Articles from the August 2, 2018 edition


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  • Fines for sex harassment on streets approved in France

    SYLVIE CORBET|Aug 2, 2018

    PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers gave final passage Wednesday to a bill that expands the criminal definition of child rape and outlaws sex harassment on the street, measures the government described as a signal of deep social change. The legislation approved in the lower house of the French parliament classifies relations between an adult and a child under age 15 as rape resulting from an "abuse of vulnerability," if the victim lacked the ability to consent. It would be up to a judge to determine whether or not a child was capable of giving s...

  • Trump's short-term health plans are cheaper but cover less

    Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar|Aug 2, 2018

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers will have more options to buy cheaper, short-term health insurance under a new Trump administration rule, but there's no guarantee the plans will cover pre-existing conditions or provide benefits like coverage of prescription drugs. Administration officials said Wednesday the short-term plans will last up to 12 months and can be renewed for up to 36 months. With premiums about one-third the cost of comprehensive coverage, the option is geared to people who want an individual health insurance policy but make too m...

  • CSU equine team provides veterinary support to horses at CFD

    Katie Kull, Wyoming Tribune Eagle|Aug 2, 2018

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The often unsung heroes of rodeo are getting a little extra TLC at Cheyenne Frontier Days from a certified veterinarian and veterinary students from Colorado State University. On a recent Tuesday, veterinarian Luke Bass and three CSU veterinary students, Melanie Connor, Jennifer Garmon and Ella Arume, hung out in Barn 15 at Frontier Park to look after CFD's equine athletes. Just after 11 a.m., Cheyenne Police Department Officer Nick Serkedakis came in with his horse partner, Two Bit. Serkedakis said Two Bit had been f...

  • Who is Q? Behind conspiracy theory erupting at Trump rallies

    Tamara Lush|Aug 2, 2018

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Amid the "Trump 2020" placards, the "Women for Trump" signs and the "CNN SUCKS" T-shirts, the most inscrutable message that came out of Donald Trump's Tampa rally on Tuesday evening was a letter. Q. People wore T-shirts with the letter emblazoned on the front. Others carried signs containing the letter: "Q WWG1WGA Trump 2020 Keep America Great! MSM is the enemy." Another held a dog-eared and slightly crumpled piece of paper in the air. It said, simply, "We are Q." Q who? The entire, loose movement has been called e...

  • Leaked chats show alleged Russian spy seeking hacking tools

    RAPHAEL SATTER and MATTHEW BODNER|Aug 2, 2018

    MOSCOW (AP) — Six years ago, a Russian-speaking cybersecurity researcher received an unsolicited email from Kate S. Milton. Milton claimed to work for the Moscow-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky. In an exchange that began in halting English and quickly switched to Russian, Milton said she was impressed by the researcher's work on exploits — the digital lock picks used by hackers to break into vulnerable systems — and wanted to be copied in on any new ones that the researcher came across. "You almost always have all the top-end exploits," Milto...

  • Dispute over 3D-printed guns raises many legal issues

    Lisa Marie Pane|Aug 2, 2018

    A little-known dispute over 3D-printed guns has morphed into a national legal debate in the last week, drawing attention to a technology that seems a bit of sci-fi fantasy and — to gun-control advocates — a dangerous way for criminals to get their hands on firearms that are easy to conceal and tough to detect. The gun industry calls the outcry an overreaction that preys on unwarranted fears about a firearm that can barely shoot a round or two without disintegrating. It also raises a host of constitutional questions involving First Ame...

  • Social media plays whack-a-mole with Russia interference

    MATT O-BRIEN and RYAN NAKASHIMA|Aug 2, 2018

    Facebook is spending heavily to avoid a repeat of the Russian interference that played out on its service in 2016, bringing on thousands of human moderators and advanced artificial intelligence systems to weed out fake accounts and foreign propaganda campaigns. But it may never get the upper hand. Its adversaries are wily, more adept at camouflaging themselves and apparently aren't always detectable by Facebook's much-vaunted AI. They employ better operational security, constantly test Facebook's countermeasures and then exploit whatever holes...

  • US: 3 Ukrainians arrested in hacking plot that hit 47 states

    Martha Bellisle|Aug 2, 2018

    SEATTLE (AP) — Three Ukrainian members of a sophisticated international hacking group that targeted restaurants, casinos and other businesses in 47 U.S. states to steal credit and debit card records have been arrested and face charges in federal court in Seattle, officials said Wednesday. The hacking group, known as FIN7 or Carbanak, stole about 15 million credit and debit cards records and also targeted establishments in the District of Columbia and around the world, U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes told reporters. Companies that had information s...

