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Hawaii lava on course to hit gas station, stores

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:50

HONOLULU (AP) — Lava from a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is on course to reach a shopping center with a gas station and a supermarket in seven to 10 days, officials said.

Iraq government combats 'ghost soldier' corruption

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:50

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government has identified and stopped payment of tens of millions of dollars in salaries previously disbursed to nonexistent troops, known here as "ghost soldiers," as part of the prime minister's vow to tackle corruption in the military and regain a foothold in the battle against the Islamic State group, two senior government officials said.

Survey finds teens trending toward e-cigarettes

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:44

WASHINGTON (AP) — More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government's annual drug use survey.

'Lone wolf' Australian hostage-taker had violent, unsettled past

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:42

By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - The self-styled sheikh behind a siege at a Sydney cafe had been charged as an accessory to murder and with multiple sexual offences. He also harbored deep grievances against the Australian government and had found little kinship in the city's large Muslim community, where he was seen as deeply troubled. Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee described by those who knew him as a loner, was killed early on Tuesday after heavily armed police stormed the Lindt Chocolate Cafe to end a 16-hour hostage drama that made global headlines. ...

Hansen wins unprecedented new All Black contract

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:40

The New Zealand Rugby Union said Tuesday that coach Steve Hansen had been reappointed to the end of 2017, with administrators vowing to stick with him regardless of results at next year's World Cup. All Black coaches generally live or die on their World Cup results and NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the contract extension was an unprecedented show of faith in Hansen, who has a forged an impressive win rate of 90 percent since 2011. "Steve is the first All Blacks coach to be given a contract extension beyond a Rugby World Cup, which demonstrates how much faith... (we) have in him," he said. He said retaining Hansen was important to provide continuity after next year's World Cup in England, when a number of veteran players are likely to leave and take up lucrative offers from clubs in Europe and Japan.

Chelsea, Liverpool set sights on League Cup

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:39

Premier League leaders Chelsea and beleaguered Liverpool will be among the teams bidding to take a step closer to Wembley when the League Cup reaches the quarter-final stage this week. The League Cup holds special significance for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, as he won the 2005 tournament in his first season at the club and went on to lift the trophy for a second time in 2007.

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:35

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says that soldiers have shot and killed a Palestinian man during an arrest operation in the West Bank.

McDonald's Japan rations chips despite emergency airlift

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:26

McDonald's in Japan said Tuesday it is having to ration french fries, despite having airlifted in more than 1,000 tonnes of potatoes, as eateries grapple with a crippling chip shortage. Industrial disputes on the United States West Coast are crimping exports of french fries, leaving Japanese restaurants scrambling to secure fresh supplies. McDonald's said it has already flown in tons of potatoes and has an emergency shipment underway via an unusual sea route -- but for now it will only serve small portions of chips. The Japanese arm of the fast food giant said it has "airlifted more than 1,000 tonnes of potatoes as an emergency measure and also shipped 1,600 tonnes by sea from the US East Coast, but this is not enough to offer a stable supply to customers".

Navajos buy back artifacts at disputed auction

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:25

PARIS (AP) — When diplomacy and a plea to return sacred ceremonial masks to an American Indian tribe in the United States failed, officials from the Navajo Nation traveled to the Paris auction house selling the items and started bidding for them.

Australian PM says hostage taker was disturbed

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:19
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia's prime minister says the gunman who took hostages in a Sydney cafe was "a deeply disturbed individual' known to the police but he was not on a terror watch list.

Retired officer gives autism safety talk across US

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:16

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A retired police officer from Michigan has made it his mission to educate first-responders and others about how to more effectively interact with people with autism spectrum disorder.

Australian PM says innocent people caught in 'sick fantasy of a deeply disturbed individual'

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:08
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian PM says innocent people caught in 'sick fantasy of a deeply disturbed individual'

China December manufacturing index falls to 7-month low: HSBC

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:07

China's manufacturing activity worsened in December with HSBC's closely watched purchasing managers' index (PMI) hitting a seven-month low, the bank said Tuesday, signalling more weakness in the world's second-largest economy. The index tracks activity in China's factories and workshops and is a closely watched indicator of the health of the Asian giant, a key driver of global growth. "The manufacturing slowdown continues in December and points to a weak ending for 2014," Qu Hongbin, HSBC's chief economist for China, said in the statement. HSBC will publish its final reading for December on January 2, it said.

Saints beat Bears 31-15, grab South lead

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 01:07

CHICAGO (AP) — Turns out all Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints needed to solve their problems was to show up in Chicago.

Korean Air to be sanctioned for nut rage cover-up

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:58

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's transport ministry said Korean Air Lines Co. will face sanctions for pressuring employees to lie during a government probe into the nut rage fiasco that highlighted the tyrannical behavior of a top Korean business family.

Miles informs LSU athletics staff he's not leaving

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:42

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Les Miles has informed LSU athletic officials that he hasn't been contacted by Michigan about the Wolverines' coaching vacancy and has no intention of leaving the Tigers.

BT opts for EE over O2 for 12.5 billion-pound UK mobile deal

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:16

By Kate Holton and Paul Sandle LONDON (Reuters) - BT has entered exclusive talks with the owners of EE for a potential 12.5 billion-pound acquisition deal to give the former UK state telecoms firm the top position in mobile as well as fixed line broadband services. BT had been in competing talks with both the Spanish group Telefonica's rival mobile firm O2 and EE's owners, Orange and Deutsche Telekom , putting the 168-year-old fixed line firm in a strong position in negotiating for a return to the consumer mobile market after 13 years away. ...

Hostage situation erupts in Sydney cafe

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:03

SYDNEY (AP) — A hostage situation erupted inside a chocolate shop and cafe in Australia's largest city on Monday, with the nation's prime minister saying it may be "politically motivated."

Police storm Sydney cafe to end hostage siege, three dead

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:57

By Lincoln Feast and Colin Packham SYDNEY (Reuters) - Heavily armed Australian police stormed a Sydney cafe early on Tuesday morning and freed terrified hostages held there at gunpoint, in a dramatic end to a 16-hour siege in which two captives and the attacker were killed. Authorities have not publicly identified the gunman, but a police source named him as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-styled sheikh known for sending hate mail to the families of Australian troops killed in Afghanistan. ...

Asian stocks fall, China rises on stimulus hopes

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:52

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks slid Tuesday as further weakness in oil prices and the slumping Russian ruble helped extend the global market rout. China's benchmark rose after poor factory data fueled hopes of more stimulus.