Top Stories


  • Company stopped from accepting abortion waste

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — County commissioners gave final approval Thursday to an order to stop an incinerator in Oregon from receiving medical waste until procedures are in place to ensure no fetal tissue is burned to generate power. While taking the action, Marion County commissioners Sam Brentano and Janet Carlson said they were horrified to learn that the Marion County Resource Recovery Facility in rural Brooks might be burning medical waste that includes fetal tissue to generate electricity. Both strongly oppose abortions. "We're going to get the bottom of it," Carlson said. "I want to know who knew, when they knew, how long they had known this was going on.

  • Court filing says ship in Texas spill was speeding

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — The owner of a tugboat that collided with a ship last month, dumping nearly 170,000 gallons of oil into the Houston Ship Channel, claims in court filings the ship was speeding and being operated in a reckless manner. Houston-based Kirby Inland Marine alleges in court documents filed earlier this month that the March 22 collision, which occurred after the ship struck a barge the tugboat had been pulling, was caused by gross negligence on the part of the ship's owner, Sea Galaxy Marine based in Liberia in West Africa. In its own court filings, Sea Galaxy says the collision was not its fault. The U.S.

  • United loses money; other airlines post 1Q profits

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — Even with the turbulence of severe winter storms and stubbornly high fuel prices, many of the major airlines are cruising and their stock prices are soaring. Mergers have reduced competition and made it easier for the airlines to limit the supply of seats and raise average fares. Extra fees bring in billions more each year. On Thursday, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines reported record profits for the first quarter, usually the weakest time of year for the airlines. That followed a rousing report from Delta Air Lines a day earlier. Still stuck on the tarmac: United Airlines. While rivals were making money, United lost another $609 million during the first three months of the year. Its shares plung

  • Postal workers' unions protest Staples program

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Postal workers in cities big and small protested in front of Staples stores on Thursday, objecting to the U.S. Postal Service's pilot program to open counters in stores, staffed with retail employees. Rallies were planned at 50 locations in 27 states. In Concord, more than 100 boisterous workers donned bright blue shirts and lined a busy commercial road near a Staples store. "Union busting, we say no," they chanted, "the Staples deal has got to go." In New York, about 100 workers marched from the main office on Eighth Avenue to a Staples store about five blocks away, carrying signs and chanting, while in Washington, D.C., more than 200 people gathered at a Staples, drumming on buckets and holding

  • Defense contractor accused of selling phony parts

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A new indictment accuses a Coos Bay, Ore., defense contractor of defrauding the military of $10.5 million by supplying phony truck and helicopter parts. The indictment was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Portland against Harold Ray Bettencourt, his company, Kustom Products Inc., and several family members and other employees. It raises the value of contracts covered by criminal charges from the $7.5 million listed in a 2011 indictment. Arraignment has been set for April 30. Defense attorney Marc Blackman did not return a call seeking comment. The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment.

  • Pellet gun firing causes Navy base lockdown

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A major Navy base ground to a halt for about two hours Thursday after a report of a man seen waving a weapon led to the detention of a sailor who fired a gun that shoots soft plastic pellets. The sailor, whose name was not released, told authorities that he fired his weapon at a mirror in a parking garage from his barracks' window, said Capt. Scott Adams, commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma. Pellets were recovered near the mirror All base personnel were ordered inside and told to stay away from windows and doors after Adams received a call around 10 a.m. PDT that someone was brandishing a weapon inside the barracks. The alleged shooter went to a nearby room in the barracks to join another serviceman

  • Fresh reports of sexual misconduct undercut Pentagon's argument for internal fix

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    (c) 2014, The Washington Post. WASHINGTON — For more than a year, U.S. military officials have admitted they have a serious problem with sexual assault and harassment in the ranks. They've pleaded with the White House, Congress and the public to trust commanders to fix it on their own terms. But the Pentagon's argument has been badly undercut by fresh reports of senior commanders bungling cases, or coming under investigation themselves. On Wednesday, the Navy acknowledged that it reassigned the former commander of its elite Blue Angels flight squadron after it received a complaint that he tolerated sexual harassment, hazing and lewd behavior.

