Top Stories


  • Oregon ruling spurs halt on immigration detainers

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon has found that an immigrant woman's constitutional rights were violated when she was held in jail without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities, one of several recent federal court decisions to scrutinize the practice of keeping people in jail after they're eligible for release so that they can be considered for deportation. The rulings make it clear that local officials are not required to honor immigration authorities' requests that someone in custody continue to be held even though their original charges were resolved or they are eligible for bail, and that local jurisdictions may be held liable for doing so.

  • Police: Student ate more pot than recommended

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — A Wyoming college student who jumped to his death at a Denver hotel had eaten more of a marijuana cookie than was recommended by a seller, police records show — a finding that comes amid increased concern about the strength of popular pot edibles after Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, consumed more than one cookie purchased by a friend — even though a store clerk told the friend to cut each cookie into six pieces and to eat just one piece at a time, said the reports obtained Thursday. Pongi began shaking, screaming and throwing things around a hotel room before he jumped over a fourth-floor railing into the hotel lobby March 11.

  • Flight lands safely in Indiana after threat

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis airport spokesman says a Southwest Airlines flight has safely made an emergency landing after the airline received some kind of threat. Spokesman Carlo Bertolini says Southwest Flight 362 requested the emergency landing and landed without incident Wednesday afternoon at Indianapolis International Airport. The flight with 138 passengers and a crew of five aboard originated in Baltimore and was headed to Indianapolis already. The emergency landing means the flight was met with emergency vehicles. Bertolini said he didn't know the nature of the threat. He says airport police cleared the aircraft and luggage without finding anything amiss. Passengers were bused to the terminal.

  • Duke: Coal ash spill won't affect bottom line

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Duke Energy told shareholders Thursday that cleanup costs resulting from its massive coal ash spill into the Dan River won't have a material effect on the $50 billion company's bottom line. The nation's largest electric company said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it had spent $15 million so far on plugging the collapsed pipe at its Eden power plant that triggered a Feb. 2 spill and polluted 70 miles of the Dan River with toxic sludge. The company has also begun the process of trying to dredge some of the spilled ash from the river.

  • California rail line fined for worker deaths

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Workplace safety officials fined a San Francisco Bay Area commuter rail line $210,000 on Thursday over the deaths of two track workers who were killed by a train the officials said was operated by an inexperienced driver with inadequate supervision. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said a high-ranking manager who was supposed to be instructing the driver of the fast-moving, four-car Bay Area Rapid Transit train was not in the cab with the trainee when the incident occurred on Oct. 19.

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions. U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week. The two cases are the first to reach an appellate court since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, gay rights lawyers have successfully convinced eight federal judges that the ruling means courts must strike down laws against gay marriage because they deprive same-sex couples of a fundamental right.

  • PepsiCo's profit rises on snack sales, price hikes

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo reported a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as the company sold more snacks around the world and hiked prices, including on its drinks. The company, which also makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, said global snack volume rose 2 percent in the period. Global beverage volume was unchanged from a year ago, including in its closely watched North American drinks unit. Coca-Cola also reported flat volume in the North America market earlier this week. Both companies have been offsetting ongoing declines in their flagship soda businesses by relying more heavily on other beverages, such as sports drinks, juices and bottled waters.

  • Wal-Mart jumps into the money transfer biz, loudly

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is delving deeper into financial services at its stores and shaking up the money transfer business. The world's largest retailer introduced a new money transfer service Thursday that it says will cut fees for its low-income customers by up to 50 percent compared with similar services elsewhere. The Walmart-2-Walmart service is being rolled out in partnership with Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide Inc. Shares of money-transfer companies MoneyGram and Western Union slid Thursday. The service, which will be available starting April 24, allows its customers to transfer up to $900 to and from more than 4,000 Wal-Mart stores in the U.S.

  • Herbalife discloses investigation in Illinois

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nutritional supplements and weight-loss products maker Herbalife is being investigated by the attorney general of Illinois. The office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan confirms it is investigating complaints brought by consumers. Herbalife says it will work with the attorney general's office, and that it is confident in the integrity of its business and its compliance with the law. The company has over 15,000 members in Illinois. Herbalife shares fell 17 cents to $55.10 on Thursday. For more than a year, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has accused the company of being a "pyramid scheme" that makes money by recruiting more salespeople instead of through selling products. Herbalife rejects the accusation.

  • Herbalife discloses investigation in Illinois

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nutritional supplements and weight-loss products maker Herbalife is being investigated by the attorney general of Illinois. The office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan confirms it is investigating complaints brought by consumers. Herbalife says it will work with the attorney general's office, and that it is confident in the integrity of its business and its compliance with the law. The company has over 15,000 members in Illinois. Herbalife shares fell 17 cents to $55.10 on Thursday. For more than a year, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has accused the company of being a "pyramid scheme" that makes money by recruiting more salespeople instead of through selling products. Herbalife rejects the accusation.

  • Woman convicted in hammer beating speaks to jury

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman convicted of bludgeoning her husband to death with a hammer made a tearful plea for mercy Thursday, telling the jury deciding her fate that she is sorry for her actions and wishes she could go back and undo the pain she caused. Marissa Devault, 36, broke down in tears and repeatedly lost her composure as she spoke to the jury in the penalty phase of her trial. The same jury that convicted her of first-degree murder is deciding whether she should get the death penalty or a life sentence. "I don't know if I can be useful to anybody in this world or in any way ... but I would like the opportunity to try," she said.

