• Undercover probe finds health law failings

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional investigators using fake identities were able to obtain taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law, according to testimony to be delivered Wednesday. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says its undercover investigators were able to get subsidized health care under fake names in 11 out of 18 attempts. The GAO is still paying premiums for the policies, even as the Obama administration attempts to verify phony documentation. The agency's findings are contained in testimony to be delivered at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday. An advance copy was provided to The Associated Press.

  • Obama on fundraising trip to West Coast

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Amid a swirl of foreign and border challenges, President Barack Obama is embarking on the one mission that has regularly proved a winner for him — raising money for his fellow Democrats. Obama landed Tuesday in Seattle at the start of a three-day West Coast trip, where he'll also visit San Francisco and Los Angeles and plans to attend at least five fundraising events, less than four months ahead of midterm elections that could change Washington's balance of power. The trip comes as Obama is dealing with a series of high-profile tests of his presidency, from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to the Southern U.S. border.

  • Senate, House on collision course on border money

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats prepared Tuesday to whack $1 billion from President Barack Obama's emergency spending request for the border, while leaving out policy changes Republicans have demanded as their price for agreeing to any money. The developments pointed to a hardening stalemate over the crisis in South Texas with lawmakers preparing to leave Washington for their annual summer recess at the end of next week. Legislation being finalized by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski would spend $2.7 billion for more immigration judges, detention facilities and other resources for the southern border, where unaccompanied kids are arriving by the tens of thousands from Central America.

  • Bomb talk suspect to plead to immigration charge

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Moroccan man in Connecticut who authorities say expressed interest in using remote-controlled toy airplanes to bomb a school and a federal building is expected to plead guilty to an immigration charge. El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, 27, is expected to enter a plea to perjury Thursday, federal public defender Paul Thomas told The Associated Press. Thomas declined further comment Tuesday. Authorities say Fahti was in the U.S. for seven years after his student visa expired after he flunked out of Virginia International University. Fathi was facing deportation to Morocco and made false statements while seeking political asylum in the U.S., officials say.

  • New York police eye retraining after custody death

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department is revamping its training on the use of force amid outrage over the death in police custody of a man suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes. Police Commissioner William Bratton said Tuesday the nation's largest police force will be retrained following last week's death of Eric Garner. A widely distributed amateur video shows Garner being taken down by several officers who sought to arrest him on charges of selling the cigarettes on a Staten Island block. Bratton has said it appears one officer used a chokehold, a violation of police department policy. The asthmatic Garner was pronounced dead about an hour later. Autopsy results are pending.

  • Trial date set in Colorado theater shooting case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Defense attorneys in the Colorado theater shooting case are asking for more time before the trial to interview the psychiatrist and others involved in defendant James Holmes' first sanity evaluation. They say they can't get that and other tasks finished by the Dec. 8 trial date, but Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. was unmoved Tuesday and stuck by the date. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes underwent a sanity evaluation last summer, but Samour ruled it was flawed and ordered another to take place this summer.

  • Discover Financial's 2Q profit jumps 7 percent

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Discover Financial Services' net income grew 7 percent in the second quarter as credit card spending and overall loans increased from a year ago. The results beat Wall Street's expectations. The credit card issuer and lender said Tuesday that card loans and sales volume for the company's namesake card both climbed 6 percent, reflecting increased spending by its cardholders. More of those cardholders also elected to carry balances rather than pay them off, helping drive interest revenue for the company. Personal loans jumped 26 percent, while private student loans rose 5 percent. All told, total loans jumped 7 percent in the April-June quarter.

  • Suspect arrested in bomb scare on Louisiana campus

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A man arrested for phoning in a fake bomb scare that led to the evacuation of a 15-acre university campus last week unsuccessfully attempted to rob a bank the same day, authorities said Tuesday. Devin Haywood called television station KATC about 5:30 a.m. last Wednesday and claimed he had placed two explosive devices at different points near the University of Louisiana at Lafayette: one in a public park and the other in an unspecified place, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed Tuesday. Minutes later, as the search for the bombs unfolded, Haywood donned a hooded jacket and mask and hid behind an air-conditioning unit outside a branch of MidSouth Bank in Lafayette, the affidavit says. About 7:20 a.m.

  • Seeking the limelight, Biden courts key Dem groups

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in Hillary Rodham Clinton's perpetual shadow, Joe Biden is working to boost his political profile among key Democratic voting blocs, a move that could help the vice president fashion himself as a more liberal alternative in the 2016 presidential race. Major speeches this week to the NAACP and the Urban League will give Biden prime opportunities to court African-American voters who twice helped deliver the White House to President Barack Obama. He'll do his part to help Democrats in the battleground state of Nevada at a campaign rally Wednesday. And last week, Biden wooed liberals at a pair of grassroots summits, basking in the adoration of activists who chanted "We love Joe.

  • Exxon Mobil says it'll follow new anti-bias rules

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. has said it will comply with the new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, while still sidestepping the question of whether it will formalize that by changing the language of its corporate policy. Following President Barack Obama's signing of an executive order Monday expanding protections for federal workers and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Labor Department has 90 days to issue regulations for how employers must comply.

