• World Series of Poker's championship event starts Sunday

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Olympians have their gold. Actors have their Oscars. Poker players have the World Series of Poker no-limit Texas Hold 'em Main Event. Starting Sunday in Las Vegas, several thousand players — among them pros, amateurs, celebrities — will risk $10,000 each for the chance at several million dollars, one of the tournament's prized gold bracelets and poker supremacy. Or, as Jacquelyn Scott, the 66-year-old amateur poker player who has made six attempts at the Main Event puts it, imagine the Masters for golfers and Wimbledon for tennis players. "It's the best. And it's everyone's dream," she said. It's also an endurance test that will continue for eight days until the last nine players are left st

  • China to create $19B fund to support plunging stock market

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — China has reportedly decided to bar new initial public offerings of stock and create a fund to stabilize its stock market, which has been roiled by a wave of selloffs. Twenty one Chinese securities companies, in a joint statement released Saturday, said they would pledge no less than 120 billion yuan ($19.33 billion) to invest in Chinese stocks and funds. The securities companies also said they would continue to invest in the market as long the Shanghai Composite index, the Chinese equivalent of the Standard & Poor's 500 index, remains below 4,500. It closed at 3,686 on Friday. The statement was posted on the website of the Securities Association of China.

  • 3-day Milwaukee County bus drivers' strike ends

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee County bus drivers have returned to work after a three-day strike over staffing and wages, despite a lack of a new contract. Union leaders say the strike ended as planned at 3 a.m. Saturday despite a few remaining issues preventing an agreement on a new deal. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 President James Macon says the biggest sticking point is the county's plan to hire more part-time drivers, with fewer benefits than full-time drivers. While more part-time drivers would reduce the need for overtime, Macon says the union supports a living wage. Macon wouldn't guarantee that drivers won't strike again. On Friday, drivers rallied outside the apartment building of Milwaukee County E

  • After year of Washington legal pot sales, taxes top $70M

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Washington launched its second-in-the-nation legal marijuana market with just a handful of stores selling high-priced pot to long lines of customers. A year later, the state has about 160 shops open, tax revenues have soared past expectations and sales top $1.4 million per day. And who knows — the industry might even start making some money. Washington pot farmers, processors and retailers have complained all year that heavy state and federal tax burdens, along with competition from an unregulated medical marijuana market, have made it difficult for them to do business.

  • Exhibit opens July 4 about black experience in WW2

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — About to be overrun by Germans, a young black lieutenant called in an artillery barrage on his own position, knowing he'd be killed. It was the only way to hold off the enemy. The sacrifice by 1st Lt. John Fox is one of many endured by the 100,000 African-American service members during World War II and is now the focus of an exhibit at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Titled "Fighting for the Right to Fight: The African American Experience in WWII," the exhibit runs from July 4 through May 30, 2016. It describes discrimination before and after the war as well as in the military during World War II.

  • Forgiveness of Charleston church shooter prompts discussion

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Under an outdoor tent a few blocks from Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Sharon Simmons paused while cleaning up from the previous night's revival to ponder the idea of forgiving the white man accused of killing nine of the historic black church's members, including the pastor. A churchgoer herself, Simmons admits feeling torn between her anger and her Christian inclination to forgive. She also adds that she's a firm believer in capital punishment. "Too many lives are gone," the 57-year-old former New Yorker says. Many African-Americans are struggling with those same feelings as the nation begins to move past the tragedy in Charleston.

  • Report: Serbs ask Russia to veto UN resolution on Srebrenica

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia on Saturday asked Russia to veto a British U.N. Security Council resolution that would call the massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys during the Bosnian war in Srebrenica genocide. Serbian state TV said the country's pro-Russian President Tomislav Nikolic has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin "pleading" for a Russian "no" in the U.N. council when the resolution is expected to be tabled next week. Western nations and Russia have been dueling in the U.N. over whether the killings should be called genocide or not. Russia, which has close historic and religious ties to Serbia, has circulated a rival draft resolution which doesn't mention either Srebrenica or genocide.