  • UN Yemen envoy says rebel group agrees to talks

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. envoy to Yemen says the country's president and Shiite rebels have agreed to discuss the group's disarming. Jamal Benomar told reporters Thursday that the Hawthis agreed to a new initiative by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to promote dialogue related to the rebels' "disarmament, demobilization and reintegration." The Shiite Hawthis led a six-year insurgency in the north that officially ended in 2010, but a recent escalation in fighting with ultraconservative Sunni tribesmen turned several northern cities into war zones. Benomar also warned that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula "remains a very real and lethal threat" in Yemen. On Sunday and Monday, the country's military, repor

  • Visa's 2Q profit jumps 26 percent as payments grow

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    Visa Inc.'s profit jumped 26 percent in its fiscal second quarter from a year earlier as the company benefited from strong growth in payments volume, service revenue and a one-time tax gain. The latest earnings exceeded Wall Street estimates, but revenue fell slightly short. Management said Thursday that revenue growth was hurt during the January-March quarter by a stronger U.S. dollar and one-time items. The company projects that the same factors will have a slightly more pronounced impact on revenue growth in the third quarter, but added that it expects revenue growth will rebound in the company's fiscal fourth quarter. Shares of Visa fell almost 4 percent in after-hours trading. Foster City, Calif.

  • West Virginia to get $5.6M for laid-off miners

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia will receive an additional $5.6 million in federal grants to help coal workers affected by mine closures and layoffs. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Thursday that WorkForce West Virginia will receive National Emergency grants through 2016 for displaced miners. The state received $1.8 million in 2012. Tomblin said the Department of Labor assistance will provide re-employment services and job training for 700 mine workers. "Layoffs and mine closures are frustrating for our miners and their families - they depend on their jobs to keep food on the table and a roof overhead," Tomblin said in a news release. West Virginia is the nation's No. 2 coal producer and leads the country

  • Bolivia fires hundreds of protesting soldiers

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia's military leaders on Thursday ordered the dismissal for sedition of 702 enlisted men who had been protesting to demand they have the option of rising to the rank of officer. The army, navy and air force said in a statement that they have ordered the dismissal of the soldiers because they "committed acts of sedition, rebellion, conducted political actions and attacked the honor of the Armed Forces." The unprecedented military protest began on Tuesday with 500 soldiers, but expanded to about 1,000 on Thursday. Non-commissioned officers and sergeants marched through the capital of La Paz dressed in camouflage uniforms, together with some of their wives and Aymara indigenous leaders who supported

  • Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A major supplier to the oil and gas industry says it will begin disclosing 100 percent of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid, with no exemptions for trade secrets. The move by Baker Hughes of Houston is a shift for a major firm; it's unclear if others will follow suit. The oil and gas industry has said the fracking chemicals are disclosed at tens of thousands of wells, but environmental and health groups and government regulators say a loophole that allows companies to hide chemical "trade secrets" has been a major problem.

  • Wyoming corrections head seeks execution options

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The head of the Wyoming Department of Corrections wants state lawmakers to consider alternative ways to execute condemned inmates as prisons across the nation face a shortage of drugs used in the past. Bob Lampert, director of the agency, told lawmakers earlier this year that Wyoming might not be able to get the drugs necessary to kill the only inmate currently on death row after his legal appeals are exhausted. Lampert has urged the Legislature to begin rewriting state laws before a new session convenes next year. Many states have had problems getting execution drugs, prompting inmates to assert that the uncertainty violates their rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Oklahoma Gov.

