• Comparing economic woes in Puerto Rico and Greece

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    The governments of both Puerto Rico and Greece are facing financial crunches in which neither has enough money to make payments on mountains of borrowed money. ___ HOW THEY ARE SIMILAR: —Both the U.S. territory and the European nation struggle with widespread tax evasion, government corruption, a dearth of good statistics and a lack of transparency in public finances. —Neither can devaluate their currencies to strengthen their economic competitiveness. ___ HOW THEY DIFFER: —Debt per capita in Puerto Rico is less than Greece's, and economists say the Caribbean island's economic crisis is not as complicated or profound. —Puerto Rico's economy is fully integrated into the U.S.

  • Cheryl Burke, Thomas Roberts won't host Miss USA

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Miss USA pageant has lost all of its co-hosts. "Dancing with the Stars'" Cheryl Burke and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts said Tuesday they won't take part in the July 12 pageant after Donald Trump made remarks about Mexicans while announcing his run for president. On Monday, NBC said it would cancel its Miss USA coverage and part ways with Trump, with whom it owns the pageant. Last week, Univision canceled its Spanish simulcast following remarks Trump made in his recent presidential campaign kickoff speech that some Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime to the U.S. and are rapists. Both co-hosts of the Univision telecast, Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente, also said they wouldn't t

  • Archaeologists call on feds to protect Chaco Canyon area

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years. Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done. That's why nearly 30 top archaeologists from universities and organizations around the nation called on the U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday to protect the area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development.

  • Federal report faults police actions during Ferguson unrest

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police antagonized crowds who gathered to protest in Ferguson after Michael Brown's death last summer, violated free-speech rights and made it difficult to hold officers accountable, according to a Justice Department draft report that found across-the-board flaws in law enforcement's response. The report summary, which covers the two-week period of unrest that followed a white officer fatally shooting the unarmed black 18-year-old in August, also faulted officers for inappropriately using tear gas, withholding information that should have been made public and relying on military-style equipment "that produced a negative public reaction" in the community.

  • Largest Florida county approves citations for pot possession

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — People caught with small amounts of marijuana can now receive civil citations instead of jail time in Florida's largest county. The Miami-Dade County Commission approved a proposal Tuesday to let police issue $100 civil citations for possessing up to 20 grams of marijuana. County Commissioner Sally Heyman said her measure seeks to spare people a criminal record and would reduce the economic burden on the criminal justice system. The decision to arrest will still be up to the officer's discretion. Police officials say they'll have to develop policies concerning when a civil citation is appropriate rather than an arrest. Paul Armentano is deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of

  • Appeals court: Former BP engineer should get new trial

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP engineer is entitled to a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge stemming from an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that granted Kurt Mix a new trial because of jury misconduct in his 2013 trial. Prosecutors accused Mix of deleting text messages about the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. He was acquitted on one criminal count at his 2013 trial but convicted on one count of obstruction of justice. However, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval later ruled that the jury forewoman had tainted deliberations.

  • Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck say they're getting divorced

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are splitting after 10 years of marriage. The Oscar winner and his wife sent out a joint statement Tuesday after weeks of public speculation on the status of their marriage. "After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time," the couple said. "This will be our only comment on this private, family matter.

  • Drug and device firms paid $6.5B to care providers

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — From research dollars to free lunches and junkets, drug and medical device companies paid doctors and leading hospitals nearly $6.5 billion last year, according to government data posted Tuesday. The latest update to the Open Payments database is part of an ongoing effort to highlight potential conflicts of interest in medicine. Unlike last year's initial version of the database, this one is much easier to use for consumers interested in looking up their own doctors. Of the total payments, $3.2 billion represented research funding, about $2.6 billion was for miscellaneous items and about $700 million represented investments and ownership stakes. Drug companies often recruit doctors to help with clinical tr

  • After coal win, states seek similar relief for farms

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — They beat the EPA on coal, and now a group of state attorneys general hopes to score a similar victory on farming. Attorneys general from nine states sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday over a new rule they say gives the federal government much more power to regulate farms and streams. The lawsuit comes one day after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked an EPA rule for coal-fired power plants, a ruling that originated from a lawsuit filed by many of the same states. The latest lawsuit is about who can regulate streams and ponds that are often found on small farms. The EPA wants to regulate these waterways, arguing that one-third of Americans get their drinking water from such sources.

  • Bulldozer gets buried in sand at gravel site, killing worker

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Firefighters say a bulldozer has been buried by an "avalanche" of sand at a Massachusetts gravel site, killing a worker. Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz identifies the construction company worker killed Tuesday as 65-year-old Whitman resident Charles Pace. Plymouth fire Chief Edward Bradley says about 12 feet of sand fell on Pace and the bulldozer he was operating, "almost like an avalanche." Cruz says the accident happened at a PA Landers Inc. sand and gravel site. The district attorney's office, local police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating. PA Landers says it has no immediate comment because of the ongoing investigation.

  • Las Vegas man accused of threatening Obama in Facebook posts

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas man accused of posting Facebook threats to harm President Barack Obama was arrested with seven registered guns after being overheard asking about buying a type of fertilizer used in the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building 20 years ago, according to court records reviewed Tuesday. Tyrone Paul Ponthieux, 55, was arrested Thursday on a sealed criminal complaint charging him with threats against the president, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to the court record and his lawyer. Ponthieux pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, and the complaint was unsealed.

