January 30, 2015

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10 Things to Know, Wednesday, Jan. 28

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. Hostage mom to Japan leader: Please save Kenji  The mother of the captive journalist calls on Prime Minister Abe to save her son as a new ultimatum, purportedly made by the Islamic State, gives him hours to Read More…

Jordan ready to swap inmate for pilot held by Islamic State

A woman holds a picture of her son, Jordanian pilot Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by Islamic State group militants, in a car during a sit-in in front of the cabinet offices in Amman calling for his release, hours after militants posted a video purporting to show a Japanese hostage holding his picture with a message that both hostages would be killed within 24 hours. (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan said Wednesday it is willing to swap an Iraqi woman held on death row in Jordan for a Jordanian pilot captured in December by extremists from the Islamic State group. The statement by Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani made no mention of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who is also being held by Read More…

N.Y. mayor, governor defend strict NYC storm regulations

In this Jan. 26, 2015, file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, and top city officials hold a news conference at the city's Office of Emergency Management, in New York in advance of a storm that shut down the city's transportation system when predictions were that the storm would dump 18 to 24 inches of snow on the city. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File )

NEW YORK (AP) — They appeared to be scenes from a frozen apocalypse. Streets across the nation’s largest city were empty, the only movement the changing traffic lights signaling to cars that weren’t there. The subway system was shuttered, the city’s pulse rendered still. Hardy souls who braved the snow were threatened with fines or Read More…

Senate to begin hearings for Obama attorney general nominee

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is facing Senate questioners as she seeks to become the first black woman to hold the nation’s top law enforcement job. In the first Republican-led confirmation session of the Obama administration, Lynch was to appear Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it opens two days of Read More…

Human smugglers turn to cargo ships to ferry fleeing Syrians

Lt. Martin Sovang, of the Icelandic Coast Guard ship Tyr, scans the radar and map on the bridge in the seas between Greece and Italy. The ship is part of the 19-nation Operation Triton patrolling the seas for the rising numbers of migrants, especially from Syria and Iraq, that are trying to reach Europe through its southern borders. (AP Photo/Paul Schemm)

ABOARD THE COAST GUARD CUTTER TYR (AP) — The crew was about to dig into dinner when word of the “ghost ship” came through: a freighter hurtling out of control toward Italy with no crew — and hundreds of Syrians as cargo. The cattle freighter — its animal pens crammed with families — was on a Read More…

After setting iPhone record, what does Apple do next?

Shoppers walk by the Apple Store along the the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. Apple Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple CEO Tim Cook says consumer demand for new iPhones has been “staggering” and “hard to comprehend.” That helped the company report record-smashing earnings for its latest quarter and primed its stock for a rally Wednesday. But after selling a record 74.5 million iPhones in three months that ended in December, what can Apple do Read More…

Gunmen storm luxury Libyan hotel, killing American, 9 others

In this image made from video posted by a Libyan blogger, the Cortinthia Hotel is seen under attack in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday. Gunmen stormed the luxury hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Tuesday, killing several foreigners and guards, officials said. (AP Photo/ @AliTweel via AP video)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — In the latest sign of Libya’s descent into chaos, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel used by diplomats and businessmen in the capital Tuesday, killing 10 people, including an American, a French citizen and three people from Asia. Two attackers were killed following an hourslong standoff that included a car bomb that exploded in the parking Read More…

Fed is expected to remain ‘patient’ about a first rate hike

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Federal Reserve ends its latest policy meeting Wednesday, it is widely expected to repeat the pledge it made in December: That it will be “patient” in raising interest rates from record lows. That pledge could endure well into 2015. The U.S. economy has steadily improved. Yet inflation has dipped further below the Fed’s Read More…

Diversity at Sundance doesn’t carry over to Hollywood

Director-screenwriter Ryan Coogler accepts the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic for his film, "Fruitvale" during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — One of the most buzzed-about movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is “Dope,” a coming-of-age story about three outcasts in the inner city. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa and featuring a diverse cast of actors, the film spawned a bidding war before domestic and international distributions rights were snapped up Read More…

White House drops plan to scale back college savings plans

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. The White House said Tuesday it is dropping a proposal to scale back the tax benefits of college savings plans amid a backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday it is dropping a proposal to scale back the tax benefits of college savings plans amid a backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. President Barack Obama made the proposal last week as part of his State of the Union address. It was part of Obama’s plan to consolidate and Read More…