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  • Russian becomes oldest spacewalker at 59

    Associated Press|Apr 20, 2013

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A 59-year-old Russian cosmonaut became the world’s oldest spacewalker Friday, joining a much younger cosmonaut’s son for maintenance work outside the International Space Station. Pavel Vinogradov, a cosmonaut for two decades, claimed the honor as he emerged from the hatch with Roman Romanenko. But he inadvertently added to the booming population of space junk when he lost his grip on an experiment tray that he was retrieving toward the end of the 61⁄2-hour spacewalk. The lost aluminum panel — 18 inches by 1...

  • High court upholds dismissal of book lawsuit

    Associated Press|Apr 19, 2013

    OMAHA (AP) — The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of an Omaha woman’s invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against a Massachusetts bookseller. Helen Abdouch had claimed that Ken Lopez and his online book store improperly used her name and position as executive secretary on John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign to sell an autographed hardcover copy of “Revolutionary Road” she says was stolen from her. The book included a personal note of best wishes from author Richard Yates to Abdouch, dated Aug. 19, 1963. The lawsuit cited a...

  • Legislature requires STD information with prescriptions if bill passes

    Shelby Friesz, Nebraska News Service|Apr 19, 2013

    LINCOLN – Nebraska lawmakers adopted an amendment to a bill Tuesday that would require physicians to give written information about an STD when providing treatment to a patient with such infections. The written information, detailing chlamydia and gonorrhea and the treatments of these sexually transmitted diseases, could then be delivered to the patient’s partner.   The amendment (AM764), sponsored by Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, passed with a 37-0 vote.   The underlying bill (LB528), sponsored by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha, would allow...

  • Both sides hunt support in background check fight

    Associated Press|Apr 16, 2013

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican opposition is growing to a bipartisan Senate plan for expanding background checks for firearms buyers, enough to put the proposal’s fate in jeopardy. But the measure may change as both sides compete for support in one of the pivotal fights in the battle over curbing guns. The Senate continued debating a wide-ranging gun control bill Tuesday, with the focus on a background check compromise struck last week between Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Manchin said the vote on that amendment was...

  • Marathon bombing victim, 8, recalled as spirited

    Associated Press|Apr 16, 2013

    BOSTON (AP) — Neighbors and friends remembered 8-year-old Boston bombing victim Martin Richard on Tuesday as a vivacious boy who loved to run, climb, and play sports like soccer, basketball and baseball. Family friend Jack Cunningham spoke of how as a pint-sized preschooler, Martin had insisted on getting out of a stroller his mom was pushing during a 5K race in South Boston about five years ago. But once she let him out to run with the rest of the family, Martin had other plans for the rainy race course. “He was just having a ball,...

  • Colo. teen pleads not guilty in girl's slaying

    Associated Press|Apr 13, 2013

    GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado teen pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and kidnapping in the kidnap-slaying and dismemberment of a 10-year-old girl that panicked Denver-area residents last fall — despite police testimony that the suspect confessed to the crime. Austin Sigg, 18, stunned a courtroom by entering the not guilty pleas in the death of Jessica Ridgeway in the Denver suburb of Westminster. Sigg also pleaded not guilty to a May attack on a 22-year-old jogger at a lake in Jessica’s neighborhood. Sigg’s not guilty pleas came des...

  • Driver in Texas bus wreck also drove in '98 crash

    Associated Press|Apr 13, 2013

    DALLAS (AP) — The driver of the bus that swerved off a North Texas highway, leaving two passengers dead and dozens injured, was at the wheel in another fatal accident 15 years ago, records show. The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed Friday that Loyd Rieve, 65, was driving the tour bus Thursday that veered across the highway in Irving and into the center median with 46 passengers aboard. The bus was operated by a Mansfield company, Cardinal Coach Line Inc. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the...

  • Upper-income seniors' Medicare hike

    Associated Press|Apr 13, 2013

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s plan to raise Medicare premiums for upper-income seniors would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue for the government from the top tiers of retirees, the administration revealed Friday. First details of the plan emerged after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified to Congress on the president’s budget. As released two days earlier, the budget included only a vague description of a controversial proposal that has grown more ambitious since Obama last fl...

