• Greek radical left wins election, threatening market turmoil

    Updated: 11 min ago

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A radical left-wing party vowing to end Greece's painful austerity program won a historic victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections, setting up a showdown with the country's international creditors that could shake the eurozone. Alexis Tsipras, leader of the communist-rooted Syriza party, immediately promised to end the "five years of humiliation and pain" that Greece has endured since an international bailout saved it from bankruptcy in 2010. With 92 percent of polling stations counted, Syriza had 36.3 percent versus 27.8 percent for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' conservatives. It remained to be seen whether Syriza had enough seats to govern outright or would have to seek support from other

  • Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government. "They've decided that today was the day that they were going to declare war on Alaska. Well, we are ready to engage," said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and chair of the Senate energy committee. The designation would set aside an additional 12.2 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain on Alaska's northeast corner, giving it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands.

  • 'Potentially historic' storm headed for Northeast

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A "potentially historic" storm could dump 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut starting Monday, crippling a region that has largely been spared so far this winter, the National Weather Service said. A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the massive storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday. "This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a news conference Sunday. De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city's top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872, including the 26.9 inc

  • US gas prices fell 13 cents per gallon, but expected to rise

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of a regular gallon of gas dropped 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.07, but it could soon rise. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the lowest prices in more than five years are likely to increase because of rising wholesale prices. Lundberg says rising costs of crude oil the past 10 days should eventually be seen at the pump. San Francisco continued to have the highest-priced gas in the Lower 48 states at $2.54 a gallon. Albuquerque, New Mexico, remained lowest at $1.73 a gallon. Lundberg says prices at the pump are $1.24 lower than this time last year. The average price in California was $2.43 a gallon. The average national price for midg

  • 5 ways unmanned drones could affect the American food supply

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Herding cattle. Counting fish. Taking an animal's temperature. Applying pesticides. When it comes to drones, "your imagination can go pretty wild in terms of what would be possible," says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. This month, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the first permit for agricultural use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Steven Edgar, president and CEO of ADAVSO, says his Idaho-based business will use a lightweight, fixed-wing drone to survey fields of crops. Drone technology, already used in other countries, can make farmers more efficient by helping them locate problem spots in vast fields or ranchlands.

  • 'American Sniper' holds top spot at weekend box office

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — "American Sniper" hit the mark with moviegoers again. The military drama starring Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle topped the box office for a second weekend in a row with $64.4 million in first place, according to studio estimates Sunday. "American Sniper" is up for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best actor for Cooper. The total haul for the Warner Bros. film now stands at $200.1 million. "American Sniper" also earned an additional $17.6 million in 16 international territories, including Australia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. "We've never quite seen anything like this at this time of year," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at box-office tracker Rentrak.

  • Breached pipeline that spilled oil lies exposed on riverbed

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    GLENDIVE, Mont. (AP) — Sonar indicates part of an underground pipeline that spilled almost 40,000 gallons of oil into Montana's Yellowstone River and fouled a local water supply is exposed on the riverbed. The pipeline is exposed for about 50 feet near where the breach occurred Jan. 17, according to a news release from public agencies involved with the response. The pipeline had been buried at least 8 feet under the riverbed, and the depth was last confirmed in September 2011. The cause of the spill remains under investigation. It prompted a five-day shutdown of drinking water services for 6,000 people in the city of Glendive after oil got into a treatment plant.

  • Gas line, marijuana things to watch this week in legislature

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature begins its first full week of work Monday after an intense start to the new session. The state has a new governor, Bill Walker. And his State of the State and State of the Budget speeches were highly anticipated by those hoping to get a better sense for the direction he plans to take the state. While the first speech was brimming with hopefulness, the second, devoted to confronting the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit, laid out a tougher message: State government will need to downsize, and it's going to hurt. Falling oil prices have exacerbated the deficit. It is anyone's guess how low prices will go or how long they'll stay low. The North Slope oil price in recen

  • Illinois 'fracking' off to slow start amid oil-price slump

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Fracking is off to a feeble start in Illinois as slumping oil prices and the rigors of Illinois' new regulations have energy interests waiting on the sidelines. It's been two months since a legislative panel approved long-awaited rules for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which uses a mixture of water, chemicals and sand to crack open rock and release oil and natural gas deep underground. But the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says only one company has registered to pursue such drilling, and none has applied for an actual permit. The lack of immediate movement contrasts sharply with a land rush in recent years in southern Illinois.

  • New Fisher-Price photo studio seeks ad, packaging diversity

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Fisher-Price has been using local kids on its packaging for years, eschewing "professional" models in favor of the babies and toddlers parents trundle in to the toy maker's headquarters in the quaint village of East Aurora, outside Buffalo. Now Fisher-Price has opened a second studio, in the city itself, to tap into Buffalo's more multi-cultural feel. Company officials say it's making it easier to better reflect the faces in the 150 countries where Fisher-Price toys are sold. Fisher-Price marketing executive Teresa Gonzalez Ruiz says the company has always featured an array of children but that internal marketers saw a need for even more diversity.

  • Travelers like plan for rail link to NY's LaGuardia Airport

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Some business travelers and others are applauding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to construct a 1.5 mile rail link from a transit hub in Queens to LaGuardia Airport. Salesman Tom Fiore says it has sometimes taken as long as two hours by cab from Manhattan to the airport eight miles away. He says a rail link would speed that trip considerably. Cuomo envisions spending $450 million on the rail link. That follows an announcement last year to spend $3.6 billion for a complete renovation of LaGuardia, which Vice President Joe Biden famously called a "third world" facility. The rail link project needs the approval of state lawmakers. Estimates are it could take five years to complete construction.

