• Law signed to curb Abu-Jamal's 'obscene celebrity'

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ignoring the chants of protesters on the block where a police officer was killed and the cause célèbre of Mumia Abu-Jamal was born, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Tuesday a measure he said would curb the "obscene celebrity" cultivated by convicts at the expense of victims. The law allows prosecutors or crime victims to seek an injunction when an offender's conduct "perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime," including causing a temporary or permanent state of "mental anguish.

  • Jury rules against Texas company in guardrail case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — A jury has decided that a Texas company should pay $175 million in a case involving the safety of thousands of guardrails on highways around the country. A whistle-blower charged that the company changed the design of caps at each end of the guardrails a decade ago that made them more dangerous, then failed to properly test the units or tell government transportation officials about the change for years. The verdict against Trinity Industries Inc. was handed down Monday in federal district court in Marshall, Texas. The company issued a statement suggesting that it would appeal. The final amount of damages was unclear. Under the federal law used to sue the company, the False Claims Act, damages could be t

  • Holmes interviewed for 22 hours for sanity exam

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Defense attorneys say the doctor who conducted a sanity evaluation on the man charged with a mass killing in a Colorado movie theater interviewed him for 22 hours. Attorneys for James Holmes made the revelation in court documents released Tuesday that deal with what evidence the defense must share with prosecutors. The doctor's findings haven't been released. Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the July 20, 2012, attack on a Denver-area theater. The trial is expected to start Dec. 8. The interview was part of the second sanity evaluation for Holmes. A judge ordered it after prosecutors said the first exam was biased.

  • Lawyer seeks to bar terrorism reference at trial

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for a Palestinian activist from Chicago convicted for a fatal bombing in Israel urged a judge Tuesday to bar any reference to terrorism at her upcoming trial on immigration charges. Rasmieh Odeh, associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, is charged with illegally getting U.S. citizenship in 2004 after failing to disclose her convictions for bombings in Israel 45 years ago. Jurors likely would turn against Odeh if prosecutors and witnesses describe the acts as terrorism, defense attorney Michael Deutsch said. U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain heard arguments on several disputes over evidence. Odeh's trial is set for Nov. 4. If convicted, she would lose U.S. citizenship a

  • 'Cadaver dog' work more accepted by cops, courts

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    BENTON, Calif. (AP) — The burly Labrador retriever sticks out his wide snout to sniff the dirt and dusty air. He's clearly excited as he runs, yelping, through the high desert of California's Eastern Sierra region. "Buster, go find!" Paul Dostie commands. They are a team, the black Lab and the retired police officer. For years, they have worked together to unlock mysteries — to find the bodies of fighting men who fell long ago on foreign battlefields, or of victims of unsolved crimes or disappearances. In all, Dostie says that Buster's alerts have aided in the recovery of the remains of about 200 people. "He's a one-in-a-million dog," Dostie says. Maybe, but he's far from the only dog doing this kind of work.

  • Nixon creating group to address Ferguson issues

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    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he will create an independent commission to study issues that have surfaced since the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The group will examine the social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest in the St. Louis suburb since a white officer shot and killed the unarmed, black 18-year-old on Aug. 9. Nixon outlined his commission plan Tuesday at St. Louis Community College's Florissant Valley campus. Commission members will be announced next month. Besides studying conditions that led to the unrest, the group is also to give recommendations for making the St. Louis region a fairer place to live. A grand jury in St.

  • W.Va. coal mine company lays off 130 workers

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ALUM CREEK, W.Va. (AP) — After warning in August that hundreds of miners could lose their jobs, Boone County-based Coal River Energy has laid off 130 mine workers. Coal River Energy spokesman James "Skeets" Loving confirmed the layoffs Tuesday. In August, the company warned that 280 mine workers could be out of jobs. Loving said the company laid off 130 employees on Oct. 11, while keeping 94 workers and finding other work for 56 others. The affected mining areas are located near the border of Boone and Kanawha counties. Some are underground and some are surface mines. The company pointed to poor coal markets and federal regulations.

  • CVS tacks tobacco payment to prescription network

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    First, CVS Health pulled tobacco from its store shelves. Now, it plans to make some customers think twice about filling prescriptions at other stores that sell smokes. The nation's second-largest drugstore chain is developing a new tobacco-free pharmacy network that it will offer as a choice to employers and other clients of its Caremark pharmacy benefits management business. Employers, insurers and unions hire pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, to run their prescription drug coverage. The new CVS network will slap an extra co-payment on patients who fill their prescriptions at stores that sell tobacco. That payment won't apply to prescriptions filled at stores in the tobacco-free network, which would include CVS and Targe

  • Jury to decide if Tsarnaev friend was liar or high

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    BOSTON (AP) — A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told a string of lies to investigators, a prosecutor told a jury Tuesday, but a defense lawyer said the defendant was a frightened 19-year-old who couldn't remember certain details because he had smoked marijuana for at least 12 hours straight. Robel Phillipos, of Cambridge, is charged with lying to the FBI about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth while two other friends removed a backpack containing fireworks and other potential evidence several days after the April 15, 2013, attack. Two bombs placed near the marathon finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. In closing arguments Tuesday, Ass

  • Wyoming gay couples get marriage licenses

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming has become the latest state to allow same-sex unions, bringing the wave of legalizations to a place where the 1998 beating death of Matthew Shepard galvanized a national push for gay rights. Gay couples began to apply for marriage licenses Tuesday morning, albeit far more quietly than in other states where bans were recently struck down. Hundreds of same-sex couples in Idaho and Nevada flooded clerk's offices and courthouses in recent weeks and married immediately afterward to cheering crowds. In Wyoming, however, only a handful of couples received licenses across the state as the change went into effect. In the state's largest city, Cheyenne, two couples were licensed right away, a

  • Kansas independent Orman campaigns under the radar

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Greg Orman has had barely a month to introduce himself to Kansas voters since unusual events thrust him into a neck-and-neck competition with three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Yet the independent candidate's schedule of public campaign appearances has usually ranged from slim to none. Rather than hold rallies and give speeches to make himself better known, Orman has campaigned mostly under the radar at small invitation-only events and on social media. This week is the rare exception, with a planned press conference and talk at the University of Kansas. In a race with an embattled incumbent, he's gambling that less information about himself is generally better than more.

