• Report: Grouse needs 3-mile buffer from drilling

    Updated: 11 min ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A government report with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding grounds of a struggling bird species need a 3-mile or larger buffer from oil and gas drilling, wind farms and solar projects. The study comes as the Obama administration weighs new protections for the greater sage grouse. The ground-dwelling bird ranges across 11 western states. A 3-mile buffer is a much larger protective area than the no-occupancy zones where drilling and other activity is prohibited under some state and federal land management plans.

  • UK police spied on reporters for years, docs show

    Updated: 20 min ago

    LONDON (AP) — Freelance video journalist Jason Parkinson returned home from vacation this year to find a brown paper envelope in his mailbox. He opened it to find nine years of his life laid out in shocking detail. Twelve pages of police intelligence logs noted which protests he covered, who he spoke to and what he wore — all the way down to the color of his boots. It was, he said, proof of something he'd long suspected: The police were watching him. "Finally," he thought as he leafed through documents over a strong black coffee, "we've got them." Parkinson's documents, obtained through a public records request, are the basis of a lawsuit being filed by the National Union of Journalists against London's Metropolitan

  • Kerry cancels plans to pull back from nuke talks

    Updated: 24 min ago

    VIENNA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry canceled plans Friday to pull back from talks with Iran about the country's nuclear program — a shift that suggested some hope of movement on the protracted negotiations. Kerry is staying in Vienna to continue negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and others at the negotiating table, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. The official Iranian news agency IRNA said Kerry had made new proposals to the Iranians to bridge the differences blocking a deal. U.S. officials had said earlier Friday that Kerry was planning to leave for Paris later in the day and that his plans to return to the talks were uncertain.

  • Biden urges Russia to uphold east Ukraine truce

    Updated: 25 min ago

    KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden criticized Russia on Friday for its role in eastern Ukraine, urging Moscow to uphold a cease-fire in the war-torn region as he visited Kiev on the anniversary of the country's anti-government protests. Biden said Western sanctions against Russia would not be lifted until Moscow does more to enforce the cease-fire. Over 900 people have been killed and fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine since a truce began in September, and the conflict has claimed at least 4,300 lives since April, according to the U.N. "If Russia were to fulfill these commitments and respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, we could begin a rational discussion about sanctions," Biden s

  • A look at how FDA-approved robotic leg braces work

    Updated: 30 min ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Marine Capt. Derek Herrera, who was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet two years ago in southern Afghanistan, is walking again thanks to a set of robotic leg braces known as the ReWalk system. Herrera is the first in the United States to own the device that was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here's a look at how it works: _____ THE DEVICE ReWalk is a robotic exoskeleton approved by the FDA in June. The person wearing it can command it to stand up, sit down or walk, by using a wireless remote control worn on the wrist. Fitted metal braces support the legs and part of the upper body. Motors help move the hips, knees, and ankles. The system is built to closely resemble a pe

  • US, Turkey still not in sync on Syria

    Updated: 33 min ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Friday became the latest in a parade of U.S. officials trying to push Turkey to step up its role in the international coalition's fight against Islamic State extremists. His visit follows weeks of public bickering between the two NATO allies. The Turkish president insists if the U.S. wants his help, it must focus less on fighting IS militants and more on toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants the U.S.-led coalition to set up a security zone in northern Syria to give moderate fighters a place to recoup and launch attacks. The U.S. has no appetite to go to war against Assad and has said a no-fly zone against Syria's air force is a n

  • Everett College launches research vessel

    Updated: 40 min ago

    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Some students at Everett Community College are going to be taking advantage of a new classroom this winter: a 36-foot long work boat custom-built for the school's ORCA program. ORCA, which stands for Ocean Research College Academy, is a two-year academic program for high school students that emphasizes and incorporates marine studies into the students' entire body of work, from the sciences to the humanities. The program has 97 students. It also has a new oceanography lab, making it one of the only high school programs in the country with both a lab and research vessel, said Ardi Kveven, ORCA's executive director. The new boat, the Phocoena, was funded with a $218,000 grant from the Nationa

