Top Stories


  • Stocks end higher, extending a modest rally

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks managed to close with modest gains on Wall Street after a day of up-and-down trading. Coca-Cola rose 4 percent after reporting higher sales of non-carbonated beverages. Johnson & Johnson rose 2 percent after its income rose. Toll Brothers and other homebuilders fell after a measure of the industry's confidence in the housing market remained low. Apple and Netflix also fell. Major U.S. indexes moved between gains and losses all day before ending slightly higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 1,842 Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 89 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,262. The Nasdaq added 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,034.

  • Judge considers staying Ohio gay marriage ruling

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge who ordered Ohio to recognize out-of-state gay marriages says he's inclined to issue a stay of his decision pending appeal. Attorneys for the state argued Tuesday that the ruling is "a momentous change" to Ohio's marriage law that could be overturned on appeal, so ordering it to go into effect immediately would create confusion. A stay would mean that most gay couples living in the state would see no immediate tangible expansion of their rights. Attorneys for the four married gay couples who filed the lawsuit argue that the state's appeal likely will fail and that there's no public interest in a delay. It's not clear when the judge will decide whether to issue a stay but he said

  • Figures on government spending and debt

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Figures on government spending and debt (last six digits are eliminated). The government's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

  • South Carolina editorial roundup

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers: April 15 Island Packet, Hilton Head Island, S.C., on the CBD oil bill: If they are willing to hammer out a compromise, state lawmakers still have a chance to pass legislation this year that could greatly improve ill South Carolinians' lives. Both the House and Senate have passed versions of a bill put forth by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, allowing limited access to cannabidiol oil (CBD), a marijuana extract that many have found helps with epilepsy and other conditions. That may include Mary Louise Swing, a 6-year-old who lives in Mount Pleasant and suffers between 20 and 60 seizures an hour despite being on two medications.

  • Immigration activists urge Obama to act boldly

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Latinos and immigration activists are warning of political peril for President Barack Obama and Democrats in the fall election unless the president acts to curb deportations and allow more immigrants to remain legally in the U.S. Many activists say Obama has been slow to grasp the anger building within the Latino community as hopes fade for passage of an immigration bill. They say they won't be satisfied until Obama expands a work permit program for immigrants who were brought here illegally as kids, so it would include their parents and also parents of any children born in the U.S. That could provide legal status to millions more people. Obama has directed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (Jay) Johnson to

  • Male cop dresses as Amish woman to stop flasher

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania police officer says he spent much of December and January dressed as an Amish woman in hopes of scaring off a man suspected of exposing himself to Amish children. Pulaski Township Sgt. Chad Adams said Tuesday that police weren't able to charge the man because of a lack of evidence. But Adams said the flasher hasn't been seen in Pulaski in Lawrence County since around the same time a man was sentenced to house arrest in January for similar behavior in neighboring Mercer County. Police believe that man is the same one who was flashing the Amish children. Still, Adams felt it was important to publicize his undercover assignment on the police department's Facebook page, if only to

  • Colbert to visit future home of CBS' 'Late Show'

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Colbert will be paying a visit to CBS' "Late Show," his future home. The network said Tuesday that Colbert will be a guest on "Late Show with David Letterman" on April 22. Last week, the network announced that the host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" will succeed Letterman on "Late Show" next year. Letterman, who has hosted the late-night program for more than two decades, said earlier this month that he will retire sometime in 2015.

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out about coal

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House's strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal's role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants. Speaking to the National Western Mining Conference in Denver, Sen. Joe Manchin said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is not being reasonable in proposing that future coal plants reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by capturing and storing carbon. Manchin and other opponents say such technology is years away from being commercially viable. "They're hearing us loud and clear. I just need more voices

  • Death toll in Washington mudslide rises to 37

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — One more victim was recovered from the mudslide that hit the town of Oso, raising the death toll to 37, the Snohomish County medical examiner's office said Tuesday. The person's name has not been released. Seven people remain on the missing list, the sheriff's office said. A search for bodies continued in the debris left when the March 22 landslide raced across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and buried dozens of homes in the riverfront community about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and other state officials gathered on the steps of the Capitol in Olympia at noon Tuesday to lower the flag. Inslee ordered that flags at all state facilities be lowered to half-st

  • Storm surge risks get their own graphics, warnings

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center hope new color-coded maps they're trying out this year will simplify two important points about storm surge for coastal residents: how far from the beach the water will spread and how high that water will rise. Storm surge — the ocean coming onto normally dry land — is one of the deadliest and most damaging hazards during a hurricane, but it's hard to predict and hard to explain. Literally drawing a picture for people, highlighting the places most vulnerable to flooding, should help, Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb said Tuesday at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando. "When emergency managers tell you to evacuate, it will be a lot clear

  • Obama discusses immigration with faith leaders

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama told religious leaders Tuesday that he has no plans to make unilateral changes to the nation's immigration laws while there's still a window for Congress to pass legislation. Obama met in the Oval Office with six religious leaders. Following the meeting, the president of the Hispanic faith-based organization Esperanza, Luis Cortes, said the president told them that "he would not be doing anything to change the law as it currently exists." A White House official later said that Obama does not foresee acting unilaterally while there is still an opportunity for Congress to pass more sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws.

