• World briefs

    | Updated: 2 hr ago

    EUROPE RUSSIA | Moscow — Russia has come under pressure from Europe's human rights watchdog and the United States to free Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force officer who is on hunger strike in a Russian prison. Savchenko is awaiting trial on charges of involvement in the killing of two Russian journalists during the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Her lawyer says she has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 13. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Wednesday called on Russia to release her “within 24 hours and to ensure her return to Ukraine or to hand her over to a third country.

  • Greece, eurozone creditors prepare for clash over bailout


    GREECE Athens — Greece's new radical left government has shot the first salvo in what is expected to be a tough clash with fellow eurozone countries over budget cuts that Athens says are choking the life out of its economy. The government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Wednesday it would ignore key budget commitments, privatizations and reforms previous administrations had promised in exchange for rescue loans from fellow eurozone countries. The hard line prompted a quick warning from the European Union and sent local investors into a panic on the prospect that the country might get cut off from its

  • Duncan enacts outdoor watering ban, with exemption for commercial car washes

    By Silas Allen
    Staff Writer |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday evening approved watering restrictions that ban residents from watering lawns, washing cars and hosing down sidewalks and driveways. The ban contains a few exemptions, including one that allows commercial car washes to operate during restricted hours.

  • Two die in crashes on Oklahoma highways

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Kenneth Noble, 60, of Broomfield, Colo., and Harry Cook, 85, of Cordell, died in two separate collisions Wednesday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

  • Group extends deadline for prisoner's release

    By KARIN LAUB and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH | Updated: 2 hr ago

    LEBANON Beirut — The Islamic State group released a message late Wednesday purportedly by Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, extending the deadline for Jordan's release of an Iraqi would-be hotel bomber linked to al-Qaida. The audio was released as Jordan had offered a precedent-setting prisoner swap to the Islamic State group in a desperate attempt to save a Jordanian air force pilot the militants purportedly threatened to kill, along with Goto. The audio recording, in English, says the Jordanians must present Sajida al-Rishawi at the Turkish border by sunset Thursday, or Jordanian pilot Mu'as al-Kasaseabeh

  • Boston bounces back

    By PHILIP MARCELO | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    MASSACHUSETTS Boston — Boston bounced back quickly Wednesday from the Blizzard of 2015, with subways, buses and trains up and running again the morning after the storm buried a swath of New England in 2 to 3 feet of snow. Many businesses reopened, as did Logan Airport, and homeowners, motorists and storekeepers dug out with grudging praise for the forecasters, who missed the mark in New York but got it right in New England. Chris Laudani, a Boston bartender, became an instant symbol of the city's resilience for shoveling snow off the yellow and blue Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, where the 2013 terrorist bombing killed three people and

  • Crash on White House grounds halts drone flights for company

    By Kurtis Lee
    Los Angeles Times |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    The manufacturer of the drone that crashed on the White House grounds earlier this week plans to install software in its devices that would prevent them from flying in Washington. DJI, the China-based company that manufactures the quad-copter found at the White House, will install software in the coming weeks that will disable several models of its drones from flying over a 15.5-mile radius that spans downtown Washington, it said in a statement. It said the restriction is part of a planned extension of the company's no-fly zone system that prohibits flight near airports and other locations where such flights are restricted by local authorities,.

  • Food stamp use is up, Census shows

    Associated Press |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON — Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation's economy tumbled in 2008. Numbers released Wednesday by the Census Bureau as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring. The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance. Participation and spending appear to be going

  • Sheriffs voice concerns about mobile traffic app

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    WASHINGTON — A law enforcement campaign to compel Google Inc. to disable a feature in its popular Waze traffic app that lets drivers warn others about nearby police activity shifted Wednesday when a sheriffs' organization openly complained that the app not only puts officers' lives at risk, it also interferes with the ability to write speeding tickets. The National Sheriffs' Association, which had focused its complaints about Waze on police safety after the fatal shootings of two New York City police officers in December, expanded its campaign in a new statement criticizing Google's software as hampering the use of speed traps.