  • Elsewhere Briefs

    Associated Press|Apr 11, 2013

    Police: Ga. gunman lured firefighters into home SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) — A gaping hole Thursday exposed wooden beams and insulation on one side of a suburban Atlanta house where a financially strapped gunman held four firefighters hostage for hours, demanding that his utilities be restored, before being shot dead by a SWAT officer. Lauren Brown, 55, was heavily armed with a half-dozen guns, police said. He told the firefighters that he had planned the hostage-taking for weeks and targeted them during Wednesday’s ordeal in suburban Atlanta so...

  • Unemployment aid applications plummet to 346K

    Associated Press|Apr 11, 2013

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, signaling that the job market might be stronger than March’s weak month of hiring suggested. Applications for unemployment aid dropped 42,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The decline nearly reversed an increase over the previous three weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,000 to 358,000. The number of unemployment applications has been volatile in the past two weeks...

  • Elsewhere Briefs

    Associated Press|Apr 6, 2013

    Senator: NASA to lasso asteroid, bring it closer WASHINGTON (AP) — A top senator says President Barack Obama and NASA are planning for a robotic spaceship to lasso a small asteroid and park it near the moon. Then astronauts would explore it in 2021. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said the plan would speed up by four years the existing mission to land astronauts on an asteroid by bringing the space rock closer to Earth. Nelson, who is chairman of the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee, said Friday that Obama is putting $100 million for the...

  • FAA delays closing of airport control towers

    Associated Press|Apr 6, 2013

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The closings of control towers at 149 small airports, due to begin this weekend because of government-wide spending cuts, are being delayed until mid-June, federal regulators announced Friday. The Federal Aviation Administration said it needs more time to deal with legal challenges to the closures. Also, about 50 airport authorities and other “stakeholders” have indicated they want to fund the operations of the towers themselves rather than see them shut down, and more time will be needed to work out those plans, the...

  • School faces new questions in Colorado massacre

    Associated Press|Apr 6, 2013

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — New questions confronted the University of Colorado, Denver on Friday amid disclosures that a psychiatrist who treated theater shooting suspect James Holmes had warned campus police a month before the deadly assault that Holmes was dangerous and had homicidal thoughts. Court documents made public Thursday revealed Dr. Lynne Fenton also told a campus police officer in June that the shooting suspect had threatened and intimidated her. Fenton’s blunt warning came more than a month before the July 20 attack at a movie t...

  • Federal program helps man buy Columbus business

    Associated Press|Apr 6, 2013

    COLUMBUS (AP) — Gene Mohrmann had been looking for the right opportunity to retire for a few years. He was ready to leave Mohrmann Tool Inc. in the right hands, if he could only find those right hands first. Then, last March, Joe Eckert came through the door. The Columbus Telegram reports Eckert walked in wanting to start a machining shop near his hometown of Tilden and just wanted to get a sense of what owning that shop would entail. During that first visit, the conversation quickly turned to owning that particular shop. “Within about 20...

  • The Odd Side of life briefs

    Associated Press|Apr 5, 2013

    NYC ‘zombie’ finds Long Island cat in Times Square NEW YORK (AP) — It took a zombie to find Disaster at the Crossroads of the World. Two years after he disappeared from his Long Island home, Disaster the cat was found this week in the heart of Manhattan — by a Times Square haunted house promoter dressed up as a zombie. Jeremy Zelkowitz, who sells tickets for the Times Scare haunted house, spotted Disaster early Saturday morning crossing 42nd Street. He snatched up Disaster, a black and white cat who appeared to be well-kept and neat,...

  • Pyongyang rumblings have little effect on SKoreans

    Associated Press|Apr 5, 2013

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Outsiders might hear the opening notes of a war in the deluge of threats and provocations from North Korea, but to South Koreans it is a familiar drumbeat. Separated from the North by a heavily fortified border for decades, they have for the most part lived with tough talk from Pyongyang all their lives. In annual defense drills, war alarms ring in their ears. Foreigners unused to North Korean rumblings have canceled trips to the Korean Peninsula. But to get South Koreans’ attention, Pyongyang must compete with...