  • Pilot errors, fatigue led to deadly Ga. jet crash

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The pilot of a private jet failed to follow correct landing procedures and likely was fatigued from a lack of sleep when the plane went down in a fiery crash in eastern Georgia last year, killing a vascular surgeon and four co-workers on board, federal investigators concluded in a report Tuesday. Richard Trammell was at the controls of the jet on the evening of Feb. 20, 2013, when it aborted a landing attempt at a small airport in Thomson, and struck a 72-foot utility pole less than 2,000 feet from the runway. The plane was carrying Dr. Steven Roth and his surgical staff based in nearby Augusta, who would routinely fly to satellite clinics in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina for vein-care surgeries and p

  • Giffords calls on women to highlight gun violence

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords charged Tuesday that "dangerous people with guns are a threat to women" as she worked to rally female voters across Iowa and inject gun control into one of the nation's marquee Senate contests. "Women can lead the way," Giffords told domestic violence leaders gathered in Iowa's capital city during a 43-second speech that was halting and slurred at moments, but largely clear. "We can change our laws. We can change elections." The Iowa stop comes as Giffords nears the end of a two-week national tour that also includes a series of roundtable meetings in Minnesota, Oregon and Washington State this week alone.

  • Canadian Pacific CEO says rail deal possible

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    The CEO of Canadian Pacific thinks U.S. regulators would approve a well-structured railroad merger, but nothing is planned now that talks with CSX ended. CEO Hunter Harrison said Tuesday he doesn't agree with the view that the Surface Transportation Board wouldn't approve any merger. Harrison said merging the Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. with CSX Corp. could have improved service by routing traffic around the bottlenecks in Chicago. And Harrison says giving railroads access to customers on other rail networks would improve competition. But Harrison says CP officials and CSX found they couldn't agree on several issues, so talks ended after several meetings.

  • Crews tearing down home where babies' bodies found

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) — Onlookers cheered Tuesday as a four-man demolition crew started tearing down what some had dubbed a "House of Horrors" — the squalid Massachusetts home where the skeletal remains of three infants were found. A backhoe started clawing at the outer walls after a 9 a.m. deadline passed without the home's owner contacting the town or seeking a court order to halt the demolition. Blackstone Town Administrator Daniel Keyes said all utilities were shut off and someone went through the building to make sure no one was inside before work began.

  • Detroit plans to sell scrapped copper wire

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit plans to sell 13 million pounds of copper wire from its public lighting operation. Financial consultant Gaurav Malhotra testified Tuesday in Detroit's bankruptcy trial that the city is budgeting for $25 million over six years from such a sale, but the scrapped metal could bring in about $40 million. Detroit is phasing its electricity service over to DTE Energy Co. Thieves have targeted below-ground and overhead wires, which they sell to scrap metal operations. They also have contributed to widespread blight in Detroit by stealing wire, copper pipes, fixtures, air conditioners and anything else of value from vacant houses.

  • From Kors to DVF, fashion mourns de la Renta

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    NEW YORK (AP) — Fun, sunny, romantic. Oscar de la Renta approached fashion and life on those terms, but there was more, so much more, those who loved and admired the designer say. The "more," Vogue's Anna Wintour wrote Tuesday on the magazine's website, was "democratic." By that, she meant de la Renta possessed the sensibility, the ease, to dine with the rich and famous but happily play dominoes with his staff. The "more," to others, was his desire to make women feel feminine and pretty, and not just a coterie of first ladies and socialites. Laura Bush favored de la Renta, and so does her daughter, Jenna, who was emotional Tuesday during a "Today" show appearance in describing the close friendship that developed

  • Jodi Arias sentencing retrial opens in Arizona

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — The Jodi Arias sentencing retrial has started in Arizona with a new jury and opening statements by lawyers to decide whether the convicted murderer should live or die after killing her boyfriend. The jury was sworn in Tuesday. Defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi then began opening statements, telling jurors it was up to them to write the final chapter to the story. He warned the jury that it will see graphic evidence about the killing and relationship between Arias and victim Travis Alexander. The 34-year-old Arias was convicted of murder last year, but the first jury was deadlocked on whether to give her the death penalty or life in prison. That required a new jury and trial to decide her punishment.

  • Contractor dies at Wyoming coal mine

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) — A contractor died in a weekend accident at Peabody Energy's North Antelope Rochelle Mine in northeastern Wyoming. A spokeswoman with the Mine Safety and Health Administration tells the Casper Star-Tribune that the contractor was driving haul truck when it went over a high wall late Saturday. He was thrown from the truck. The Campbell County coroner's office tells the Gillette News Record the victim was 51-year-old Darwin Lee Reimer of Gillette. Peabody spokeswoman Charlene Murdock says MSHA officials are investigating. Reimer's death was the second this year at North Antelope Rochelle, which is about 65 miles south of Gillette. Joshua Wishard, 25, died in June when he was crushed between th

  • WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday. Dr. Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general for WHO, said clinical trials that are either underway or planned in Europe, Africa and the U.S. are expected to produce preliminary safety data on two vaccines by December. If the vaccines are declared safe, she said they will be used in trials in West Africa beginning in January to test their effectiveness among tens of thousands — but not millions — of people.