Top Stories


  • GM: incompetence, negligence led to delayed recall

    By TOM KRISHER and DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writers | Updated: Thu, Jun 5, 2014

    WARREN, Mich. — GM CEO Mary Barra said 15 employees have been fired and five others have been disciplined over the company’s failure to disclose a defect with ignition switches that is now linked to at least 13 deaths. The company also will form a compensation program for families of victims and those who suffered serious injuries in accidents related to the switches. The program is expected to begin taking claims Aug. 1. Barra made the announcement Thursday as she released an internal investigation into the recall of 2.6 million older small cars for defective ignition switches. She didn’t immediately name the employees who were dismissed. She called the investigation “brutally tough and deeply troubling.

  • NRA rolls back ‘open carry’ criticism

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Wed, Jun 4, 2014

    HOUSTON — The National Rifle Association has rolled back an earlier statement criticizing “open carry” rallies in Texas in which gun rights advocates have brought military-style assault rifles into public places. Chris Cox, the executive director of the group’s lobbying arm, said in an interview Tuesday on an NRA-hosted radio show that the statement was “a mistake” and that it was written by a staffer who was expressing his personal opinion. “The truth is, an alert went out that referred to this type of behavior as `weird’ or somehow not normal, and that was a mistake. It shouldn’t have happened,” said Cox, who added that the group “unequivocally” supports open carry laws.

  • Taliban video shows handover of U.S. soldier

    By RAHIM FAIEZ, AP | Published: Wed, Jun 4, 2014

    KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban on Wednesday released a video showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan, touting the swap of the American soldier for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo as a significant achievement for the insurgents. The 17-minute video, emailed to media, shows the moment of Bergdahl’s handover. He was freed on Saturday after five years in captivity, and exchanged for the five Guantanamo detainees who were flown to Qatar, a tiny Gulf Arab country which has served as a mediator in the negotiations for the swap. Since his release, the 28-year-old from Hailey, Idaho, was reported to be in stable condition at a military hospital in Germany.

  • Town upset police official used ‘N’ word for Obama

    By LYNNE TUOHY | Published: Thu, May 15, 2014

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Some residents of a predominantly white New Hampshire town are upset with racist remarks they say a police commissioner has made about President Barack Obama. Resident Jane O’Toole said she overheard Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland use a racial slur in describing Obama. And in an email to her obtained by The Associated Press, Copeland acknowledged using the “N” word in referring to the president and said he will not apologize. Copeland is one of three members of the police commission, which hires, fires and disciplines officers and sets their salaries.

  • Fed report: Warming disrupting Americans’ lives

    By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer | Published: Tue, May 6, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Global warming is rapidly turning America the beautiful into America the stormy, sneezy and dangerous, according to a new federal scientific report. And those shining seas? Rising and costly, the report says. Climate change’s assorted harms “are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond,” the National Climate Assessment concluded Tuesday. The report emphasizes how warming and its all-too-wild weather are changing daily lives, even using the phrase “climate disruption” as another way of saying global warming.

  • Florida jail explosion kills 2, injures 100

    By JOHN RAOUX, Associated Press | Updated: Thu, May 1, 2014

    PENSACOLA, Fla. — An explosion rocked a jail in the Florida Panhandle late Wednesday, killing two inmates, injuring more than 100 other people, and causing the building to partially collapse, according to a county spokeswoman. The blast happened about 11 p.m. CDT at a booking facility at the Escambia County Jail, and as many as 150 inmate and corrections officers were injured, said Kathleen Castro, the county’s public information manager. About 600 inmates were in the Pensacola building at the time, and the uninjured were taken to jails in neighboring counties, she said. The Pensacola area was drenched by rains and severely flooded Wednesday as part of a large storm system making its way across the U.S.

  • Doctor: 3 victims critical in Ga. FedEx shootings

    KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press | Updated: Tue, Apr 29, 2014

    KENNESAW, Ga. — A package handler with an assault rifle and bullets strapped across his chest "like Rambo" opened fire Tuesday morning at a FedEx station outside Atlanta, wounding at least six people before police found the suspect dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot, police and witnesses said.

  • Tornadoes tear through South, add to U.S. death toll

    By ADRIAN SAINZ and JEFF AMY, AP | Updated: Tue, Apr 29, 2014

    LOUISVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A dangerous storm system that spawned a chain of deadly tornadoes over three days flattened homes and businesses, forced frightened residents in more than half a dozen states to take cover and left tens of thousands in the dark Tuesday morning. As the storm hopscotched across a large swatch of the U.S., the overall death toll was at least 28, with 11 killed in the South on Monday and 17 in the central U.S. on Sunday. Forecasts showed Georgia as the next likely target, with residents waking to sirens, howling wind and pounding rain. Others found their loved ones missing and their homes pulverized early Tuesday.

