The Daily Astorian | The Daily Astorian Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:52:02 -0400 en The Daily Astorian | Past success lures Rose back to Quicken Loans National Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:20 -0400 GAINESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Most of the world's top players are skipping the Quicken Loans National. Justin Rose wouldn't miss it — even if he weren't the defending champion.

Rose won the event in 2010 at Aronimink and last year at Congressional. This year, the Quicken Loans National moves to Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, a course he's never seen. Given its place on the crowded PGA Tour schedule, a week off might be tempting — but not for Rose.

"It's one of my favorite tournaments on Tour. Got a couple of the best-looking trophies on Tour," Rose said. "It's about winning tournaments and playing places where you feel you can win."

Rose, the world's seventh-ranked player, is a favorite this week along with No. 8 Rickie Fowler. Just three others from the world's top 50 are playing, leaving the Quicken Loans National with the second-weakest field among stand-alone PGA Tour events this season.

Tournament host Tiger Woods used to beef up the quality of the field. But he hasn't won in almost two years while battling injuries and changing his swing, and his ranking has plummeted to 266th. He needs a win this week just to get into next week's Bridgestone Invitational, an event he's won eight times.

Rose will play the next three weeks in a row, ending at the PGA Championship. At 15th in the FedEx Cup standings, he can expect to play all four playoff events. He's trying to conserve energy, even if that means he doesn't learn every nuance of RTJ.

He didn't play a practice round on Tuesday, instead working on 60-yard wedge shots with short-game coach David Orr. Rose said he was inspired by watching Zach Johnson ride his precise wedge game to victory at the British Open. He began the final round tied with Johnson but finished four shots out of a playoff.

"One of the reasons I struggled to make a charge on Sunday was I wasn't able to get it as close as I like to the pins with my wedges," Rose said. "You need to be very accurate with your wedge play, which is what Zach has made a great career of."

Rose is known as a great ball-striker who thrives in tough conditions when birdies are at a premium. He doesn't think RTJ will be as tough as Congressional last year — when his winning score was 4-under par — but with thick rough and fast, undulating greens with multiple tiers, it ought to suit his game.

Plus, the Mid-Atlantic region in the summer brings out some of Rose's best golf.

"You've got some of the world's greatest golf courses in this area, and very traditional in nature, and I really enjoy that," Rose said. "Just a pure place to play, from a purist's point of view."

Fowler said he did more prep work than usual, showing up Monday and playing a full 18-hole practice round on Tuesday.

"Just getting acclimated," he said. "To really get two looks around a golf course is key just so you can go around and double-check things the second time."

Players are raving about the conditions at RTJ, which has been softened by thunderstorms. The most challenging elements may be the heat and humidity, with temperatures expected to top 90 degrees every day and no rain in the forecast after Thursday.

Still, asked whether he'd rather play in Virginia or his native Scotland in the summer, Stephen Gallacher didn't hesitate.

"Virginia," he said as sweat dripped off his nose. "It's nice to get a bit of heat. Back home, it isn't a summer at all."

The fairways are generous enough to reward aggressive play off the tee, especially in soft conditions. Charlie Beljan, who ranks fourth on Tour in driving distance, called it "a bomber's paradise" and one of the five best courses on his schedule.

"I think it's flawless. Everything about this place is first-class," Beljan said. "It's too bad they're going back to Congressional next year."


Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at .

McCutchen, Liriano lead Pirates sweep of Twins with 10-4 win Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:15 -0400 MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit a home run and turned an RBI single into race around the bases while Minnesota made two errors in a five-run sixth inning, helping Francisco Liriano and the Pittaburgh Pirates beat the Twins 10-4 Wednesday for a two-game sweep.

Jung Ho Kang homered for the second straight day for the Pirates, after going deep for the go-ahead run in the ninth the night before. McCutchen's two-run, two-strike, two-out drive off Ervin Santana (2-1) in the fifth inning tied the game at 3, and the Twins unraveled in the sixth.

One run scored on a wild pitch. Then Santana walked two straight batters. Starling Marte hit a sacrifice fly, and McCutchen hit a sharp single that bounced in front of left fielder Eddie Rosario. The ball skipped past him to the warning track, allowing another run to score and McCutchen to reach third.

The slow-rolling relay throw scooted underneath Eduardo Nunez's glove for another error that allowed McCutchen to score — but not before he collided with Nunez, contact that was hard enough to knock them both to the ground and cue the blooper-tape soundtrack.

