• Lions lead charge to change NFL instant replay rules

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    PHOENIX — Still stinging from the pass-interference flag that wasn’t in their wild-card loss to the Cowboys, the Lions are trying to change a fundamental tenet of the NFL’s instant replay system. Dean Blandino, the league’s vice president of officiating, said at Super Bowl XLIX Thursday that the Lions have submitted a proposal to the competition committee to expand replay to include officiating calls. “I think there is growing sentiment to, if we have the technology, how can it help us get these plays right and I think that has merit,” Blandino said. “I think we just have to make sure that it makes sense and we don’t have unintended consequences.

  • Survey finds large gap between scientists’ and public’s views on major scientific issues

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH — When surveys like the one this week by the Pew Research Center show major disagreements between scientists and the public on such issues as global warming and genetically modified foods, there is usually a lot of hand-wringing that Americans seem to be so scientifically illiterate. But Yale Law School professor Daniel Kahan said his research shows that isn’t true. Kahan is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, which his website describes as a group that uses “empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk.” And he has found that when people are deeply divided over issues like climate change or natural gas fracking or evolution, it’s not because they are scient

  • Senators propose Common Core panel as House bans PARCC test

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Legislators are wading deeper into determining what Mississippi students will learn and how they will be tested. The House of Representatives Thursday passed House Bill 385, which would ban use of a Common Core-related test, end high school exit exams in biology and U.S. history and push the state Board of Education to adopt standardized tests published by the ACT organization. It now moves to the Senate for more debate. Earlier, the Senate Education Committee endorsed Senate Bill 2161, creating a commission to recommend changes to state academic standards as part of an effort to change or replace Mississippi's current Common Core-based standards.

  • Kim Kardashian, other celebrities appear in Super Bowl ads

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Along with puppies and babies, celebrities are a Super Bowl advertising staple. And this year is no exception. Using stars is a surefire way to grab attention during advertising's most competitive night, when a crowded field of 40-plus marketers vie for the attention of the more than 110 million viewers expected to tune in to the Super Bowl on Sunday. Advertisers use celebrities to "help insure the success of their creative investment," said Devra Prywes, vice president of marketing for research firm Unruly. But it doesn't always work. In order for an ad to go viral, it needs to connect emotionally or give the audience multiple reasons to share, Prywes said.

  • Amazon's big spending pays off in 4th quarter

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — It was a Prime quarter for Amazon. Amazon surprised investors on Thursday with a fourth-quarter profit that soundly beat expectations, despite a continued increase in spending and a slight sales miss, partly linked to the strong dollar. Investors drove shares up over 11 percent in aftermarket trading. Amazon's strategy always has been to spend a big chunk of the money it makes to grow and expand into new areas like cloud computing, streaming video and hardware. That has affected profitability, to investors' sometime chagrin.

  • Simultaneous attacks in Egypt's Sinai kill 26

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Militants struck more than a dozen army and police targets in the restive Sinai Peninsula with simultaneous attacks involving a car bomb and mortar rounds on Thursday, killing at least 26 security officers. An Army spokesman immediately blamed former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood of orchestrating the attack, which killed 25 Army soldiers and one policeman. The wide-ranging attacks late Thursday required a previously unseen level of coordination. At least one car bomb was set off outside a military base, while mortars were simultaneously fired at the base, toppling some buildings and leaving soldiers buried under the debris, official said.

  • NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Each year around this time, NASA honors fallen astronauts, including the 17 men and women killed in three separate wintertime accidents in the sky and on the earth. For Robert "Hoot" Gibson, it's a time to remember lost friends and some of their stunts, like playing a saxophone in orbit. Gibson, who flew on five space shuttle missions, knew each of the 14 astronauts who died in the Challenger explosion on Jan. 28, 1986, and in the Columbia disaster on Feb. 1, 2003. On Thursday, he lit a candle of remembrance during a ceremony at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Behind him hung a photo of astronauts including Ron McNair. Gibson and McNair were crewmates aboard Challenger during a missi

  • Franklin Tech to offer farming classes for the whole family

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    Mende Staggs talks proudly of her 12-year-old son, who last year grew his own crop of peanuts on the family farm and sold the surplus at local farmers markets. In fact, Staggs says, gardening, yard work, caring for animals and other tasks required around a farm can be among the best ways for families to spend a little quality time together — and no farm is necessarily needed. “I think farming in general is really good for kids to get involved in with their parents and learn life skills,” she said. Staggs hopes to share her family’s love of farming with other local families through two upcoming classes she will teach at Franklin Technology Center in Joplin.

  • FCC votes to define broadband as 25 megabits per second or higher

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to change the definition of broadband Internet to connection speeds of 25 megabits per second or higher, up from the previous standard of 4 megabits. FCC commissioners voted on the definition as part of the agency’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report. If speeds do not reach the new threshold, a connection cannot be listed as “broadband.” The new definition of broadband does not require Internet service providers to make any changes to the services they provide. Last week, a lawyer for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association wrote a letter to the FCC urging the agency not to change the definition of broadband, calling it a “substantial departure” f

  • Smartphone Snapshot: Samsung getting squeezed

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The runaway success of Apple's newest iPhone has fueled a dramatic shift in the global market: the California tech giant is now neck-and-neck with South Korea's Samsung for the title of world's leading seller of smartphones. Apple set the standard for modern smartphones when it released the first iPhone in 2007, but Samsung has been the market leader since 2011 with its series of supersized smartphones that run on Google's Android software. However, Apple made huge gains in the last quarter, selling 74.5 million iPhones — nearly 50 percent more than a year earlier — after introducing two bigger models to compete with Samsung's high-end Galaxy S phones.