  • Convictions of 'Friendship Nine' vacated by South Carolina judge

    By MITCH WEISS | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    SOUTH CAROLINA Rock Hill — For a moment, Clarence Graham's heart raced. Fifty four years after he and eight fellow black men served a month of hard labor for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter, a judge declared that they had been wrongly convicted of trespassing and their records would be tossed. “In my heart, I was leaping,” Graham said. Family, friends and supporters in the packed courtroom clapped and cheered Wednesday as Judge John C. Hayes vacated the sentences for the men known as the Friendship 9. Seven of them were in court. One had died, and another couldn't make the hearing.

  • Drone destruction bill introduced in Oklahoma Legislature

    By Rick M. Green
    Capitol Bureau |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    Bill proposed by Sen. Ralph Shortey says Oklahomans would not be held liable for damages if they destroy a drone flying below 300 feet over their property and encroaching on their privacy.

  • Tiger fight

    Associated Press |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    BEIJING — There's a tiger fight going on in China. Regulators issued a scathing report Wednesday against one of the nation's biggest stars, accusing e-commerce giant Alibaba of failing to do enough to prevent fake goods from being sold on its websites. Alibaba fired back with charges of bias and misconduct by a named Chinese official. Such defiance is almost unheard of in China. Even more dubious is the timing of the sternly worded report. The State Administration of Industry and Commerce wrote the report in July after meeting with Alibaba management, but postponed issuing it to avoid affecting the company's New York stock market listing.

  • McDonald’s CEO steps down as sales decline

    By CANDICE CHOI, | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    NEW YORK — McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson is stepping down as the world’s biggest hamburger chain fights to hold onto customers and transform its image. The company said Thompson, who has been CEO for two-and-a-half years, will be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, a company veteran who rejoined McDonald’s as its chief brand officer in 2013. McDonald’s Corp., which has more than 36,000 locations around the world, is struggling amid intensifying competition and changing attitudes about food. Customer traffic at established locations in the U.S. fell 4.1 percent last year, following a 1.6 percent decline in 2013. It’s also trying to recover after a supplier scandal in China that damaged its reputation.

  • Oklahoma City middle school student dies from flu complications

    By Tim Willert
    Staff Writer |
    Updated: 2 hr ago

    A student at Taft Middle School in Oklahoma City Public Schools has died from complications related to the flu, school district officials confirmed Wednesday.

  • Cadets report for start of 63rd Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy

    Staff Writer |
    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Fifty-three cadets reported Wednesday to the Robert R. Lester Training Center for the start of the 63rd Oklahoma Highway Patrol Academy.

  • California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat

    By FENIT NIRAPPIL, Associated Press | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter controls as “vaping” grows in popularity. The California Department of Public Health report says e-cigarettes emit cancer-causing chemicals and get users hooked on nicotine but acknowledges that more research needs to be done to determine the immediate and long-term health effects. New generations of young people will become nicotine addicts if the products remain largely unregulated, California Health Officer Ron Chapman said.

  • Arizona monitoring hundreds for measles linked to Disneyland

    By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press | Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    PHOENIX — A measles outbreak in Arizona that originated at California’s Disney parks is at risk of dramatically increasing in size as health officials keep tabs on 1,000 people in the state’s most populous areas. The number includes nearly 200 children who could have been exposed at a Phoenix-area urgent care center. Those who weren’t vaccinated have been confined to their homes for 21 days, a standard health practice. Some adults have been asked to wear masks if going out in public. State Health Services director Will Humble says it’s possible but unlikely that the outbreak in Arizona can be contained. Arizona has seven confirmed cases.

  • U.S. Supreme Court delays Oklahoma executions using disputed drug

    By Chris Casteel
    Washington Bureau |
    Updated: 2 hr ago

    In a brief order, the court grants Oklahoma attorney general’s request that no more executions occur until justices have completed their review of the sedative midazolam.

  • Oklahoma news briefs for Jan. 29

    | Updated: 2 hr ago

    Oklahoma news briefs for Jan. 29, 2015

  • NFL players who started young show more thinking problems

    AP Sports Writer |
    Published: Thu, Jan 29, 2015

    BOSTON — NFL veterans who started playing tackle football before the age of 12 are more likely to have cognitive difficulties after their careers, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Neurology. Researchers tested 42 former players on their short-term memory, mental flexibility and problem solving and found those who picked up the sport before they were 12 years old functioned about 20 percent worse. Both groups scored below average on many of the tests, according to Robert Stern of the Boston University School of Medicine. “There is a known period of critical brain development that occurs around puberty.