• Australian officials deny elite troop shortage

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has recently deployed troops with diagnosed mental illnesses and on multiple tours of duty, but not because of any shortage of elite combat troops, senior officers said Wednesday. Vice Adm. Ray Griggs, who is acting chief of defense, told a Senate committee that he did not know if any of the 200 commandos and Special Air Service troops who will soon deploy from the United Arab Emirates into Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic State militants was taking anti-psychotic medicine. "There are some members of the ADF that deploy with antidepressants," Griggs said, referring to the Australian Defense Force.

  • Grandstanding, outsourcing raised in Senate debate

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen accused Republican challenger Scott Brown of grandstanding and fear mongering while he accused her of "outsourcing" her independence as they met for their second debate two weeks before Election Day. Shaheen, a former governor and state senator, is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. Brown, who shocked the nation by winning a 2010 special election to replace the late Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy in Massachusetts, moved to New Hampshire last year after losing his Senate seat. Their tight race is among those expected to determine control of the Senate. As Shaheen did in a previous debate, she cast Brown as an outsider who doesn't understand New Hampshire.

  • US House candidates meet for final debate

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Republican Ryan Zinke and Democrat John Lewis sparred Tuesday over the nation's health care overhaul in the final debate before voters decide who will become Montana's lone U.S. House representative in the Nov. 4 election. They were joined by Libertarian Mike Fellows, who advocated for cutting government. All three candidates met in Great Falls in their third debate in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, who is leaving the seat to run for U.S. Senate. Zinke, who supports repealing the Affordable Care Act, attempted to place the blame for the health law squarely on Lewis' shoulders. Zinke said Lewis must have at least helped draft it as a longtime aide to former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, t

  • Mental health exam for man in Japan flight assault

    Yesterday

    HONOLULU (AP) — A Hilo man charged with sexually assaulting a woman aboard a Japan Airlines flight will undergo a mental health evaluation. Michael Tanouye was ordered to remain held without bail at a detention hearing Tuesday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang also granted his defense attorney's request for a mental competency evaluation of the 29-year-old. Tanouye was arrested Oct. 11 after the flight had to return to Honolulu because of the assault in the airplane's bathroom. The FBI says the flight was en route to Kansai International Airport when Tanouye forced his way into a bathroom and sexually assaulted a woman. Flight attendants and passengers told the FBI that a passenger was injured while struggling with T

  • Guinta, Shea-Porter debate health care, economy

    Yesterday

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta sparred Tuesday night over familiar topics such as health care and the economy and tussled over new ones such as Ebola and terrorist threats. The two met for their first televised debate this year, broadcast on NH1 News. They are squaring off for the third time to represent New Hampshire's 1st congressional district, which includes the Seacoast, Manchester and the Lakes Region. Shea-Porter won the seat in 2006, lost it to Guinta in 2010 then won it back in 2012. Guinta criticized Shea-Porter for voting for the Affordable Care Act, which he said isn't working in New Hampshire because thousands of people were not allowed to keep the privat

  • Brown meets with health care experts about Ebola

    Yesterday

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown met with state agency heads, labor unions and leaders in the health care industry Tuesday to address Ebola preparedness at hospitals and other medical facilities throughout California. RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the state's largest nurses' union and National Nurses United, said hospitals have been slow in responding to the Ebola threat. The union wants the type of gear used at premier institutions as well as practice on how to remove it after caring for an Ebola patient. "We hope to God that it never comes to California. But if it does, we want to make sure our nurses have every safeguard," DeMoro said after the nurses' separate meeting with Brown.

  • Prescott VA hospital detects Legionnaires' disease

    Yesterday

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The federal Department of Veterans Affairs says it will flush and decontaminate the water system of its Prescott hospital after detecting the bacterium that causes the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease. VA spokeswoman Mary Dillinger said the agency discovered nine positive tests for the bacterium on Oct. 14 in several locations, including employee restrooms, a break room, a lab sink and a former overflow room. None of the rooms was used by patients, and the VA has not received any reports of anyone with Legionnaires' symptoms, Dillinger said.

