• Mom accused of helping son in drive-by shooting

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah woman is accused of driving her teenage son by a convenience store to shoot at rival gang members he had been fighting with at school. Prosecutors say Lisa Egersdorf picked up her 17-year-old son from his Salt Lake City school and was behind the wheel when he fired several shots at the group. Charging documents show she asked, "Did you get them?" after he fired at their car. No one was hurt in the Sept. 22 drive-by shooting. Investigators say the 36-year-old woman acknowledged she and her son are members of a gang but denied the shots came from her car. No attorney has been listed in court records for Egersdorf or her son, and they could not be reached by the Associated Press.

  • US, China air differences over Hong Kong protests

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats publicly aired differences Wednesday over the protests in Hong Kong, where students want democratic changes to the electoral system. Secretary of State John Kerry met at the State Department with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi as the standoff between students and authorities intensified in the Chinese territory — the stiffest challenge yet to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997. The protesters oppose Beijing's decision in August that all candidates in an inaugural 2017 election for the territory's top post must be approved by a committee of mostly pro-Beijing local elites.

  • Oil boom widens wage gap between the sexes

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's unprecedented oil bonanza has boosted salaries throughout the state, though the male-dominated, high-paying energy industry also is widening the wage gap between men and women, the state's demographer said. Census figures show the median earnings of North Dakota men who worked full time year-round climbed to $49,231 last year, up from $46,225 in 2012. The median earnings for North Dakota women increased to $34,549 last year, from $34,438. The average salary in the oil and natural gas industry was more than $111,000 last year. State census office manager Kevin Iverson said the high-paying jobs in western North Dakota's oil patch have attracted more men than women.

  • Fire that killed hospital CEO, wife ruled arson

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A fire that killed the president of a major southern New Jersey hospital and his wife has been ruled arson. The Somerset County prosecutor's office announced its finding Wednesday. Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set early Sunday in the master bedroom of the Montgomery Township home of 72-year-old John Sheridan and 69-year-old Joyce Sheridan. But they have not released the cause of death for either person. John Sheridan was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was taken to a hospital, where she died a short time later. John Sheridan was president and CEO of Camden-based Cooper University Health Care, which has more than 700 physicians and serves more than ha

  • Civilian casualty standard eased in Iraq, Syria

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama announced in May 2013 that no lethal strike against a terrorist would be authorized without "near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured." But amid unconfirmed reports of civilian casualties, the White House said this week that U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria is not being held to the near-certainty standard. And the Pentagon, hamstrung by limitations in intelligence gathering, has been unable to determine in many cases whether the casualty reports are true. "We do take extreme caution and care in the conduct of these missions," Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, said. "But there's risk in any military operation. There's a special kind of risk when you

  • AP-GfK Poll: Divided voters still focus on economy

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not Obamacare or climate change. It's not yet terrorism or fear of the Islamic State group. Those issues are on the minds of voters as they begin casting ballots in this year's midterm elections, but nothing matters to American voters as much the economy. In a new Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday, 9 in 10 of those most likely to go to the polls or mail in a ballot in this year's midterm elections call the economy an extremely or very important issue. "We need jobs," said Christine Kamischke, 45, of rural northern Michigan. She works in a large retail store and her husband was recently laid off from his job at an Air Force base near their home. Wednesday was his first day without work. The

  • Colorado man wants to bring gun into post office

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Tab Bonidy carries a concealed pistol everywhere he goes. It offers him a sense of safety even in Avon, Colorado, a mountain town so small its lone post office doesn't offer home delivery. But when the 56-year-old architect drives into town to pick up his mail, he has to disarm, even if he's just running into the lobby. It's a hassle, he says, but U.S. Postal Service rules prohibit bringing guns inside. Bonidy is challenging that rule in federal court, saying it violates his Second Amendment rights. "It's just a lobby with a bunch of boxes, everyone in Avon goes there to get their mail," Bonidy said. "Even there, I'm disarmed and not able to protect myself." A three-judge panel of the 10th

  • Q&A: What are students in Colorado protesting?

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — A fight in Colorado over how United States' history is taught has pitted the new conservative majority on a suburban Denver school board against students and teachers who accuse the board of censorship. The students and teachers are protesting possible changes to the new Advanced Placement history course. Hundreds have turned out to demonstrate, holding signs saying "There is nothing more patriotic than protest" and "Teach us the truth." School board members say they want to make sure the history course, accused of having an anti-American bias by some conservatives, is balanced. They say students are being used as pawns by teachers, who are upset about a new merit pay system.

  • Stocks sink on weak economic news; Airlines down

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are slumping to a third straight loss as investors fret over poor economic news. Airline stocks sank over worries that the first diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S. would cause people to curtail their travel plans. American Airlines and Delta each fell 3 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 238 points, or 1.4 percent, to close at 16,804 Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,946. The Nasdaq composite fell 71 points, or 1.6 percent, to 4,422. Bonds and utility stocks rose as investors shifted money into less risky assets. Utility stocks were the only sector in the S&P 500 index to rise. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.39 p

  • Conviction upheld in reverse racism murder case

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Kagan had been in prison for murder for more than a decade when doubts about his guilt arose from an uncommon source: the former judge who had convicted him. The reason was more extraordinary still: The now-retired, white jurist felt he had been swayed by bias against Kagan, also white, in the killing of a black man. On Wednesday, another judge upheld the conviction in the 1998 case. Acting Brooklyn state Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said she found the case emotionally wrenching but that legally, there were no grounds to reverse the conviction. "It's unfortunate that my hands were tied" by the law, Simpson said. "This may be one of those cases that bothers me for the rest of my life.

