December 19, 2014

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Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

Rolando Sarraff Trujillo

HAVANA (AP) — The parents of convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo feared the worst when their son failed to call home from prison and they were told he had been taken away at dawn. But officials assured the couple that their son was now better off. Sarraff was publicly identified by a former intelligence official in the United States on Read More…

FDA official warns of dangers of caffeine powder

Following a meeting last week between the parents of a LaGrange teen who died from ingesting caffeine powder and members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA issued its second warning against the powder, which is easily available online. On Tuesday, Michael Landa, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Read More…

10 Things to Know, Thursday, Dec. 18

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. What drove Obama’s decision on normalizing with Cuba  The president was driven in part by realizing that the policy toward Cuba was isolating the U.S. from the rest of the world. 2. Jubilation in Havana, muted reaction Read More…

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

This product image provided Withings shows the Withings Smart Body Analyzer health tracking scale. (AP Photo/Withings)

NEW YORK (AP) — Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what? To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here’s a closer look at Read More…

Study: Alcatraz inmates could have survived escape

In this June 12, 1962, file photo, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in San Francisco Bay is shown the day three prisoners escaped. Scientists say the three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land. (AP Photo/File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The three prisoners who escaped from Alcatraz in one of the most famous and elaborate prison breaks in U.S. history could have survived and made it to land, scientists concluded in a recent study. The three Dutch scientists, using the latest hydraulic software and information about tides on the night of the 1962 Read More…

New York to ban fracking; environmentalists cheer

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens, second from let, talks on hydraulic fracturing during a cabinet meeting at the Capitol on Wednesday in Albany, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration will move to prohibit fracking in the state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.Acting health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is seated left. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits. New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby states, has Read More…

Mitch McConnell wants to stop coal rules

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks about his agenda for a GOP-controlled Congress during an interview with The Associated Press at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday. McConnell says approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama’s coal plant regulations, saying a White House “crusade” has devastated his state’s economy. The Environmental Protection Agency “has created a depression in my state and it’s done a lot of damage to the Read More…

Marathon bombing suspect due in court Thursday

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has not been seen in public since he was arraigned on 30 federal charges in July 2013, when he still bore signs of the bloody standoff with police that led to his capture and the death of his older brother, Tamerlan. On Thursday, he’s due to show his face again Read More…

Putin accuses West of trying to sideline Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at his annual press conference. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday to fix Russia’s economic woes within two years, voicing confidence that the plummeting ruble will recover and promising to diversify Russia’s gas-dependent economy. Speaking with strong emotion and looking confident, Putin also displayed a defiant stance toward the West, which he insisted was still trying to destroy Russia. Putin acknowledged that Western economic sanctions over Russia’s actions in Read More…

Abused kids die as authorities fail to protect

A small urn containing the ashes of Mattisyn Blaz is displayed on a bookshelf in front of a photo of the infant girl in the home of Jennifer Blaz, 34, in Butte, Mont. At least 760 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities, The Associated Press has found, including the death of 2-month-old Mattisyn. (AP Photo/Lido Vizzutti)

BUTTE, Montana (AP) — At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the U.S. in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities — many of them beaten, starved or left alone to drown while agencies had good reason to know they were in danger, The Associated Press has found. To determine that number, the Read More…