• Faced with a tech tsunami, Motorola fights to preserve cop-com franchise

    Updated: 9 min ago

    WASHINGTON — As Chicago cops braced for protests in advance of the NATO and G-8 summits in 2012, hometown radio giant Motorola made what seemed like a grand gesture. The company, which for years has used tenacious marketing and clout to reign over the emergency radio business, donated to the city $1.8 million worth of telecom equipment that could beam data and videos to law enforcement officers shielding the world leaders. Generosity wasn’t the only motive behind the gift.

  • Dropped jaws, protests over another no-bid Motorola contract

    Updated: 9 min ago

    WASHINGTON — The broadband deal that Motorola secured in Harris County, Texas, offers a case study in how the company almost magically avoids head-to-head bidding on many contracts. When $6 million in federal grants to the Port of Houston became available for what would become the nation’s first pilot emergency high-speed broadband network, Motorola already had an inside track. The county that envelops Houston had a history of awarding sole-source radio contracts to the industry leader. But the pilot project, in the latest technology for delivering data and videos to first responders, seemed an obvious time to solicit proposals from all comers. Apparently, officials of the nation’s third-largest county didn’t th

  • Pet reptile not a lizard, Lithuanian student finds out

    Updated: 9 min ago

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A baby caiman has found a new home at a Lithuanian zoo after its previous owner tried to sell it online, apparently upon realizing that the pet reptile he was raising in his bathroom wasn't a harmless lizard. Officials at the Kaunas zoo said authorities confiscated the spectacled caiman from a student who had posted an online advertisement for a large lizard. They said the student had kept it for several months but, stunned by how fast it was growing, decided to get rid of it. Lithuanian law prohibits raising dangerous animals at home. The 1.3-kilogram (2.8 pound), 63-centimeter (25-inch) caiman, named "Croc," was handed to the zoo, where visitors could see it for the first time Wednesday.

  • WATCH: Teacher and students create incredible ‘Uptown Funk’ video

    Updated: 16 min ago

    Meet Scot Pankey, a theater arts teacher who has come up with a novel lesson plan: Learning can be fun.  As part of a class assignment, Pankey led his students in a choreographed dance to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. The dance, which was filmed by students, was completed in a single take, Yahoo News reports. “We are a project-based school… and that means you give the students a project, put them in teams, and they have to come up with solutions.” said Pankey of A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School in Dallas. “They had three weeks to work on it, then present as a group what they learned.” 

  • US stocks edge higher in midday trading; Apple up sharply

    Updated: 20 min ago

    Strong earnings from Apple, Boeing and other companies helped nudge U.S. stocks slightly higher in midday trading Wednesday. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average rose 63 points, or 0.4 percent, to 17,450 as of 12:08 p.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 gained three points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,032. The Nasdaq composite added 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,700. The indexes are rebounding after closing sharply lower on Tuesday. FED WATCH: The Fed ends its first policy meeting of the year Wednesday afternoon, after which it is widely expected to repeat its pledge to stay patient in raising interest rates from record lows. Inflation has fallen further below the Fed's target rate, thanks to plunging oil prices and a

  • Amal Clooney on legal team in Armenian genocide case

    Updated: 22 min ago

    STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Lawyer Amal Clooney went before Europe's top human rights court Wednesday to argue against a man convicted of denying the 1915 Armenian genocide. Clooney is representing Armenia as part of an appeal before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of the man, Dogu Perincek, in December 2013. Perincek believes his right to free speech was violated when Swiss courts convicted him of racism for denying the genocide in 2005. He described the genocide as "an international lie." Clooney said the "most important error" of the court's 2013 ruling in favor of Perincek was that "it cast doubt on the reality of the Armenian genocide." Historians estimate up to 1.

