• Australian laws on storing phone, Internet records to change

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A parliamentary committee on Friday recommended a major rewrite of draft laws that would force Australian telcos and Internet providers to store customers' personal data for the convenience of law enforcement agencies. A key recommendation is that the law specifies exactly what personal data is to be retained. The bill to retain so-called metadata for a minimum two years has been drafted as a counterterrorism measure to help law enforcement agencies prosecute extremists who plot terror attacks online and through telephone communications. But the bill does not specify what metadata is and experts differ on definition. The government wants to be free to set the definition without consulting Parliame

  • No charges yet for pickup driver in train crash 'mistake'

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Investigators on Thursday were trying to determine why a pickup truck driver mistakenly turned onto railroad tracks before a crash that derailed a California commuter train, and prosecutors said they would await more answers before deciding to file charges. "We know a mistake was made," said Robert Sumwalt of the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency leading the investigation. "We want to figure out why." They believe the truck made a premature right turn onto the tracks, turning 55 feet before the street the driver was apparently intending to use. Investigators also will try to determine whether he became confused in the dark by white ground markings at the railroad crossing and misto

  • University spokesman says Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former Notre Dame president, has died at 97

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — University spokesman says Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former Notre Dame president, has died at 97.

  • Indiana may allow 'baby boxes' for surrendering newborns

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A 2-foot-long metal box could become Indiana's newest weapon in its efforts to save babies from abandonment and death. Legislation approved by the state House of Representatives would allow hospitals, police and fire stations, churches and select nonprofits to install incubators, or baby boxes, in which parents could surrender their newborns anonymously. The concept dates to "foundling wheels" used in medieval times. Baby boxes are used in Europe and China under several names. Supporters say they can prevent infanticide and could supplement U.S. safe haven laws that allow people to surrender infants at designated sites without risking prosecution so long as the child isn't harmed.

  • 2 vandalism suspects rescued after being stranded on cliff

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two men suspected of vandalizing a historic military structure at a national park north of San Francisco had to be rescued by authorities after they were stranded on a steep cliff while trying to escape Thursday, authorities said. Park service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said the men got stuck on a cliff at the waterfront of Fort Baker in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Rangers confronted the men near Battery Yates, a historic military building along the water at Fort Baker, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. When the men saw the rangers approaching, they tried to evade arrest by scrambling down a cliff near the water's edge, Picavet said.

  • Lights, camera, blossom! Disney films inspire floral fantasy

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Lights, camera ... blossom! The Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates the movies as floral and garden designers pay homage to Disney and Pixar films. The meticulously landscaped exhibits are inspired by more than a dozen features, from "Frozen" and "Finding Nemo" to "Cars" and "Cinderella." Visitors enter through a huge, art deco theater facade — as if they were attending a red carpet premiere. Palm trees, roses and lilies help recreate the ornate interior of a 1920s movie palace. The annual extravaganza sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society opens Saturday and runs through March 8. The event is billed as the nation's largest and longest-running flower show. It dates back t

  • Fijians get to design new flag as nation ditches Union Jack

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Fijians will get the opportunity to design a new flag as the country prepares to ditch Britain's Union Jack. Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced Friday the Pacific island nation was launching a two-month competition starting Monday to find the best replacement flag. He said a panel of citizens will chose the best designs, with the final decision going to lawmakers. He said the winning designer will get to hoist the new flag on Oct. 10 — the 45th anniversary of the nation's independence. Fiji's current flag features the Union Flag, commonly called the Union Jack, in the canton, or top left corner. In a speech earlier this month, Bainimarama said that the flag's symbol

  • LA teachers, union leaders rally amid stalled talks

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dressed in red and raising signs into the air, thousands of teachers filled a downtown Los Angeles park on Thursday in demand of higher wages and smaller class sizes amid stalled contract negotiations. "Everybody in this country is watching this struggle," said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. "It's a fight about the nature of public education. What is public education going to look like?" The rally was the largest action yet amid an escalating standoff between union and Los Angeles Unified district leaders: United Teachers Los Angeles is demanding an 8.5 percent salary increase, a demand interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines contends the district cannot meet without s

  • Employer: Man accused in IS group plot was about to quit job

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The employer of one of three men charged with plotting to help the Islamic State group says the suspect was about to quit his restaurant job. Zakarya Khan is the owner of Gyro King in New York City. He says Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev (ahb-DEWR'-ahl-suhl hah-SAHN'-oh-vich jur-AH'-boh-ehv) was first a customer at his restaurant, then started working there slicing lettuce. Khan says he made about $500 a week. The store owner says Juraboev's last day was supposed to be Thursday because he planned to go visit family in his native Uzbekistan. But federal officials who arrested Juraboev and two others Wednesday say the three plotted to travel to Syria to join the IS group and wage war against the U.S.

  • Hollande tours typhoon-hit Philippines ahead of climate deal

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    GUIUAN, Philippines (AP) — French President Francois Hollande on Friday took his warning about the need for funds for a landmark climate deal to a central Philippine town that was devastated by a killer typhoon in 2013. Hollande arrived in Guiuan town, where Typhoon Haiyan made its first landfall before claiming more than 7,300 lives, after he and President Benigno Aquino III launched an international appeal to back efforts to seal the climate change accord in Paris in December. Hollande warned that there will be no deal if wealthy countries don't commit adequate funds to help poor nations fight global warming. "There will be no agreement concluded in Paris if the countries, the poorest countries, are not convinced th

  • Parents of slain journalist James Foley: US should do more

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The government — and the press — failed to do enough to save the life of the freelance journalist who was the first American killed by Islamic State militants, James Foley's parents said at a university forum Thursday. John and Diane Foley echoed the sentiments of the family of Kayla Mueller, a young international aid worker who recently was killed while held captive by militants. Mueller's family said in an interview on NBC's "Today" that U.S. government policies were contradictory and prevented the 26-year-old from Prescott, Arizona, from being rescued. A White House spokesman said the government acted in the best interest of the nation.

