• On Super Bowl Sunday, veggies are most popular food

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — While the gladiators of the NFL are clashing in Phoenix at the Super Bowl, the titans of food will be fighting for supremacy at spreads across the country. Many parties will have chicken wings and pizza. But NPD Group, an independent market research firm that tracks Americans' eating habits, says vegetables top the list of most popular foods eaten on Super Bowl Sunday. Harry Balzer, chief food industry analyst for NPD, says vegetables have been tops for 30 years. While baby carrots and veggie trays lead the pack, retailers selling salty snacks, alcohol, wings and pizza also see a sharp spike in sales. Nationally, Pizza Hut alone will have 60,000 drivers delivering 2 million pies.

  • Smart Spending: Why investors are applauding Amazon earnings

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon.com Inc.'s fourth-quarter earnings roundly beat analyst expectations, sending the Seattle e-commerce giant's stock soaring 11 percent in premarket trading Friday. Here's a closer look at what investors applauded and hope continues. SMART SPENDING Operating expenses rose 15 percent to $28.74 billion but that was less than some analysts had expected Amazon would spend. Investors have long wanted Amazon to show some restraint as it invests in its business, and this metric seemed to be a sign that Amazon is willing to do that.

  • Image of Asia: Waiting for word on Japanese hostage

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    In this photo by Eugene Hoshiko, Japan's government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga bows toward to Japanese flag prior to a news conference about a hostage crisis involving a Japanese journalist in Syria. The fates of freelance journalist Kenji Goto and a Jordanian military pilot held by the Islamic State group remained unknown Friday after a purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap lapsed with no word from the militants.

  • ConocoPhillips to slow petroleum reserve project investment

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — ConocoPhillips Alaska says that it's slowing its pace of investment on the Greater Mooses Tooth 1 project, citing permitting issues and oil prices. Permit applications were submitted in July 2013. Spokeswoman Amy Burnett said while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently issued a record of decision, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has yet to issue a final decision for the project, which is in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. She said by email that if the agencies differ on road routes, the project would not move forward until those differences were resolved. She said the company does not have a set timeframe for revisiting a final investment decision for the project.

  • PG&E to release thousands of emails with state regulators

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric is set to release tens of thousands of emails between utility employees and officials with the state Public Utilities Commission amid a probe into alleged back-channel dealings. A judge two weeks ordered PG&E to share about 65,000 emails with the commission and the City of San Bruno by Friday. The commission says it will publish the emails on its website as soon as possible. The content of the emails is unclear but previously emails made public showed PG&E and commission officials discussing pending commission decisions on PG&E rate cases, penalties and other issues.

  • Collins and King split on bill approving Keystone pipeline

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King are split on their views of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Collins voted Thursday in support of the bill, which President Barack Obama has threatened to veto. She says in a statement that it's "past time" for Obama to approve the project. She says she'd rather the country receive oil from Canada than "from unstable nations in the Middle East." King, who voted against the bill, says the country's focus should be on growing renewable energy sources. He says adding jobs in green energy industries, like solar, will be more beneficial to the American people.

  • House Democrats vow to explain their vision better in 2016

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to cheer up House Democrats — urging them to keep battling for middle-class families even as they trumpet brighter news about jobs, energy production and other economic milestones. In that spirit, the lawmakers who saw their numbers shrink in November's elections are vowing to get better at explaining their vision to voters. The Democrats meeting in Philadelphia to talk strategy say that they need better messaging, not changes in policy, to win elections. It might be wishful thinking. Even Obama says it will be hard to overcome the Republicans' 58-seat House majority in next year's elections.

  • Rod McKuen, mega-selling poet and performer, dies at 81

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced "King of Kitsch" whose avalanche of music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and '70s overwhelmed critical mockery and made him an Oscar-nominated songwriter and one of the best-selling poets in history, has died. He was 81. McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, his half-brother Edward McKuen Habib said. Until his sabbatical in 1981, McKuen was an astonishingly successful and prolific force in popular culture, turning out hundreds of songs, poems and records.

  • US-backed Mexico dam project triggered protest, rare defeat

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SANTA URSULA, Mexico (AP) — When the U.S. government backed construction of a hydroelectric plant in southwestern Mexico, it envisioned a project that would power the community and stir the economy in Oaxaca state. Yet to residents, the project near the Cerro de Oro dam stirred painful memories and fresh fears. They rose up and defeated the three-year, $30 million project supported by a little-known U.S. government agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corp. It's a rare instance of a community fighting off development in a country where projects are often pushed through over local objections. The fight opened a window into the impacts that residents sometimes encounter in developments backed by a U.S. government agency wi

  • Some businesses stay clear of using Super Bowl name

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — It is the game that must not be named — at least not without permission. For most people, the game Sunday between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks is the Super Bowl. But for some Phoenix-area media and business owners, it's simply the "big game" or "game day." Radio hosts are tripping over their tongues and airport signs are carefully worded to keep from referring to it as the Super Bowl, a trademarked name the NFL strictly polices. Mom-and-pop shops and large companies hoping to cash in on the game have found ways to color inside the lines. NFL officials say the league works to protect its intellectual property. Attorneys say big organizations such as the NFL typically go aft

  • Federal prosecutors drop 2 dozen stash house sting charges

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors in Chicago this month have quietly dropped dozens of serious narcotics conspiracy charges stemming from stings involving fictional drug stash houses. U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon's office dropped the charges for 27 out of the 33 suspects who were arrested for allegedly attempting to steal drugs from stash houses that never existed. Critics of the federal law enforcement technique say it amounts to entrapment and shows racial bias against minorities. Filings dropping the charges offer no explanation. Neither does the prosecutor's office. An office spokesman declined comment when asked if the same charges will be dropped against the remaining defendants. Katharine Tinto teaches law in Ne

