appeals court with a familiar question for the judges: Did the state's voters single out gay people for unfair treatment when they defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman? The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard similar issues in a Utah case last week, giving Oklahoma lawyers a preview of what questions they might face. "Essentially, (the cases) are not that different," said Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Byron Babione, who is representing Tulsa County Clerk Sally Howe Smith.

  • India struggles with rebel threats during election

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    RAJNANDGAON, India (AP) — Indians cast ballots Thursday on the biggest day of voting in the country's weekslong general election, streaming into polling stations even in areas where rebels threatened violence over the plight of India's marginalized and poor. Nationwide voting began April 7 and runs through May 12, with results for the 543-seat lower house of Parliament to be announced four days later. Among the 13 key states voting Thursday was Chhattisgarh, now the center of India's four-decade Maoist insurgency. "I want a good life for my baby, security and peace," said Neha Ransure, a 25-year-old woman who was voting in the Chhattisgarh town of Rajnandgaon despite fears of violence. "The rebels are bad. They kill our sol

  • Sweet Olive declared a nuisance

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The fate of the Sweet Olive, which took tourists on tours of the Mississippi River for nine years, is in the hands of Mack Varner, Vicksburg's Community Court judge. Community Development Director Victor Gray-Lewis said a hearing on the boat, which has been declared a nuisance by the city, will be May 20. Mississippi River Tours owners Ann and Jim Jones closed their business in 2012, and the Sweet Olive has remained moored at the public landing at City Front. Jim Jones' father started the business in 2003. Ann Jones declined to comment on the situation.

  • Judge orders Maricopa County to pay attorney fees

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — A judge is ordering Maricopa County to pay $190,000 for attorney fees incurred by a Sun City medical dispensary operator which successfully challenged the county's refusal to provide zoning clearance for the facility. Superior Court Judge Michael D. Gordon also ordered the county to pay $3,700 in other legal costs borne by White Mountain Health Center Inc. plus a $5,000 penalty for trying to impose a blanket prohibition on medical marijuana dispensaries. Gordon previously ruled in White Mountain's lawsuit that the county wasn't in compliance with Arizona's voter-approved law on medical marijuana. The county is appealing Gordon's ruling that dispensaries are allowed despite federal laws against marijuana

  • New Life Lodge to pay $9.25M over fraud claims

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BURNS, Tenn. (AP) — Owners of the New Life Lodge drug and alcohol treatment facility in Burns have agreed to pay $9.25 million to settle allegations of TennCare fraud. According to the state attorney general's office, the state claims that CRC Health Group provided substandard services, repeatedly exceeded its patient capacity and caused third-party pharmacies to bill the TennCare program for prescription drugs that New Life Lodge was obligated to provide. The state claims the fraud took place between 2006 and 2012. The settlement is the result of a joint investigation between the state of Tennessee and the United States. The recovery will be divided between the state and federal governments, with Tennessee receiving

  • Pistorius forensic expert continues testimony

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The prosecutor at the murder trial of double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius is continuing his cross-examination of one of the defense's forensic experts. Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel was questioning materials analyst and former policeman Roger Dixon Thursday on the expert's findings regarding Pistorius' fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year. Dixon has offered a different sequence for the shots that killed Steenkamp, contradicting testimony by a police ballistics expert and the pathologist who did the autopsy on Steenkamp's body. Nel criticized Dixon for testifying in areas he had no expertise in.

  • Angels beat A's 5-4 on Iannetta's HR in 12th

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — If the AL West race turns out to be as close as these three games, the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels will be battling down to the wire come September. After winning the series opener in the ninth inning on a pinch-two-run homer by John Jaso and the next one on Josh Donaldson's RBI double in the 11th, the Athletics were denied a sweep Wednesday night by Howie Kendrick's run-scoring fielder's choice grounder in the ninth and Chris Iannetta's two-out home run in the 12th off Drew Pomeranz. The 5-4 loss snapped Oakland's four-game winning streak. "We went to the ninth inning with the lead, but you put it behind you and move on," manager Bob Melvin said. "We weren't very good defensively tonight

  • Westwood takes early lead at Malaysian Open

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Determined to end a two-year title drought, Lee Westwood opened with a 65 Thursday to take an early lead at the Malaysian Open. Westwood had a bogey at the par-five 10th, his first hole, but birdied four of his closing five holes to finish the first round at 7 under. No. 36-ranked Westwood is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Masters last weekend — his best finish so far this year. Westwood, who won the Malaysian Open in 1997 and lost in a playoff the following year, was content with his first round. "I played well," Westwood said. "I didn't make the best of starts bogeying ... the first hole, but fortunately that didn't set the tone. "I hit it really well and hit it

  • Anaheim Ducks hold off Stars 4-3 in series opener

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks roared to a big early lead before blowing three-quarters of it. They skated circles around the Dallas Stars early, only to hold on by their fingernails late. The Ducks know a Stanley Cup run can't possibly be easy, and they're not afraid of a little hard work along the way. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to win his NHL playoff debut, and the Ducks persevered for a 4-3 victory over the Stars on Wednesday night. Getzlaf, Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault scored in a dominant first period for the top-seeded Ducks, who began their playoff run on a dead sprint.