  • 292 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    By HYUNG-JIN KIM and YOUKYUNG LEE | Updated: Wed, Apr 16, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea’s southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured. The high number of people unaccounted for — likely trapped in the ship or floating in the ocean — raised fears that the death toll could rise drastically, making it one of South Korea’s biggest ferry disasters since 1993, when 292 people died. One student, Lim Hyung-min, told broadcaster YTN after being rescued that he and other students jumped into the ocean wearing life jackets

  • 10 killed as truck, bus carrying students collide

    By FENIT NIRAPPIL and CHANNING JOSEPH | Published: Fri, Apr 11, 2014

    ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — The long bus ride north from Los Angeles for a group of high school students who planned to visit Humboldt State University had been fun: The hours whizzed by as they watched movies, chatted up new friends, and jammed to hip-hop on the radio. Steven Clavijo, 18, a senior at West Ranch High in Santa Clarita, was looking forward to his visit to Humboldt, where he planned to enroll. Just as Clavijo was trying to catch a nap Thursday afternoon, he said he felt the big vehicle begin to shake from left to right and then he heard a loud boom. “We knew we were in major trouble,” he said. A FedEx tractor-trailer had crossed a grassy freeway median and slammed into the bus.

  • Kathleen Sebelius resigning from top HHS post

    JULIE PACE, AP | Updated: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration after the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, a White House official said Thursday. Her resignation comes just one week after the end of the first enrollment period for the Obamacare law. While the opening weeks of the rollout were marred by website woes, the administration rebounded strongly by enrolling more than 7 million people in the new insurance marketplaces. Sebelius' resignation following her five-year tenure in Obama's Cabinet comes as the White House seeks to rebound from the politically damaging launch of the health care law.

  • Prosecutor: Pistorius is untruthful, an egotist

    By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA and GERALD IMRAY | Published: Thu, Apr 10, 2014

    PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius’ credibility was consistently questioned at his murder trial Thursday as the chief prosecutor argued that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses why he wasn’t to blame in the three gun charges he faces on top of murder for the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel, in cross-examining Pistorius for a second day, questioned Pistorius’ honesty, which goes to the heart of the case, asserting that the double-amputee Olympian wouldn’t “accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling fired under a table in a packed restaurant.

  • Portraits by George W. Bush go on display

    JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press | Updated: Fri, Apr 4, 2014

    DALLAS (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is displaying his portraits of world leaders in the first exhibit of his work as an artist. The portraits, which include everyone from a grim-looking Russian President Vladimir Putin to a smiling likeness of the late Czech playwright and President Vaclav Havel, are part of an exhibit opening Saturday at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. He even did a self-portrait. The exhibit called "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy" runs through June 3. "I spent a lot of time on personal diplomacy and I befriended leaders and learned about their families and their likes and dislikes, to the point where I felt comfortable painting them," he said

  • U.S. appeals court upholds new Texas abortion rules

    By WILL WEISSERT | Published: Thu, Mar 27, 2014

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions that shuttered many of the abortions clinics in the state. A panel of judges at the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court judge who said the rules violate the U.S. Constitution and served no medical purpose. In its opinion, the appeals court said the law “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman.” Texas lawmakers last year passed some of the toughest restrictions in the U.S. on when, where and how women may obtain an abortion.

  • Team brought in to remove crashed Colorado plane

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    RIDGWAY, Colo. — An aviation salvage team is being brought in to pull the wreckage of a single-engine plane from a reservoir in southwestern Colorado. The team is scheduled to start work Wednesday at Ridgway Reservoir, where the plane from Alabama crashed on Saturday. Divers confirmed Monday that the bodies of all five victims are still inside the wreckage of the Socata TBM700, which is upside down and partially buried in silt under about 60 feet of water. Authorities say the wreckage has to be pulled to shore before they can safely remove the bodies. Authorities haven’t released the victims’ identities but said the flight originated in Gadsden, Ala., and was flying to Montrose, about 25 miles north of the

  • Reid says GOP may have helped Russia annex Crimea

    By BRADLEY KLAPPER | Updated: Mon, Mar 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans may have helped Russia annex Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. The surprising accusation came ahead of a Monday test vote on a Russia sanctions and Ukraine aid bill that Republicans blocked before Congress left for recess two weeks ago. Since, Crimea seceded and Russian lawmakers annexed the territory. Reid said, quoting, “It’s impossible to know whether events would have unfolded differently if the United States had responded to Russian aggression with a strong, unified voice.” The Nevada Democrat said blocking the bill “sent a dangerous message to Russian leaders.