• Cuomo suspends NY drug rules for the snowbound

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued an emergency order intended to help snowbound residents of western New York keep getting prescription medications. The order signed Thursday and effective through Dec. 1 temporarily suspends some medical regulations. The order: — Allows patients to get prescription refills at any pharmacy with a shared database to verify them. — Lets doctors write new prescriptions more than seven days before an earlier prescription will be exhausted. — Permits prescription transfers among hospitals and nursing homes should patients need to be moved.

  • AP PHOTOS: 'Most generous' Myanmar's giving cycle

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    HLAING THARYAR, Myanmar (AP) — "The food cart is coming!" the hungry little boy shouts, his face lighting up. More than 100 people sitting in the grass and beneath the dark midday shadows of giant trees turn to look at the nearby Buddhist monastery. As a monk moves through the gates with a huge pot of rice and curry, orphans, homeless children and jobless men and women line up with crumpled plastic bags. The monks ladle up food that was offered to them just hours earlier during their dawn collection of alms. That cycle of giving is part of what earned this impoverished Southeast Asian nation a seemingly unlikely title: the world's most generous nation.

  • Austin public housing to have Internet access

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Thousands of public housing residents in Austin will have access to free basic Internet service in a technological partnership with Google. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro was on hand Thursday in support of a broadband effort called Unlocking the Connection. The Housing Authority of the City of Austin is part of the project meant to help the estimated 4,300 public housing residents. Google helps provide the infrastructure and other resources. Google Inc. last year announced the company picked tech-savvy Austin for wiring homes with another service, ultra-fast Internet connections as part of Google Fiber.

  • Man pleads guilty in deaths of motorcyclists

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has pleaded guilty to charges in the deaths of two motorcyclists on the Natchez Trace. Donnie William Sartain of Tishomingo entered the plea Thursday in federal court in Oxford. The 50-year-old Sartain had been scheduled for trial but accepted a plea deal from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Sartain pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter. He was indicted in August on two counts of driving under the influence resulting in death, and two counts of negligent homicide/manslaughter. No sentencing date has been announced. Sartain's charges stem from a wreck on Aug.

  • Michael Brown's dad urges peace in online video

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — The father of Michael Brown is making a plea for peace, regardless of whether the grand jury decides to charge the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot his unarmed son. Michael Brown Sr. has posted a video online saying that he, his family and the St. Louis region are still hurting. But, Brown says, "hurting others or destroying property is not the answer." Michael Brown was 18 when he was killed by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson following an altercation on Aug. 9. The grand jury decision is expected soon. The video was a public service announcement produced by the group STL Forward, a website trying to unite the St. Louis region following the unrest that followed the shooting. ___

  • Japan orders air bag maker to conduct probe

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's transport ministry said Friday it has ordered air bag maker Takata to conduct an internal investigation after cases of its air bags exploding triggered safety concerns in the United States and other countries. The ministry also ordered Takata and Japanese automakers to study whether additional recalls are needed in Japan following a U.S. decision to expand recalls nationwide from an earlier measure limited to high-humidity zones. Takata air bags can inflate with excessive force, sending metal shrapnel toward the driver and passengers. The problems have been blamed for at least six deaths and dozens of injuries. Millions of cars have been recalled worldwide.

  • Grocery chain's Christmas ad stirs tears, outrage

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Artillery booms. A trench comes into view. Soldiers huddle into their overcoats for warmth. The scene is the unlikely backdrop for a holiday commercial that has many Britons reaching for hankies — and others demanding it be pulled from the air. The 3-minute, 40-second mini-movie from the Sainsbury's grocery chain depicts the 1914 Christmas Truce, when soldiers stopped killing each other for a few hours to celebrate the holiday together in no man's land. The commercial has sparked debate on whether it is appropriate for corporations to use sensitive national history for commercial use.

  • Red Cross seeks blood donors to help Buffalo area

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The American Red Cross is seeking blood donors in the Rochester area so the organization can replenish the blood supply in the snowbound Buffalo region. Officials with the Red Cross New York-Penn Region have issued an emergency appeal for blood donors. They tell local media that the severe lake-effect storms that have buried much of western New York have caused the cancellation of at least 30 blood drives through Thursday. All blood types are needed. Officials say they're accepting donations Friday at the Red Cross facility in the town of Henrietta, just south of Rochester. Officials say they hope to collect 1,000 units of blood to send west to Buffalo.

  • Tunisia heats up ahead of presidential election

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia's first free presidential election is boiling down to two candidates with divergent views of the revolution that transformed this former dictatorship. The clear front-runner in Sunday's ballot is veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi, who has been campaigning for the restoration of the state's prestige in the face of the chaos that followed the 2011 overthrow of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Among two dozen other candidates, the one most likely to make it into a runoff with Essebsi is incumbent interim president Moncef Marzouki, a veteran rights activist who was once imprisoned by the old regime and is a symbol of the revolution.

  • Cuban doctor arrives in Geneva for Ebola treatment

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone arrived in Switzerland for treatment and was able to walk off the transport plane, a Geneva medical official said Friday. Felix Baez Sarria arrived on a flight overnight and was transported in a specially outfitted ambulance with a police escort to Geneva University Hospital. Geneva canton (state) Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacques-Andre Romand told The Associated Press the 43-year-old Baez wore a protective suit and mask as he got off the plane and climbed onto a gurney before boarding the ambulance. Romand said doctors will decide on a treatment regime for Baez, which could include experimental drugs.

