Top Stories


  • Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge granted a request Wednesday to formally change the name of the soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks from Bradley Edward Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The former intelligence analyst is serving a 35-year prison sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning is serving the sentence at the Army prison on Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Leavenworth County District Judge David King said he'd allow the name change during a court hearing that lasted about a minute. Manning didn't attend the hearing but issued a statement saying it was "an exciting day.

  • BC-NJ--New Jersey News Digest, NJ

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    New Jersey at 1 p.m. Shawn Marsh is on the desk and can be reached at 609-392-3622. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477. TOP STORIES: PORT AUTHORITY NEW YORK — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could rescind a $1-a-year lease for a park-and-ride lot near the Lincoln Tunnel. The agency's chief of real estate and development told a committee Wednesday that it should change a deal made in 2012. Published reports have alleged that former Port Authority chairman David Samson voted to approve the lease even though his law firm did business with New Jersey Transit, which operates the park-and-ride lot. By David Porter.

  • ND OKs power line in historic battlefield area

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota regulators have approved a siting permit for an electrical transmission line planned for the Killdeer Mountain Battlefield area in the western part of the state. The three-member Public Service Commission unanimously approved the proposal by Basin Electric Power Cooperative on Wednesday. The Bismarck-based company plans to build the line near Beulah to near Tioga to deliver more electricity to the Bakken oil fields, where there is a growing demand for power. The cost of the 197-mile line is pegged at $375 million. Five American Indian tribes in North Dakota have passed a resolution formally opposing the project.

  • Ga. Republican's ad blames 'immoral' debt on Obama

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — An Augusta Republican running for Congress cites the Bible in his first campaign commercial as he accuses President Barack Obama of "immoral" spending. Rick W. Allen's 30-second ad began airing Wednesday in eastern Georgia's 12th Congressional District. He's the first of five Republicans in the May 20 primary race to begin advertising on TV. The commercial features Allen looking into the camera as he says: "Obama's big spending, it burdens our children with debt. The Bible says that's immoral." The ad mentions U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the incumbent Democrat who will face the winner of the GOP primary. The other Republican candidates seeking the nomination are state Rep.

  • Warrantless GPS tracking before court decision OK

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Evidence gathered from GPS trackers that police placed on cars before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled they needed warrants is admissible in court, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled Wednesday. The 2nd District Court of Appeals said officers who placed the devices on vehicles without warrants could reasonably rely on a state appellate ruling that found the practice was constitutional three years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it wasn't in 2012. Police in Kenosha attached a tracker to Scott Oberst's car while it was parked at an athletic club twice in 2011, according to court documents. They didn't have a warrant in either instance. They used the tracker to gather evidence to help them build a drug c

  • Minn. lawmakers wrestle with privacy protection

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers entered final negotiations Wednesday on a bill intended to stop public employees from snooping in citizens' private data. The potential for abuse of government-held databases was highlighted when a Department of Natural Resources employee was accused of improper driver's license lookups some 19,000 times over several years. In other cases, local governments were sued by citizens over improper lookups. Members of a House-Senate conference committee face the task of creating a comprehensive but fair law is complex.

  • Amazon snares classic shows in deal with HBO

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Fans of classic HBO shows like "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" will soon have access to those series and more through Amazon Prime in the first online streaming deal signed by the cable network. Starting on May 21, Amazon Prime members — who pay $99 a year for streaming entertainment, two-day shipping and other perks— will also have access to "Six Feet Under," ''Big Love," as well as early seasons of "of Boardwalk Empire" and "True Blood." Past seasons of newer shows such as "Girls," ''The Newsroom" and "Veep" will also become available throughout the multi-year deal, about three years after airing on HBO. Original movies including "Too Big to Fail" and "Game Change" will also become available, as will ori

  • Philly man sentenced to prison for welfare fraud

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia man who authorities say used multiple identities to illegally collect public-assistance benefits worth $359,000 has been sentenced to more than a year behind bars. The state inspector general's office said Wednesday that 64-year-old Gregory William Miller pleaded guilty to welfare fraud and was sentenced by a Philadelphia judge to serve 15 to 30 months at Graterford state prison. He also was ordered to pay $50 a month toward restitution, fines and court costs. Authorities say Miller used as many as 10 names and addresses to fraudulently obtain cash assistance, food stamps and medical assistance benefits between 2001 and 2009.

  • High court tosses $3.4M award to child porn victim

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday said a federal law limits how much money victims of child pornography can recover from people who viewed their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices called on Congress to change the law to benefit victims. The justices said in a 5-4 ruling that courts can order people convicted of child pornography to pay restitution to their victims, but only to the extent that there is a strong tie between the victim's losses and the offenders' actions.

  • Fishing company pleads guilty in Alaska case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A fishing corporation based in Washington state has been fined after pleading guilty to illegal fishing operations in Alaska waters in what authorities called a case of law misunderstanding. Fishermen's Finest Inc. pleaded guilty in a Cordova court on Monday, according to Alaska State Troopers. Executives of the Kirkland, Wash., company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. As part of a plea agreement, the company will pay a $12,500 fine, of which $2,500 is suspended for a three-year probationary period, the Anchorage Daily News (http://is.gd/EO1b2I) reported. The company also will pay a forfeiture of more than $10,000 for the illegal catch.

