Snow, ice, deep-freeze hit large swath of US MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A late fall cold snap that has gripped much of the country is being blamed for a handful of deaths and has forced people to deal with frigid temperatures, power outages by the thousands and treacherous roads. Weather forecasters say the powerful weather system has Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic in its icy sights next.
Gene therapy scores big wins against blood cancers In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients' blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer. A few patients with one type of leukemia were given this one-time, experimental therapy several years ago and some remain cancer-free today. Now, at least six research groups have treated more than 120 patients with many types of blood and bone marrow cancers, with stunning results.
US vet Merrill Newman, 85, home from North Korea SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A tired but smiling 85-year-old U.S. veteran detained in North Korea for several weeks returned home Saturday to applause from supporters, yellow ribbons tied to pillars outside his home and the warm embrace of his family. Merrill Newman arrived at the San Francisco airport after turning down a ride aboard Vice President Joe Biden's Air Force Two in favor of a direct flight from Beijing. He emerged into the international terminal smiling, accompanied by his son and holding the hand of his wife amid applause from supporters. He spoke briefly to the assembled media, declining to answer any questions or discuss his ordeal.
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Economic bright spots not a sure boost for Obama WASHINGTON (AP) - To a struggling White House, the economy that was supposed to be a political millstone is losing some drag. During Barack Obama's presidency, pocketbook worries have been the dominant issue with Americans. But an uptick in growth and a downturn in unemployment give him a stronger story line going into the 2014 congressional election year and provide Democrats with a counterpoint to Republican attacks on Obama's health law.
Few heirs apparent to Mandela's symbol of freedom The passing of Nelson Mandela leaves a waning number of global figures representing freedom and resilience against oppression - and a changing world that makes it harder for anyone to approach Mandela's iconic power. There are a few whose trials have made them symbols of freedom, including the former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, the Dalai Lama and, more recently, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl turned women's rights activist .
Analysis: Dog of year in Congress whimpers to end WASHINGTON (AP) - Barring uncharacteristically swift work by Congress, more than a million victims of the recession will lose long-term unemployment benefits over the holidays, the price of milk could shoot up in late winter and government payments might fall sharply for doctors who treat Medicare patients. There's more - much more - as lawmakers grasp the tail end of a dog of a year.
France, AU send more troops to African nation BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - France and the African Union on Saturday announced plans to deploy several thousand more troops into embattled Central African Republic, as thousands of Christians fearing reprisal attacks sought refuge from the Muslim former rebels who now control the country after days of violence left nearly 400 people dead - and possibly more. French armored personnel carriers and troops from an AU-backed peacekeeping mission roared at high speed down Bangui's major roads, as families carrying palm fronds pushed coffins in carts on the road's shoulder. In a sign of the mounting tensions, others walking briskly on the streets carried bow-and-arrows and machetes.
AP reporter's quest to find bodies ends in desert TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) - Across the desert, the wind combs the sand into smooth ripples that roll out evenly for miles. So when a hole is dug, you see it immediately. The sand looks agitated. Its pattern is disturbed. That's how you know where the bodies are buried.
AP WAS THERE: Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor EDITOR'S NOTE - On Dec. 7, 1941, Eugene Burns, AP's chief of bureau in Honolulu, couldn't get out the urgent news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew the U.S. into World War II, because the military had already taken control of all communication lines. In Washington, AP editor William Peacock and staff got word of the attack from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's press secretary. In the language and style used by journalists of his era, including the use of a disparaging word to describe the Japanese that was in common use, Peacock dictated the details of the announcement. Seventy-two years after their original publication, the AP is making the dispatches available to its subscribers. ---
Bell's late TD pass lifts OU over OSU 33-24 STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma State appeared to have its second Big 12 Conference championship and BCS bowl game berth in three seasons within its grasp, thanks to a late rally. Instead, the No. 6 Cowboys (10-2, 7-2 Big 12) were left in a state of last-second shock after rival Oklahoma answered with a rally of its own in the closing minutes of a 33-24 win on Saturday.