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Hurricane Guillermo forms, is possibly headed toward Hawaii

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 05:00 AM

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Guillermo has formed in the Pacific and could be headed toward Hawaii.

The Category 1 storm has maximum sustained winds early Friday near 80 mph (130 kph) with additional strengthening forecast during the next day or two.

Richard Pasch, a senior hurricane specialist at the U.S. National Hurricane Center, says Guillermo is headed in Hawaii's general direction but it's too early to tell if there will be any danger to land.


After week of searching, no sign of boys lost at sea

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 04:33 AM

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A seventh night of searches for two Florida boys missing at sea has passed with no major break.

The Coast Guard says crews are still scouring waters from Florida to South Carolina on Friday but haven't found any new clues in the disappearance.

Fourteen-year-olds Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos of Tequesta have been missing a week. Their capsized boat was found Sunday.

The Coast Guard says it'll keep searching until it believes there's no reasonable chance the boys could still be found alive.


Confederate flags placed at Martin Luther King's church

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 04:22 AM

ATLANTA (AP) — Surveillance cameras caught images of two white males laying Confederate battle flags on the ground near the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church, but it wasn't immediately clear whether they had committed a crime.

Atlanta police Chief George Turner said Thursday his officers are working with federal authorities and hadn't determined what charges might be sought. Turner said they had not ruled out a hate crime, though Georgia has no state hate crimes law.


November retrial date expected for former BP engineer

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 04:04 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Attorneys are eyeing a November retrial date for Kurt Mix, the former BP engineer charged with obstructing a federal investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Court papers filed Thursday show attorneys are working toward a Nov. 16 date but may seek to push the trial back to Nov. 30.

Federal prosecutors say Mix deleted text messages about the amount of oil flowing from BP's well after a 2010 rig explosion. Mix's lawyers say he shared information about the flow rate throughout the government investigation.


More than just Cecil; big troubles for king of the jungle

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 03:30 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The circle of life is closing in on the king of the jungle.

When Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil the lion, the Internet exploded with outrage. But scientists who have studied lions say the big cats have been in big trouble for years.

Experts say the African lion population has shriveled by more than half since 1980 and dwindled even faster in crucial East Africa. They say trophy hunting like Palmer's has failed to live up to the promise of raising cash to preserve wildlife populations.


Despite bombing, Islamic State is no weaker than a year ago

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 03:19 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Islamic State group is no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago.

That's despite billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed.

The military campaign has prevented Iraq's collapse and put the Islamic State under increasing pressure in northern Syria. It has squeezed the militants' self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa. But intelligence analysts see the overall situation as a strategic stalemate.


Congress heading on vacation, putting off messy decisions

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 03:10 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional lawmakers are heading for recess and leaving behind a pile of unfinished business.

Not long after they return in September, members of the House and Senate face a vote on President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, a brutally divisive issue.

And, as more videos emerge showing fetal tissue collection practices, Republicans are increasingly focused on cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.


Dig returns to artifact-rich Colonial American site in NY

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 02:59 AM

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) — An archaeological project has returned to an artifact-rich state park in the southern Adirondacks on what was once the focal point of the warring British and French empires more than 250 years ago.

A team of students and volunteers is trying to determine if a low stone wall along the edge of Lake George Battlefield Park and another structure being unearthed nearby were built during the French and Indian War from 1754 to 1763.


Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 02:15 AM

SEATTLE (AP) — Menu prices are up 21 percent and you don't have to tip at Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle after the restaurant decided to institute the city's $15-an-hour minimum wage two years ahead of schedule.

It is staff, not diners, who feel the real difference, with wages as much as 60 percent higher than before. One waitress is saving for accounting classes and finding it easier to take weekend vacations, while another server is using the added pay to cover increased rent.


Federal judge takes nuanced approach in US terrorism cases

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 02:07 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge in Minnesota is taking a nuanced approach to cases in which several young men are accused of conspiring to join the Islamic State group.

Most judges in such cases around the country reflexively lock up terror suspects because of the potential risk.

But U.S. District Judge Michael Davis is considering pretrial release for some. He's asking defense attorneys to come up with plans that include religious counseling and mentoring to ensure the public's safety.


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