  • Ruling allows Oklahoma earthquake lawsuit to go to trial

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    An Oklahoma woman can pursue a jury trial after she was injured when her fireplace crumbled in an earthquake she claims was caused by saltwater waste pumped into the ground, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The move further exposes the energy industry in Oklahoma to trials over such earthquakes, which scientists increasingly say are linked to large-scale wastewater injection wells from drilling operations. A state agency has even said it is "very likely" that the frequent quakes of magnitude 3 or higher are triggered by such operations. Other lawsuits against the energy industry are pending in Oklahoma and elsewhere. The justices' procedural move could usher in more litigation and weaken the industry, energy lawyers

  • State Dept: Trade bill can't defend Israel's territories

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after President Barack Obama signed hard-fought trade legislation, his administration took issue with language meant to discourage boycotts of Israel. The "fast track" trade bill takes aim at international efforts to punish Israel economically for its treatment of Palestinians. A bipartisan amendment — which drew comparatively little attention in Congress' long, multi-faceted trade debate — instructs U.S. negotiators to resist other countries' actions that support the "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movement against Israel because of its policies in "Israeli-controlled territories." Several pro-Israel groups and lawmakers backed the amendment.

  • Ex-Iowa egg farm manager gets probation after assisting feds

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak. U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided "substantial assistance" in the salmonella case. Bennett imposed no restitution or fine on Wasmund, of Willmar, Minnesota. Wasmund worked for egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, whose Iowa operations caused the outbreak that prompted the recall of 550 million eggs and sickened thousands. Under a plea deal, Wasmund pleaded guilty in 2012 to his role in bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to allow sales of eggs

  • In Supreme Court loss, death penalty foes see an opening

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — A strongly worded dissent in the U.S. Supreme Court's narrow decision this week upholding the use of an execution drug offered a glimmer of hope to death penalty opponents in what they considered otherwise a gloomy ruling. One advocate went so far Tuesday as to call it a blueprint for a fresh attack on the legality of capital punishment itself. But even those who see Justice Stephen Breyer's dissent as a silver lining think it will take time to mount a viable challenge. And Breyer's words don't change the fact that the Supreme Court has consistently upheld capital punishment for nearly four decades. The five justices forming the majority in Monday's decision made it clear they feel that states must somehow be

  • Connecticut eases penalties for most drug possession crimes

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials and policy experts say the state's drug laws will transform from some of the most draconian in the country to some of the most lenient this fall. That's when most drug possession crimes will become misdemeanors instead of felonies. State lawmakers on Monday approved legislation proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on bipartisan votes. The effort is part of a movement in both liberal and conservative states to save hundreds of millions of dollars by decreasing prison populations. The changes include eliminating a mandatory two-year prison term for possessing drugs within 1,500 feet of a school.

  • Judge blocks new Florida law that delays abortions 1 day

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge is blocking a new state law that requires women to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion. Judge Charles Francis blocked the law Tuesday, one day before it was scheduled to take effect. Francis is chief judge for the north Florida circuit that includes the state capital. The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Center for Reproductive Rights sued after Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law. They argued that the law violates the right to privacy guaranteed in the state constitution by interfering with the right of women to undergo the procedure.

  • List of 18 people honored with Carnegie Medals for heroism

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    Winners of Carnegie Medals formally announced Tuesday: — Christopher Brooks King, 29, of Roswell, New Mexico, rescued a 38-year-old woman from a burning home in January 2014. — Martin V. Hohenstein, 51, of Dakota City, Nebraska, rescued a 40-year-old from a burning vehicle that crashed in May 2014. — Lester J. Trafford III, 55, of Hampton Bays, New York, saved a 42-year-old man from drowning and attempted to save an 85-year-old man when their commercial fishing boat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean in May 2013. — Craig Randleman, 50, of Bend, Oregon, and Thomas Joy, 28, of Spokane, Washington, rescued an 8-year-old boy from attacking pit bulls in Spokane in April 2014. Joy and Jason Connerley, 28, also of Sp

  • Washington Legislature cuts state tuition by 15-20 percent

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — A decision this week to cut tuition for Washington state's public universities by 15 to 20 percent over the next two years is a rare move that national experts believe could influence other states as they come out from under the recession. "Tuition rollbacks are very rare. It will be interesting to see if other states follow Washington's lead," said Thomas L. Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Although many states have frozen college tuition in the years since approving big increases during the recession, only Minnesota also has passed a tuition cut.

  • Authorities: Boy found in park swing died of cold, thirst

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A mother placed her living toddler in a swing at a Maryland park one morning and he remained there until he was found dead of cold and thirst two days later when someone spotted the mother pushing her lifeless child in the swing, authorities said Tuesday. The 3-year-old boy found in a La Plata park died of dehydration and hypothermia, or low body temperature, said Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff's Office. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled his death a homicide last week. Bruce Goldfarb, spokesman for the medical examiner, said Tuesday that he couldn't talk about the case. The boy and his 24-year-old mother arrived at Wills Memorial Park the morning




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