  • Fraternity shuts Ole Miss branch after noose tying

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A national fraternity group has closed its University of Mississippi chapter after three members were accused of tying a noose around the neck of a statue of the first black student to enroll in the then-all white Southern college. The university announced Thursday that the national office of Sigma Phi Epsilon, based in Richmond, Va., had closed its Ole Miss chapter. The names of the three students haven't been released. They were kicked out of the fraternity. Besides the noose, someone draped a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle emblem in its design on the face of the James Meredith statue in the pre-dawn hours of a Sunday morning in February.

  • US tells jury Egyptian imam pursued global terror

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The imam of a London mosque used his influential position in the late 1990s to train and aid terrorists and used the cover of his religion to hide in plain sight, a prosecutor told jurors in his opening statement Thursday before a defense attorney promised that the defendant will explain himself during the trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Kim described Mustafa Kamel Mustafa in starkly different terms than did defense attorney Joshua Dratel, even referring to him by a different name, his alias Abu Hamza, as he told how Mustafa led a large London mosque with hundreds of followers and engaged in a "global campaign to spread terror." "Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion," Kim said.

  • Military shell prompted evacuation of hundreds

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SOLVANG, Calif. (AP) — An old but still potentially explosive military shell that was found in an alley was safely destroyed early Thursday, ending an evacuation that emptied hundreds of homes and businesses in this Central California tourist town. A 911 caller Wednesday afternoon sent Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies to Solvang's main business district, where they found a 105mm shell lying in trash in an alley. The 18-inch-long shell "appeared to be old and had been fired at some point, but because the fusing system was still in place, the device was considered potentially unstable and able to cause widespread damage if it exploded," sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said in a statement.

  • IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnerships

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service audits fewer than 1 percent of large business partnerships, according to a government report released Tuesday. That means some of Wall Street's largest hedge funds and private equity firms are largely escaping close scrutiny by the IRS, said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. The Government Accountability Office says the number of large businesses organized as partnerships has more than tripled since 2002, yet hardly any get audited. In 2012, only 0.8 percent were subjected to field exams in which agents do a thorough review of books and records. The GAO defines large partnerships as those with more than 100 partners and more than $100 million in assets.

  • Judge wants Detroit mayor to back bankruptcy plan

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Looking years ahead, the judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy said Thursday he wants assurances from the mayor and other elected leaders that they'll follow a final plan that likely cuts pensions, sheds debt and plows millions into better services. The bankruptcy case — the largest by a local government in U.S. history — is far from over. But Judge Steven Rhodes told city attorneys that he'd have a hard time approving an exit strategy without an endorsement from Mayor Mike Duggan and council members. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr, appointed by the governor, took the city into bankruptcy last July, but his 18-month term ends by fall. Rhodes said he doesn't want to "get to a place where a plan obligate

  • Michaels confirms breach of as many as 2.6M cards

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Michaels Stores Inc. said Thursday that about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of all debit and credit cards used at its namesake stores, may have been affected in a security breach. The nation's largest arts and crafts chain said its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked, with about 400,000 cards potentially affected. Irving, Texas-based Michaels said that it has contained the incident, which began last year. It has received "limited" reports of fraud from banks and the payment card brands that are potentially connected to the breach. The compromised data includes customer information such as payment card numbers and expiration dates.

  • Whoopi Goldberg writes Denver Post cannabis column

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Whoopi Goldberg says she's in love with her marijuana-vaporizing pen. In her new column for The Denver Post's Cannabist website, the Oscar-winning entertainer writes that her "vape pen" relieves the devastating glaucoma headaches she suffers without overwhelming her with a marijuana high. Goldberg's debut column appeared Thursday. She writes that marijuana eases the pressure, pain and stress of glaucoma, and her vaporizing pen allows her to get the right amount in small sips. Goldberg says she's discreet about using the pen if she's in jurisdictions where medical marijuana is illegal. ___ Online: Goldberg's column: http://tinyurl.

  • NFL, lawyers at work on $765M concussion deal

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge overseeing thousands of NFL concussion-linked lawsuits says lawyers are still working to address her concerns about a proposed $765 million fund. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody says she fears the fund may not be large enough to cover up to 20,000 retired players for 65 years. Lawyers have given her more data to weigh since she rejected the deal on a preliminary basis in January. The judge says in a Thursday order the parties are continuing to work with the court "to address the issues." She also has clarified an order this week denying approval of the deal was not a new ruling. She says she was simply adding the January ruling to some case files. The judge is expected to hold hearing

  • Williams in talks to reprise 'Mrs. Doubtfire' role

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox 2000 is developing the sequel to the 1993 hit comedy "Mrs. Doubtfire," which starred Robin Williams. The follow-up will be penned by "Elf" writer David Berenbaum, the studio's spokeswoman, Chelsey Summey, confirmed on Thursday. While no deals are in place yet, Williams and Chris Columbus are in talks to join the production, Summey said. The 62-year-old Williams would reprise his role as Mrs. Doubtfire, and Columbus would be back to direct and produce with his company 1492. Williams starred in "Mrs. Doubtfire" as struggling actor Daniel Hillard, a father of three who disguised himself as Scottish nanny Mrs. Doubtfire to spend time with his kids. The former wife of Williams' Daniel was playe