  • Third Point urges Amgen to consider breakup

    Yesterday

    A hedge fund run by a famed investor said Tuesday it has taken a large stake in Amgen and now wants the biotech drugmaker to consider splitting up into two. In a letter to investors, Third Point, a hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb, said it has recently increased its stake by an unspecified amount, making it one of the drugmaker's top shareholders. According to FactSet, Third Point already owned about 450,000 Amgen shares, a stake worth roughly $64.8 million. In response, Amgen said that its board and management are continually assessing the company's business. Third Point said Amgen Inc., which makes a range of drugs for arthritis, anemia and other diseases, is not given enough credit for its existing drugs or the potentia

  • Arizona governor creates Ebola preparedness panel

    Yesterday

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has created a committee of health experts to develop and implement a plan to ensure the state is prepared if an outbreak of Ebola or other infectious diseases occurs. Tuesday's executive order from the Republican governor creates the Governor's Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. It names 16 physicians and public health professionals to the panel. Also on the panel are three state officials from emergency agencies and one from the university Board of Regents. The panel is charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure the state's public health infrastructure is prepared for an outbreak of Ebola, tuberculosis or other infectious disease.

  • 12 jurors picked for doc's cyanide poisoning trial

    Yesterday

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Lawyers in the trial of a University of Pittsburgh medical researcher charged with killing his neurologist wife with cyanide have picked eight men and four women as the jury. Allegheny County prosecutors and defense attorneys for Dr. Robert Ferrante, 65, are expected to choose four alternate jurors on Wednesday. Opening statements in the trial, which is expected to last more than two weeks, are set for Thursday. Ferrante is charged with criminal homicide for allegedly lacing an energy drink with cyanide to kill 41-year-old Dr. Autumn Klein in April 2013 after telling her the drink would help them conceive another child. Ferrante denies the charges and says he was devastated by his wife's death.

  • Hospital: American video journalist free of Ebola

    Yesterday

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An Omaha hospital says an American video journalist is free of Ebola and will be released soon. The Nebraska Medical Center said Tuesday afternoon that Ashoka Mukpo's blood tested negative for the virus. He will be allowed to leave a biocontainment unit Wednesday. Mukpo said in a statement that recovering from Ebola "is a truly humbling feeling." He also made several comments on Twitter. Mukpo, of Providence, Rhode Island, has been treated at the Nebraska Medical Center since Oct. 6. He contracted Ebola while working in Liberia as a freelance cameraman for NBC and other media outlets. He had tweeted that he's still not sure exactly how he caught the virus, but that he doesn't regret returning

  • Terrorist ideology blamed in Canada car attack

    Yesterday

    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Quebec (AP) — A young convert to Islam who killed a Canadian soldier in a hit-and-run had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey, authorities said Tuesday. Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said the attack Monday was "clearly linked to terrorist ideology." Quebec Police spokesman Guy Lapointe said the act was deliberate and that one of the two soldiers was in uniform. Police said the suspect, Martin Couture-Rouleau, called 911 to report his hit-and-run as police chased him in the Quebec city of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu. He later was shot dead by police after his car flipped over into a ditch and h

  • Insurer considers Ebola exclusion in some policies

    Yesterday

    Global property and casualty insurer Ace Ltd. says it may exclude Ebola coverage from some of its general liability policies. The Swiss company said Tuesday that it is making the decision on a "case by case" basis for new and renewal policies under its global casualty unit, which offers coverage for U.S.-based companies and organizations that travel or have operations outside the U.S. Ace said in a statement that it is evaluating the risk for clients that might travel to or operate in select African countries with higher exposure to the Ebola virus. It did not specify how many policies this might affect and declined to say if it has put an exclusions of this sort in place yet.

