• CIA director reverses himself on Senate spying

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, CIA Director John Brennan had stood firm in his insistence that the CIA had little to be ashamed of after searching the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His defiant posture quickly collapsed after a devastating report by his own inspector general sided against the CIA on each key point of the dispute with the Senate. According to an unclassified summary of the report released Thursday, five agency employees improperly accessed Intelligence Committee computers earlier this year during a disagreement over interrogation documents. Then, despite Brennan ordering a halt to that operation, the CIA's office of security began an unauthorized investigation that led it to review the emails

  • Dow has worst drop since February: What happened?

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 317 points on Thursday, wiping out its gain for the year. It was the biggest drop since February and gave the index a loss for July after five straight months of gains. Here are some questions and answers about the sell-off and what might come next. Q: Why did the stock market fall? A: A number of worries have been building for investors in recent weeks and several of them came together on Thursday. That prompted people to dump stocks, breaking several months of calm in the market. A number of large U.S. companies reported poor quarterly results or forecasts, including Whole Foods Market and Exxon Mobil.

  • Judge won't free Russian accused of hacking in US

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A federal judge in the U.S. territory of Guam denied a motion Thursday to release a Russian lawmaker's son accused of hacking computers inside hundreds of U.S. businesses. U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ruled her court had jurisdiction over the case against Roman Seleznev and allowed it to move forward, even though his lawyers had filed a motion to dismiss. Another ruling confirming Seleznev's identity cleared the way for him to be sent to the state of Washington, where documents filed in federal court in Seattle allege he hacked into retailers' computers, installed malicious software and stole credit card numbers from 2009 to 2011.

  • Asia stocks dip on Dow drop, China data cuts loss

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    HONG KONG (AP) — Most Asian stock markets dipped on Friday following a big sell-off on Wall Street but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.3 percent to 15,572.38 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 24,623.90. South Korea's Kospi was less than 0.1 percent lower at 2,074.01. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.4 percent to 5,556.40. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent to 2,203.08. US SELL-OFF: Asian stocks are LOWER after U.S. markets had their worst day in months. Factors include weak corporate earnings from big companies such as Exxon Mobil as well as the approaching end of stimulus from the Federal

  • Man accused of putting needles in packaged meat

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A 68-year-old Illinois man was jailed without bond Thursday after being accused by federal prosecutors of inserting sewing needles into packaged meat "just for the hell of it" at a grocery store in his hometown at least seven times over more than a year. The criminal complaint filed Wednesday against Ronald Avers said one buyer of boneless chuck roast at the Shop 'n Save store in Belleville just east of St. Louis later bit into one of the needles, and a needle slipped into a steak stuck another customer. SuperValu Inc., the Minnesota-based corporate parent of the Shop 'n Save chain, stressed that none of the cases resulted in serious injury, and that the alleged tampering was isolated to only the

  • FAA places new restrictions on flights over Iraq

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is restricting U.S. airlines from flying at or below 30,000 feet over Iraq because of what it calls "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict" there. The agency already had restricted flights in Iraqi air space to a 20,000-foot minimum. The order issued Thursday night follows the downing two weeks ago of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by a missile as it flew over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. Iraq also has been in turmoil as militants have fought government forces. Amid fears that militants had weapons capable of shooting down planes, several European carriers already have developed alternate flights plans for Iraq. The FAA al

  • Oregon Medicaid targets expensive hepatitis drug

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WILSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon Medicaid committee on Thursday significantly scaled back access to an effective — but expensive — new drug used to treat hepatitis C. The decision allows only a narrow set of Medicaid patients to be treated with the $1,000-per-pill drug known as Sovaldi, made by Gilead Sciences Inc. Medical experts on Oregon's pharmaceutical review committee question whether the drug is worth the price tag, and officials worry it would break the bank. They say treating all Medicaid patients with the liver-wasting disease would cost almost as much as last year's entire drug bill. Oregon's guidelines would allow the drug to be used only for patients with later stages of liver damage who have been d

  • Worker killed after pipeline explode near Artesia

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a worker is dead in southeastern New Mexico after a pipeline exploded on an oil field south of Artesia. Eddy County deputies say 21-year-old Fabian Martinez and three others were in a pit cutting a pipeline and disassembling PVC pipe when the pipeline exploded Wednesday. Albuquerque TV station KOB reports (http://bit.ly/1rOPNCJ) that three workers were able to escape, but Martinez was trapped inside the pit by the pipe. Investigators say Martinez succumbed to the hydrogen gas fumes released in the explosion. Diversified Oil Field Services says the accident is under investigation.

  • Congress oks VA, highway bills, not border measure

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress ran full-tilt into election-year gridlock over immigration Thursday and staggered toward a five-week summer break after failing to agree on legislation to cope with the influx of young immigrants flocking illegally to the United States. Faring far better, a bipartisan, $16 billion measure to clean up after a scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and a second bill to prevent a cutoff in highway funding gained final passage in the Senate and were sent to President Barack Obama for his signature. With lawmakers eager to adjourn, legislation to send Israel $225 million for its Iron Dome missile defense system was blocked, at least initially, by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

  • USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year. Final rules announced Thursday would reduce the number of government poultry inspectors. But those who remain will focus more on food safety than on quality, requiring them to pull more birds off the line for closer inspections and encouraging more testing for pathogens. More inspectors would check the facilities to make sure they are clean. The changes would be voluntary, but many of the country's largest poultry companies are expected to opt in. The chicken and turkey industries swiftly praised the new rules, saying they woul

