• Astronaut mementoes: Cowboy boots, prayer beads, lunch box

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The 14 display cases at Kennedy Space Center contain intensely personal mementoes and other items representing the astronauts who perished in the Challenger and Columbia accidents. They are part of NASA's new "Forever Remembered" exhibit, which includes the first public display of pieces from each lost space shuttle. NASA's Michael Ciannilli began contacting the astronauts' families in 2012, gently consulting with them and collecting belongings. Every encounter, he said, left him ever more humbled. A few families were reluctant to donate personal items, including that of schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe, yet assured Ciannilli, "We trust you to represent our loved one the very best you can.

  • Cake: The new favorite mode for American political debate?

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — It really should be a piece of cake. Customer comes in, asks for a cake with a specific design or for a particular event, baker makes it, everyone's happy. But sometimes customers and bakers have clashed over what goes on the cake, or whether to make it at all. An Oregon bakery was fined for refusing to bake a cake for a lesbian couple's wedding. A baker in Colorado refused to write anti-gay messages on a customer's cake. A Louisiana man posted a video lambasting a Wal-Mart for not making a cake with a Confederate flag on it. Somehow, cake can raise questions over where the free speech of customers ends and that of bakers begins.

  • Iran cuts welfare rolls to ease budget crisis

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran said Sunday it will stop giving cash handouts to another million of its wealthiest citizens in order to ease a budget crisis caused in part by plunging oil prices and sanctions linked to its disputed nuclear program. State TV quoted Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ali Rabiei as saying that the new cuts will be implemented by Aug. 22. One million people have already been removed from the rolls, and those and the latest cuts are expected to save the government an estimated $30 million a month. The government has been distributing about $15 a month to the vast majority of Iranians since 2010 as compensation for cuts in food and energy subsidies. Some 4 million Iranians voluntarily withdrew from the p

  • Things to know about Canadian hydropower in US Northeast

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    Power produced by hydroelectric generators in Canada have played a part in the U.S. Northeast's electricity landscape for four decades, and experts say its role will only increase. Some points about current production and proposals to bring more Canadian power to the region: ___ THE FACTS — In 2014, 1.6 percent of the electricity purchased in the U.S. came from Canada, and 60 percent of that went to New England and New York, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Canadian imports made up 12 to 16 percent of retail electricity sales in New England and New York. — In 2014, Hydro-Quebec, the biggest Canadian player in New England, exported more than 28 percent of the Canadian power that made it

  • Separate NYC gunfire incidents leave 2 dead, 11 wounded

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Two people were killed and 11 others wounded in three overnight shootings in New York City, including nine people hurt when gunfire broke out at a backyard party in Brooklyn, police said Sunday. The gunfire at the party in the East New York section of Brooklyn started around 2:15 a.m., after a dispute, police said. Nine people were shot — six women and three men, most with wounds to their legs. Police said the injuries weren't life-threatening. Four other people sustained cuts and bruises from the disturbance. A neighbor told the Daily News he saw bodies on the ground. "Everybody was laying down 'til the shooting stopped, and then they got up and scattered," said Faylo Alston. "They looked afraid for their

  • Girl wounded in attack on Jerusalem gay pride parade dies

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — A teenage girl seriously wounded after an anti-gay extremist stabbed her and several others in last week's attack on Jerusalem's gay pride parade died Sunday, a hospital official. Shira Banki, 16, succumbed to her wounds, and her organs will be donated, Hadassah Medical Center spokeswoman Hadar Elboim said. The girl was among six people wounded Thursday by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man, Yishai Schlissel, who had carried out a similar attack on a gay pride parade in 2005. He had angrily spoken out against the parade after his release from prison three weeks earlier.

  • Popular traffic barrel in Cleveland could soon be removed

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Residents may no longer get to enjoy a dented, orange traffic barrel that has been stationed at the same Cleveland intersection for more than a year. The barrel, known as "Barry the Barrel," sat on a steel plate covering a hole in the road at West 144th Street and Montrose Avenue in the city's West Park neighborhood, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reported (http://bit.ly/1OF4uDH ) Friday. "Usually when you put up an orange barrel it means you'll be back to fix something," said Adam Pate, a caricature artist and resident who created the barrel a Facebook page. "But they just slapped a plate on it and a barrel and took a mulligan.