  • Coal mining simulator coming to Southern Illinois

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois colleges are planning to build a simulator that will allow coal miners to train how to react in emergencies without having to set foot in a mine. The simulator that Southeastern Illinois College and Illinois Eastern Community College plan to build will have features such as an imitation-smoke system and a control center where coordinators can monitor how the miners cope with disaster-like conditions, the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reported (http://bit.ly/1C1GGY1 ). "The emphasis with (federal regulators— is for miners to understand what they're supposed to be doing in case of emergency, and this will allow them to set up the actual situation without being in harm's way," said Mik

  • Nebraska could require carbon monoxide detectors in homes

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An increase in carbon monoxide poisoning calls last year could prompt Nebraska lawmakers to require alarms in houses and apartments. A bill set for a legislative hearing this week would add Nebraska to a growing list of states that require the devices in addition to smoke alarms. The hearing comes after a year that saw the number of carbon monoxide calls to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center climb from 107 in 2013 to 167 last year, said Kathy Jacobitz, the group's managing director. No deaths were recorded. Most of the calls to the center, which operates a 24-hour statewide emergency telephone service, come in winter months, as people use furnaces and gas appliances to heat their homes, said Jaco

  • Vermont Student Assistance Corp. found energy efficient

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WINOOSKI, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Student Assistance Corp. says its Winooski headquarters building has once again earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star certification. VSAC's Mike Stuart says this is the fifth year the organization has received the award and the score of 87 means the building is in the top 14 percent of similar buildings in the program. Commercial buildings that earn Energy Star certification use an average of 35 percent less energy than typical buildings and also release 35 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. VSAC is a public, nonprofit group that helps students obtain education loans, grants and scholarships.

  • Analysis: GOP calls for bipartisanship, says Obama defiant

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Winners by far in last fall's elections, Republicans now demand bipartisanship from President Barack Obama as their due and the voters' desire. They saw things far differently when the political fortunes were reversed six years ago. Then, with the president newly in office and the economy cratering, minority Republicans overwhelmingly opposed Obama's stimulus legislation and voted unanimously against the health care overhaul for which he had campaigned. "We can't buy prosperity with more and more government spending," Rep. John Boehner, then the Republican leader and now the speaker, said as Obama and Democrats pressed for both tax cuts and budget increases to revive an economy shedding jobs at an al

  • Officials scramble after massive power outage hits Pakistan

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A massive blackout struck Pakistan early Sunday, leaving as much as 80 percent of the country without electricity at its height as officials rushed to restore power. By mid-morning Sunday, officials said power had been restored to roughly half this country of 180 million people. A militant attack on a transmission tower in the southwestern Baluchistan province caused the blackout, said Zafaryab Khan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Water and Power. Khan said the attack caused a power surge that eventually affected about 80 percent of the country. Khan estimated that it would take another six to eight hours for the rest of the power to be restored to the system.

  • Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges


    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — To those who know and love the Grand Canyon, the names of its historic lodges are synonymous with the national park itself. Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel Lodge, El Tovar — all bring to mind a place coveted worldwide for its sweeping views, river rapids and history told though layers of geology. But the fate of those names is up for debate after a longtime Grand Canyon concessionaire applied to trademark them. Approval of its bid would mean Xanterra Parks & Resorts could charge future concessionaires to use roughly 20 names of the park's most popular properties. It also could walk away with those names, leaving the iconic lodges and other facilities to adopt new identities. The National Pa

  • Added protections for consumer information on health website


    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration appears to be making broader changes to protect consumer information on the government's health insurance website, after objections from lawmakers and privacy advocates. The Associated Press reported last week that details such as consumers' income and tobacco use were going to private companies with a commercial interest in such data. AP also reported that a number of companies had embedded connections on HealthCare.gov, raising privacy and security issues for some tech experts. An independent analysis of the health care website, released Saturday, showed that the number of embedded connections to private companies had dropped from 50 to 30.

  • Fueled by oil, agriculture sector welcomes low diesel prices


    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The recent plunge in fuel prices has been a welcome relief across the agricultural sector, helping ease the pain of low grain prices for growers and boosting profits for cattle ranchers. "Every movement we make in farming takes fuel," Kansas cattle rancher and hay grower Randy Cree said. Livestock producers in the Midwest and vegetable growers in the Sun Belt alike are reaping the immediate benefits. And with average retail gas prices for 2015 forecast to be about $1 lower than last year, farmers this spring may end up planting more energy-intensive crops, such as corn or rice, as the cost to irrigate and cultivate drops. Consumers, however, shouldn't expect to see lower prices at the supermarket.

  • US works to ease Caribbean dependence on Venezuelan oil


    MIAMI (AP) — A decade-long addiction to oil subsidized by Venezuela may be coming to an end for several Caribbean nations, with a nudge from the United States. Fears that falling oil prices could knock the wheels off the already wobbly economy of oil-dependent Venezuela have sparked apparent interest in alternatives to Petrocaribe, a trade program created by the late President Hugo Chavez that has kept the region dependent on the South American country for energy. Evidence of that interest will be on display Monday as Caribbean leaders converge in Washington for the first Caribbean Energy Security Summit, hosted by Vice President Joe Biden.