  • Student charged in elaborate digital money theft scheme

    Christopher Weber|Aug 2, 2018

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Massachusetts college student who was named his high school's valedictorian for his savvy tech skills hacked into unsuspecting investors' personal cellphones, email and social media accounts to steal at least $2 million in digital currency like Bitcoin, according to documents provided by California prosecutors Wednesday. Joel Ortiz was taken into custody July 12 at Los Angeles International Airport ahead of a flight to Boston, according to prosecutors. The 20-year-old faces more than two dozen charges including grand t...

  • Trump criticized for not leading effort to secure elections

    Deb Riechmann|Aug 2, 2018

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As alarms blare about Russian interference in U.S. elections, the Trump administration is facing criticism that it has no clear national strategy to protect the country during the upcoming midterms and beyond. Both Republicans and Democrats have criticized the administration's response as fragmented, without enough coordination across federal agencies. And with the midterms just three months away, critics are calling on President Donald Trump to take a stronger stand on an issue critical to American democracy. "There's clearly...

  • Death Valley sets tentative world record for hottest month

    John Antczak|Aug 2, 2018

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The natural furnace of California's Death Valley was on full broil in July, tentatively setting a world record for hottest month ever. The month's average temperature was 108.1 degrees (42.28 Celsius), said Todd Lericos, a meteorologist in the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service. That roasted the previous record, set in Death Valley in July 2017 when the average was 107.4 degrees (41.89 Celsius). "It eclipsed the record by quite a bit," Lericos said, adding that the data is considered preliminary and needs to b...

  • 4 men awarded Fields Medal during congress in Rio de Janeiro

    BEATRICE CHRISTOFARO|Aug 2, 2018

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Four mathematicians on Wednesday were awarded this year's Fields Medal, a prestigious award that many describe as the Nobel Prize of mathematics. Given every four years, the prize goes to mathematicians under 40 and the winners were announced during the International Congress of Mathematicians being held in Rio de Janeiro. Peter Scholze, a 30-year-old professor at the University of Bonn, was the youngest winner. "My very first success was winning the regional math Olympiad in Berlin. Since then I've been expecting it to s...

  • Deep origin of rare blue diamonds revealed in their flaws

    CHRISTINA LARSON|Aug 2, 2018

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Blue diamonds — like the Smithsonian's famous Hope diamond — are the rarest of all and how they formed more than a billion years ago is a bit of a mystery. Now scientists think they have a glimmer of an answer. They've long known that the blue tint comes from traces of boron in the diamond. But the element is mostly found near the Earth's surface, not deep down where diamonds are typically created. Researchers scrutinized 46 blue diamonds, studying imperfections in the gems for clues. "The origin of blue diamonds is such...

  • Grieving orca highlights plight of endangered whales

    Phuong Le|Aug 2, 2018

    SEATTLE (AP) — Whale researchers are keeping close watch on an endangered orca that has spent the past week keeping her dead calf afloat in Pacific Northwest waters, a display that has struck an emotional chord around the world and highlighted the plight of the declining population that has not seen a successful birth since 2015. Researchers have observed the 20-year-old whale known as J35 pushing her dead young along and propping it up while swimming for miles in the waters of Washington state and British Columbia. The calf died July 24 s...

  • Warmer soil releasing more carbon, worsening climate change

    Seth Borenstein|Aug 2, 2018

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Even the dirt on the ground is making climate change worse, a new study finds. Plants capture massive amounts of carbon, pumping it into the soil where usually it stays for hundreds or thousands of years. Observations from across the globe show that as temperatures have warmed, bacteria and fungi in the soil are becoming more active. These turbo-charged microbes are feeding on dead leaves and plants, releasing more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air, according to a study in Wednesday's journal Nature . Scientists c...

  • LANL researching algae to convert to affordable fuel

    ANDY STINY, Santa Fe New Mexican|Aug 2, 2018

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — That green pond scum on the backyard pool may be annoying now, but it could someday fuel a jet plane to whisk you away on vacation. And those lawn clippings? They could be used to convert algae into a mass-produced, economical biofuel to be used in cars, trucks and airplanes. Molecular biologist Amanda Barry and a team at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bio-energy and Biome Sciences group are trying to determine whether one particular strain of algae can be produced at low cost and in short periods of time so that it coul...