  • Cherokee Nation to open $5M drug treatment center

    Yesterday

    TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation is opening a new $5 million substance abuse treatment center in Tahlequah. Tribal officials will conduct a grand opening Monday for the new Jack Brown Center, which helps treat Native American youth for drug and alcohol addiction. The tribe says the 28,000-square-foot campus includes five buildings and will serve up to 36 clients. The campus features a recreation center, cafeteria, group therapy rooms and male and female dorms.

  • Texas names 2 units to treat future Ebola patients

    Yesterday

    DALLAS (AP) — Texas, which saw the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. and two more since then, has designated two containment facilities in Galveston and a Dallas suburb to treat any future patients. Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that the facilities, with specially trained staff and dedicated space, will take in those diagnosed with the disease, which killed a Liberian man visiting Dallas and infected two nurses who treated him. "The goal is for these facilities to rival the most advanced units in the world when it comes to the quality of care and the security and safety of the personnel in those facilities, as well as in the general population," Perry said at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

  • Ruling: Pot law doesn't provide DUI immunity

    Yesterday

    PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona residents who have medical marijuana cards that allow them to legally smoke pot can still be prosecuted for driving under the influence in the state, an appeals court ruled Tuesday. A three-judge Court of Appeals panel's ruling Tuesday addressed the question of whether medical marijuana users should be immune from prosecution under DUI laws. Travis Lance Darrah was arrested in December 2011 on charges that he was driving while impaired and under the influence while having marijuana in his system. He was acquitted of driving while impaired but convicted on a DUI law that prohibits anyone from operating a vehicle while having a prohibited drug or its compound in their system.

  • Feds say mine operators warned before accident

    Yesterday

    DENVER (AP) — Federal mine inspectors say operators were warned numerous times of potential danger at the Revenue-Virginius Mine days before two men died of carbon-monoxide poisoning in 2013. Mine Safety and Health Administration administrator Joe Main said Tuesday managers of the mine near Ouray (yoo-RAY') improperly detonated deteriorated explosives in a mine shaft in an attempt to dispose of them, filling the area with toxic gas. Regulators say mine operators failed to seal off the area or ventilate it, and they ignored complaints from miners. The accident killed Rick Williams of Durango and Nick Cappanno of Montrose, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Twenty other miners were exposed to carbon monoxide while unsucce

  • Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

    Yesterday

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Michael Sam will have to wait for a third team to give the NFL's first openly gay player a chance to appear in a regular-season game. The Dallas Cowboys released Sam from the practice squad Tuesday, dropping the rush end as they prepare for several potential reinforcements to return to the defensive line. Sam spent seven weeks with the Cowboys after joining their practice squad Sept. 3, four days after he was among the final cuts by the St. Louis Rams at the end of the preseason. He was never placed on the 53-man active roster. The Rams drafted the former SEC defensive player of the year from Missouri late in the seventh round in May. He was pick No. 249 out of 256. Sam had three sacks in the pres

  • US expands Ebola checks; Rwanda to check Americans

    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fending off demands to ban travel from Ebola-stricken West Africa, the Obama administration instead tightened the nation's defenses against Ebola by requiring that all arrivals from the disease-ravaged zone pass through one of five U.S. airports. The move responds to pressure from some Congress members and the public to impose a travel ban on the three countries at the heart of the Ebola outbreak, which has killed over 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, since it emerged 10 months ago. Beginning Wednesday, people whose trips began in Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone must fly into one of the five U.S. airports performing fever checks for Ebola, the Homeland Security Department said.

  • Charges against Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard

    Yesterday

    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A summary of ethics charges against Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard: Campaign work: Counts 1-4 accuse Hubbard of using his position as chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, a position he held from 2007 to 2011, to direct business to his companies, Craftmater Printers and the Auburn Network. An internal party review found that a party vendor subcontracted campaign printing work with a company partially owned by Hubbard. The review found that during the 2010 campaign when Hubbard was leading the party, the party paid $83,524 directly to Craftmaster Printers in Auburn and negotiated an $848,687 contract with Majority Strategies of Ponte Verde, Fla., to design campaign flyers for GOP candi