  • Congress sends highway bill to White House

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has approved a bill to prevent a 28 percent cut in federal highway and mass transit aid at the height of the summer construction season. The Senate voted Thursday night for a House-passed measure to augment the federal Highway Trust Fund with in infusion of $10.8 billion from the general Treasury — enough to keep the fund solvent through May. The Transportation Department set Friday as the date the fund would no longer be able to provide all the aid promised from incoming gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. The two houses played legislative ping pong with the issue in recent days over what critics called a "gimmick" to fund the measure by letting companies defer government-required contributions to

  • Congress sends VA overhaul to White House

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has passed a landmark bill to help veterans avoid long waits for health care and fix other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Senate easily approved the $16.3 billion compromise measure Thursday night, a day after it was overwhelmingly passed by the House. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill provides $10 billion in emergency spending to enable veterans who can't get prompt appointments at VA hospitals and clinics or live more than 40 miles from one of them to obtain care from a private doctor. The legislation also includes $5 billion to hire more VA doctors, nurses and other medical staff and $1.3 billion for opening 27 new VA clinics a

  • Immigration issue produces congressional disarray

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Once more, the tea party forced House Speaker John Boehner to blink. Minutes from a vote on legislation to deal with the immigration surge on the U.S.-Mexico border, and hours from scheduled adjournment for the summer, a conservative revolt left the speaker with no choice but to pull his border bill from the floor. Most House Republicans were eager to pass the $659 million measure and tell voters back home they acted on the border crisis, which is suddenly registering as a top concern in polls three months before midterm elections. But a core group of conservative lawmakers, some of the same holdouts who forced the government shutdown last fall, were unpersuaded.

  • Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Republican candidate for California governor said Thursday he spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the disparity between the governor's claim that the state is making an economic comeback and the reality faced by the working poor in the nation's most populous state. Neel Kashkari, a millionaire and former Goldman Sachs banker who is far behind Gov. Jerry Brown in pre-election polls, released a short documentary about the six nights he spent sleeping in parking lots and on park benches, and wrote about his experience in an opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.

  • WTC steel company CEO arrested on fraud charges

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Canadian owner of a company that won nearly $1 billion in contracts to provide steel for the construction of the World Trade Center's tallest building and a transit center was arrested Thursday on charges he defrauded a program meant to benefit minority- and women-owned businesses. Larry Davis, 63, of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, was freed on $100,000 bail after surrendering in the afternoon. Davis, president and chief executive officer of DCM Erectors Inc., was charged with wire fraud and conspiring in a scheme to cheat a program that provided contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses. His lawyer, Sam Talkin, said in court that his client "wants to fight these charges." He added: "H

  • Senate kills spending bill for border crisis

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to address the crisis of unaccompanied migrant youths arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has died in the Senate on a procedural vote. The 50-44 vote Thursday night fell short of the 60 votes needed to waive a point of order raised by Republicans against the $3.5 billion bill. The action came hours before the Senate adjourns for a five-week recess. House Republicans are still working to pass a border bill in the House, but even if they succeed the legislation will not go anywhere. That means Congress is heading out for its summer recess without acting to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who've been arriving at the border from Central America. The Senate bill also

  • APNewsBreak: Colorado tightening edible pot rules

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    DENVER (AP) — Alarmed by booming sales of highly potent edible marijuana products, Colorado regulators have drafted an emergency rule making it easier for new users to tell how much pot they're eating. The result? Weaker pot brownies and cookies on store shelves, and new packaging requirements. A draft of the emergency rules, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press before their public release, requires Colorado's makers of edible pot to physically demark their products so that consumers can "intuitively determine" how much constitutes a dose of marijuana's intoxicating ingredient, THC. Colorado's rules already require edible pot to be sold in "servings" of 10 milligrams of THC.

  • NY judge: US warrant can reach email in Ireland

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. law enforcement can force Microsoft Corp. to turn over emails it stores in Ireland, a judge ruled in a case that technology companies have rallied around as they pursue billions of dollars in data storage business abroad. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled from the bench Thursday after hearing oral arguments in Manhattan. She said she agreed with the findings of a magistrate judge who approved a sealed search warrant in December for a consumer email account that Microsoft stores in Dublin, Ireland. U.S. investigators were seeking the information as part of a narcotics investigation. Preska said it was a question of who controlled the data rather than where it was stored.

  • Tesla posts 2Q loss, prepares Nevada factory site

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors widened its loss in the second quarter as it prepared for the launch of a new SUV and started work on a massive new battery plant. Tesla said it started preparing a site for the factory outside Reno, Nevada, last month. But the company is still considering sites in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, and won't make a final decision for several months. "Before we go to the next stage of pouring a lot of concrete, we want incentives there that make sense and are fair to the state and Tesla," Musk said. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla reported a loss of $61.9 million, or 50 cents per share, compared with a loss of $30.5 million, or 26 cents per share, in t

  • 3 West Coast governors oppose offshore drilling

    Updated: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The governors of California, Oregon and Washington sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel on Thursday to stress that they don't want the possibility of drilling off of the West Coast. The Interior Department is developing an updated plan for its Outer Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, and the governors formally stated their opposition to the inclusion of any oil or gas lease sales off the coast as part of any new plan. Govs. Jay Inslee, of Washington, Jerry Brown, of California, and John Kitzhaber, of Oregon, wrote that their three states "represent the fifth-largest economy in the world" and their ocean-dependent industries contribute billions of dollars to the region each year.