  • United flight diverts to LA with engine problem

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman says a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to San Diego diverted to Los Angeles International Airport because of an engine issue. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says United Flight 284 landed without incident at 7:27 a.m. Wednesday. There are no immediate details of the nature of the problem with the aircraft, a twin-engine Boeing 757. The airline's flight status website notes the diversion and a delay for maintenance.

  • Norfolk Southern railroad 1Q profit falls 18 pct

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Norfolk Southern's first-quarter profit fell 18 percent as severe winter weather slowed the railroad's shipments and coal revenue dropped 15 percent. The Norfolk, Virginia, railroad earned $368 million, or $1.17 per share, during the January-March period. That's down from $450 million, or $1.41 per share, a year ago. Last year's results were helped by a one-time $60 million real estate gain that boosted profits by 19 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings per share of $1.15 for the latest quarter. Revenue declined 2 percent to $2.69 billion. Analysts expected $2.739 billion.

  • Bill to derail parish coastal lawsuits has stalled

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — While the Legislature is moving toward derailing a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans-area levee board filed against 97 energy companies for coastal damage, lawmakers appear to be backing off action against similar litigation filed by Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes. "The parishes are out at this point in time," said Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego. The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1mz39l1 ) that Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, sponsored a bill that would detail a way for local and parish governments to handle environmental cleanup disputes without going to court.

  • Ros-Lehtinen concerned about Haiti vote delay

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — A Florida congresswoman is calling on Haiti's Senate to approve an agreement seeking to organize long-overdue parliamentary and local elections in the Caribbean country. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., raised the elections in a meeting last month in Haiti with President Michel Martelly, fellow Republican Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrat Frederica Wilson. Ros-Lehtinen said Wednesday she was concerned that the vote still was delayed. The elections would fill 20 of 30 Senate seats, all the seats in Haiti's 99-member Chamber of Deputies and 140 posts at the local level. Haiti's executive and legislative branches and opposition parties agreed last month to organize elections before year's end. The Senate

  • Too soon for Europe to declare victory on economy

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. There was a time not so long ago when the vast majority of experts agreed that a country could not emerge decisively from a financial crisis unless it solved problems of both "stocks" and "flows" — that is, secured a flow of money to cover its immediate needs and found a way to manage its stock of outstanding debt over time. In Europe today, this conventional wisdom appears to be fading. The temptation there is to declare victory having solved only the flow, not the stock, challenge. The flow/stock intuition is quite straightforward. In the first instance, a crisis-ridden country must generate enough resources to meet its pressing funding needs, and do so in a manner that does not erode its g

  • Why liberals have fallen for Thomas Piketty

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Slate. NEW YORK — It sounds like a bad joke: America's liberals have fallen for a Marx-referencing, Balzac-loving French intellectual who has proposed a worldwide tax on wealth. If Thomas Piketty (pronounced "Tome-AH PEEK-et-ee") were not traveling around the United States on a triumphant book tour, you might think Rush Limbaugh had made the man up in one of his more blustery rants. But no, he is quite real. "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," Piketty's 685-page tome about the history and future of inequality, has improbably climbed to No. 1 on Amazon's best-seller list. (The book's title is only its first Marx allusion.) As of this writing, "Capital" is beating out such fare as the young adult hit "The Fault i

  • Judge to mull Chelsea Manning name change request

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    A Kansas judge will on Wednesday consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley, as she serves a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The former intelligence analyst, who is serving her sentence at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, said in August that she wants to be known as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning instead of Bradley Edward Manning, and to be treated as a woman. The Army treats Manning as a man and refers to her by her male birth name. Approval of Manning's legal name change request would clear the way for official changes to her military records, but it would not compel the military to treat her a

  • Gannett 1Q net profit falls 43 pct

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Gannett Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit dropped 43 percent, pulled down by restructuring costs, but its adjusted profit managed to beat Wall Street predictions by a penny. The media company, which publishes USA Today and owns dozens of newspapers and television stations, posted a net profit of $59.2 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $104.6 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013. Excluding costs related to job cuts, restructuring of operations, tax charges and other one-time items, Gannett said it posted adjusted profit of $108.4 million, or 47 cents per share. Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of 46 cents per share, according to F

  • China challenges Obama's Asia pivot with rapid military buildup

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week will be dominated by a country he's not even visiting: China. Each of the four nations on the president's itinerary is involved in territorial disputes with an increasingly assertive China. And years of military spending gains have boosted the capabilities of the People's Liberation Army faster than many defense analysts expected, casting a shadow over relations between China and its neighbors and sparking doubts about long- term prospects for the U.S. presence in the Pacific. "There are growing concerns about what China is up to in the maritime space," said Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International

  • Saudi Arabia sees 11 new MERS cases as virus sweeps to Mecca

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia reported another 11 cases of a potentially deadly respiratory virus, including the first in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Six of the people to have newly contracted Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, were in Jeddah, the kingdom's largest city, with another four in the capital, Riyadh, and one in Mecca, according to a health ministry statement. That brings the total number of cases in the country to 272. "We are concerned about these new cases in health facilities" in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, said Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for World Health Organization, in an e-mail.