  • $150K dress worn by Lupita Nyong'o at Oscars reported stolen

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The theft of a $150,000 pearl-covered gown worn by Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars doesn't surprise Hollywood stylists who have personally experienced the seedy side of red carpet fashion. Style expert and fashion commentator Mary Alice Stephenson has for years heard stories about similar stolen celebrity items. "It's not shocking to me that this would be taken out of her hotel room," said Stephenson, who once had a nabbed Fendi bag held for ransom. A dress like the custom ivory one designed by Francisco Costa for the Calvin Klein Collection could fetch a lot of money on the black market, Stephenson said. "There are a lot of collectors out there who are very private and have private collections o

  • Judge rules for Peterson, opening door for reinstatement

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    In NFL limbo for the last five-plus months, Adrian Peterson's future with the Minnesota Vikings is still in question. The path toward resolution of his status has been cleared. The league-union clash over the personal conduct policy, though, has only cranked up. Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL were handed a second high-profile legal defeat Thursday, when U.S. District Judge David Doty overruled league arbitrator Harold Henderson's December denial of the six-time Pro Bowl running back's appeal.

  • Asian stock markets lackluster after Wall Street decline

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were lackluster Friday after U.S. markets drifted lower and Japan reported faster growth in factory output but weaker retail sales. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3 percent to 18,840.77 and the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1 percent 3,300.19. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.6 percent at 24,058.10 and Seoul's Kospi shed 0.1 percent to 1,991.20. Sydney and Jakarta gained while Singapore and New Zealand declined. JAPAN SIGNALS: Industrial output in the world's third-largest economy jumped by 4 percent month-on-month in January compared with December's 0.8 percent rise, government data showed. That raises production to levels recorded ahead of last year's sales tax hike, which crim

  • Walker: Protesters prepared him to confront global terrorism

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday that his experience taking on thousands of protesters in his state helped prepare him to take on terrorists across the world. The likely Republican presidential contender sparked pointed criticism from labor union leaders across the country after remarks delivered on the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. The annual conference features more than a dozen potential Republican presidential contenders over three days hoping to win over conservative activists. Asked how he would handle the Islamic State group if elected president, Walker said, "For years I've been concerned about that threat, not just abroad but here on

  • TV audience increases as O'Reilly faces criticism of work

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — More viewers have tuned in to watch Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly as he faces criticism for some of his past reporting. His show, "The O'Reilly Factor," drew just over 3 million viewers Wednesday night. That's up 11 percent over the same day last year. The Nielsen ratings company says O'Reilly had his largest audience since November among the 25-54 age demographic, the basis of most ad sales for news programming. The audience among that younger demo was up 64 percent over last year for O'Reilly, who usually has a decidedly older audience. Stories over the past week have accused O'Reilly of falsely saying he was reporting from a war zone in the Falklands War and was at the site of the suicid

  • Police call death of Missouri auditor an 'apparent suicide'

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, who had recently launched a Republican campaign for governor, fatally shot himself Thursday in what police described as an "apparent suicide," minutes after inviting reporters to his suburban St. Louis home for an interview. Schweich's death stunned many of Missouri's top elected officials, who described him as a "brilliant" and "devoted" public servant with an "unblemished record" in office. Just 13 minutes before police got an emergency call from his home, Schweich had a phone conversation with The Associated Press about his plans to go public that afternoon with allegations that the head of the Missouri Republican Party had made anti-Semitic comments about him.

  • Black Madam: I've done thousands of buttocks injections

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Gothic hip-hop artist who called herself "the Michelangelo of buttocks injections" testified at her murder trial on Thursday that she got into body sculpting 20 years ago to help transgender friends and has since performed thousands of procedures. Padge-Victoria Windslowe, who also rapped under the name Black Madam, is charged in the death of a college student she injected with low-grade silicone at a Philadelphia airport motel in 2011. Windslowe said she thought the 20-year-old London break-dancer was in distress afterward because she had been drinking alcohol. She checked on her through an intermediary the next day and learned she was dead with the words: "R.I.P., Baby." "The way she said it wa

  • New York Daily News, tabloid NYC paper, may be up for sale

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Daily News may be up for sale. Mort Zuckerman, the owner and publisher of the New York City tabloid newspaper, sent a memo to employees on Thursday that said he was approached about a potential sale a few weeks ago. The memo was sent to The Associated Press. "Although there were no immediate plans to consider a sale, we thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility and talk to potential buyers and/or investors," Zuckerman wrote in the memo. He has hired the financial advisory firm Lazard to help with the process. Zuckerman did not say who the potential buyer is and his spokesman Tom Goodman had no comment beyond the memo.

  • Officials: Stolen Picasso smuggled into US, labeled 'craft'

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say a Pablo Picasso painting worth millions of dollars was stolen in France and smuggled into the U.S. by someone who falsely labeled it as an "art craft" worth about $37 when it was shipped. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch filed a civil forfeiture complaint Thursday over the 1911 cubist painting, called "The Hairdresser." Authorities say the 1911 painting disappeared from a storeroom at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. It was reported stolen in November 2001. The painting's location remained unknown until it arrived in the United States in December 2014. Lynch says the shipping label described the contents as an "art craft/toy.




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