  • Texas OKs most new history textbooks amid outcry

    Updated: 41 min ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas panel has approved 89 history and social studies textbooks for use in classrooms across America's second-largest state, after one top publisher withdrew a book. The Republican-controlled State Board of Education voted along party lines 10-5 Friday, sanctioning most proposed books and electronic lessons. It defeated six books, however, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt withdrew a high school government textbook. Because Texas' market is so large, textbooks published to meet its standards can affect those sold in other states. Long decrying the books have been academics, experts and activists on the right and left. Some say they are too sympathetic to Islam. Others say they exaggerate Moses' inf

  • Desaulniers named AP's New England media director

    Updated: 43 min ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Dwayne Desaulniers, a former business and technology director for The Associated Press, has been named the news cooperative's director of local media for New England. The appointment was announced Friday by Eva Parziale, AP's regional director for the East. "Dwayne brings a great mix of news, technology and entrepreneurial experience to our New England market, as well as an in-depth understanding of AP services and our mission to inform the world," Parziale said. "We're looking forward to having him join us again." Desaulniers, 48, will be based in Boston, where he will oversee AP's relationships with its newspaper and broadcast members in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island an

  • In a self-driving future, we may not even want to own cars

    Updated: 57 min ago

    LOS ANGELES — Personal transportation is on the cusp of its greatest transformation since the advent of the internal combustion engine. With the rise of self-driving vehicles, ride-sharing, traffic congestion and environmental regulation, we may not even own cars in the future, much less drive them. A glimpse of the coming revolution can be seen in the models debuting this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Hidden under their hoods and dashboards are sensors that take the first steps toward autonomous driving. Already, cars can park themselves, slam on the brakes to avoid crashes and adjust steering to stay centered in a lane. But the disruption will go well beyond who is — or isn’t — at the controls. For a cent

  • Automakers are rolling out features en route to self-driving cars

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES — The “Jetsons”-like self-driving car of the future is still years, maybe decades, away from becoming an everyday reality. But a host of autonomous or semiautonomous features are already offered on many of the vehicles featured at this month’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Beyond adding utility and safety, these features will start the crucial process of building consumer trust in self-driving cars. “The auto industry is underestimating the difficulties of conveying to consumers the trust they have to give to these machines,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and auto industry analyst for Gartner. “Having cars that perform some of these tasks early on is a huge advantage.

  • Angry Mexicans protest over 43 missing students

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A largely peaceful march by tens of thousands demanding the return of 43 missing students ended in violence, as a small group of masked protesters battled police in Mexico City's main square. The march late Thursday sought the return of the students from a rural teachers' college. Nov. 20 is usually a day reserved for the celebration of Mexico's 1910-17 Revolution, but Mexicans were in no mood for celebrations. Many of the marchers carried "mourning" flags with Mexico's red and green national colors substituted by black stripes. "The entire country is outraged," said housewife Nora Jaime. "It is not just them," she added, referring to the 43 young men who haven't been seen since being attacked by po

  • Austin software maker Bazaarvoice outgrows HQ, moving to new space

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    In a move that will give it room to continue growing, Austin software company Bazaarvoice has signed a lease for a new corporate headquarters in North Austin. Bazaarvoice plans to relocate to Quarry Oaks, a new Class A building at 10901 Stonelake Blvd., by December 2015, company executives said. Gene Armstrong, Bazaarvoice CEO, says the company “is introducing innovative new products and the business is growing again.” Bazaarvoice voice will lease 137,615 square feet and be the sole tenant of the four-story building. The new offices provide about 20 percent more office space than the company’s current headquarters on North Capital of Texas highway. Bazaarvoice has 800 employees worldwide, including abo

  • TV-over-Internet service Aereo seeks Chapter 11

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Aereo, an online startup that tried to offer a cheaper alternative to cable TV, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection less than five months after an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The company backed by media mogul Barry Diller allowed people to watch and record broadcast TV online for $8 a month on tablets, phones and other gadgets. Unlike Hulu and other online video services, Aereo offered live streaming of broadcast channels. The Supreme Court ruled this summer that Aereo had been operating like a cable TV company, meaning that unless it paid broadcasters licensing fees, it was in violation of copyright law. Aereo suspended its operations three days later.

