• Reputed ex-mob boss summoned for violation hearing

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The reputed former boss of the Philadelphia mob could face more prison time after a judge ordered him to sit for a parole violation hearing Friday. Federal prosecutors accuse Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino of violating the conditions of his supervised release by meeting with fellow mobsters in the Miami area. The flashy 52-year-old Merlino spent more than a decade in prison for a 2001 racketeering conviction. Defense attorneys insist he had only a "chance encounter" with a former co-defendant at a cigar bar in Boca Raton. They tried to knock down the issue down from the start, arguing that prosecutors failed to file the right paperwork before Merlino's three years of parole expired on Sept. 6.

  • Teacher hurt by rock thrown on car: Eager for home

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    DANVILLE, Pa. (AP) — The schoolteacher severely injured by a rock thrown from the overpass of a Pennsylvania interstate says she's looking forward to getting back to her Ohio home and seeing her 12-year-old dog Coco. Sharon Budd rang a bell outside Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Danville on Tuesday to celebrate her pending departure after more than three months of treatment. Budd says that when she first began to wake up in the intensive care unit, her first thoughts were disbelief. Budd and her husband Randy plan to set out on the five-hour trip home to Uniontown, Ohio, early Wednesday morning. The rock that smashed into her skull caused brain damage and the total loss of one eye. Four t

  • Obama pitches for votes on black radio

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person. African-American turnout will be vital to Democrats' hopes in states such as Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina that will help determine control of the Senate. And Obama remains beloved among black voters even if Democratic candidates in those races are running away from him amid the president's low overall approval ratings. "This isn't about my feelings being hurt," Obama told the Rev. Al Sharpton in one of seven nationally syndicated interviews he's conducted the past week. "These are folks who

  • Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking advantage of the U.S.-led coalition's war against the Islamic State group to pursue a withering air and ground campaign against more mainstream rebels elsewhere in the country, trying to recapture areas he apparently considers more crucial to the survival of his government. As U.S. and allied jets swoop freely over towns and cities under control of extremists in northern Syria, the Syrian army has scaled back its air activity over areas of IS control, doing as little as possible there to avoid confrontation. Instead, Assad's troops are now focusing their energies on the country's two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.

  • WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization is pressing the search for an Ebola vaccine and hopes to begin testing two experimental versions as early as January on more than 20,000 front-line health care workers and others in West Africa's hot zone — a bigger rollout than envisioned just a few months ago. An effective vaccine would not in itself be enough to stop the outbreak — for one thing, there probably won't be enough doses to go around — but it could give important protection to the medical workers who are central to the effort. More than 200 of them have died of the disease. The WHO, which has come under fire for bungling its initial reaction to the Ebola crisis, is helping coordinate trials of two of the most

  • Canadian Pacific CEO says rail deal possible

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    The CEO of Canadian Pacific thinks U.S. regulators would approve a well-structured railroad merger, but nothing is planned now that talks with CSX ended. CEO Hunter Harrison said during a conference call Tuesday he doesn't agree with the view that the Surface Transportation Board wouldn't approve any merger. Merging the Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. with CSX Corp. could have improved service by routing traffic around the bottlenecks in Chicago, Harrison said. Harrison said giving railroads access to customers on other rail networks would improve competition and increase the chances that regulators would approve such a deal. But Harrison said Canadian Pacific officials and CSX couldn't agree on several issues, so t

  • US oversight increased at Millstone nuclear plant

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stepping up oversight at Connecticut's nuclear plant following a safety violation, the federal agency said Tuesday. The Millstone Power Station in Waterford was cited for failure to address repetitive problems with a pump that is part of a backup safety system. The pump, which could be used to help cool the reactor in the event of an emergency shutdown, was found to have been operated improperly from May 2013 through February of this year. "What concerns the NRC is that despite repeated efforts to repair this important component, the problems persisted and called into the question the pump's past reliability," said David Lew, the NRC's acting regional administrato

