Military tactics help rescue hostage
By The Associated Press
Within hours after an armed, angry man shot a school bus driver and kidnapped a 5-year-old boy, workers feverishly unloaded boxes packed with percussive grenades, military C-4 explosives and an array of guns from a windowless DC-9 that had landed just miles from the suspect’s isolated compound.
Helmeted officers decked out in tan fatigues, camouflage and body armor, many carrying long guns, rumbled in rented cargo truc...
All dogs in England to get microchips
LONDON (AP) — Dog owners who refuse to fit Fido with a microchip may someday find themselves fetching a hefty fine, the British government said Wednesday.
All dogs in England will have to be fitted with microchips by 2016, authorities said, meaning that canines across the country will be chasing cars with a tiny circuit embedded in the back of their necks.
Britain’s Environment Department said that the chips would help reunite owners with lost...
Antarctic base can slide across ice
LONDON (AP) — British researchers have unveiled a futuristic Antarctic research base that can move, sliding across the frozen surface to beat the shifting ice and pounding snow that doomed its predecessors.
The British Antarctic Survey said Wednesday that the Halley VI Research Station is the sixth facility to occupy the site on the Brunt Ice Shelf — a floating sheet of ice about 10 miles from the edge of the South Atlantic.
Most of the previo...
Fiery crash kills four
MONTROSE, Ga. (AP) — More than two dozen cars, pickup trucks and tractor-trailers collided Wednesday morning in a fiery pileup on a foggy Georgia interstate, killing at least four people and sending nine others to a hospital, officials said.
Work crews on Interstate 16 were still clearing charred and twisted wreckage from the crash scene, which covered nearly a quarter-mile of the roadway, nearly six hours after the chain of crashes occurred a...
Small tsunami hits Solomons, leaving four missing
SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake off the Solomon Islands on Wednesday generated a tsunami of up to about 5 feet that damaged dozens of homes and left at least four people missing and presumed dead in the South Pacific island chain.
Authorities canceled tsunami warnings on more distant coasts.
Local officials reported that two 4 foot, 11-inch waves hit the western side of Santa Cruz Island, damaging between 70 and 80 homes and properties, sa...
Heavy clashes rock Damascus
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels and regime forces fought their most intense clashes in weeks inside the heavily guarded capital of Damascus on Wednesday, activists said, with the sounds of shell blasts echoing through the downtown area and keeping many children home from school while residents hid in their houses.
The opposition fighters blasted army checkpoints with rifles and anti-aircraft guns while government forces shelled the eastern and sou...
Mexico seeks culprits in rape of six Spaniards
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Authorities have information they hope will lead them to the gang of armed, masked men who raped six Spanish tourists in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the attorney general in the southern state of Guerrero said.
The vicious, hours-long attack at a beach home on the outskirts of Acapulco before dawn Monday was the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort celebrated in Frank ...
Lawyer, Senate leader clash on bill
TOPEKA (AP) — A labor attorney and the Kansas Senate president sparred Tuesday over whether public employees have a right to have money deducted from their paychecks for union-backed political activities.
Rebecca Proctor and Senate President Susan Wagle clashed during a Senate Commerce Committee meeting over a bill that would bar automatic, voluntary deductions from teachers and government workers’ paychecks to support union-backed political a...
Groups push for downtown Lawrence to be cultural district
LAWRENCE (AP) — Representatives of about two dozen organizations are promoting a plan to have downtown Lawrence designated as a cultural district, which they said would spread the city’s reputation for supporting culture and improve the organizations’ chances to receive grants.
The groups met Sunday with the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, which agreed to forward the proposal to the City Commission, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.
Petition seeks blockage of abortion clinic
WICHITA (AP) — Anti-abortion activists delivered a petition with about 14,000 signatures to the Wichita City Council on Tuesday asking it to block the opening of a clinic at the building once owned by slain abortion provider George Tiller.