  • Israeli forces disperse West Bank demonstration

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Friday it dispersed 300 stone-throwing Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron without injuries or arrests. Smaller clashes also took place at two other West Bank locations — Qalandiya and Kadom — also without injuries or arrests, the army said. Meanwhile two Israelis were lightly wounded in a fight with Palestinians in east Jerusalem, police say, and five Hamas activists were arrested by the Palestinian Authority Thursday in the West Bank, according to the Islamic militant group. Hamas spokesman Husam Badran said the Palestinian Authority is "trying to kill the Jerusalem uprising.

  • Bandits in Guinea steal suspected Ebola blood

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — It was a highway robbery but the bandits got more than they bargained for when they stopped a taxi in Guinea and made off with blood samples that are believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus. Authorities publicly appealed on national radio Friday to the unidentified robbers to hand over the samples that were stolen from the taxi during its 265-kilometer (165-mile) trek on winding rural roads from the central Kankan prefecture to a test site in southern Gueckedou. The samples, stored in tightly wrapped vials tucked into a cooler bag, were in the care of a Red Cross courier who was among nine passengers sharing a taxi when three bandits on a motorbike led the attack near the town of Kissidoug

  • Space station rarity: 2 women on long-term crew

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For the 21st-century spacewoman, gender is a subject often best ignored. After years of training for their first space mission, the last thing Samantha Cristoforetti and Elana Serova want to dwell on is the fact they are women. Cristoforetti, Italy's first female astronaut, is set to rocket into orbit this weekend from Kazakhstan, bound for the International Space Station. There, she will join Russia's Serova, a rarity in her homeland's male-dominated cosmonaut corps. It will be just the second time in the space station's 16-year history that two women make up the long-term, six-member crew. Just don't ask Cristoforetti or Serova about the gender issue.

  • Poyen teacher is 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Ouida Newton, a math teacher at Poyen High School, has been named the 2015 Arkansas Teacher of the Year. The announcement was made Friday during a surprise notification event in Poyen in Grant County. Newton currently teaches math for grades seven through 12 at the high school. During her 34-year career, she has taught math, Algebra I and II, sixth-grade science, pre-algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, trigonometry, transition to college math and physics. During her career, Newton has also served as a library media specialist, math coach, curriculum supervisor and Teachers of Tomorrow supervisor.

  • Aereo files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Online streaming service Aereo says that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court was too difficult to overcome. The Internet startup — which is backed by Barry Diller — made waves earlier this year by letting people record and stream broadcast TV online. At the time, it was seen as an alternative to cable, offering a few dozen local broadcast channels and the Bloomberg TV financial channel on multiple devices for just $8 a month. Hulu offers full episodes of popular shows from broadcast networks ABC, NBC and Fox the next day for free. But Aereo offered live streaming of those TV channels. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo o

  • What's QE, anyway? A look at central bank stimulus

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — It's the stimulus measure with the long, baffling name. Quantitative easing, or QE — the large-scale purchase by a central bank of government bonds and other securities — has been used by the U.S. Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and the Bank of Japan. It's often called "printing money." No printing press is involved but the measure does rely on central banks' power to create money. Here's how it works: — The central bank buys bonds from private banks. — It pays for the bonds by increasing the amount of money in the reserve accounts the banks are required to keep with the central bank. That's how new money is created — not with a printing press, but by increasing the sum in the ban