  • China kills market birds as flu found in pigeons

    Associated Press|Apr 5, 2013

    BEIJING (AP) — China announced a sixth death from a new bird flu strain Friday, while authorities in Shanghai halted the sale of live fowl and slaughtered all poultry at a market where the virus was detected in pigeons being sold for meat. The mass bird killing is the first so far as the Chinese government responds to the H7N9 strain of bird flu, which has sickened 16 people, many critically, along the eastern seaboard in its first known infections of people. The first cases were announced Sunday, while two more were reported Friday, both...

  • Activists: Rocket attack in Syrian capital kills 5

    Associated Press|Apr 5, 2013

    BEIRUT (AP) — A barrage of rockets slammed into a contested district on the northeastern edge of Damascus, killing at least five people and trapping others under the rubble, while violence raged around suburbs of the capital, activists said Friday. The attack on Barzeh, where rebels aiming to topple President Bashar Assad are known to operate, follows days of heavy fighting between the rebels and the military in the area. Rebels have established footholds in districts on the edge of Damascus and in suburbs in the northeast and south, from...

  • SKorea: North Korea moved missile to east coast

    Associated Press|Apr 4, 2013

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has moved a missile with “considerable range” to its east coast, South Korea’s defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that the North is preparing for a full-scale conflict. The report came hours after North Korea’s military warned that it has been authorized to attack the U.S. using “smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear weapons. It was the North’s latest war cry against America in recent weeks. The reference to smaller weapons could be a claim that North...

  • Elsewhere Briefs

    Associated Press|Apr 4, 2013

    Conn. governor set to sign gun control law HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who four months ago broke the news to shocked parents that their children had been slaughtered in a Connecticut elementary school, was expected to sign into law Thursday sweeping new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines similar to the ones used by the gunman. Malloy’s office said he would sign the bill at a state Capitol ceremony at noon, only hours after the General Assembly approved the measure early Thursday morning to give...

  • NRA study suggests trained, armed school staffers

    Associated Press|Apr 3, 2013

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate gun control debate on the near horizon, a National Rifle Association-sponsored report on Tuesday proposed a program for schools to train selected staffers as armed security officers. The former Republican congressman who headed the study suggested at least one protector with firearms for every school, saying it would speed responses to attacks. The report’s release served as the gun-rights group’s answer to improving school safety after the gruesome December slayings of 20 first-graders and six adults at a...

  • Holmes' lawyers: Keep arrest documents secret

    Associated Press|Apr 3, 2013

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Lawyers for Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes are objecting to a request by news organizations to make public some investigative documents in the case. Prosecutors say they don’t object to the release as long as the names of victims and witnesses are redacted. Both sides disclosed their positions in court documents filed Tuesday. The Associated Press and 18 other news organizations want the judge to release documents including affidavits that law-enforcement officers submitted to explain why they...

  • Colorado suspect slipped ankle bracelet

    Associated Press|Apr 3, 2013

    DENVER (AP) — Evan Spencer Ebel ran up a long list of felony convictions before turning 21, joined a white supremacist gang behind bars, assaulted one prison guard and wrote that he fantasized about killing others. Along the way, he benefited from a series of errors in the criminal justice system before he became a suspect in the slaying of Colorado’s prisons chief and a pizza deliveryman. He got out of prison four years early because of a clerical error in a rural courthouse. He slipped...

  • Iraq says it will search more Syria-bound flights

    Associated Press|Mar 30, 2013

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq says it will stop more aircraft moving through its airspace and vehicles traveling overland to search for weapons being sent to the Syrian civil war, a senior Iraqi official said Friday. Government spokesman Ali al-Moussawi said Iraq would conduct more random searches to check for weapons heading for the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad or rebels seeking to topple his regime. In a telephone call to The Associated Press, al-Moussawi said Iraq refuses to be a “conduit for weapons for either side of the conflict....

  • Pope's foot-washing final blow for traditionalists

    Associated Press|Mar 30, 2013

    ATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has won over many hearts and minds with his simple style and focus on serving the world’s poorest, but he has devastated traditionalist Catholics who adored his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for restoring much of the traditional pomp to the papacy. Francis’ decision to disregard church law and wash the feet of two girls — a Serbian Muslim and an Italian Catholic — during a Holy Thursday ritual has become something of the final straw, evidence that Francis has little or no interest in one of the key...

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