  • Legislature sends renewable fuels bill to governor

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill to extend tax credits for renewable fuels has been sent to Gov. Terry Branstad. The bill originally extended renewable fuel tax credits for ethanol and biodiesel in the state to Jan. 2, 2020, but the House amended it to 2018. The Senate on Thursday accepted the amendment voting 48-0 to send the bill to the governor. The bill also increases the tax credit for E15, a fuel with 15 percent corn-based ethanol. This tax credit would go up in the summer from 3 cents per gallon to 10 cents per gallon. Biobutanol, an advanced biofuel, is added to the definition of renewable fuels. Sen. Robert Hogg, a Cedar Rapids Democrat, says the bill maintains Iowa as a leader in renewable fuels.

  • Convicted KPMG inside trader sentenced to prison

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former partner at the accounting firm KPMG has been sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for insider trading. Scott London, of Agoura Hills, was sentenced Thursday in Los Angeles. He'll also have to pay a $100,000 fine. London oversaw some 500 KPMG employees and handled audits for major clients such as Herbalife Ltd. until he was fired last year. He later pleaded guilty to insider trading. Prosecutors say that over several years, London provided confidential client information to a friend, Bryan Shaw, who used it to make securities trades that reaped more than $1 million. Shaw said he bribed London with some $70,000 in cash and goods including jewelry, concert tickets and a $12,000 Rolex

  • Keystone XL pipeline part of larger Senate fight

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Alison Lundergan Grimes is the latest Democratic Senate candidate to call for building the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but the Kentucky secretary of state's move doesn't seem to have cost her support among environmental groups who want to unseat Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It's evidence that campaign wrangling over Keystone XL is about more than the project itself. It's also about the battle for control of the Senate in the November midterm elections, with Republicans within striking distance of assuming the majority. Also on display are long-standing partisan divides between the energy industry, which tends to support Republicans, and environmentalists, who generally support Democrats.

  • DHS sec'y puts ex-watchdog on leave after report

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The secretary of the Homeland Security Department put the agency's former internal watchdog on administrative leave Thursday following the release of a Senate report that concluded he was too cozy with senior agency officials and improperly rewrote, delayed or classified some critical reports to accommodate President Barack Obama's political appointees. Secretary Jeh Johnson said Charles K. Edwards, who was allowed to quietly resign and take another job within the department in December, was put on leave after Johnson reviewed the 27-page report from a Senate Homeland Security subcommittee.

  • Business Highlights

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ___ FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown. Proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread fairly lightly. They would ban sales to anyone under 18, add warning labels and require FDA approval for new products. Some public health experts say a measured approach is the right one. They think that the devices, which heat a nicotine solution to produce an odorless vapor without the smoke and tar of burning tobacco, can help smokers quit. Still, some wonder whether e-cigarettes keep smokers addicted or hook new users and encourage them to move on to tobacco. And some warn that the FDA regulat

  • Business Highlights

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ___ FDA eases into regulating e-cigarettes WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's move to regulate e-cigarettes is a leap into the unknown. Proposed rules, issued Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration, tread fairly lightly. They would ban sales to anyone under 18, add warning labels and require FDA approval for new products. Some public health experts say a measured approach is the right one. They think that the devices, which heat a nicotine solution to produce an odorless vapor without the smoke and tar of burning tobacco, can help smokers quit. Still, some wonder whether e-cigarettes keep smokers addicted or hook new users and encourage them to move on to tobacco. And some warn that the FDA regulat

  • Hearing delayed on Mississippi Power Kemper costs

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Upcoming hearings on whether Mississippi Power Co. should be able to get customers to pay for its Kemper County power plant have been postponed. The Mississippi Public Service Commission Thursday delayed prudency hearings from May 19 until at least August. Those hearings are supposed to examine the more than $2.75 billion that Mississippi Power, a unit of the Atlanta-based Southern Co., spend through March 31, 2013. Another prudency hearing for remaining costs would follow after the plant goes into commercial operation, scheduled before year's end. The price tag for the power plant, a lignite mine and associated pipelines is expected to run to $5.2 billion overall, up from an original estimate of $2.8