  • Tourists flock to gawk at massive highway bridge projects

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    ON THE ST. CROIX RIVER, Minn. (AP) — Jockeying for a rail spot on the third-floor deck of a St. Croix River paddlewheel boat starts an hour before departure. Up there are prime views of the towering piers, protruding concrete segments and barges full of heavy equipment — all elements of one of the biggest, most expensive bridge projects the Upper Midwest has seen. Construction of the mile-long span linking Minnesota and Wisconsin has given rise to an unexpected tourist market: Guided 90-minute tours to watch crews assemble the bridge a segment at a time, like a Lego set. Three times a month, 350 or more people cruise the river; adults pay $10 apiece. From the $3.

  • Benin pledges 800 troops to anti-Boko Haram force

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    COTONOU, Benin (AP) — Benin's president has vowed to contribute 800 troops to a regional force intended to combat the Nigeria-based Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Thomas Boni Yayi made the announcement Saturday during a visit from Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari that coincided with Benin's independence anniversary. "This is an opportunity for Benin to express solidary with countries on the front line against the Islamic sect, Boko Haram. This solidary will result in the sending of a contingent of 800 men from Benin's army," Boni Yayi said. Deployment of the regional force has been delayed for lack of funds.

  • Judge, 93, peeved by incomplete housing discrimination case

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered taxpayers in a Detroit-area community to pay up as a way to end a housing discrimination case that has been in federal court for more than 40 years. Three of 200 houses still need to be developed in Hamtramck to make up for civil rights violations against blacks whose neighborhoods were demolished in the 1960s. A fund was created to set aside certain taxes to pay for the housing, but there's not enough money and the financially strapped Hamtramck (Ham-TRAM'-ick) can't afford to use its general fund. In a July 24 order, federal Judge Damon Keith said at least $600,000 shall be collected through winter property tax bills. The 93-year-old is frustrated by the slow pace. H

  • No indications of potential gang violence at 75th Sturgis

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    STURGIS, S.D. (AP) — Never-before-seen crowds are expected to ride into western South Dakota this week for the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The rally officially kicks off Monday and is famous for bawdy behavior. But authorities and bikers alike say there's no indication there will be violence among outlaw clubs like that seen in May in Waco, Texas, where a shootout involving bikers and police left nine dead and more injured. Law enforcement agencies in Sturgis say they haven't received intelligence that outlaw gangs are planning violence as an extension of the Waco shootings. A former Hells Angels chapter leader says it's likely the gangs will work to keep Sturgis mellow because of the attention on Waco.

  • A look at state actions, a year after Ferguson's upheaval

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    Legislators in nearly every state this year proposed measures stemming from the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old who had scuffled with a white Ferguson officer. Brown's death triggered large protests and repeated clashes between heavily armored police and protesters. An Associated Press analysis identified at least 40 measures passed by 24 states that addressed issues highlighted by the events in Ferguson. Here's an overview of some of those measures: BODY CAMERAS Sixteen states passed measures this year addressing officer-worn cameras that can record interactions with the public. Those measures varied greatly.

  • Cities make police changes after unrest over citizen deaths

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, by a white Ferguson, Missouri, policeman was a catalyst for change in the St. Louis suburb. Other cities also have made changes over the past year following high-profile cases in which civilians were fatally shot by officers or died in police custody. Here's a look at some of those incidents that drew national attention and the subsequent changes. FERGUSON There was no video of the fatal encounter Aug. 9 between Brown and Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, which escalated from a scuffle at the officer's vehicle in the center of residential street. Within weeks of Brown's death, however, Ferguson police began wearing body cameras that were donated to the city.

