• AP Interview: Feds launch policing bias study

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities, the Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday. The police shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri underscored the need for the long-planned initiative, Holder said in an interview with The Associated Press. He said the three-year project could be a "silver lining" if it helps ease racial tensions and "pockets of distrust that show up between law enforcement and the communities that they serve.

  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Gulfport follows the casino's shutdown on Monday night. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask Harrison County Circuit Judge Michael Ward to give it control of the property in a Wednesday hearing. Clay Point said in court papers in July that MVB hasn't paid rent since the casino opened in 2012 and owes more than $3.8 million, plus $500,000 in taxes that Clay Point had to step in and pay on Margaritaville's behalf.

  • Endo Int'l makes $1.4B offer for Auxilium Pharma

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Endo International PLC says it is making an unsolicited offer for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals that values Auxilium at $28.10 per share. The deal is worth $1.41 billion in cash and stock, based on Auxilium's shares outstanding. Endo values the offer at $2.2 billion, including the assumption of Auxilium's debt. It comes at a premium of 31 percent based on the Tuesday closing price of Auxilium shares. Dublin-based Endo said the two companies have complementary products and added that there are significant opportunities for savings. Auxilium did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

  • Congress: Safety agency mishandled GM recall

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Both houses of Congress scolded the nation's highway safety agency Tuesday over its tardy handling of a deadly problem with General Motors cars, questioning whether it is competent to guarantee the safety of increasingly complex vehicles. David Friedman, acting chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, repeatedly defended his agency during a Senate hearing as lawmakers accused him of failing to take responsibility for missing multiple clues that could have saved lives in the recall of GM small cars with faulty ignition switches. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

  • Natural gas leak plugged, Michigan evacuation ends

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Michigan say operators of a natural gas pipeline have plugged a leak, clearing the way for evacuated residents to return home. Police in Berrien County's Benton Township say the TransCanada Corp. natural gas line began leaking about 2 a.m. Tuesday, leading to the evacuations. No injuries are reported. Police Chief Vincent Fetke says the company reported that gas no longer was leaking Tuesday afternoon and residents are being allowed to go home. The site is about 70 miles southwest of Grand Rapids. The Calgary, Alberta-based company says in a statement that the affected section of the line was automatically shut down after the leak.

  • FedEx to hike ground, express delivery rates

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — FedEx says it will raise U.S. rates for express, ground and home-delivery shipments by an average of 4.9 percent in January. The company said Tuesday that rates also will change for FedEx SmartPost, which uses the U.S. Postal Service for final delivery, although it didn't say how much. The Memphis, Tennessee, company says the express increase will apply to deliveries in, to or from the U.S. FedEx Freight will also boost prices an average of 4.9 percent within North America. Also starting Jan. 5: New pricing that gives more emphasis to dimensions for lightweight ground-shipping packages. Shares of FedEx Corp. shares rose 62 cents to close at $154.66. In after-hours trading, they were up anot

  • Officials: Officer chases suspect who shot him

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DUVALL, Wash. (AP) — A police officer in Washington state got back in his patrol car after being shot in the leg and pursued the fleeing gunman until other officers arrived to take over the chase and make an arrest following a standoff, authorities said Tuesday. The attack occurred late Monday after Duvall police Sgt. Michael DeBock responded to calls about a man shooting at people with a paintball gun from a church parking lot in the town northeast of Seattle. When DeBock approached, the man backed his vehicle into him and shot him in the thigh, authorities said. Despite the wound, DeBock gave chase. "His actions were extremely brave," Officer Seth Tyler, a spokesman for the King County Investigative Response Team, s

  • More than 30 cattle die after Idaho big rig crash

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Authorities in southwest Idaho say 33 cattle worth about $30,000 died after a tractor-trailer flipped onto its side. The Ada County Sheriff's Office initially said more than 100 cattle died in the Monday afternoon crash east of Boise but revised the number down Tuesday. Emergency crews reached a 57-year-old passenger by cutting through the wreckage. He and the 60-year-old driver were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Authorities say the driver appeared to be going too fast around a curve, but no citations had been issued by Tuesday afternoon.

  • US airstrikes target Islamic militants in Iraq

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Defense Department says the U.S. military on Tuesday pressed its expanded campaign against Islamic State militants with five airstrikes across Iraq. U.S. Central Command says military forces using fighter aircraft launched two airstrikes northwest of Irbil and hit an armed truck and fighters. Three other airstrikes southwest of Baghdad hit anti-aircraft artillery, a truck and two boats on the Euphrates River that were resupplying the militants. The strikes are part of the new broader military mission in Iraq authorized by President Barack Obama that began Monday. Under the new mission, U.S. forces are going after Islamic State militants wherever they are. Previously, the strikes were limited to protect

  • History books spark new Texas classroom battle

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The long-running ideological dispute over what gets taught in Texas classrooms flared anew over proposed history textbooks Tuesday, with academics decrying lessons they said exaggerate the importance of Christian values on the nation's Founding Fathers while conservatives complained of anti-American, pro-Islam biases. The Board of Education will approve new history textbooks for the state's 5-plus million public school students in November. But it heard hours of complaints about 104 proposed books during a sometimes heated public hearing. Jacqueline Jones, chairwoman of the University of Texas' History Department, said one U.S.