  • Feds: Treasure hunter eluded police with cash, tradecraft

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A deep-sea treasure hunter who vanished during a court fight over his $50 million haul of gold bars and coins eluded capture by hiding in a two-room hotel suite under a fake name, paying for everything in cash and keeping a low-profile, authorities said Thursday. When Tommy Thompson and his longtime companion did leave the Florida hotel room, usually alone and her more than him, they would use a combination of buses, taxis and walking around to shake anyone who might be tailing them. "That's all part of the whole tradecraft — trying to fly under the radar of law enforcement," said Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami.

  • Cardinals' Peterson wins Madden Bowl over Eagles' McCoy

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Rain drenched the Madden Bowl party but didn't keep partygoers from being glued to the action on screens and mingling with the NFL stars in attendance. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson won the event, an annual celebration of the popular Electronic Arts video game. Peterson's team defeated reigning Madden champion LeSean McCoy in a digital match that mimicked the NFL playoffs when an official review overturned a touchdown run by McCoy's team. During the playoffs, an officials' call led to the elimination of the Dallas Cowboys from the playoffs.

  • NASA moisture satellite launch scrubbed due to winds

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — NASA has scrubbed the launch of an Earth-observing satellite because of wind conditions over California and technical problems. The Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite had been scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base before dawn Thursday, but upper-level winds exceeded limits for the Delta 2 rocket. The launch has been rescheduled for Saturday morning. The $916 million mission, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is designed to track the amount of water locked in soil.

  • 35 years after boy Etan Patz vanished, murder trial to open

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — As police searched for a missing 6-year-old boy named Etan Patz (AY'-tahn PAYTS'), they jotted down the name of a teenage shop worker they met. But they didn't expect the clerk would become their suspect more than three decades later. After 35 years, Pedro Hernandez is going on trial in a case that shaped the nation's response to missing children. Opening statements are scheduled Friday. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty. Etan vanished in May 1979. He became one of the first missing children pictured on milk cartons. In 2012, Hernandez gave a videotaped confession. Prosecutors say also he made incriminating remarks to friends and relatives in the 1980s. His lawyers calls his confession false

  • LAPD criticized for event featuring ex-Mexican Mafia leader

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — An ex-Mexican Mafia leader serving life in prison for murder was escorted by Los Angeles officers to speak at a gathering of police chiefs and business leaders, prompting criticism from the mayor's office and an acknowledgement of mistakes from the chief of police Thursday. Rene "Boxer" Enriquez gave a PowerPoint presentation Wednesday and spoke about how he was instrumental in building a transnational criminal enterprise that held influence over tens of thousands of violent gang members. Attendees were provided refreshments and a book about Enriquez's life and rise to power. "Mistakes were made in holding this event," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement late Thursday.

  • Meet Ida May Fuller, recipient of 1st Social Security check

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    LUDLOW, Vt. (AP) — Seventy-five years ago Saturday, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller of Vermont a check for about $22 — the first Social Security payout. It secured Fuller, who never married and had no children, a place in American history. She was born on a farm outside Ludlow in the Green Mountains. Future President Calvin Coolidge was three years ahead of her in high school. By the time she died in 1975 at age 100, she had received nearly $23,000 in benefits. Near the end of her life, she told a reporter that the payments "come pretty near paying for my expenses." Fuller was a staunch Republican. In 1970, she told The Associated Press that she didn't think there should be any more increases in

  • Oregon snowpack at record lows

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's mountain snowpack, vital for farms, fish and ski resorts, is in the midst of another miserable year, posting record low depths despite normal precipitation. The reason is persistent warm weather, which is turning into the new normal as the climate heats up. Precipitation throughout Oregon has been normal or near normal since the Oct. 1 start of the water year. Current snowpack measurements show 16 percent of normal for the Willamette Valley, 28 percent for central Oregon, 18 percent for the Rogue-Umpqua region, and 17 percent for the Klamath Basin. Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist Julie Koeberle (KOE-ber-lee) says there is time for things to improve, but expect

  • Builder projects 18-month delay for nuclear plant in Georgia

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Southern Co. said the firms building its new nuclear power plant in Georgia estimate the project will be delayed 18 months, potentially costing the power company $720 million in new charges, company officials said Thursday. The latest delay at Plant Vogtle is another setback for a project that was supposed to prove nuclear reactors could be built on time and without the cost overruns that financially strained utilities decades ago. Power companies are already shuttering existing nuclear plants because natural gas is so cheap by comparison. Westinghouse Electric Co. and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. expect the first reactor at Plant Vogtle will be complete in mid-2019, and the second reactor will come online in mi

  • Survivors recall panic before Mexico City hospital blast

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Inside the maternity hospital on the western edge of Mexico City, concern quickly turned to panic as the sour smell of propane seeped in and a vapor cloud grew at the emergency room's entrance. The crew of a gas tanker truck outside began yelling: "Call the firefighters! And tell people to get out!" A mammoth explosion shattered the morning, collapsing most of the hospital and sending flames and smoke boiling into the sky Thursday morning. Fatimas Parras, 16, was getting ready for school in her nearby home when the blast blew tiles off the roof. With her hair still wet, she ran outside where she encountered a boy of about 13 carrying an infant from the hospital. "The baby was covered in dust and the




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