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  • Floods submerge parts of Balkans, 2 have died

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A second person has drowned after rivers burst their banks in Romania, authorities said Thursday, and the flooding also caused damage across the Balkans, inundating a power plant in Serbia and causing landslides in Montenegro. Forecasters issued a severe weather warning for parts of southern Romania, which has been worst hit by the floods this week. About 300 people were stranded by floods in a village near the Gilort River, which burst its banks. Authorities said a man was found dead several kilometers from his home, the second person to drown in Romania from the flooding. Around 1,200 people have been evacuated, and some 2,200 homes were damaged by floods with 99 of them completely destroyed.

  • Maine berry festival to feature huge human organs

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WILTON, Maine (AP) — One of the main attractions at this year's Wilton Blueberry Festival isn't a fruit — it's a set of giant inflatable human organs for people to walk through. The Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1rTfAgN ) reports the two-day festival will include an inflatable heart, lungs, and a 50-foot-long human body visitors can walk through to observe the way organs work. The festival's chairwoman says the festival is adding the giant organs to bring an educational aspect to the event. The festival, which attracts more than 4,000 people to the western Maine town of 4,100 people, takes place Friday and Saturday. ___ Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.

  • UPDATE: Oklahoma wind gust tops 100 mph Wednesday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 10 hr ago

    Heavy rain is reported in eastern Oklahoma as storms move east, southeast. A flash flood warning has been issued for Latimer and Pushmataha counties.

  • Kerry: 'No promise' of cease-fire

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    NEW DELHI (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says there's, quote, "no promise" of a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip. Kerry told reporters Thursday in New Delhi that the U.S. remains hopeful that a cease-fire is achievable, and he said the sooner it happens, the better. He urges both sides to begin, quote, "bona fide negotiations" to stop the bloodshed. The violence is now in its fourth week and has killed over a thousand Palestinians living in Gaza and several dozen Israeli troops fighting there.

  • Man gets 2 life terms in Love County slayings

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    MARIETTA — A 66-year-old man has been formally sentenced to two life terms without parole for the deaths of his father-in-law and father-in-law’s sister in rural Love County. A local newspaper reports reports Aaron Eugene Carlile was sentenced Tuesday in Love County District Court. He was found guilty in June of first-degree murder in the deaths of 78-year-old Thomas Monroe Culwell and 80-year-old Marion Almenia Culwell. Almenia Culwell’s son found the two shot to death one-and-a-half miles from their rural home in May 2013. Authorities say the shooting stemmed from a longstanding feud between Carlile and Sonny Culwell. A notice of intent to appeal has been filed on Carlile’s behalf.

  • Hearing delayed in Duncan baseball player slaying

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    DUNCAN — A preliminary hearing has been postponed for a southern Oklahoma man charged with helping two people hide the gun used to shoot a baseball player from Australia. A local newspaper reports that a hearing set for Wednesday for 22-year-old Oddesse Barnes has been moved to Nov. 18. Chris Lane was shot last summer while jogging along a tree-lined road in Duncan while visiting his girlfriend’s parents. Investigators say the 22-year-old from Melbourne was randomly targeted by bored teenagers. He had been preparing to enter his senior baseball season at East Central University in Ada. Barnes was charged in April with accessory after murder. He has pleaded not guilty. A message seeking comment was left with

  • DC chancellor 'disappointed' with flat test scores

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released test scores show largely stagnant proficiency in math and reading for District of Columbia public school students. School officials said Wednesday that 51.1 percent of students were found to be proficient in math in the 2013-2014 school year. That's up 1.6 percentage points from the year before. In reading, 47.7 percent of students were proficient, up just 0.3 percent from the previous year. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson says she's "somewhat disappointed that we weren't able to demonstrate greater growth." This was the last year for the District's own standardized tests. Starting this fall, the school system will move to a new, multi-state test that's aligned with the Common Core a

  • Liberian Official: Ebola Outbreak ‘Is Above The Control Of The National Government’

    Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Liberian health official says the Ebola outbreak is now above the control of its government, CBS Charlotte. “Our government has declared this now as a humanitarian crisis that is above the control of the national government,” Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia’s assistant minister of health, told CBS News . More than 700 people have died in four western African nations during the largest Ebola outbreak ever, with over 320 known cases in Liberia alone. One American died while contracting the virus in Liberia. Two other American medical missionary workers also contracted Ebola.

  • Prize-winning goat disappears from Colorado fair

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Police in Greeley, Colorado, are investigating who's got the goat — a grand champion animal that vanished this week from a county fair. The Greeley Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1m0UCoU) the red-colored Boer (BOHR') goat was reported missing Monday, hours before it was scheduled to appear at the Weld County fair's junior livestock auction. Two of the animal's halters also were gone. The goat is owned by 18-year-old David Smith of Niwot. Smith's father says he doesn't want to insinuate that someone stole the goat. He says it's possible the goat escaped and is just out in a cornfield somewhere. Despite the goat's absence, the auction went ahead, and the prize-winning animal sold for $5,500

  • The Kids Who Beat Autism

    Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    In the last 18 months, two research groups have released rigorous, systematic studies, providing the best evidence yet that in fact a small but reliable subset of children really do overcome autism, reports the New York Times. The first, led by Deborah Fein , a clinical neuropsychologist who teaches at the University of Connecticut, looked at 34 young people and confirmed that all had early medical records solidly documenting autism and that they now no longer met autism’s criteria, a trajectory she called “optimal outcome.” In May, another set of researchers published a study that tracked 85 children from their autism diagnosis (at age 2) for nearly two decades and found that about 9 percent of them no longer met the criteria for the disorder.