  • First episode of 'Roosevelts' seen by 9 million

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Once again millions of television viewers are transporting themselves to another century under the guidance of Ken Burns. An estimated 9.1 million people watched the first episode of Burns' seven-part series on Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on Sunday. PBS aired it twice Sunday to maximize attention; the Nielsen company's estimate was the combined viewership of both episodes. By way of comparison, the most-watched scripted series on the commercial networks last week, CBS' "Under the Dome," reached 6.6 million viewers, Nielsen said. "Releasing a film is like having a conversation with your closest friends and family," Burns said. "I'm always struck by the thoughts and comments and how engaged

  • UPS expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 workers to help deliver packages during the busy holiday season — an increase from last year, when the company was caught unprepared for a boom in online shopping. The Atlanta-based company said Tuesday that the positions will include package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers. Last year, UPS underestimated the surge in deliveries during the holiday shipping season, which peaked several days later than the company had expected as shoppers jumped at offers of free shipping right up until a few days before Christmas. With faulty forecasts, the company didn't hire enough seasonal help.

  • Obama takes center stage in Kentucky's Senate race

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — President Barack Obama is playing a starring role in Kentucky's fierce Senate race, with new ads putting him at the center of the contest for Republican Mitch McConnell's seat despite Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes' explicit effort to distance herself from the unpopular president. "I'm not Barack Obama," Grimes says in an ad that began airing Monday, in which she pauses her skeet shooting to talk to the camera. "I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA." It was an attempt to flip the script on the fiercely fought race against McConnell, who's relentlessly tried to link Grimes to Obama. Fewer than 24 hours after Grimes' ad aired, McConnell responded in an effort to restore his national narrative.

  • Nielsen's top programs for Sept. 8-14

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 8-14. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership. 1. NFL Football: Chicago at San Francisco, NBC, 22.16 million. 2. NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Baltimore, CBS, 20.77 million. 3. "Sunday Night Pre-Kickoff," NBC, 16.69 million. 4. "Thursday Night Pre-Kickoff," CBS, 13.86 million. 5. NFL Football: N.Y. Giants at Detroit, ESPN, 13.73 million. 6. "Football Night in America, Part 3," NBC, 12.36 million. 7. "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.29 million. 8. NFL Football: San Diego vs. Arizona, ESPN, 11.52 million. 9. "Thursday Night Pre-Game Show," CBS, 10.63 million. 10. "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday, 9 p.m.),

  • CDC study: Americans' bellies are expanding fast

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — The number of American men and women with big-bellied, apple-shaped figures — the most dangerous kind of obesity — has climbed at a startling rate over the past decade, according to a government study. People whose fat has settled mostly around their waistlines instead of in their hips, thighs, buttocks or all over are known to run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related ailments. Fifty-four percent of U.S. adults have abdominal obesity, up from 46 percent in 1999-2000, researchers reported in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waistline of more than 35 inches in women and more than 40 inches in men. During the 12-yea

  • School bus driver killed during safety drill

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio school bus driver is being hailed as a hero after tossing a child out of the way of a rolling bus Tuesday morning before the vehicle rolled over the driver herself and she was killed. "She sacrificed her own life to save the life of this 10-year-old girl," said Akron police Lt. Rick Edwards. The bus driver has been identified as 51-year-old Laura Zborowski of Akron. Edwards said the bus pulled up beside Middlebury Academy in Akron and Zborowski asked the students to perform routine evacuation drills. The students, about 40 ranging from kindergartners to eighth-graders, first exited the bus at the front and lined up single file on the sidewalk as instructed. They then got back on the bus and ex

  • CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — CBS and Rihanna are splitting up, more fallout from the Ray Rice domestic violence incident and the turmoil it has caused for the NFL. The network said Tuesday it was permanently editing a song featuring Rihanna's voice out of its Thursday night NFL telecasts — after the singer issued a profane tweet about it. A portion of Jay-Z's "Run This Town" featuring Rihanna was cut from last Thursday's Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers game because CBS was covering the controversy over Ravens running back Rice's assault of his then-fiancee. CBS planned to use the song Thursday and for the rest of the season, but Rihanna tweeted, "CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday?

  • New Jersey loses 4th casino as Trump Plaza closes

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Beset by crushing debt, fleeing customers and run-down facilities, Trump Plaza on Tuesday became the fourth casino in Atlantic City to shut down this year. The 30-year-old casino at the heart of the Boardwalk had been the town's worst performing for years. It won about the same amount from gamblers this year as the market-leading Borgata takes in every two weeks. And at pennies on the dollar, no one wanted to buy it. Trump Plaza is the latest victim of casino contraction brought on by competition in neighboring states in the saturated northeastern U.S. gambling market. Atlantic City began the year with 12 casinos; it now has eight. The Atlantic Club, Showboat and Revel also closed, and the T

  • Group: state should increase drilling setbacks

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A landowners' group is calling on Wyoming oil and gas regulators to strengthen proposed rules to increase the minimum distance between drilling rigs and dwellings. The staff of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission this month proposed increasing the minimum setback distance for a vertically drilled well to 500 feet. The minimum setback for wells drilled into the ground and then horizontally would increase to 750 feet. The current minimum distance is 350 feet for all drilling rigs. The Powder River Basin Resource Council this week contacted Gov. Matt Mead and other commission members to ask that the setbacks be increased up to 750 feet for vertical wells and a quarter-mile for horizontal

  • Death certificate: Rapper Tim Dog died last year

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — Rapper Tim Dog, who was accused of swindling women out of thousands of dollars, was dead when a warrant was issued for his arrest last year, according to a death certificate filed in Georgia. The rapper, whose real name was Timothy Blair, was best known for the 1990s song "F--- Compton" that criticized West Coast rappers. He was sentenced in August 2011 to serve 14 days in jail and five years on probation for swindling $32,000 from a woman who met him on an online dating site four years earlier. He was ordered to pay about $19,000 in restitution. Numerous media organizations last year reported or referred to his death from diabetes complications, many citing the hip-hop magazine The Source. That story l