Liriano (7-6) improved to 3-0 in his last six starts despite allowing 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings. He was charged with three runs, two earned, and struck out four in his fourth career appearance against the Twins, his team from 2005-12.

After losing five of their first six games out of the All-Star break, the Pirates have won five of their last six games to tighten their grip on the NL's first wild-card spot.

The Twins, who started the day with a two-game lead for the second AL wild card, lost their fourth straight game and fell to 3-8 after the All-Star break.

Liriano was 5-2 with a 2.10 ERA and 84 strikeouts over 73 innings in his previous 11 turns. Santana pitched 15 2-3 scoreless innings in winning his last two starts.

Kang, keeping up his solid fill-in work on the left side of the infield with starters Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer on the disabled list until perhaps September, homered with one out in the second. From there, the hitters had the upper hand on this picturesque sunny afternoon.

The defense wasn't pretty, though, for either team. Marte's bobble in left field of an RBI single by Aaron Hicks allowed Hicks to reach second for position to score on Miguel Sano's single in the third.

Rosario lost a fly ball by Aramis Ramirez in the fifth inning that he awkwardly let land for a double. Santana, who was charged with eight runs, six of them earned, committed an error, too. He struck out three with eight hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.


Pittsburgh: RF Gregory Polanco was removed in the fourth inning due to discomfort in his left knee, with Jaff Decker replacing him.

Minnesota: CF Byron Buxton will take batting practice Thursday for the first time since he was placed on the DL with a sprained left thumb, but he is still several weeks away from returning.


Pittsburgh starts a four-game series Thursday in Cincinnati, with A.J. Burnett (8-4, 2.68 ERA) pitching for the Pirates. He's 6-1 in his last seven turns on the road. David Holmberg will make his major league debut on the mound for the Reds.

Minnesota stays home for a four-game series against Seattle, with Phil Hughes (9-6, 3.93 ERA) pitching Thursday for the Twins opposite J.A. Happ of the Mariners. The Twins have won five straight starts by Hughes at home, with the right-hander posting a 2.11 ERA in 34 innings with 32 hits and just one walk allowed.

AP Top News At 5 p.m. EDT Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:00:40 -0400 Taliban leader Mullah Omar, reclusive in life and deathOhio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shootingZimbabweans in lion hunt in court; kill was 'unethical'On Capitol Hill, GOP fighting itself instead of DemocratsLawmakers poised to leave town with lots of work left undoneCarter: Successful Iran nuclear deal better than strikeGOP presses Planned Parenthood aid ban, faces long oddsColorado shooter's mom: Silence was his loudest cry for help]]> Astoria summer school helps children of migrant workers Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:00:38 -0400 ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Araceny Borja, 11, sat in a classroom at Astoria Middle School Thursday, only two months after she and her mother moved to the North Coast from Mexico for what she called "a better life."

Borja, with translation by a new friend sitting next to her, shared her trepidation at having to make new friends in an entirely new place, and her excitement about being able to take art classes.

Borja is one of more than 100 students, kindergarten through seventh grade, attending a migrant summer school program offered through the Northwest Regional Education Service District and the Astoria School District.

The program serves students whose parents have moved around for work. In Clatsop County, that mostly means workers in fish processing, tourism and other seasonal industries.

"It's trying to create an equitable circumstance for these kids," said Seth Tucker, a migrant recruiter with the service district's migrant education program.

The district has programs in Astoria, Tillamook and Scappoose. Students in the programs must have moved in the past three years for their parent's work.

Last year, Astoria Superintendent Craig Hoppes said, Astoria had 75 to 80 migrant students. The numbers fluctuate and grow with economic activity in the summer.

Running the program at Astoria Middle School is Astoria kindergarten teacher Kellie Clay, along with five teachers and two teaching assistants. The teachers divide students by grade into all-inclusive classrooms practicing reading, writing, math and art.

"They already understand conversational English, but we're teaching them academic language," said Dindy Fischer, a third-grade teacher during the school year who teaches fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders at the summer school.

Each class incorporates an English Learning Development model to help grow the students' English skills.

"For a 5-year-old navigating two languages, it's important to give them the structures early," said Betsy Mahoney, a Seaside kindergarten teacher teaching the same age group at the migrant summer school. She has taught kindergartners through fourth-graders at the migrant summer school.

The students at the migrant school range from those with a full handle on English and straight As to Borja, who speaks almost no English, has never before attended American schools and starts middle school in the fall.