  • 2 soldiers dead, 31 wounded in suicide attack in Turkey

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels on Sunday detonated an explosives-laden agricultural vehicle at a military police station in eastern Turkey, killing two soldiers and wounding 31 others, authorities said, amid a sharp escalation of violence between the government forces and the autonomy-seeking insurgents. Militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, used two tons of explosives to attack the station on a highway near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri province, close to Turkey's border with Iran, causing extensive damage to the building, the regional governor's office said in a statement. The military said four of the injured soldiers were in serious condition.

  • UND gets $2M for research to improve oral health in America

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Biomedical scientists at the University of North Dakota have received a $2 million boost for research that could lead to improvements of oral health in America. The grant from the National Institutes of Health is meant to study the problem of dry mouth or xerostomia, a result of decreased saliva flow from under-functioning salivary glands. Almost 9 million Americans have this condition with varying degrees of severity. Research has shown that chronic dry mouth significantly increases the risk of developing dental caries as well as other oral diseases. Dr. Brij Singh is one of two scientists at UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences who received the grant.

  • Emotional scenes as South Sudan gains Olympic status

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — With an Olympic flag draped around his neck, the official from South Sudan couldn't contain his emotion. Moments after his war-torn country was officially recognized by the IOC on Sunday, Tong Chor Malke Deran wiped tears from his eyes and later broke down when talking about the plight of his nation's athletes. The decision means the world's newest nation will be able to have its competitors enter the stadium in Rio de Janeiro next year behind their own flag. More importantly, the country's near non-existent sporting infrastructure and athletes will receive funding assistance from the IOC. South Sudan, which split from Sudan and became independent in 2011, has been hit by civil war for th

  • UAE prosecutor refers 41 people to trial on terror charges

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates' top prosecutor referred 41 people to trial on charges of planning to carry out terrorist acts with the aim of overthrowing the government and establishing an extremist state, according to a statement released Sunday. Prosecutor General Salem Saeed Kubaish said in a statement the cell called itself "Shabab Al-Manarah" or "Minaret Youths." Kubaish said the group planned to carry out terrorist acts against the country's leadership and public with the aim of creating an Islamic state, or caliphate. The UAE, which is home to the cosmopolitan cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has clamped down on even nonviolent Islamist groups in recent years, sentencing dozens of oppositi

  • Egypt court postpones Al-Jazeera English verdict to Aug. 29

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Sunday again postponed announcing a verdict in the retrial of three Al-Jazeera English journalists, extending the long-running trial criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists. The case against Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed embroiled their journalism into the wider conflict between Egypt and Qatar following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Judge Hassan Farid, who oversaw the case against the three, did not attend Sunday's hearing. Another judge, Essam Aboul Ella, announced the case had been postponed. "It's more suffering for us, more waiting," Moha

  • After 3 years, Jordan refugee camp for Syrians now a city

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (AP) — Only empty desert three years ago, the Mideast's largest camp for Syrian civil war refugees has grown from a town of tents into a bustling city. The United Nations-administered camp plans water and sewage systems and a $20 million solar power plant, even ATM machines for refugee aid payments. But behind the plans is a cold reality for the 81,000 exiles living in the Zaatari Refugee Camp: The conflict back home, now its fifth year, won't be over anytime soon. Some deal with that reality by making the best of life in exile, like the Zaatari high school senior who studied hard in cramped quarters to win a university scholarship, or the former farmer who planted a garden because he was

  • Hitchhiking robot's cross-country trip in US ends in Philly

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A hitchhiking robot that captured the hearts of fans worldwide met its demise in the U.S. The Canadian researchers who created hitchBOT as a social experiment told The Associated Press that someone in Philadelphia damaged the robot beyond repair early Saturday, ending its first American tour after about two weeks. "Sadly, sadly it's come to an end," said Frauke Zeller, one of its co-creators. The kid-size robot set out to travel cross-country after successfully hitchhiking across Canada in 26 days last year and parts of Europe. It's immobile on its own, relying on the kindness of strangers. Those who picked it up often passed it to other travelers or left it where others might notice it.




Advertisement