News: U.S. & World

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  • Northwestern players vote on union question

    EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern football players will file into an on-campus hall adjacent to their home stadium to cast secret ballots Friday on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes. Just don't expect results any time soon. After the vote, the ballot boxes will be sealed for weeks or months — perhaps even...

  • Bangkok grenade attacks hit Thai newspaper, court

    BANGKOK (AP) — Grenades hit the headquarters of a Thai newspaper and a court in Thailand's capital, police said Friday, as political tensions heat up ahead of a crucial court ruling over the fate of the prime minister. No one was hurt in the attacks. The first grenade left a small crater and other minor damage outside a building in the...

  • Obama visit to South Korea tinged by mourning

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Barack Obama is sitting down with South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, whose attention is unavoidably split between her economic agenda with Obama and the unfolding aftermath of a tragic ferry disaster. Obama was due at the Blue House, the South Korean equivalent of the White House, on Friday for a busy...

  • Sina suspends book site after pornography reported

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese web giant Sina.com temporarily closed its literature site Friday after reports it would lose two crucial publication licenses for hosting pornography. Sina decided to take books off its site while it undergoes "a self-correction action" to screen their content, according to a notice on its reading channel. Book...

  • 2 Malaysia kidnap victims now in Philippine jungle

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Filipino officials say Muslim militants have brought a Chinese tourist and a Filipino hotel receptionist to their jungle stronghold in the southern Philippines after kidnapping the women from a dive resort in eastern Malaysia early this month. Three Philippine security officials say that based on numerous...

  • Germany finds 265 pounds of cocaine among bananas

    BERLIN (AP) — German police say they have seized 265 pounds (120 kilograms) of cocaine hidden among crates of bananas in a container shipped from Ecuador — their second big find of cocaine from South America this year. The Federal Criminal Police Office said Friday the drugs were stuffed into travel bags hidden among the boxes of fruit....

  • Europe gives Electrolux a Q1 profit boost

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish home appliance-maker Electrolux says the economic recovery in Europe helped the company's first-quarter net profit rise 19 percent to 431 million kronor ($66 million) from 361 million kronor. The world's second largest appliance maker said Friday that the pick-up in Europe, the Middle East and Africa following "a...

  • Drunk passenger causes hijack scare in Bali

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An airline official says a drunk passenger on a Virgin Australia flight who caused a hijack scare has been arrested for creating a disturbance after the plane landed on Indonesia's resort island of Bali. Heru Sudjatmiko, airport manager for Virgin Australia, told Metro TV on Friday that the passenger was acting...

  • S&P cuts Russia's credit rating

    MOSCOW (AP) — The Standard & Poor's credit agency on Friday cut Russia's credit rating for the first time in more than five years, raising the financial stakes flowing from the crisis in Ukraine as tensions rise and the United States and its allies are contemplating further economic sanctions. In southeastern Ukraine, seven people were...

  • Baltic states lead push to cut Russia gas reliance

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Later this year, a ship the size of an aircraft carrier will arrive at Lithuania's port of Klaipeda on the Baltic Sea. The 300-meter (984-foot) vessel is not a warship, but a floating natural gas import terminal — aptly named "Independence" — that will be key to the Baltic region's plan to reduce its reliance on...

  • HK bankers add to calls for democracy from Beijing

    HONG KONG (AP) — A group of Hong Kong finance industry professionals are pledging to join an Occupy-style movement to protest growing influence from Beijing that they say is undermining the Asian financial hub's economy. The bankers, traders and stockbrokers who make up Hong Kong's financial-worker class are notoriously apolitical. But the...

  • Yurok Tribe to release condors in California

    Yurok tribal tradition holds the California condor as sacred, with ancient stories saying the giant birds fly closest to the sun and are the best messengers to carry prayers. Now, after five years of research, the far northern California-based tribe has received permission to release captive-bred condors into the Redwood Coast, where the giant...

  • Scientists want to breed fish to be better biters

    In a lifetime of fishing for winter steelhead on Oregon's Alsea River, Stan Steele has seen it get harder and harder to hook into hatchery-bred fish. Instead, he has found he is more likely to hook the wild variety, whose numbers have declined. A growing body of evidence is showing that Steele's experience is not some fish story, but the...

  • Business window stickers protest Mississippi law

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — In conservative Mississippi, some business owners who support equal treatment for gays and lesbians are pushing back against a new law that bans government from limiting the free practice of religion. Hundreds of businesses are displaying window stickers that declare: "We don't discriminate. If you're buying, we're...

  • 12 hurt, 3 critical in California school bus crash

    ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A fast-moving school bus carrying middle school students jumped a curb, plowed into trees and a lamp post, and came to rest tilting sideways, leaving 12 people injured, three of them critically, authorities said. The most seriously hurt in the Thursday afternoon crash was the driver, who had to be cut from the bus and...

  • Baidu profit up 24.1 percent on strong ad revenue

    BEIJING (AP) — Baidu Inc., operator of China's most popular Internet search engine, said Friday its quarterly profit jumped 24.1 percent over a year earlier as its mobile business grew. Profit rose to 2.5 billion yuan ($407.8 million) in the three months ending March 31, according to the Beijing-based company. Revenue rose 59.1 percent to...

  • Egypt tries to save money on wheat subsidies

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt will try to save half the money it spends on wheat subsidies by issuing a new smart card system to ensure that the cheap bread goes to only the neediest. Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat and the country's supply is subject to price changes on the international market. Unrest in Ukraine has pushed up wheat...

  • Court hears Fla. case on tracking suspect phones

    MIAMI (AP) — A federal appeals court in South Florida is considering whether investigators are required to obtain a warrant before obtaining cellphone records detailing a suspect's movements. A panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals scheduled oral arguments Friday for Quartavious Davis. He was sentenced to 162 years in prison as...

  • Analysis: Beyond Kerry, seeking new Mideast ideas

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Nine months of U.S.-driven diplomacy have left Israelis and Palestinians less hopeful than ever about a comprehensive peace agreement to end their century of conflict. Although a formula may yet be found to somehow prolong the talks past an end-of-April deadline, they are on the brink of collapse and the search is already on...

  • Death toll rises to 9 after voting in India

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The death toll from violence during a major day of voting in the world's biggest election rose to nine Friday, according to police, who say suspected rebels killed five paramilitary soldiers and four polling officials who were traveling on buses after conducting balloting in two Indian states. The violence happened...

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