• Charges to be dismissed in Arizona dog deaths

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — Animal cruelty charges will be dismissed against the owners of a suburban Phoenix kennel and two caretakers charged in the deaths of 21 dogs this summer, prosecutors said Monday. The charges could be refiled at some point, but the case as presented to a grand jury didn't take into account the potential for problems with an air conditioning unit, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement. Caretakers found the dogs passed out in an 8-by-12-foot room June 20. Austin and Logan Flake reported trying to save the animals by hosing and icing them down, but authorities said they didn't call for emergency assistance before the dogs died.

  • Highway tunnel under Seattle to open August 2017

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — A new highway tunnel through downtown Seattle won't be open until August 2017, about 20 months behind schedule, state transportation officials said Monday. The contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, said it expects to resume tunneling in April. The massive tunnel-boring machine stopped work on the 2-mile tunnel in December 2013 after going about 1,000 feet, and the massive machine that's stuck underground needs repairs before drilling can resume. The contractor and state officials say they can't nail down an exact completion date until tunneling resumes. "Schedule is very important to us," Matt Preedy with the Department of Transportation said in a call with reporters. "At the end of the day, this i

  • Arizona to change drugs it uses in executions

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona officials said Monday they have been cleared of any wrongdoing in an execution this year that lasted nearly two hours, but they are nevertheless changing the drugs they use to put inmates to death. According to a letter from Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan to Gov. Jan Brewer, the agency no longer will use the drug combination used in the controversial July execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood. He was given 15 doses of the drugs and gasped over and over before taking his final breath. The letter said the department will stop using the mixture of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller.

  • App lets patients take prehistoric virtual journey

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An app featuring a bronze fossil floor at the main entrance of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor allows patients to take virtual prehistoric journey. The free iPad app "Foozel" was launched last month under a partnership between the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan Credit Union. In the app, the fossil floor breaks and transforms into a starry sky. It leads the user through games to track down fossils and repair the floor. There's also a coloring book to accompany the app. Both were designed and developed by University of Michigan students and alumni. Sarah Renken, a Stamps School of Art & Design student, is the artist behind the coloring book.

  • Ceremony marks new national monument in Nevada

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Several dignitaries received plaster replicas of an Ice Age mammoth tooth on Monday to help mark the dedication of a new national monument in a fossil-rich area at the northern edge of the Las Vegas valley. The Las Vegas Paiute Resort Tribe hosted the commemorative event at a tribal resort overlooking the site now called Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, about 25 miles north of the Las Vegas Strip. "Whether you've been here a couple of years or hundreds of years, we're all going to benefit," Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins said with a nod to Tribal Chairman Benny Tso seated nearby.

  • Iraqi Yazidi girls abducted by IS endured horror

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — An international watchdog group says women and girls from Iraq's Yazidi minority have endured horrors while held captive by Islamic State extremists. In a report issued Tuesday, the London-based Amnesty International says IS fighters took them as slaves when they captured their town in northern Iraq, then forcibly married, "sold" or gave them as "gifts" in August to militants or their supporters. Some committed suicide, fearing to be raped. The report was based on interviews with over 40 former captives. In their summer onslaught, the IS group targeted indigenous religious minorities across the country's north, including Christians and followers of the Yazidi faith, forcing tens of thousands from their

  • It's becoming easier to shop overseas this holiday season

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — This holiday season, it's almost as simple to shop on the other side of the world as it is to buy from a store down the block. International online payment services like AliPay and PayPal are trying to ensure that a South Carolina fashionista can buy a faux fur vest from China with just a few clicks on her computer and a New Zealand biker can use his smartphone to pick up a rare part from a Colorado company. These services come as shoppers and retailers alike have a growing appetite to buy items from any country, regardless of distance and regulations. In fact, a PayPal report estimates that by 2018, about 130 million shoppers will be spending over $300 billion a year across the border, up from $105 billion

  • Marathon bombing suspect's lawyers invoke McVeigh

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who are seeking to have his trial moved out of Massachusetts again drew parallels Monday between the media coverage of their client's case and the coverage received by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. It would be impossible to select impartial jurors, defense attorneys wrote in a filing Monday, because "the crimes charged inflicted actual injury on the entire local population" and "greater Boston, was itself, a victim." Defense attorneys said "adverse pretrial publicity and leaks continue unabated," and "media saturation can only be expected to intensify" as the January trial — and the April anniversary of the explosions — nears. McVe

  • Wife of Cuban agent freed from US expecting baby

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    HAVANA (AP) — Cuba is celebrating the return of three intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States for more than a decade, and the joyful but puzzling news that one of their wives is expecting just two weeks from now. Adriana Perez's pregnancy has been the talk of Cuba since she appeared with Gerardo Hernandez at the island's parliament this weekend. Perez beamed and held hands with Hernandez as he caressed her baby bump, clearly visible beneath a flowing blue dress. A top adviser to U.S. Sen.

  • California Supreme Court nominee confirmed

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A state panel on Monday confirmed another California Supreme Court appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown — a move that likely tilts the conservative-leaning court further to the left. Leondra Kruger, 38, a deputy assistant U.S. attorney general, won unanimous approval by the three-member Commission on Judicial Appointments. The confirmation of Kruger, who is black, brings down the court's average age and will give California one black, one Hispanic and three Asian justices. Four women will be on the panel. Kruger is a Yale University law school graduate who appears to be a rising star in the legal profession.

