• AP IMPACT: Abused kids die as officials fail to protect

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BUTTE, Montana (AP) — At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities — many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, The Associated Press has found. To determine that number, the AP canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and branches of the military — circumventing a system that does a terrible job of accounting for child deaths. Many states struggled to provide numbers. Secrecy often prevailed. Most of the 786 children whose cases were compiled by the AP were under the age of 4.

  • 'Stand your ground' defense fails in Montana murder trial

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Just days before he shot to death a 17-year-old German exchange student, Markus Kaarma told hair stylists he had been waiting up to shoot some kids who were burglarizing homes. He told them they would see it on the news. Kaarma hoped to bait an intruder by leaving his garage door partially open and placing a purse inside, prosecutors said. And when he did, a motion detector alerted him early April 27. Kaarma took a shotgun outside and almost immediately fired four blasts into the garage. Diren Dede, unarmed, was hit twice. He died after the final shot hit him in the head. For those reasons, Kaarma's "castle doctrine" defense, which allows people to use deadly force to protect their home and fami

  • Vegas hotelier faces gambling commission scrutiny

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man who started a hospitality empire with a Los Angeles nightclub and turned the Sahara Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip into a hipper, sleeker destination is facing questions for the second time this month from gambling regulators about his cocaine use and questionable business dealings. Sam Nazarian is expected to appear before the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday morning as he seeks a gambling license he needs because he owns 10 percent of the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino. The 39-year-old hospitality magnate faced the state's Gaming Control Board for hours earlier this month to answer questions about cocaine use that was more recent than he had led investigators to believe.

  • 14 charged in meningitis outbreak that killed 64

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have charged 14 people in a 2012 meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people nationwide. Authorities say it's the biggest criminal case ever brought in the U.S. over contaminated medicine. The co-founders, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy are accused of using expired ingredients and failing to follow standards for cleanliness at the now-closed New England Compounding Center. The center is blamed for tainted steroids that caused the deadly outbreak. According to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, mold and bacteria were in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips. Pharmacists are accused of failing to test drugs for purity before sending them to hospi

  • NY rapper Bobby Shmurda faces gun, drug charges

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — An up-and-coming rapper who performs under the name of Bobby Shmurda will face gun and drug trafficking charges when an arraignment is unsealed in court. Ackquille Pollard was taken into custody shortly after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday. His indictment will be made public on Thursday. The arrest stems from an investigation into a series of gang-related shootings and drug trafficking in the city. Pollard, 20, is named with other defendants in the indictment, said Kati Cornell, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor. She declined to detail the charges.

  • Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills policeman

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan police officer was killed and another three wounded on Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber they were following detonated the explosives in his vehicle, an official said. "A suicide bomber was trying to enter Kabul with the intention of detonating explosives in a crowded part of the city," said Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for the Kabul provincial police chief. "He was being followed by police." The chief of Kabul's provincial police, Abdul Rahman Rahimi, said the blast occurred after police stopped the car. The Taliban issued a statement to media claiming responsibility. Afghan authorities regularly claim to have thwarted attacks on the capital as the insurgents concentra

  • Reformers target traffic courts in Ferguson

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death, legal activists suggested that some of the raw anger that erupted in suburban St. Louis had its roots in an unlikely place — traffic court. It was there, they said, that low-income drivers sometimes saw their lives upended by minor infractions that led to larger problems. A $75 ticket for driving with expired tags, if left unpaid, could eventually bring an arrest warrant and even jail time. So courts began an experimental amnesty program designed to give offenders a second chance by waiving those warrants. But the effort is attracting relatively few participants, despite a renewed emphasis on municipal court reform after Brown's death last summer in Ferguson.

  • Year after W.Va. river spill, execs face charges

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Almost a year after a chemical spill fouled a West Virginia river and tainted drinking water for more than 300,000 residents, four former executives from Freedom Industries and two other employees are facing federal criminal charges. They include Dennis P. Farrell, who authorities say told state inspectors looking into a strange smell enveloping West Virginia's capital city that he knew nothing about a leak. He seemed to brush off cause for concern over the odor in January. Freedom's coal-cleaning chemicals infiltrated a water treatment plant a mile and a half downstream. After the blue-green-tinged mixture poured through people's taps, everyday life in the Kanawha Valley halted for up to 10 days am

  • Exiles divided on plans to thaw US-Cuba relations

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — News of a historic thaw in Cuban-American relations led many to expect mass protests from the anti-Castro exile community in Miami. But outrage in the city has been decidedly muted and demonstrations have turned out few opponents to President Barack Obama's plan to re-establish diplomatic ties with the communist island. A handful of protests popped up Wednesday, with people waving signs criticizing Obama. But elsewhere, the news brought praise and even applause among Cuban-Americans who said it is time for a new approach after decades of failed efforts to isolate the island's leaders.

