• Sharpton calls for federal prosecution in Ferguson

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — With a grand jury decision and a local election looming, the Rev. Al Sharpton returned to St. Louis on Friday to renew calls for the federal prosecution of a white police officer who shot and killed a black 18-year-old in the nearby suburb of Ferguson. The civil rights activist said leaks about the supposedly secret St. Louis County grand jury deliberations undermine the local inquiry into whether to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's killing. The panel is expected to complete its review by mid-November, independent of U.S. Justice Department investigations into both Brown's death and the broader practices of the Ferguson department.

  • Creator of Operation couldn't afford own operation

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BLOOMINGDALE, Ill. (AP) — The creator of the board game Operation needed his own operation, and it turned out he couldn't afford to pay for it. So John Spinello's friends decided to raise the money for him online. Now, they've been able to raise enough money to help Spinello pay for the surgery as well as some other bills. Spinello, 77, of Bloomingdale, Illinois, invented the buzzing game of precision in the early 1960s as an industrial design student at the University of Illinois. He sold the concept for $500 to a toy inventor who later licensed it to Milton Bradley. It went on to be very successful, with merchandise and different versions of games sold worldwide.

  • A look at people killed during space missions

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo accident proved what astronauts and their families know too well: Space can be deadly. The pilot who died Friday would be the 20th person killed in flight in either a space mission or a flight test. Add the three Apollo 1 astronauts who died in a 1967 fire during a ground test, and the death toll reaches 23. Add the pilots dying in more routine training flights and civilians killed on the ground in launch accidents, and the numbers are likely well past 150, according to space historian Roger Launius, associate director of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. These were people who were "pushing back the frontiers" of space flight, Launius said.

  • Dayton, Johnson show fire in final governor debate

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican nominee Jeff Johnson ended their series of debates Friday much like they began, with the incumbent hailing big-picture successes and his rival saying too many things went awry over the past four years. The fast-paced debate on public television offered a tidy recap to the race that ends with Tuesday's election. Dayton leaned heavily on swelling employment rolls around Minnesota and a steadied state budget to make his case for another term. Johnson pointed to flaws in Vikings stadium legislation and the health insurance exchange known as MNsure as well as Minnesota's added reliance on taxes to raise doubts about Dayton. Dayton, a former U.S. senator and audito

  • Orange fever reigns over drizzly Giants' parade

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco became the Valley of the Giants for the third time in five years Friday as hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets for a confetti and rain-soaked parade honoring the World Series champions. In steady drizzle mixed with clouds of orange, black and white confetti, players waved, snapped photos and mugged for the roaring crowds from the top of double-decker buses, a change from the classic convertibles and cable cars that transported them along their now-familiar parade route in 2012 and 2010.

  • Mexico orders immediate release of Marine veteran

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A Mexican judge on Friday ordered the immediate release of a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who spent eight months behind bars for crossing the border with loaded guns. The judge called for retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi (Tah-mor-EE-si) to be freed because of his mental state and did not make a determination on the illegal arms charges against the Afghanistan veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a Mexican official who had knowledge of the ruling but was not authorized to give his name. Tahmooressi has said he took a wrong turn on a California freeway that funneled him into a Tijuana port of entry with no way to turn back. His detention brought calls for his freedom from U.

  • Cubs hire Maddon as manager, fire Renteria

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Right after Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with Tampa Bay, the Chicago Cubs were mentioned as a possible landing spot for one of baseball's best managers. Flush with prospects and ready to make a splash in free agency, the Cubs already had a manager in Rick Renteria. But they just couldn't resist the lure of Maddon's sudden availability. Looking for a turnaround after five consecutive losing seasons, the Cubs announced Friday that they had hired Maddon to replace Renteria after just one year on the job. The move pairs the respected Maddon with a promising roster and a franchise with far more resources than he ever enjoyed with the small-market Rays.

  • Space tourism rocket crash stirs mixed emotions

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    The explosion of Virgin Galactic's passenger rocket ship is stirring up mixed emotions as scientists and others involved in the space industry wait for more details on what happened over the Mojave Desert on Friday. While several people expressed sadness that one pilot was killed and another was seriously injured, many also said they understand the risks that come with pushing the boundaries that have hampered the burgeoning commercial space travel industry. The reaction to the crash includes: — Former NASA top space scientist Alan Stern has seats to fly on Virgin Galactic — and its competitor XCOR aerospace. He isn't rethinking plans to fly in space at all. "Let's not be Chicken Littles here," said Stern, now

  • Malloy: UBS to stay in Connecticut through 2021

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says financial services giant UBS has committed to remaining in Connecticut through 2021. The Democrat announced Friday that UBS and the state have amended their partnership agreement. It provided UBS with a $20 million loan that was fully forgivable if the company maintained 2,000 jobs for five years. Under the amended arrangement, the same $20 million loan will be forgiven, but the percentage of forgiveness will be based on the number of jobs retained annually, through 2021. Economic Development Commissioner Catherine Smith said if the number of jobs declines, a portion of the loan must be repaid. She called the new formula "a win-win proposition.

  • Ohio man held in North Korea hoped to aid church

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — An American who is back home after being detained for nearly six months in North Korea said Friday that he left a Bible in a nightclub hoping it would get into the hands of what he called the country's underground Christian church. Jeffrey Fowle said he traveled to the country as a tourist but saw the opportunity as a way to follow the Christian mission "to carry the Gospel to all corners of the oath." "I knew it was a risk, that I was taking a gamble, but I felt compelled to do that to aid the underground church in some small way," Fowle said in an interview in his lawyer's office.