  • Reaction to death of Oscar de la Renta

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Reaction to the death late Monday of iconic designer Oscar de la Renta: "America has lost a brilliant, enduring talent and a true gentleman. Oscar was a fashion legend but he was also my friend for nearly fifty years. I admired him greatly as a kind, gracious individual with a generous spirit who brought beauty and elegance to everything he touched." — Former first lady Nancy Reagan, in a statement. ___ "For me he was not only a great designer, he was my friend. He was the greatest believer that life is beautiful. ... With his lovely last collection he told us that, until the end. I am devastated and in the meantime I know that he decided to stop fighting because life was not beautiful anymore." — Designer Valenti

  • Study finds drugs still in recalled supplements

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Dietary supplements containing potentially dangerous prescription drug ingredients may still be for sale even years after safety recalls, a study found. In supplements bought online, researchers detected hidden steroids, similar ingredients to Viagra and Prozac and a weight loss drug linked with heart attacks. They tested 27 products promising big muscles, sexual prowess, weight loss and more. Of those, 18 contained ingredients not approved for over-the-counter use; 17 still had the same drug that prompted the recalls. Manufacturers are putting profit ahead of consumer health, but lax oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is contributing to the problem, said lead author Dr.

  • Jewish group shifts view on Nazi benefit payments

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An influential Jewish advocacy group said Tuesday it no longer supports allowing suspected Nazi war criminals to receive Social Security benefits. World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said in a statement to The Associated Press that U.S. law should be changed to stop the payments. Lauder's statement followed an AP investigation that found dozens of Nazi suspects collected millions of dollars in benefits after being expelled from the United States. Since 1979, at least 38 of 66 suspects kept their Social Security benefits. Of the 66 suspects, at least four are alive, living in Europe on U.S. Social Security. The AP also reported that the payments gave the U.S.

  • Ebola causing spike in demand for hospital gear

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Manufacturers and distributors of impermeable gowns and full-body suits meant to protect medical workers from Ebola are scrambling to keep up with a surge of new orders from U.S. hospitals, with at least one doubling its staff and still facing a weekslong backlog. Many hospitals say they already have the proper equipment in place but are ordering more supplies to prepare for a possible new case of Ebola. This gear is made of material that does not absorb fluids and is crucial to preventing the spread of the virus, which has infected thousands across West Africa, many of whom caught the disease while caring for those infected.

  • US stocks log biggest gain of the year; Apple up

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market had its best day of the year as investors applauded solid earnings from U.S. companies and economic growth in China. It was the fourth straight gain for the Standard & Poor's 500. The index climbed 37 points, or 2 percent, to 1,941. The market has now clawed back much of the ground it lost over the last two weeks. The S&P 500 is still 3.5 percent below the all-time high it reached in mid-September. Apple rose 3 percent after predicting strong holiday sales, and Harley-Davidson jumped 7 percent after its results beat analysts' forecasts. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 215 points, or 1.3 percent, to 16,614. The Nasdaq composite rose 103 points, or 2.4 percent, to 4,419

  • Nielsen's top prime-time programs for Oct. 13-19

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Oct. 13-19. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership. 1. NFL Football: San Francisco at Denver, NBC, 23.79 million. 2. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 17.76 million. 3. "NCIS," CBS, 17.26 million. 4. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 16.14 million. 5. NFL Football: NY Jets at New England, CBS, 16.09 million. 6. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 15.32 million. 7. "The OT," Fox, 13.78 million. 8. "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 13.28 million. 9. Football: Notre Dame at Florida State, ABC, 13.25 million. 10. "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 12.74 million. 11. "Football Night in America," NBC, 12.61 million. 12. "The Voice"

  • CBS retained its Nielsen ratings crown last week

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Football scored half of the Top 10 slots in last week's Nielsen ratings. NBC took first place with its Sunday night faceoff between San Francisco and Denver, and the pregame took second place. CBS' Thursday game ranked fifth as the New York Jets took on the New England Patriots. Fox's Sunday "The OT" post-game show ranked seventh place. And Notre Dame met Florida State on ABC's Saturday night telecast, ranking ninth. Overall, CBS won the weekly Nielsen prime-time clash for a fourth straight week and claimed the top three freshmen shows: "NCIS: New Orleans" (ranked fourth), "Madam Secretary" (13th) and "Scorpion" (14th), according to Nielsen figures released Tuesday.