  • Let the (real) games begin: It's NBA playoff time

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — Finally, the NBA playoffs are set. It took the entire season to fill out those brackets. Overtime thrillers in Memphis and Charlotte, a go-ahead dunk in Oklahoma City to win a game and cap another scoring title for Kevin Durant, plus some good old-fashioned disinterest by Brooklyn ... all that, and more, on the final night of the season was needed before the eight conference-quarterfinal matchups in this season's NBA playoffs could be decided. In the Western Conference, San Antonio — the league's best team this season, and a club that had the NBA title slip from its fingers a year ago — opens with Dallas. Oklahoma City gets Memphis, the Los Angeles Clippers face Golden State and Houston squares off wi

  • Russia's aggression must be curbed

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    Special to The Washington Post. After the "anschluss" of Crimea, the Kremlin proceeded to the second stage of its war on Ukraine by starting a covert operation in our eastern regions. Russia is sticking to the same routine as in Crimea. First, deploying professional military and mercenaries on Ukrainian territory. Second, paying local radicals and criminals to pose as "pro-Russian forces." Third, trying to make the turmoil its forces are fomenting look organic. But recent events don't look natural at all. Unlike the Euromaidan protests that started in Kiev last fall, this is not a domestic uprising but full-blown foreign aggression against Ukraine. Special operations forces are being deployed in Ukraine. These people ar

  • BC-AP Sports Digest

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    The supervisor is Pat Horne. The day supervisor will be Fred Lief. The New York sports desk can be reached at 800 845-8450, ext. 1630. Sports Photos, ext. 1918; graphics, ext. 7636; agate, ext. 1635. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are available from the Service Desk (800 838-4616) or your local AP bureau. All times EDT. TOP STORIES: BKN--NBA PLAYOFFS MIAMI — Finally, the NBA playoffs are set. It took the entire season to fill out those brackets. Overtime thrillers in Memphis and Charlotte, a go-ahead dunk in Oklahoma City to win a game plus cap another scoring title for Kevin Durant, and, well, some good old-fashioned disinterest by Br

  • "X-Men" director accused of sex abuse in lawsuit

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — A former child model and aspiring actor is accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him as a teenager in a federal lawsuit filed in Hawaii. The lawsuit filed Wednesday says the prominent director of the forthcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past" forced Michael Egan III into sex during parties in California and Hawaii when he was 17 in the late 1990s. Singer's attorney, Marty Singer, said in a statement that the claims are absurd and defamatory. "It is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity at the time when Bryan's new movie is about to open in a few weeks," said Marty Singer, who said he is not related to the director. "X-Men: Days of Future Past

  • Let's defend 'Obamacare,' some Democrats say

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul — even in this year's toughest Senate elections — given that enrollments are higher than expected and costs are lower. Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," which is the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread. President Barack Obama recently announced that first-year sign-ups for subsidized private health insurance topped 7 million, exceeding expectations. And the Congressional Budget Office said it expects only a minimal increase in customers' costs for 2015.

  • Bradley leads Red Sox past White Sox in 14 innings

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — The White Sox bullpen provided one opportunity after another. It just took a utility infielder on the mound for the Boston Red Sox to finally take full advantage. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run double off Leury Garcia in the top of the 14th inning and the Boston Red Sox outlasted the White Sox 6-4 in a game that lasted 5 hours, 17 minutes Wednesday night. The Red Sox managed just six hits, but took advantage of 15 walks issued by Chicago pitching, including 11 after the seventh inning. "We just for one reason or another we didn't seem to throw it over," Ventura said. "So, you know, a game that if you are going to give them that many opportunities, you are little surprised you are in it that late

  • Singer Chris Brown's bodyguard goes on trial in DC

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Singer Chris Brown's bodyguard is going on trial for assault in Washington, a case that will be followed shortly thereafter by Brown's own assault trial. The trial for Christopher Hollosy begins Thursday in Superior Court. Both men were arrested in October after a man accused them of punching him outside a Washington hotel. Hollosy told police he punched the man after he tried to get on Brown's tour bus. The man told police a different story. He said Brown and later Hollosy punched him after he tried to get in a photo Brown was taking with two women. Court papers say the man's nose was fractured. Hollosy's trial is expected to last one to two days. Brown's trial will follow. Brown has denied pu

  • De La Rosa goes 6 in Rockies' 4-2 loss to Padres

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — It was a small but important step for Colorado's Jorge De La Rosa. Fresh off a demotion to the bullpen after three subpar performances, the former 16-game winner was suddenly thrust back out to the mound Wednesday night and turned in an encouraging performance in Colorado's 4-2 loss to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. Andrew Cashner pitched well into the eighth inning and Chris Denorfia drove in two runs to lead San Diego Padres to the victory. Though De La Rosa (0-3) couldn't keep the Rockies from dropping to 3-7 on the road, the lefty's outing was encouraging. "I think it was a solid outing by Jorge," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. "You pitch like that, he gives you a chance to win.