  • Don't forget to set your clocks back

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Most people in the United States are getting an extra hour of sleep this weekend, thanks to the annual shift back to standard time. Officially, the change comes at 2 a.m. Sunday, but most people set their clocks back before heading to bed Saturday night. Residents of Hawaii, most of Arizona and some U.S. territories don't have to change; daylight saving time is not observed there. Public safety officials say this is a good time to put a new battery in the smoke alarm no matter where you live. Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. local time the second Sunday in March — March 8, 2015.

  • Nissan recalls Infiniti SUVs to fix air bags

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Nissan says it's recalling more than 1,800 Infiniti SUVs in the U.S. for an air bag problem that could send shrapnel into the passenger compartment. The recall covers some QX56 SUVs from 2013 and the QX80s from 2014. The company says inflators made by troubled parts supplier Takata Corp. were built with an incorrect outer baffle part. That can cause pressure to build up, and the inflators can rupture if driver's side air bags are deployed. The latest air bag problem, according to Takata, affects only GM and Nissan vehicles, and it's separate from previous recalls covering 8 million vehicles in the U.S. But the new recall raises the possibility that the company's air bag problems are growing. Nissan has

  • Herbalife eyes settlement in federal lawsuit

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Herbalife says it has agreed to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company's business structure and marketing practices violated federal and state laws. The weight loss and nutritional supplements company did not elaborate in its statement Friday on the terms of the proposed settlement in the class-action case. The lawsuit was filed in April 2013 in a California federal court by a former salesman. Herbalife Ltd. maintains it hasn't done anything wrong and the lawsuit is meritless. It says it's seeking to settle the case in hopes of avoiding the potential cost and distraction of prolonged litigation. The company has also been defending itself against activist investor Bill Ackman, who runs Persh

  • Virgin Galactic's allure: space and celebrities

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    The explosion of a Virgin Galactic rocket ship during a test flight over California has almost certainly dashed founder Richard Branson's goal of starting passenger flights next spring. Information about Virgin Galactic, its backers, and its goals: OWNERS Virgin Galactic is a joint venture between Branson's Virgin Group Ltd. and Aabar Investments PJS, a state-backed investment firm in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. Aabar said it paid about $280 million for a 32 percent stake in Virgin Galactic's holding company in exchange for the chance to launch tourism and research flights from the Emirates.

  • Halloween saved in town after fugitive's capture

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    MOUNTAINHOME, Pa. (AP) — State police gave out candy Friday night to children trick-or-treating in a northeast Pennsylvania community that had been under siege for nearly seven weeks until a man suspected of killing a state trooper was captured. The arrest Thursday evening of Eric Frein led to a quick decision to lift a ban on trick-or-treating, and children took to the streets after nightfall to enjoy a day without real fear, only the Halloween kind. "We're glad that they got this night back," Lt. Col. George Bivens said as he and other members of the state police manned three large buckets of candy set up on a narrow street.

  • Tanker truck catches fire near Los Angeles freeway

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tanker truck carrying thousands of gallons of gasoline caught fire near a Los Angeles freeway and it took 124 firefighters to knock down the flames. City fire spokesman Brian Humphrey says the tandem truck's rear trailer, carrying around 4,800 gallons of fuel, overturned and caught fire around 3:30 p.m. Friday at the bottom of an Interstate 5 onramp in East Los Angeles. The driver told KCAL-TV he was turning onto the ramp. Humphrey says a home received minor damage and two others were threatened but there were no evacuations or injuries. Firefighters sprayed foam and water on the burning truck to knock down the stubborn flames and cool the tank so the remaining fuel could be transferred.

  • Illinois Dems dig deep to keep governor's office

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — At first blush, Illinois would seem to be a lock for an incumbent Democratic governor: The population leans left. Democrats control most of state government, and this year's race is likely to turn on the Chicago area, one of the few places President Barack Obama can still bring large crowds to their feet. But Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is battling to survive against Bruce Rauner, a wealthy businessman Republicans are banking on to exploit the state's deep economic problems and reputation for cronyism. If he wins, the victory would help complete a near-sweep of the Midwest by the GOP.

  • Republicans take big lead in Colorado early voting

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Republicans have taken a big lead in mail-in votes cast in Colorado. A report from the Secretary of State on Friday showed 104,000 more Republicans than Democrats had cast their ballots as the state conducts its first major mail-in election. The figure amounts to a 9-percentage point lead with more than half the expected ballots already cast. Colorado is a must-win state if the Democrats want to keep control of the U.S. Senate, but the early numbers suggest how difficult it might be for Democrats such as Sen Mark Udall to survive a year when Republicans are highly motivated. New voting laws implemented in Colorado last year over objections of Republicans resulted in a ballot being mailed to every v

  • Seattle megachurch dissolves after founder resigns

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle megachurch Mars Hill has dissolved, about two weeks after its founder Mark Driscoll resigned amid questions about his leadership. The church said on its website Friday it's urging its 12 branches in Washington, California, Oregon and New Mexico to consider becoming new, self-governing entities. Pastor Dave Bruskas said on the website that central Mars Hill staff would be let go and that church properties would be sold off or loans taken over by independent branches. Local leaders will decide whether to become independent, merge or disband. Driscoll resigned on Oct. 14 following an investigation into formal charges brought against him.

  • Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge on Friday denied a government request to partially close a detention hearing for a 19-year-old suburban Chicago man who authorities say violated U.S. law by trying to travel to Syria to join Islamic State militants. Prosecutors fell short of justifying why the public and media should be barred from parts of the upcoming hearing in Chicago for Mohammed Hamzah Khan, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox wrote in a four-page ruling. Khan is charged with seeking to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group. Open hearings help engender confidence the American judicial process is fair, Judge Cox added. "Holding proceedings in secret ... frustrates the public interest," she wrote.