  • The demise of US nuclear power in 4 charts

    Ahmed Abdulla, University of California San Diego|Aug 2, 2018

    (The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.) (THE CONVERSATION) In 2025, the second of two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California will be shut down. Locally, critics of the technology will rejoice at the fulfillment of their ultimate goal: a nuclear-free California. At the same time, through the shutdown of its four nuclear reactors, the state will have lost more annual low-carbon electricity than its solar PV and wind plants cumulatively generated in...

  • Colorado man fined $1K for repeatedly feeding bears

    Aug 2, 2018

    DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man has been fined $1,000 for intentionally feeding bears for the third time in the past eight years. The Durango Herald reports a resident reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife that they had seen a man leaving out food in his backyard for bears. Wildlife Manager Matt Thorpe says the resident took pictures and provided them to officials. An investigation found that the man had previously been fined for the same behavior in 2010 and 2012. In Colorado, it's illegal to knowingly feed bears. The first offense c...

  • National Comedy Center opens in 'I Love Lucy' star's town

    Aug 2, 2018

    JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — The National Comedy Center is open for laughs in "I Love Lucy" comedian Lucille Ball's hometown. The $50 million cultural institution is in the western New York city of Jamestown and tells the story of comedy from its origins to the present with a mix of interactive exhibits, a hologram theater and comedy artifacts such as the late George Carlin's archives. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) on Wednesday helped cut the ribbon on the nonprofit center, which received $9 million in state funding. Amy Schumer, Lewis Black and D...

  • Alabama woman locked out ends up locked up for false report

    Aug 2, 2018

    PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who really wanted a deputy to unlock her car is being locked up herself. Citing court records, the Montgomery Advertiser reports that 30-year-old Kimberly DeShun Gardner pleaded guilty on Tuesday to filing a false report. Records show Gardner had called the sheriff's office asking for a deputy to unlock her vehicle on May 27. The dispatcher told her that wasn't part of their job. Around 15 minutes later, she called back, reporting a vehicle break-in. This time a deputy did respond, and arrested her a...

  • Out of line: New Zealand girl gets sexist road signs changed

    Nick Perry|Aug 2, 2018

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Seven-year-old Zoe Carew knew it wasn't right when she saw people working on power lines near the road and a warning sign that read "LINEMEN." Her dad was driving Zoe and her brother to their grandparents' place in a suburb near Wellington at the time, Zoe explained in a June email to the head of the New Zealand Transport Agency. She wrote that she talked about the sign with her dad and wondered why it said "men" when women can also work on the power lines. "I think that this sign is wrong and unfair. Do you a...

  • 'Our boys are coming home;' Pence welcomes Korean War dead

    AUDREY McAVOY and KIM YONG-HO|Aug 2, 2018

    HONOLULU (AP) — In an emotional and solemn ceremony, the remains of dozens of presumed casualties from the Korean War were escorted by military honor guards onto U.S. soil on Wednesday, 65 years after an armistice ended the conflict and weeks after President Donald Trump received a commitment from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for their return. The U.S. military believes the bones are those of U.S. servicemen and potentially servicemen from other United Nations member countries who fought alongside the U.S. on behalf of South Korea during t...

  • Trump urges end to probe 'right now,' setting off new storm

    JONATHAN LEMIRE and ZEKE MILLER|Aug 2, 2018

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump bluntly declared on Wednesday his attorney general should terminate "right now" the federal probe into the campaign that took him to the White House, a newly fervent attack on the special counsel investigation that could imperil his presidency. Trump also assailed the trial, just underway, of his former campaign chairman by the special counsel's team. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders scrambled to explain that Trump's tweet was "not an order" and the president was not directing his a...

  • Trump resurrects mobster Capone in tweet on aide's treatment

    Don Babwin|Aug 2, 2018

    CHICAGO (AP) — President Donald Trump appeared to suggest in a tweet Wednesday that his former campaign manager Paul Manafort is being treated worse by the justice system than notorious Chicago mob boss Al Capone. Even for a president whose tweets have led to countless arguments on cable television by pundits dissecting his words, this comparison is jarring. Capone is regarded by historians as the worst gangster in American history, a bootlegger during the Prohibition Era in the 1920s and 1930s who was willing to ruthlessly kill his rivals ...

  • Court strikes down Trump push to cut 'sanctuary city' funds

    Sudhin Thanawala|Aug 2, 2018

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A divided U.S. appeals court on Wednesday struck down a key part of President Donald Trump's contentious effort to crack down on cities and states that limit cooperation with immigration officials, saying an executive order threatening to cut funding for "sanctuary cities" was unconstitutional. In a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that the order exceeded the president's authority. Congress alone controls spending under the U.S. Constitution, and presidents do not have the p...

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