  • Nebraska doctors share Ebola lessons in paper

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — When the Nebraska Medical Center began treating patients with the deadly Ebola virus this fall, experts had to figure out how to safely conduct lab tests and handle samples. A paper outlining some of the lessons learned in the lab has been published, so other hospitals can learn from the experience here in Omaha. Pete Iwen, director of the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, led the team of University of Nebraska Medical Center experts who wrote the paper. Iwen says that when the first Ebola patient arrived in September, some of the tests doctors wanted couldn't be performed safely with existing equipment, so the lab developed alternatives.

  • Officer expected back after kidney transplant

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    TILTON, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire police officer is recovering after waiting more than two years for a kidney transplant. Tilton Police Cpl. Nathan Morrison underwent surgery last month at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The Citizen reports (http://bit.ly/1p3v0yG) the 46-year-old Morrison is expected to return to duty early next year. He's a 16-year veteran of the police department. Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said Morrison was diagnosed with life-threatening kidney failure in July 2012. Cormier said Morrison's fellow officers set up a website searching for potential donors with Type O negative blood. Hundreds of potential donors were screened before the right one was found.

  • Poll: Employers watching insurance costs closely

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    Despite years of rising medical costs and pressure from the health care overhaul, employers consider employee health insurance a priority. But new surveys suggest coverage may grow skimpier in the coming years. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that companies that offer health insurance see it as a key tool to attract workers and keep them on the job. But they're also sweating the expense, with 86 percent citing the cost of coverage as a main factor in picking a plan. Five key findings from the poll: ___ WHEN OFFERING BENEFITS, COST IS TOP OF MIND Nearly 9 in 10 employers who offer health insurance benefits call the cost to their organization an important factor i

  • Carroll initiates crisis intervention team

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — Carroll County law enforcement and public-health officials are initiating a crisis intervention team to safely manage people with mental illness. The event Friday in Westminster adds Carroll County to at least five other Maryland jurisdictions that have embraced the concept. Team members include law-enforcement officers who have been trained to compassionately manage people who are suffering from a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training includes recognizing various disorders and adopting a patient approach to avoid escalating the situation. The goal is to connect troubled subjects to appropriate mental health services before their actions require police to use force

  • Gift Guide: 3 ways to watch streaming video on TV

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Even casual viewers of online video will appreciate the ability to watch it on a big-screen TV. For about $100, you can get a great streaming TV device to do that. Or for about a third of that, you can get a pretty good one. Content selection varies, but all offer such basics as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. After trying out 10 streaming devices, I have three recommendations and an honorable mention: ___ AMAZON FIRE TV STICK A "stick" is a cheaper, lightweight version of a regular streaming device, often with poorer performance. That's not the case with the $39 Fire TV Stick, which is why I'm recommending it over the $99 Fire TV. The processor isn't as powerful, and there isn't as much working memor

  • 3 W.Va. groups get rural community funding

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three West Virginia organizations are sharing more than $1.2 million in federal funding to connect rural communities to medical services and educational opportunities. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says federal funding is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the funding through its Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. CAMC Health Education and Research Institute will increase access to mental health services for about 5,000 children and adolescents. Monongalia County General Hospital Company will connect medical professionals in Morgantown with health care providers and patients in rural areas.

  • Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

    Updated: Fri, Nov 21, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families." The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers. In a televised address to the nation, Obama defended the legality of his actions and challenged GOP lawmakers to focus their energy not on blocking his measures but on approving long-stalled legislation to take their place.

  • Oregon GMO measure may be headed for recount

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon ballot measure that would require labels for genetically engineered foods may be heading for an automatic recount. The measure was rejected, but results released Thursday by Multnomah County pushed the margin of defeat to a mere 0.1 percent. That's inside the 0.2 percent threshold that triggers an automatic recount. Out of 1.5 million ballots counted, fewer than 1,500 votes separate the two sides in Measure 92. Counties have until 5 p.m. Monday to publish their final results. Several thousand ballots remain unreported. If an automatic recount is triggered, the secretary of state's office says it would likely begin the first week in December.

  • Swine disease outbreak prompts Oahu pig quarantine

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Agriculture is halting the movement of pigs from Oahu farms after an outbreak of a serious swine disease at a Waianae farm. The department said Thursday the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus only affects pigs and doesn't pose a risk to people or pets. It's also not a food safety concern. About 25 percent of the Waianae farm's 150 pigs died last week. Most of those that died were piglets. The department says it appears the remaining pigs are recovering. The farm hasn't had any deaths since the weekend. Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Isaac Maeda issued a quarantine order saying no swine may be moved east past Nanakuli from Makaha, Waianae and Nanakuli Valley.

  • Senators get no clear answers on air bag safety

    Updated: Thu, Nov 20, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — There were apologies and long-winded explanations, but after nearly four hours of testimony about exploding air bags, senators never got a clear answer to the question most people have: whether or not their cars are safe. A hearing Thursday before the Senate Commerce Committee featured an apology from the quality chief for Japan's Takata Corp., the maker of the air bags that can inflate with too much force, firing metal shrapnel into a car's passenger compartment. A senior Honda executive also acknowledged his company didn't comply with disclosure laws. But an exchange between Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Honda Executive Vice President Rick Schostek pretty much summed up the day.