Nation / World

States Fail To Protect Abused Kids

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Butte, Montana — 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. To determine that number, The Associated Press canvassed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and branches of the military — circumventing …

Teen Drinking, Smoking Hit All-Time Lows

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The lure of drugs and binge drinking has loosened its grip on American youth, with the number of teens regularly using illegal substances plummeting from records posted in the 1990s. Alcohol use and cigarette smoking are at the lowest levels since 1975, the year that a survey involving more than 40,000 students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades began. Demand for synthetic …

Report: U.S. Wealth Gap Widens

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Washington — The wealth gap between middle- and upper-income households has widened to the highest level on record, says a new report. Using the latest Federal Reserve data, the Pew Research Center said Wednesday that the median wealth for high-income families was $639,400 last year — up 7 percent from three years earlier on an inflation-adjusted basis. For middle-income families, the median wealth …

Ernie Brace, Civilian Pilot Held by N. Vietnamese, Dies at 83

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pilot Ernie Brace, who was a prisoner in Laos and North Vietnam for seven years — longer than any other American civilian during the Vietnam War — was held mostly in solitary confinement, sometimes in stocks or chains. But in a prison near Hanoi, he and a U.S. …

Older Boomers Stay Put, Stabilizing Home Prices

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — Bill Braswell is staying put in his Virginia home even though he could sell it for 10 times what he paid in 1980 and some of his retired friends are moving to warmer climates. “I’m on boards and commissions and I enjoy that brain activity, so …

Study: Laughing Gas Can Relieve Depression

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The dentist’s office might be the last place you’d look to find a quick cure for an implacable bout of depression. New research, however, suggests that laughing gas — the mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen that eases the pain and anxiety of having dental work — may …

Attacks Hit Afghanistan as U.S. Exits

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Faizabad, Afghanistan — Multiple attacks killed at least 21 people in this war-torn country, including two NATO service members, six Afghan soldiers and a senior officer of the nation’s highest court, Afghan officials said Saturday. They were the …

Marchers Rally Across U.S.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — Thousands of protesters marched across the country Saturday — to Congress in the nation’s capital, along iconic Fifth Avenue in New York and in front of Boston’s Statehouse — to call attention to the deaths of …

Senators Avert Federal Shutdown

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — The Senate approved a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending bill late Saturday night to keep the government running through September after a rare weekend session forced by a conservative rebellion against President Obama’s immigration policy. The spending measure was approved with bipartisan support in a late night …

Report: CIA Lied About Torture

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Washington — When CIA interrogators were torturing accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed at a secret prison in Poland in March 2003, a top CIA analyst asked them to show him a photograph of an alleged terrorist named Majid Khan. The interrogators slapped Mohammed, denied him sleep, …

High Court Accepts Case of Man Convicted of Murder as Teen

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Washington — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide whether young murderers who are serving life terms in prison deserve a chance to seek their freedom in parole hearings. The court said it will rule in the case of Louisiana man who was sentenced to life in prison …

Sex Assaults An Issue for College Bound

Saturday, December 13, 2014

New York — Michelle Casey, a high school senior applying to college, is steering clear of party schools, which she said she fears will put her at higher risk for sexual assault. So, Casey, 17, is passing up the flagship University of Massachusetts campus in Amherst after reading …

Higher Prices, Shortages Bring Resentment of Islamic State

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baghdad — Saadi Abdul-Rahman was recently forced to pull his three children out of school in the Iraqi city of Mosul, where Islamic State militants have ruled with an iron fist since June. The cost of living has …