  • Manager Orr on stand in Detroit bankruptcy trial

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Emergency manager Kevyn Orr testified in bankruptcy court Wednesday that when he took over Detroit's finances, he found a city with poor services for residents, next to no cash flow and significant neighborhood blight. Orr, who was hired by the state in March 2013 to fix Detroit's finances and who took the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, was called to the stand and questioned by city lawyers in federal court in Detroit. Judge Steven Rhodes is to decide whether Orr's plan to remove $7 billion in debt is fair to creditors. Orr has said Detroit's unsecured debt is about $12 billion. Before he filed for bankruptcy, Orr said of creditors: "Everybody wanted to get paid in full.

  • AP NewsAlert

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida man convicted of 1st-degree murder for killing teenager after argument over loud music.

  • Prison escape plan cited in fatal Vegas crash case

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — An Nevada prison investigator says a self-described pimp who admits bribing a guard to obtain cellphones behind bars was plotting an escape before his death penalty trial in a fatal Las Vegas Strip shooting and fiery crash. David Molnar, Nevada Department of Corrections supervisory investigator, didn't detail the escape plan involving Ammar Harris in testimony Wednesday before a Las Vegas judge. Harris and another inmate, Derrick McKnight, said Wednesday that they'll plead guilty to one felony charge each of bribing a public officer. Each could have up to five years tacked onto his prison sentence. Harris is serving time for a rape and robbery conviction. Molnar says McKnight told him phones fou

  • Key events in Mexico army slayings investigation

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    A timeline of official statements about slaying of 22 suspected gunmen by soldiers in rural Mexico: ___ JUNE 30: A Mexican army patrol confronts a group of armed suspects at a half-finished grain warehouse in southern Mexico. The Mexican army issues a statement saying troops came under fire, returned fire and killed 21 men and one woman while freeing three kidnap victims being held inside the warehouse. One soldier was wounded. The army says prosecutors from Mexico State, where the killings occurred, were called to the scene to collect the bodies and evidence. ___ JULY 1: Mexico State Gov. Eruviel Avila publicly thanks the army for its "bravery" and "firmness" in the confrontation.

  • Review: Pay by phone or just keep using plastic?

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — PayPal, Apple and others are betting on billions in mobile payments. But so far, trying to use my phone to pay at restaurants and retailers has been frustrating. It's easier just to pull out my plastic credit card than to figure out which card works with which app and which app works with which store. In theory, mobile-payment services such as Google Wallet are easy to use. You simply download an app and enter your card information. With Apple Pay, you can even snap a picture of the card or use the one you already use with Apple's iTunes. Then, when you're ready to pay, you typically hold your phone near the store's payment terminal.

  • Obama: New leadership was needed at Secret Service

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama believes it was in the best interest of the Secret Service for Director Julia Pierson to resign. Pierson offered her resignation Wednesday amid intense scrutiny over security lapses at the White House. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Obama concluded that new leadership of the agency was required. He says Obama called Pierson on Wednesday to thank her for her service to the Secret Service and to the U.S. Earnest says Obama has full confidence in Joseph Clancy. He's the former special agent taking over as acting Secret Service director. Earnest says the administration is awaiting a review to determine whether more people will be leaving.

  • Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — Raising the stakes in their standoff with the authorities, Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters threatened to occupy key government buildings unless the territory's top official resigns by the end of the day Thursday. The Chinese government, meanwhile, appeared to be losing patience. An editorial solemnly read Wednesday on state TV said all Hong Kong residents should support authorities in their efforts to "deploy police enforcement decisively" and "restore the social order in Hong Kong as soon as possible." And the Communist Party-run People's Daily warned of "unimaginable consequences" if the protests persist.

  • Ameren plans to reduce coal-fired power plants

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ameren Missouri say it plans to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power plants over the next two decades. The St. Louis-based utility submitted information Wednesday to state utility regulators detailing its long-range plan for energy production. The utility said it got 77 percent of its energy from coal-fired power plants last year but has a goal of reducing that to 62 percent by 2034. Ameren says it plans to shut down six coal-fired generating units while adding power plants fueled by natural gas, wind, sunlight and methane gas released by landfills. The plan would result in a 30 percent reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions by 2035.

  • Ohio city defaults on traffic camera bill

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) — One of Ohio's poorest cities was dealt another financial blow Wednesday when a federal judge stuck it with a $638,000 judgment in favor of a Rhode Island company that supplied the traffic cameras it hoped would provide a revenue boost. A Rhode Island judge handed down the default judgment against East Cleveland, the impoverished Cleveland suburb where oil baron John D. Rockefeller once summered, after the city failed to answer the now-defunct company's original lawsuit and subsequent motions or engage in settlement talks. "No one from the city has responded to my emails or correspondence I sent," said attorney James Atchison, who represents the receiver overseeing the Providence company's state i

  • Snapshots from the protest streets in Hong Kong

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — At first the students sat outside Hong Kong's government complex. Then the broader Occupy Central civil disobedience movement joined them to call for the right for the people in this Chinese territory to elect their leader. The protest spread and the police's use of tear gas at the weekend shocked more citizens out onto the streets. Overnight into Wednesday, police were hardly visible and the tens of thousands of people roamed freely. Here are some snapshots showing the atmosphere on Hong Kong's streets: ___ STREET TALK By early evening Tuesday, student Gordon Lam had been in a standoff with police for 20 hours.