The city council took no action on the petition, which Kansans for Life concede has no legal force. However, the group also plans to present the petition to the local planning commission later this month. Th...
Free HIV testing to end
State ends free HIV testing in most counties
From Staff and Wire Reports
Health advocates are warning that Kansas' decision to stop providing free HIV testing for many small, rural communities restricts services for some of the most vulnerable in the state. Labette County will not be impacted by this move.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment used to provide services — such as free HIV testing kits and specimen analysis — to 40 cou...
Judge says drug courts offer offenders new chance
HUTCHINSON (AP) — Those who go to prison for drug crimes spend an average of about 18 months there, which costs the state roughly $40,000.
“If you could show it actually changes their behavior, it would be worth it,” says Reno County District Judge Joe McCarville. “But it doesn’t. So we really can’t afford to spend $40,000 to lock them up.”
Instead, McCarville has overseen the creation of a special drug court to provide intensive supervision a...
Suicide bomber kills guard at U.S. Embassy
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — In the second deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic post in five months, a suicide bomber struck the American Embassy in Ankara on Friday, killing a Turkish security guard in what the White House described as a terrorist attack.
Washington immediately warned Americans to stay away from all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey and to be wary in large crowds.
Turkish officials said the bombing was linked to leftist domestic m...
Protesters, police clash at palace in Egypt
CAIRO (AP) — Protesters denouncing Egypt’s Islamist president hurled stones and firebombs through the gates of his palace gates on Friday, clashing with security forces who fired tear gas and water cannons, as more than a week of political violence came to Mohammed Morsi’s symbolic doorstep for the first time.
The streets outside the presidential palace were a scene of mayhem for hours into the night.
Security forces pumped volley after volley...
Justice sends message to legislators
TOPEKA (AP) — The chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court is asking legislators to spend more money to improve the operations of the court system and allow more flexibility in assigning district judges.
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss submitted his annual State of the Judiciary message Thursday in writing.
The chief justice has traditionally delivered the address in a speech to the Legislature. But House Speaker Ray Merrick blocked the speech this...
KU study shows yoga may help heart
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The same kind of exercise that can bring peace to your mind may bring peace to your heart as well.
Research at the University of Kansas Hospital is finding that regular time spent doing yoga breathing and stretching exercises may help keep potentially dangerous heart rhythm disorders in check.
A KU Hospital study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that as little as two one-ho...
Report shows tax cut plan would cause 2018 shortfall
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas would face a $782 million budget shortfall in 2018 under Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax plan, according to a government report released Thursday that was immediately questioned by conservative Republicans who support the governor’s push for additional income tax cuts.
The report from the nonpartisan Legislative Research Department undercuts Brownback’s argument that his proposals would stabilize the budget and build healthy cash...
Union fundraising bill wins approval
TOPEKA (AP) — A plan to restrict political fundraising by public unions advanced Wednesday in the Kansas Legislature after a contentious debate between supporters who say it would protect a “silent majority” of workers and opponents who call it a veiled effort to further erode labor’s clout in the deeply conservative state.
The measure, which won first-round approval in the House by a 66-54 unrecorded vote, would prohibit groups that represent...
Court hears case over gun liability
TOPEKA (AP) — The state Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on the fate of a lawsuit seeking to hold a southeast Kansas gun shop liable for selling a firearm later used by a convicted felon to kill his son.
The question before the justices was whether to reinstate a negligence case filed against Baxter Springs Gun and Pawn Shop. The case involves the 2003 murder-suicide of Russell Graham of Baxter Springs, who used a shotgun bought by his ...
Kansas strip club bill resurfaces
TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are again being asked to consider legislation that would restrict where strip clubs can operate and what goes on inside, two years after the most recent bid to further regulate the clubs died in the state Senate.
The revived measure would regulate where adult businesses can be located and ban lap dances and dancing onstage in various levels of undress, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Tuesday.
Rep. Arlen Siegf...