  • Golden Gate Bridge officials float sidewalk toll

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Golden Gate Bridge officials are again floating the idea of charging bicyclists and pedestrians to use the famed span's sidewalks. The bridge district released a plan on Monday keep the agency solvent that includes the sidewalk toll. District spokeswoman Priya Clemens tells the Marin Independent Journal (http://bit.ly/1pxvSXe) the proposal is just in the concept stage right now and not set in stone. Public comment will be sought if it moves forward. The bridge, which is facing a $33 million deficit, had a 10-cent sidewalk toll from May 1937 to December 1970. Officials considered re-establishing a toll about 10 years ago but abandoned the effort in the face of opposition from bike groups.

  • Big slump is no cause to ditch stock market

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — After more than five years of stock market gains, investors could be forgiven for worrying that big sell-offs may be the harbingers of bigger slumps. But, even as stocks were plunging last week, strategists and professional investors were telling their clients that the volatility was no reason to abandon the market. Worries about a slowdown in global growth drove oil prices and global stock indices sharply lower. Headlines about the spread of Ebola and the deepening conflict with Islamic State fighters in the Middle East also turned investors cautious. Still, many investment strategists pointed out that the key factors supporting stocks during their current bull run market remain in place. The U.S.

  • Correction: Christie-Income Taxes story

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — In a story Oct. 17 about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's tax returns, The Associated Press, relying on information provided by his office, reported erroneously on the nature of his wife's employment. Mary Pat Christie works full-time, not part-time. A corrected version of the story is below: Tax returns: Christie, wife made $698,838 in 2013 Tax returns show Chris Christie and his wife made $698,838 last year, paid $193,510 in taxes By JILL COLVIN ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie and his wife reported nearly $700,000 in income last year, a significant jump from 2012, according to tax returns released Friday by his office.

  • Real estate agent testifies about fatal carjacking

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — One stranger tapped on the passenger-side window. Another popped up at her door and jumped in the back. Within minutes, the two carjackers had overtaken the real estate agent's SUV, sexually assaulted her and crashed into a crowd at a busy intersection, killing a mother and three children selling fruit for a church fundraiser. "You want to live? Or you want to die?" the agent said she was asked by the first man, who pointed what looked like a gun. The woman identified him in court Tuesday as 23-year-old defendant Cornelius Crawford, and a judge upheld murder, sexual assault, carjacking and other charges. Co-defendant Johnathan Rosa, 19, earlier waived his right to a hearing.

  • Marcato Capital takes 6.5 percent stake in NCR

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    Marcato Capital Management LP has taken a 6.5 percent stake in NCR Corp. and is pushing for changes at the maker of ATMs and self-service checkout machines. The investment firm's nearly 10.9 million shares make it NCR's largest shareholder. Marcato also said in the regulatory filing Tuesday that it wants to add its managing partner, Richard McGuire, to the company's board. NCR, based in Duluth, Georgia, said in a statement that its board "has received Marcato's request, is evaluating it, and will respond in due course." The disclosure comes a day after NCR reported disappointing preliminary third-quarter results and lowered its full-year revenue outlook, which sent its shares plunging. Marcato said in the filing w

  • Protocol breached during murder suspect's release

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Corrections officials say a breach in protocol led to the accidental release of a murder suspect in Baltimore. Thirty-year-old Rodriquez Purnell was released Friday from the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center. He was awaiting trial in the 2013 shooting death of 27-year-old Terrance Rheubottom. He also had been convicted of assaulting a corrections worker. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections did not notice Purnell was missing until Monday. The department said in a statement Tuesday that staff members are required to perform multiple checks on inmates before they are released. It said Purnell was let go because procedures were not followed according to de