  • Intuit to undo unpopular changes in its TurboTax software

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Intuit Inc., having admitted one mistake, says it will undo another. Changes in its popular TurboTax software for this tax season caught many users by surprise. The changes required them to upgrade — and pay more — to use some of the same tax forms this tax season as last year. Intuit apologized last week for surprising its customers, saying it should have told them more clearly about the changes to its software. On Thursday, the company said in an emailed statement that it will “restore TurboTax desktop software products for next year.” The restoration will “cover the entire product line with all forms in all products.

  • New aquarium opening to public at Michigan shopping mall

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A new 35,000-square-foot aquarium has drawn crowds of fascinated children and parents at one of Michigan's largest shopping malls. Sea Life Michigan Aquarium opens Thursday at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills. The aquarium features three blacknose sharks, two bonnethead sharks and one nurse shark among its estimated 5,000 animals. It has a tropical ocean tank with a walk-through underwater tunnel. Michigan has a number of aquariums, including one on Detroit's Belle Isle. ___ Online: http://www.visitsealife.

  • Frenchman linked to attackers charged, incarcerated

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — French authorities filed preliminary terrorism charges Thursday against a Frenchman extradited from Bulgaria and linked to gunmen behind deadly attacks in Paris, a judicial official said. Fritz-Joly Joachin was ordered jailed for at least four months pending further investigation, the official said. He was arrested Jan. 1 on a French warrant while trying to cross from Bulgaria into Turkey. French police say that Joachin, 29, was an associate of the Kouachi brothers, who killed 12 people in an attack Jan. 7 against newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Joachin was given preliminary charges of participating in an organized crime group with aims to prepare a terrorist act, and seeking to join extremist fighters in Syria,

  • 'Anonymized' credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Credit card data isn't quite as anonymous as promised, a new study says. Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies "anonymized" the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people. "We are showing that the privacy we are told that we have isn't real," study co-author Alex "Sandy" Pentland of MIT said in an email.

  • Much confusion, few answers, in Argentine prosecutor's death

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina has been rocked by the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was found in a pool of blood on Jan. 18 hours before he was to elaborate on his accusation that President Cristina Fernandez protected those responsible for a 1994 terror bombing. The case is shrouded in charges of a high-level cover-up and government suggestions that Nisman's death was orchestrated by rogue intelligence agents.

  • Texas governor seeks to scrap tech grants

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he wants to scrap a $485 million program that finances technology companies after lawmakers questioned whether it was an effective way to create jobs. Abbott, a Republican, said Thursday he wants to eliminate the Emerging Technology Fund, which was created in 2005 under former Gov. Rick Perry to provide money to startup companies. Perry, who led the state from 2000 until Abbott took office this month, made luring businesses a priority and is considering seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Abbott, 57, said he wants to use the funds to attract “nationally-recognized” researchers and professors to Texas’s universities.

  • Amazon shares spike as 4Q profit beats by a mile

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Amazon.com jumped over 8 percent in aftermarket trading after the e-commerce giant beat quarterly profit expectations by a mile. Amazon's strategy always has been to spend a big chunk of the money it makes to grow and expand into new areas like cloud computing, streaming video and hardware — and that has affected profitability to investors' sometime chagrin. But Thursday's results seem to show the company has the reins in hand when it comes to spending big and being profitable. Investors sent shares up $26.92, or 8.6 percent, to $338.60 in aftermarket trading. Amazon Prime membership surged 53 percent during 2014, even though the Seattle-based company raised prices.

  • UAMS startup gets $14.5M to develop therapies for meth users

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences startup company has received $14.5 million in federal grants to develop drug therapies aiming to help methamphetamine abusers break their addiction. The company, InterveXion Therapeutics LLC, will develop therapies to reduce or prevent the euphoric rush that drug users crave by keeping methamphetamine in the bloodstream and out of the brain — where the drug exerts its most powerful effects. The larger of the two grants — $9.55 million over three years— will support research to determine whether a methamphetamine vaccine may be safely advanced into a clinical trial with human participants.

  • Work begins to raise Confederate warship from Savannah River

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Divers and military salvage crews will spend the next nine months raising what's left of an armored Confederate warship that's been rotting at the bottom of the Savannah River for 150 years. After years of planning, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday that work has begun to recover the remains of the ironclad CSS Georgia. The ship was scuttled by its own Confederate crew to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union army took Savannah in December 1864. The shipwreck lies in pieces beneath 30 feet of water where the river winds east of downtown Savannah. Only two big pieces of its armored siding remain intact, the largest being about 64-by-24 feet.

  • McDonald's and Yahoo are big market movers

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE McDonald's Corp., up $4.49 to $93.27 The fast food restaurant operator's president and CEO Don Thompson will step down as the company struggles with declining sales. Coach Inc., up $2.48 to $38.94 The handbag and accessories retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly profit. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., down $8.64 to $89.81 The e-commerce company reported mixed quarterly results as it faces scrutiny from the Chinese government over the sale of counterfeit goods. Kate Spade & Co., up $1.95 to $31.




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