  • Kansas says new virus found after resident's death

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new virus thought to be carried by ticks or other insects has been discovered following the death of a southeast Kansas resident during the summer, public health officials said Monday. The new virus is called Bourbon virus, after Bourbon County, home of the patient who died. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said the patient's symptoms, including fever and fatigue, were similar to symptoms from other tick-borne diseases. The Kansas health department said testing by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the patient had a virus not previously identified. Health department spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow said it's still not clear how much the Bourbon virus contribut

  • Key developments in the case of slain NYPD officers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    New York police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were ambushed Saturday afternoon by 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the final act in a rampage that began when he shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend at her home outside Baltimore, then made threatening posts online, including a vow to put "wings on pigs" and references to high-profile cases of police officers shooting unarmed black men. After shooting the officers, Brinsley ran into a subway station and committed suicide. The killings have raised concerns and tempers in the already tense nationwide debate surrounding police conduct.

  • Man who fell from SF building to leave hospital

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A window washer who fell 11 stories from a downtown San Francisco building onto a moving car last month is preparing to leave the hospital for a rehabilitation facility where he hopes to walk again. Pedro Perez, 58, fractured his pelvis, broke an arm, ruptured an artery in his arm, and sustained severe brain trauma when he landed on the Toyota Camry after falling from the top of a bank building in San Francisco's financial district on Nov. 21. The car's driver was not injured. Perez spent a week in a medically induced coma and still can't move his right arm and leg. But just a month after the fall, he has amazed doctors who originally said it would be months before he could leave the hospital, his wif

  • Medellin's Christmas lights dazzle in Colombia

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    MEDELLIN, Colombia (AP) — Medellin for Christmas vacation? Si, si! The city once wracked by drug violence has undergone massive social and economic transformation, and it's now known in tourist circles for spectacular Christmas light displays that veil churches, buildings, parks and even the Medellin River with glittering cascades of color. The spectacle can be seen in neighborhoods around the city every night through Jan. 12 from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. It draws an estimated 4 million visitors, including thousands of tourists. The scene feels like a carnival, with crowds of families on foot gazing in awe, street vendors and long lines of cars and tour buses streaming slowly by.

  • 2 men indicted in deadly California bank robbery

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — An indictment unsealed Monday charged two men with murder, kidnapping and other crimes in a violent bank robbery and shootout with police that ended with the deaths of a woman taken hostage and two other suspects. Jaime Ramos, 20, and Pablo Ruvalcaba, 21, were each charged with three counts of murder in addition to robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and gang counts. Authorities say Ruvalcaba drove Ramos and the two other suspects to the bank. California law allows murder charges to be filed against anyone involved in a crime in which someone is killed. The indictment also contained 35 counts of attempted murder for each of the officers involved in the shootout.

  • Rain and snowstorms could greet holiday travelers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Many of the nearly 100 million holiday travelers expected to hit the road, head to airports and climb aboard trains in the coming days may have to negotiate rain or snow forecast to fall across large swaths of the U.S. Travelers from the Rockies to the Upper Great Lakes could see snow, while showers and thunderstorms across the Mississippi Valley could strengthen Tuesday into Wednesday and move to the southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England, according to the National Weather Service. But meteorologist Amy Seeley said various computer models showed differing forecasts Monday and "aren't in agreement yet." More than 90 percent of some 98.

  • NY requires Ocwen reforms, $150M homeowner help

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York financial regulators have reached a settlement with Ocwen Financial Corp. requiring the nation's largest subprime mortgage servicer to reform its practices and provide $150 million to help struggling New York homeowners. The consent order requires William Erbey to resign as executive chairman of the corporation and chairman of four related companies: Altisource Portfolio Solutions, Altisource Residential Corp., Altisource Asset Management Corp. and Home Loan Servicing Solutions. The settlement of the state Department of Financial Services investigation also requires an independent monitor on site for up to three more years.

  • Judge OKs Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol

    ASSOCIATED PRESS | Updated: 5 hr ago

    The state's scheduled executions of four death row inmates early next year will proceed.

  • Donny and Marie Osmond extend Las Vegas show dates

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sibling singers Donny and Marie Osmond will be singing at the Flamingo Las Vegas at least through the end of 2015. Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced Monday that the duo has signed on to keep performing at the hotel-casino through the end of next year. The pair is still performing more than six years after they committed to six weeks of shows starting in September 2008. The 90-minute variety show is scheduled to have performance dates every month in 2015 except in March, July, August and December. Tickets cost $95 to $260, not counting taxes and fees.

  • UN Security Council takes up N. Korea's human rights

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council took up the issue of North Korea's bleak human rights situation for the first time Monday, a groundbreaking step toward possibly holding the nuclear-armed but desperately poor country and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity. North Korea quickly denounced the move. The meeting appeared to be the first time that any country's human rights situation has been scheduled for ongoing debate by the U.N.'s most powerful body, meaning that the issue now can be brought up at any time. It also came amid U.S. accusations that North Korea was behind a devastating hacking attack. "Today, we have broken the council's silence. We have begun to shine a light, and