"I mostly get bored at my house, so I come here," sixth-grader Karen Zuniga Jimenez said, a common sentiment among kids who come to school for the socialization, academic refreshers and local field trips.

While helping students come back to school in the fall with lessons fresh in their mind, the service district also sends a teacher from Mexico to help remind the largely Hispanic student body of their cultural history.

Elizabeth Aguilera, a preschool teacher in Guanajuato, Mexico, on loan to migrant summer school programs in Oregon, goes from classroom to classroom. She led students in building piρatas, Day of the Dead-themed paper mache and other activities to expose students to Mexican culture.

"This tradition, it's very important in Mexico," Aguilera said. "I want kids to know those traditions."

Aguilera said she enjoys the activities teachers do with their kids in America, the materials students are provided and the spacious classrooms. Quarters are cramped in her schools in Mexico, Aguilera said, and English instruction is mostly available to only those who can afford private schools and teachers.

A gap in academic achievement between the general student population on one side, and economically disadvantaged and ethnic minorities on the other, pervades Oregon's schools. The migrant summer school, largely serving the Hispanic minority on the North Coast, is one of many efforts to close the gap.

Each student coming into the migrant education program undergoes a pre-assessment of their academic skills, and a post-assessment gauging their academic growth. Tucker said 95 percent of students who attended the migrant summer school in 2014 showed growth in reading and math scores based on their assessments.

"It's more of an opportunity gap than it is an achievement gap," Hoppes said in January, updating the Astoria School Board on the district's efforts to make education more equitable. "We have some kids who don't have the opportunities of other kids."

During the January presentation, Astoria's Curriculum Director Melissa Linder said faculty at Astoria often lack the Spanish to adequately help students.

This year, the district is starting to embed English as Second Language teachers into two or three targeted classrooms per grade level, kindergarten through fifth grade.

"Through research and training, we feel the push-in model is more effective over time," Hoppes said, adding it won't affect non-ESL students.

Gema Garcia, one of the two teaching assistants this summer, could be considered a success story of the migrant school.

A graduate of Astoria High School this year, Garcia was recently named Oregon's migrant student of the year by the Northwest Regional Education Service District's migrant education program.

Like Borja, Garcia said she attended the migrant school around the time she was transitioning from elementary to middle school. "I guess I was shy, and the school helped me" make friends, she said.

Garcia now heads to Portland State University, where she will study chemistry in hopes of becoming a nursing anesthetist. Like her older sister Rosalita and brother Salvador, Garcia said she plans on returning in the summer to help at the migrant school.


Information from: The Daily Astorian,

Colorado shooter's mom: Silence was his loudest cry for help Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:09 -0400 CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes' mother insisted Wednesday that she would "have been crawling on all fours" to reach him had she known he was talking about killing people weeks before he ambushed a crowded Colorado movie theater.

Arlene Holmes said her son's campus psychiatrist never told her that James Holmes had homicidal thoughts when she called that June and revealed that he was quitting therapy and dropping out of school.

"We wouldn't be sitting here if she had told me that!" Holmes' mother said, her sobs rising to anger. "I would have been crawling on all fours to get to him. She never said he was thinking of killing people. She didn't tell me. She didn't tell me. She didn't tell me!"

"He was not a violent person. At least not until the event," Holmes' father, Robert Holmes, said earlier Wednesday.

"The event" is a phrase he used several times to refer to his son's attack on the audience inside a darkened Colorado movie theater on July 20, 2012, which killed 12 people, injured 70 others and makes James Holmes eligible for the death penalty.

Arlene Holmes also complained that the University of Colorado psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, didn't respond to a message seeking more details about their son. They hadn't known he was getting therapy, and thought perhaps he was depressed, or was suffering from Asperger's syndrome, Robert Holmes said.

Fenton testified earlier that she had called James Holmes' parents, overriding her concerns that she was violating her client's privacy, because she was trying to decide whether he posed a danger to himself or others.

A campus security official had offered to detain him for an involuntary hospital mental health commitment, but Fenton declined, in part because she said the parents told her he had always been withdrawn.

"Schizophrenia chose him; he didn't choose it and I still love my son. I still do," Arlene Holmes said Wednesday, choking up on the stand.

Before she took the stand, the couple held hands in the courtroom gallery, their fingers intertwined. James Holmes looked up at the screen as his childhood photos were displayed, but he and his mother didn't appear to look at each other.

"People said to me that when your kid turns 18 you're done. And that's not true. We're not done. We are never done and that's why we're sitting here. We're not done," she said.