  • Chrysler recalls Jeep SUVs for ignition switches

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — The ignition switch defects that engulfed General Motors are now a rapidly growing problem at Chrysler. Chrysler said Tuesday it is recalling up to 792,300 older Jeep SUVs worldwide because the ignition switches could fall out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine and disabling air bags as well as power-assisted steering and braking. That's the same problem that has forced GM to recall more than 15 million cars over the last six months. Chrysler's recall covers 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Commanders. The company said it is not sure exactly how many will be recalled, but said it will notify customers by mid-September. Chrysler said an outside force such as a driver's knee can knock s

  • Apple post biggest earnings gain in nearly 2 years

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen. The latest evidence of Apple's mounting momentum emerged Tuesday with the release of the company's fiscal third-quarter report. Earnings rose at the highest rate in nearly two years as Apple Inc. sold 35.2 million iPhones during the period. The iPhone shipments climbed 13 percent increase from the same time last year, even though many people are believed to be holding off on new device purchases until the next version comes out this fall.

  • 7 ex-NFL players appeal terms of concussion deal

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven former professional football players have filed a court challenge to a tentative class action settlement of concussion claims that would cost the NFL at least $765 million. They argued that some players won't be fairly compensated under the plan, especially those whose awards would be reduced or negated because of prior strokes or other factors. Their appeal echoes their previous complaints about the plan, which would cover nearly 20,000 retired players for 65 years. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody has granted preliminary approval of the settlement pending a fairness hearing in November, when other critics can challenge it and perhaps decide to opt out and reserve the right to sue individual

  • End comes for notorious Venezuelan vertical slum

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The beginning of the end came for the world's tallest slum Tuesday as officials began evicting thousands of squatters from a haphazard community inside the half-built Caracas skyscraper known as the Tower of David. Police in riot gear and soldiers with Kalashnikov assault rifles stood on side streets as dozens of residents boarded buses for their new government-provided apartments in the town of Cua, 23 miles (37 kilometers) south of Caracas. Ernesto Villegas, the government minister overseeing Caracas' redevelopment, told reporters the residents could not be allowed to stay indefinitely because the 45-story building in the heart of the capital is unsafe.

  • Obama nominee McDonald pledges to 'transform' VA

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs pledged Tuesday to transform the beleaguered agency, saying that "systematic failures" must be addressed. Robert McDonald cited problems with patient access to health care, transparency, accountability and integrity, among other issues. "The seriousness of the moment demands urgent action," McDonald told the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee. "The VA is in crisis. The veterans are in need. There is a lot of work to do to transform the department and it will not be easy, but it is essential and can be achieved." McDonald, 61, a former Procter & Gamble CEO and an Army veteran, said taking care of veterans is personal for him.

  • Gov't arrests 192 on immigrant smuggling charges

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department said Tuesday it arrested 192 people along the Mexican border in South Texas on immigrant-smuggling charges and seized more than $625,000, part of the Obama administration's efforts to discourage and disrupt the flood of tens of thousands of people crossing the border illegally. The arrests, which took place under a crackdown called "Operation Coyote," took place over the last month and were part of a 90-day effort targeting smuggling groups. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it also took into custody 501 immigrants in the country illegally. It said it seized the money from 228 bank accounts held by suspected human- and drug-smuggling groups. It's unclear what ha

  • Winning calls by Levy forecasters over decades

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    It's a forecast so out of the mainstream, it's hard to believe: a U.S. economy in recession next year, triggered by steep downturns abroad. But its author, David Levy, 59, comes from a family of forecasters with a good record of bucking conventional wisdom. A look at their calls through the decades: Jerome Levy, grandfather: Anticipated the Great Crash of 1929, sold all his stock and liquidated his wholesale goods business. Jay Levy, father: Accurately predicted a rapid U.S. economic expansion after World War II when many experts expected another depression. Leon Levy, uncle: Co-founder of Oppenheimer mutual funds and hedge fund manager who bet against stocks before the dot-com crash in 2000. David Levy: In

  • Airlines scrap Israel flights over missile fear

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots following last week's downing of a passenger plane over Ukraine. Delta Air Lines turned around one of its jets midflight and indefinitely canceled all future flights between the U.S. and Israel after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport. Other U.S. airlines quickly took similar action, and counterparts in Europe and Canada followed within hours, despite protests from the Israeli government. Israeli airline El Al maintained its regular flight schedule. The airlines were out ahead of aviation regulators in stopping serv

  • Dan Borislow, magicJack inventor, dies at 52

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Dan Borislow, the inventor of magicJack and a pioneer in developing phone calls over the Internet, died Monday, officials at the company he founded said. He was 52. A spokeswoman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., said he died of a heart attack. In a statement, MagicJack CEO Gerald Vento praised Borislow as a visionary. "Dan was a true telecom pioneer whose vision, creativity, energy, passion and single-minded focus was the driving force behind the success of magicJack," said Vento. "Our continued success is dedicated to extending his vision for the great company he created." MagicJack, based in West Palm Beach and Netanya, Israel, became widely known through television commercials and infomerci

  • Plane crash bodies removed from war zone

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner finally reached Ukrainian government-held territory Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders. Five days after the plane was blown out of the sky, refrigerated railcars bearing victims' bodies — gathered up after several days in the sun — rolled out of the war zone and into a weedy railyard in the city of Kharkiv. The dead will be flown to the Netherlands, the homeland of most of the victims, for identification. The Dutch government declared Wednesday a day of national mourning as the country prepared for the arriva