  • Job market's new normal: Smaller workforce, sluggish pay

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Even after another month of strong hiring in June and a sinking unemployment rate, the U.S. job market just isn't what it used to be. Pay is sluggish. Many part-timers can't find full-time work. And a diminished share of Americans either have a job or are looking for one. Yet in the face of global and demographic shifts, this may be what a nearly healthy U.S. job market now looks like. An aging population is sending an outsize proportion of Americans into retirement. Many younger adults, bruised by the Great Recession, are postponing work to remain in school to try to become more marketable. Global competition and the increasing automation of many jobs are holding down pay.

  • Owners of former Vick dogfighting house clash with county

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — The black two-story shed still stands out back at 1915 Moonlight Road — a haunting reminder of the brutal dog fights that took place upstairs when NFL quarterback Michael Vick owned the place. A few steps away, a dog infirmary with eight grimy stalls sits empty in the suffocating heat of an early-summer day. Sick or injured dogs now are nursed to health in the air-conditioned comfort of the property's five-bedroom, 4,600-square-foot home. The ghostly relics of the former Bad Newz Kennels have been retained because the current owner of the 15-acre compound, the anti-chaining organization Dogs Deserve Better Inc., wants to keep people aware of animal cruelty now that public attention to the 2007 dogfi

  • Concerns over US winter wheat may boost low crop prices

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Concerns about the quantity and quality of the U.S. winter wheat crop and an El Nino weather pattern blamed for dry conditions in other wheat producing nations have sparked a recent run up in wheat prices. Normally, the flood of grain coming in at harvest time drives down crop prices. That is a sobering prospect given that wheat prices were already low when wheat harvest got under way in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. But instead of going down further, wheat prices this year have been running higher now than they were in the middle of June. Dan O'Brien, an Extension Specialist in grain markets at Kansas State University, says what prices are up 60 to 80 cents compared to what they were in mid-June.

  • Fireworks shoot into Colorado crowd; 9 suffer minor burns

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    AVON, Colo. (AP) — Officials say nine people suffered minor burns during an accident at a fireworks show in Colorado. Virginia Egger, the town manager in Avon, says a malfunction caused a fireworks shell to explode in its tube rather than firing into the sky Friday night. She says the misfired shell caused a rack of shells to tip, causing two or three shells to go off toward the crowd. The accident occurred about 17 minutes into the 23-minute fireworks show over Nottingham Lake, bringing the event to a halt. The annual event attracts about 20,000 people. Jane Imber tells NBC News that there wasn't a lot of room in between groups of people, so people couldn't get up and run. The cause of the malfunction is under

  • Brave dog Leo honored with monument in Serbian town

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    PANCEVO, Serbia (AP) — Normally, Leo would run away at the sight of a bigger dog. The small dachshund liked most to cuddle with his owners or ride in the back seat of the family car. But, one day Leo showed that true bravery knows no limits. When a raging bull-mastiff cross-breed last year attacked a 10-year-old girl, Leo fearlessly jumped to her rescue, barking and biting at the dog way above his size and strength. Leo paid with his life, but the citizens of this northern Serbian town have not forgotten. Two weeks ago, a life-size bronze statue of Leo was put up next to a children's playground in Pancevo's city park, honoring the dog and teaching kids about animal friendship and sacrifice.

  • Chafee's campaign leaves some NH Democrats a bit puzzled

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — Presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee stands before a few dozen people at a meeting of New Hampshire's Belknap County Democrats. The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat gets nods of approval when he tells them he was the only Republican senator to vote against authorizing the war in Iraq. Then smiles turn to laughter when he pitches another idea: The U.S. should switch to the metric system. The former Rhode Island governor has visited the first primary state of New Hampshire a dozen times this year. But he seems to be making barely a ripple — aside from curiosity about some of his policy platforms.