  • Apple rich enough to pay everyone $556

    Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    Apple’s (AAPL) printing money hand over fist. You knew that. What you may not know is that Apple has so much dough, it could afford to pay every man, woman and child in the U.S. $556. Each, USA TODAY reports. Selling high-priced hardware – over and over again – is creating a wealth-making machine like the world has never seen. Apple has now amassed a record pile of cash and investments of nearly $178 billion. That’s enough to give every American $556, a fact pointed out by Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices. This massive pile of wealth is generated by the company’s ability to get consumers to line up every two years to sign up for costly contracts for high-priced phones. This business model, which keeps the total cost of the hardware itself largely masked to consumers, helped Apple report a bigger profit than the world has even seen in the fourth quarter of $18 billion.

  • Johnny Depp: A chupacabra 'attacked' me

    Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    We've heard the "exhaustion" excuse from stars who miss events. But "attacked" by a "chupacabra"? You have to hand it to Johnny Depp for that one. That's what he said was his reason for missing a news conference for his new movie,Mortdecai, in Tokyo on Tuesday, USA TODAY reports.

  • Yemen rebels beat, detain demonstrators in capital

    Updated: 29 min ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Rebels who control the Yemeni capital beat back dozens of people marching in protest against them on Wednesday, firing automatic rifles in the air and striking protesters with batons and knives. The violence highlighted the volatility in leaderless Yemen, after the president resigned last week under pressure by the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who had placed him under house arrest and demanded a greater share of power. Witnesses say the rebels detained several protesters and journalists on Wednesday, and that around 10 people were lightly wounded in the scuffles. Yemeni newspaper Source Online said that one of its journalists had been taken by the Houthis but was later released.

  • Mobile provider TracFone to pay $40M in federal settlement

    Updated: 32 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest prepaid mobile provider, TracFone, will pay $40 million to settle government claims that it misled smartphone customers with promises of unlimited data service. The Federal Trade Commission says TracFone promised unlimited data in its advertising, but then drastically slowed or even cut off consumers' mobile data after they hit a certain limit. TracFone's prepaid wireless service is sold under various brands, including Straight Talk, Net10, Simple Mobile and Telcel America. Consumers with phones operated by TracFone who had their service slowed or cut will be able to request a refund.

  • Google: YouTube is so overloaded staff cannot filter content

    Updated: 32 min ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Internet giant Google says that its video-sharing website YouTube is so inundated that staff cannot filter all terror related content, complicating the struggle to halt the publication of terrorist propaganda and hostage videos. Google Public Policy Manager Verity Harding said Wednesday that about 300 hours of video material is being uploaded to YouTube every minute, making it virtually impossible for the company to filter all images. Harding spoke at a European Parliament meeting of the ALDE liberal group on a counter-terrorism action plan. She said that "to pre-screen those videos before they are uploaded would be like screening a phone call before it's made.

  • Iran names new UN envoy after earlier pick blocked

    Updated: 37 min ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Foreign Ministry has named a new envoy to the United Nations after the U.S. declined to issue a visa to an earlier pick last year. The ministry's official website said Wednesday that Gholam Ali Khoshroo has been chosen to serve as Iran's permanent envoy to the U.N. Khoshroo is a seasoned diplomat who previously served as deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the U.N. The United States refused to grant a visa to Iran's earlier pick, Hamid Aboutalebi, because of his alleged participation in a 1979 student takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Iran at the time refused to name a new envoy. The website said Iran will continue to work through legal channels to prevent the U.S. from denying v

  • Egypt seeks to distance police from protester killing

    Updated: 41 min ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt has sought to distance the police from the weekend shooting death of a female protester, saying a forensic examination shows she was killed by a type of projectile that is "absolutely" not used by security forces. A senior official from the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, also dismissed as "inconsequential" video clips showing two masked, black-clad policemen pointing their rifles in her direction as gunshots rang out and a voice commanded "fire." The official, Gamal Mukhtar, said Wednesday that police had no need to use force to disperse the small protest in which the slain activist, 32-year-old mother Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, participated.