  • Tobacco cos. make payments under state settlement

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The nation's top cigarette makers said Tuesday they have made about $6 billion in annual payments as part of a longstanding settlement in which some companies are paying states for smoking-related health care costs. Under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, participating tobacco companies agreed to make billions in payments to 46 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia over more than two decades. States first received full payments under the settlement in 1999. It was estimated that the companies would pay up to $246 billion over 25 years. Future annual payments also will continue in perpetuity.

  • Union fights push to hire private tax collectors

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A public employees union is fighting a bipartisan effort in Congress to force the Internal Revenue Service to hire private contractors to collect some delinquent taxes. The IRS stopped using private tax collectors in 2009 after determining that agency employees could do a better job. The National Treasury Employees Union said the program failed in the past and should not be forced on the IRS. "We have been down this road before and the private companies failed on many levels," said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. "In 2009, the Treasury Department made a considered decision to stop contracting out the collection of taxes. Treasury continues to have the authority to use these companies but has chosen

  • Authorities looking for suspects in NC kidnapping

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — A federal prosecutor said agents were still looking for more suspects in the abduction of a North Carolina prosecutor's father as a judge denied bond Tuesday for five people arrested last week. Frank Arthur Janssen was taken from his home in Wake Forest, N.C., on April 5 and rescued five days later when FBI agents raided an Atlanta apartment. Prosecutor Ryan Buchanan said the five suspects were accused of participating in an elaborate and dangerous scheme that spanned at least two states and specifically targeted the justice system. None of them should get bond because they were a flight risk and a danger to the community, he said.

  • Obama has silent moment for Boston bombing

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is paying tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on its first anniversary with a moment of silence in the Oval Office. The White House says Obama and his aides held the remembrance privately Tuesday afternoon. In a written statement, Obama praised the courage and leadership of Bostonians in the wake of tragedy. He said those injured have been awe-inspiring in their recovery. Obama says this year's race, scheduled for Monday, will, in his words, "show the world the meaning of Boston Strong as a city chooses to run again." Vice President Joe Biden is in Boston for a memorial service. He says those who lost loved ones are an inspiration for other Americans dea

  • FDA OKs Merck tablet to reduce grass allergies

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. says the Food and Drug Administration has approved its new tablet for grass allergies, Grastek, for patients five to 65 years old. Meant as an alternative to weekly allergy shots, the tablet dissolves under the tongue. Taken daily for a few years, it gradually reduces sensitivity to common grasses, instead of temporarily relieving symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., will market the tablet in North America. Its partner, ALK-Abello, sells it in Europe as Grazas. Merck said Grastek will be available in U.S. pharmacies in late April. However, it's best to start taking it three months before grass pollen sea

  • Oil falls ahead of Ukraine meeting, US supply data

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    The price of oil fell Tuesday ahead of talks aimed at defusing tensions over Ukraine and the latest report on U.S. oil supplies. Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery slid 30 cents to close at $103.75 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Monday, the Nymex contract rose 31 cents. Brent crude, a benchmark used for international varieties of oil, dropped 33 cents to $108.74 on the ICE Futures exchange in London after hitting a six-week high. Officials from the U.S., Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are set to meet in Geneva on Thursday for negotiations aimed at persuading Russia to back off in Ukraine following its annexation of Crimea.

  • Correction: Fatal Shooting-Victims story

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) — In a story April 14 about victims of the shootings at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City, The Associated Press erroneously identified the mother of the 14-year-old victim as Mindy Losen. Her last name is Corporon. A corrected version of the story is below: Family, friends remember Kansas shooting victims Victims of Kansas shootings were physician and grandson, occupational therapist for children By BILL DRAPER and JIM SUHR Associated Press LEAWOOD, Kan. (AP) — William Lewis Corporon was taking his grandson to a singing audition at a community center. Terri LaManno was visiting her mother at a nearby retirement complex.

  • Shell to discuss petrochemical plant proposal

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Shell Oil Co. plans to hold public meetings Wednesday to discuss the possibility of building a huge petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania. In early 2012, Shell chose a site about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh for the possible multibillion-dollar plant, and the company has purchased property in the area and sought bids from suppliers. That same year, it also got what lawmakers call Pennsylvania's largest ever taxpayer-financed incentive package. But Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon said there's still no guarantee that the project will be built.

  • At Tribeca, movies are only part of the story

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Tribeca Film Festival is now a teenager. And like most teens, its eyes are on a lot of screens. The 13th annual New York festival, which debuts Wednesday night, will present not just 80-plus feature films, but also an "Innovation Week" that seems designed to capture some of the tech energy of South by Southwest. The festival will, for the second year, feature a category called Storyscapes, with transmedia exhibits that use multimedia techniques to tell stories. Video games, too, will be mixed in with the 11th annual Games for Change festival. This year at Tribeca, which runs through April 27, movies are only part of the story. "Our reality has changed," says Jane Rosenthal, who co-founded the