  • Government faces burden in proving airlines worked together

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Justice Department launches an investigation into possible collusion in the airline industry, experts say the government faces the burden of proving that carriers were deliberately signaling business decisions to each other. Airlines routinely increase flights based on demand. A particularly cold winter in the Northeast, for instance, might merit more flights to the Caribbean. And sometimes, routes are cut because there isn't enough demand. Nothing is illegal about that. Any company can limit the supply of its own products, whether airline tickets, sneakers or smartphones. But it would be illegal for airlines to work together to limit flights in order to drive up fares. The government's invest

  • Papal visit puts Andes presidents' eco-record under scrutiny

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    AGUARAGUE NATIONAL PARK, Bolivia (AP) — In the vine-entangled forests of the Aguarague National Park, crude that seeped for decades out of abandoned wellheads saturates the soil and has stained the bedrock of creeks that provide water to the indigenous Guarani who live nearby. The petroleum stench is overpowering as David Benitez, who lives in the park and grazes his cattle among the wells, sifts tainted soil between his fingers. "The odor is much stronger in the summer, when there's no water to wash the oil downstream," says the 47-year-old farmer.

  • NASCAR distances itself from Donald Trump after remarks

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — NASCAR is the latest corporation to distance itself from Donald Trump. On the same day one of its top sponsors called on NASCAR to take a stance against Trump, the motorsports series said it will not hold its season-ending awards ceremony at the Trump National Doral Miami. "We looked at everything we saw coming down and what we heard from our sponsors and our partners and what we feel we should be doing, and that's what led us to the decision today," NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. A message seeking comment from Trump left by The Associated Press was not returned.

  • San Francisco: No 'legal basis' to hold shooting suspect

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man suspected in the shooting death of a woman at a busy San Francisco tourist destination has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, a federal agency said Friday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had turned Francisco Sanchez over to authorities in San Francisco on March 26 on an outstanding drug warrant, agency spokeswoman Virginia Kice said. Sanchez was booked into the San Francisco County Jail from federal prison, according to a statement from the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, which operates the jail. Police officers arrested Sanchez about an hour after Wednesday's seemingly random slaying of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 — one of the bu

  • Prosecutors: Man in wheelchair arrested for robbing NYC bank

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man in a wheelchair has been arrested two days after he pocketed $1,212 in a daytime bank robbery, authorities announced Friday. Kelvin Dennison, 23, was picked up by officers at a hospital two days after he rolled into a Santander Bank branch in Queens Monday afternoon and claimed to be armed, police said. "Give me all you have," he told a teller, according to court papers. "I have a gun." The teller then passed him the cash before he pushed himself out of the bank and then fled down the street in his wheelchair, police said. Authorities released an image of a man in a wheelchair leaving the bank taken from a store's surveillance camera.

  • Eager eaters weigh-in ahead of NYC July 4 hot dog contest

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Contestants have hit the scales ahead of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous. Reigning champion Joey Chestnut joined past winners at the weigh-in Friday ahead of the 99-year-old Independence Day boardwalk tradition. The dogs will be served Saturday morning. Chestnut tipped the scales at a hearty 230 pounds while Michelle Lesco ranked the lightest competitor at 112 pounds. New Zealand native Nela Zisser, at 114 pounds, says she can out-eat her male counterparts. She previously won a pizza eating contest. The event also featured a ceremonial stare down between the competitors. Repeat runner-up Tim Janus says he got into competitive eating to f

  • Hot dogs, hot music usher in July 4 weekend

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country: ___ NATHAN'S HOT DOG EATING CONTEST Competitive eaters have weighed in and are ready for Saturday's annual hot dog eating contest in New York at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous. Four past winners hit the scales Friday and reigning champion Joey Chestnut is the heaviest at 230 pounds. Repeat runner-up Tim Janus is at 165 pounds. Michelle Lesco is the lightest contestant at 112 pounds at the 99-year-old Independence Day boardwalk tradition while New Zealand native Nela Zissler is at 114 pounds. Chestnut broke a world record in 2013 when he scoffed down 69 soggy dogs in just 10 minutes.