  • Toshiba Supplies Traction Energy Storage System for Tobu Railway

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 18, 2014--Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced that it has supplied a traction energy storage system (TESS) to Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. TESS stores traction energy generated by decelerating trains as they enter a station and releases it as needed when trains accelerate from the station. The system is planned to operate from December 22. Traction Energy Storage System (TESS) (Photo: Business Wire) Toshiba’s TESS is installed at Unga station on the Tobu Urban Park Line, and utilizes Toshiba’s SCiB TM rechargeable batteries to store regenerated power. SCiB TM offer outstanding characteristics, including a high degree of safety, a wide state-of-charge (SOC) range *1 and stable operation a

  • How Kim Jong Un became the target of 'The Interview'

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A few weeks ago, when a freshly stoned Seth Rogen sat down for a lunch interview about "The Interview," the likelihood of trouble seemed remote. "You're always hoping nothing horrible is going to happen, obviously," said Rogen. "If something horrible happened and they were like, 'It's inappropriate to release this movie now,' we'd ultimately go, 'Yeah, we got to make it and got paid in advance.'" Unfortunately, Rogen's chuckling hypothetical has come to pass. After a devastating hacking attack on Sony Pictures and threats of terrorist attacks when "The Interview" was set to open in theaters on Christmas Day, Sony canceled the release of Rogen's film on Wednesday.

  • Circus disputes citation for hair-hanging accident

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has contested a citation it received from federal regulators for an accident that sent eight hair-hanging acrobats plummeting to the ground during a performance, severely injuring most of them. It also says there are no plans to put on a hair-hanging act in the future. Stephen Payne, a spokesman for circus parent company Feld Entertainment, says while they appeal, they're putting into place safety measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. One of the acrobats returned to the circus several months ago; the others haven't. Payne didn't have information about their conditions but says there are no plans for them to return.

  • Marathon bombing suspect due in court Thursday

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not been seen in public since he was arraigned on 30 federal charges in July 2013, when he still bore signs of the bloody standoff with police that led to his capture and the death of his older brother, Tamerlan. On Thursday, he's due to show his face again in court. Dzhokhar, 21, still had visible injuries at the appearance 1 1/2 years ago from a shootout with police several days after the April 15, 2013, bombings. His left arm was in a cast and his face was swollen. He appeared to have a jaw injury. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon.

  • Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder. Man Haron Monis, a 50-year-old Iranian-born, self-styled cleric with a lengthy criminal history, burst into a downtown Sydney cafe on Monday wielding a shotgun, taking 17 people hostage. The siege ended 16 hours later when police stormed into the cafe to free the captives, two of whom were killed in a barrage of gunfire, along with Monis. "This has been a horrific wake-up call," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Macquarie Radio.

  • Gartner's Magic Quadrant positions Gemalto as a leader in user authentication

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, has again been positioned as a Leader in Gartner's December 1, 2014 Magic Quadrant for User Authentication, out of the 18 vendors assessed by Gartner. The vendors surveyed in the Magic Quadrant are evaluated based on two main criteria: completeness of vision and ability to execute. Gartner predicts that, by year-end 2017, about 50% of organizations will choose cloud-based services as the delivery option for new or refreshed user authentication implementations, up from about 20% today.

  • Q&A: Drones might help show how tornados form

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Researchers say they've collected promising weather data by flying drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now they want to expand the project in hopes of learning how tornados form. Scientists say drones can penetrate parts of storms that other instruments can't reach, at less cost and with less danger than piloted planes. The University of Colorado and University of Nebraska announced this week they have formed the Unmanned Aircraft System and Severe Storms Research Group to develop the program. Scientists say using drones to measure temperature, moisture and wind can show where the air inside the storm came from and what forced it there. If that air becomes part of a tornado, the data can help

  • Two-speed labor system in Qatar for 2022 World Cup

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Men crammed together, dozens to a room, on bunk beds so close they can reach over and shake hands. Qatar, on paper at least, has rules that forbid such uncomfortable conditions for its massive workforce of migrant laborers. Yet this is how the government-owned transport company, which the Gulf nation will use to ferry visitors around the 2022 World Cup, has housed some of its workers. As Qatar employs legions of migrants to build stadiums and other works for the football showcase, widespread labor abuses documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other critics have blackened its name and $160 billion preparations.

  • Poll: 80 percent back Putin even as ruble falls

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost more than half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah. And yet most Russians see Putin not as the cause, but as the solution. The situation as seen from a Russian point of view is starkly different from that painted in the West, and it is driven largely by state television's carefully constructed version of reality and the Kremlin's methodical dismantling of every credible political alternative.

  • Remembering tsunami: Too many bodies to bury

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004. A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia to India to Africa's east coast. Scores of Associated Press journalists covered the disaster, and as the 10th anniversary approached, the AP asked nine of them to describe the images that have stuck with them the most. This is the second of their stories, which are being published daily through Dec. 25. ___ Dita Alangkara, a photographer based in Jakarta, Indonesia, viewed the worst of the tsunami in the country's Aceh region: When my plane made an approach to land, the view from the window was shocking. It was even more jaw-dropping from the ground. As far as I c

  • AP IMPACT: Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BUTTE, Montana (AP) — At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities — many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, The Associated Press has found. To determine that number, the AP canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and all branches of the military — circumventing a system that does a terrible job of accounting for child deaths. Many states struggled to provide numbers. Secrecy often prevailed. Most of the 786 children whose cases were compiled by the AP were under the age of 4.