  • Eurozone inflation down again but ECB seen on hold

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The inflation rate in the 18-nation eurozone dropped again in July, official data showed Thursday, in a worrying sign that adds pressure on the European Central Bank to beef up its efforts to spur the economy. Extremely low inflation is a concern because it can lead to deflation, in which falling prices choke off growth. In a preliminary estimate, Eurostat, the European Union's statistical agency, said the inflation rate fell to 0.4 percent from the previous month's 0.5 percent, where analysts had predicted it would remain. Inflation is at its lowest reading since October 2009, when the world economy was hit by a raging financial crisis that caused severe recessions.

  • Island near Buffalo overrun by hundreds of cats

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) — A small island near Buffalo has a big cat problem thanks to people who have abandoned felines there over the years. WIVB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1n6wtNe ) that hundreds of feral and abandoned cats are believed to be on the Niagara River's Tonawanda Island. Mike Charnock owns a marina and restaurant on the 85-acre island just north of Buffalo. He says the cats are making a mess of the island, and even have gotten onto boats at his marina. Danielle Coogan has launched Operation Island Cats to stem the growing problem. She's trapping cats and having them spayed or neutered by veterinarians. In the last 10 days, she has trapped 10 cats. Kittens will be put up for adoptions. Adult cats

  • Lebanese Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — A commander with the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah was recently killed while on a "jihadi mission" in Iraq, officials in Lebanon said Thursday. The officials, who are close to the Shiite Hezbollah, said that Ibrahim Mohammed al-Haj was killed sometime in the past week. They did not provide any details on his mission or circumstances of his death and spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media. It was the first known Hezbollah death in Iraq since Sunni extremists with the Islamic State captured large parts of the country north and west of Baghdad in June.

  • Spain court studies paternity suit against ex-king

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — Spain's Supreme Court says it will consider an appeal of a rejected paternity suit filed against the recently abdicated King Juan Carlos. The court said Thursday the case of Alberto Sola, who claims he may be the ex-monarch's illegitimate son, had been under review in a lower court but was raised to the Supreme Court this week following new legislation. Juan Carlos' immunity as king meant two paternity test demands, including Sola's, were thrown out by lower courts in 2012. Sola's appeal follows the rejection of another suit he filed in 2013.

  • Russia tensions hurting European companies

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — Russia's standoff with the West is hurting European companies, from heavy industry to sports goods makers, even before the latest sanctions have a chance to take effect. A group representing Germany's machinery industry cut its output forecast sharply on Thursday, pointing to the uncertainty caused by political tension with Russia over its alleged role in destabilizing Ukraine. A profit warning from sports goods maker Adidas underlined wider unease over the crisis. "The conflict with Russia is not just leaving tracks in bilateral trade — it is generally hindering demand in important sales markets for our industry," said Ralph Wiechers, chief economist for the VDMA, the industry group.

  • UK judge opens inquiry into Litvinenko killing

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — A British judge on Thursday opened an inquiry into the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, saying the central question is whether the Russian state ordered the killing. Judge Robert Owen said he was determined to publish conclusions about Russian responsibility, although some parts of the inquiry, and possibly some of his report, will remain secret. Litvinenko, a former Russian FSB agent who became a critic of the Kremlin, died in 2006 after drinking tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at a London hotel. On his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of responsibility. British police have named two Russian men as suspects, but Moscow refuses to extradite th

  • Oakland Zoo animals enjoy fruit after truck crash

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Animals at the Oakland Zoo were treated to a buffet of tropical fruit after a truck spilled its shipment on a freeway. The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1rRTyLi) about 13,000 pounds of plantains and jackfruit were donated to the zoo Wednesday after the fruit truck overturned on Interstate 580. Nobody was hurt. Bears, giraffes and elephants dined on the treats, though zookeepers say some of the animals initially were hesitant to taste the unusual fruits. Zoological manager Darren Minier said only fruit in good condition without major bruising, broken skin or insects would be fed to the animals. The newspaper reports the Alameda County Food Bank received about 35,000 pounds of fruit

  • Image of Asia: Weaving silk in Thailand

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    In this trio of photos, workers weave Thai silk and adjust batches of dried thread at a decades-old workshop that supplies silk material to upmarket stores in Bangkok. Thailand's share of world silk production is relatively modest at less than 1,000 tons a year compared with leader China, with well over 100,000 tons annually. But Thailand is noted for its hand-woven silk products, which add value and serve a luxury market separate from commercial, low-price products. American entrepreneur Jim Thompson revived the country's traditional silk-weaving industry in the 1950s, overseeing the process from raising silkworms to retail sales and promoting silk as a high-fashion item around the world. ___ AP photographers on Twitter: htt

  • Expat Turks begin voting in presidential elections

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turks living abroad began voting Thursday to choose Turkey's first directly elected president. It is also the first time expatriate Turks are voting in their countries of residence for Turkish elections. Close to 2.8 million expatriate Turks in 54 countries — about half of them in Germany — are eligible to vote. Only about 250,000 of them however, have registered to vote, according to Turkey's High Election Board. Polls opened in Germany and several other countries on Thursday. In Berlin, hundreds of Turks went to a polling station inside the city's Olympic stadium to vote. A large Turkish flag was put up over the door. "I think it is a great thing for us Turks that we can also vote," said Du

  • The Scary Way Midlife Drinking Impacts Memory Later In Life

    Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    Alcohol abuse is no doubt a painful thing, causing health and relationship troubles, says the Huffington Post, but researchers now have reason to believe that the consequences of heavy drinking in midlife could come back to haunt you later in life. A new study conducted by the University of Exeter Medical School says older adults who've had a history of problem drinking in midlife are more than twice as likely to have severe cognitive and memory impairment than those who don't. Published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry , the study looked at over 6,500 adults aged 60 to 70 at the start of the study in 1992, and followed them until 2010.