  • Oklahoma Democratic leaders back funding for Native American Center

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Wed, Jan 28, 2015

    Democratic leaders at the Oklahoma Capitol say they support the completion of the Native American Cultural Center near downtown Oklahoma City, but have different ideas on how to pay for it. House Democratic Leader Scott Inman said at a Wednesday forum sponsored by The Associated Press that his 29-member caucus would support a $40 million bond issue to complete the museum. In the Senate, Democratic leader Randy Bass says he supports spending $40 million to finish the project, but thinks a bond issue would be a bad idea this year with a $300 million hole in the state budget. Oklahoma began planning the attraction as a way to recognize its heritage as the U.S. Indian Territory in the 1800s. So far, $90 million has been

  • In the kitchen, there's an app for that! But do you care?

    Updated: 43 min ago

    A few years ago, former video game executive Kevin Yu was cooking for a girlfriend on Valentine's Day when he discovered he'd forgotten the mushrooms for the mushroom soup. But that was just the start. He'd also lost track of timing on the various dishes, and he was just generally making a mess of things. "I was trying to whip up a three course meal at the last minute and it ended up a disaster," Yu says. "She didn't leave me because of the cooking, but the cooking didn't help." But does it surprise you that these days there's an app for that? The cooking part, anyway. Yu is the founder of SideChef, a cooking app that supplements recipes with social media and aims to help home cooks avoid disasters like his.

  • Firefighters rescue cows that took icy dip in Colorado pond

    Updated: 46 min ago

    FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters in Colorado have rescued two cows that plunged through the ice on a pond. Fountain Fire Chief Darin Anstine says someone driving by the pond south of Colorado Springs spotted the cows' heads sticking out of the water about 30 feet from shore Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters wearing protective suits used saws to cut through 6 to 8 inches of ice and clear a channel to the shore. Anstine says the cows were able to walk out of the pond about an hour after they were spotted. It's unclear how long they were in the water, but they're doing fine. Anstine says he's seen a lot of dogs rescued from icy ponds in his 28 years with the department, but never a cow.

  • 'Selma' star supports Cumberbatch over "colored" comment

    Updated: 50 min ago

    LONDON (AP) — "Selma" star David Oyelowo has voiced his support for fellow British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who came under criticism for using the term "colored" in an interview. Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma," said at the film's European premiere in London on Tuesday that people should focus on what Cumberbatch was saying — rather than the terminology he used. Discussing diversity in the entertainment industry, Cumberbatch said last week on the "Tavis Smiley" that "as far as colored actors go," there were more opportunities in the U.S. than Britain. "And that's something that needs to change," he said. Cumberbatch later said sorry for his "thoughtless use of inappropriate language.

  • Winona Ryder Says 'Beetlejuice 2' Is Happening

    Updated: 58 min ago

    Winona Ryder has great news for "Beetlejuice" fans. A sequel to Tim Burton's 1988 film has long been discussed. It was widely reported in 2013 that Burton would consider coming on board to direct "Beetlejuice 2."

  • FDA issues new requirements to improve defibrillator safety

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is requiring makers of heart-zapping defibrillators to submit more data on the emergency care devices after years of recalls and manufacturing problems. Regulators say companies must now submit new testing data on battery life, adapters, electrodes and other components before receiving approval to sell the products. Defibrillators use electric shocks to jolt the heart back to normal after patients suffer heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems. Once used exclusively in emergency rooms, they are now found in schools, office buildings and other public places. The devices have been plagued by design and manufacturing flaws for years.

  • Former Tulsa County deputy, woman arrested in east Tulsa motel homicide

    By KENDRICK MARSHALL - Tulsa World | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Tulsa police arrested two people and are searching for three others in the fatal shooting of a man at an east Tulsa motel. Warren Crittenden, 44, and Pamela Taylor, 27, were arrested by Tulsa police on first-degree murder complaints late Tuesday. A 32-year-old man old was found dead about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday inside the Super 8 Motel near 31st Street and Memorial Drive, homicide Sgt. Dave Walker said. Read the full story at TulsaWorld.com.