Holmes had enrolled in a prestigious neuroscience postgraduate program at the university in 2011. But his parents had grown increasingly worried when he came home on his first winter break looking haggard and making odd facial expressions. He shared his fear of failure later that spring, but his parents said they had no idea he was descending into mental illness.

His parents had been thrilled when he started dating in graduate school, and knew it wasn't a good sign when that first relationship ended. "We knew some things weren't going well there," Robert Holmes said.

"He said he was having trouble in school," Arlene Holmes said, stifling a sob. "I kept telling him, just keep trying, keep trying, but I didn't realize that his loudest cry for help was his silence."

They had rarely spoken by phone, but they communicated even less after he moved to Colorado. Holmes sent sporadic and terse emails that gave no hints of trouble. Their concerns eased again when they finally reached him by phone on July 4, 2012, just two weeks before the shooting.

Their son was more talkative than usual and "he didn't give any indication he was homicidal or depressed, at least not to us," Robert Holmes said.

They made plans to fly to Colorado for a visit in August. Instead, Robert Holmes booked a flight to see his son at his first court appearance, looking sullen and confused. Both parents said they were shocked by his state of mind, and later, by the wide-eyed smirk he made in a booking photo at the jail.

Robert Holmes said he realized he had seen that look before — the previous winter, when his son came home stressed from graduate school. District Attorney George Brauchler noted that the bug-eyed mug shot wasn't taken immediately after his arrest, because his hair was shorn and no longer comic-book red. Might he have been posing, trying to appear crazy?

Robert Holmes deflected the suggestion, saying he didn't know.

After the mother's testimony, defense attorneys were preparing to rest their portion of the sentencing phase, which has included several dozen family friends, teachers and former neighbors who said the Holmes they knew was shy, mild-mannered and polite— not the kind of young man who would gun down innocent strangers.

Death sentences must be unanimous. While the jury has already decided that Holmes was legally sane at the time of the attack, his defense is hoping at least one juror will agree that his mental illness reduces his moral culpability so much that he deserves the mercy of a life sentence instead.

Holmes' father said that he has only seen his son in jail three times because James Holmes typically does not allow visitors. During one of the visits, he "was clearly really messed up," his father said. "But he told us he loved us."

AP Top Entertainment News At 4:46 p.m. EDT Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:24 -0400 Jane Birkin asks Hermes to take her name off croc handbagShakira and Pique may have another athlete in the family2 houses from 'Breaking Bad' for sale in AlbuquerquePost-White House, Sam Kass to be food analyst for NBC NewsLifetime TV to feature several touring Broadway showsKristen Stewart, Idris Elba in Venice Film Festival lineup'The Book of Mormon' gets rousing reception in UtahTV depiction of Colombia's only saint angers her devotees]]> New 'Daily Host' host says tenor will change, not targets Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:29 -0400 BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Incoming "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah said politics and the media will remain targets of the program but the perspective will be distinctively his.

"The show still has its voice. It's just I'm at the helm taking things in a slightly different direction, but still trying to get to the same end place," Noah said Wednesday during a Q&A session with TV critics.

Outgoing host Jon Stewart is a middle-aged Jewish man from New Jersey, Noah said, while he's a 31-year-old half-black, half-white South African man who's spent about five years in America as he's pursued his comedy career.

"Look at issues in America right now, say just about racial inequality, Jon and I come from totally different points of view," he said. "Jon would have to empathize; I myself come from a totally different place."

The show is retaining its senior producing staff, Comedy Central has said and which channel executive Kent Alterman reaffirmed at the Television Critics Association session. The emphasis on stability makes sense: "Daily Show" with Stewart has been a cornerstone of the channel's success.

Noah said he'll be looking for affirmation from Stewart that he's doing right by the program. Stewart leaves Aug. 6 and Noah takes over Sept. 28.

"The biggest pressure ... is living up to the expectations that Jon has of me. Jon believes in me," he said. There will be comparisons made between them, he acknowledged, but it's not his intent to immediately match what Stewart has built over a period of years.

"I have a foundation set up by a wonderfully smart, funny man," he said.

While the show's emphasis on domestic issues will remain, including how the media addresses them, Noah said he will broaden the long-time emphasis on Fox News Channel because the sources of news in the online era are far more extensive.

He also intends to address international issues that are resonating in America, said Noah, who said he speaks seven languages.

The comedian was well-received by fans and critics when he performed his stand-up act Tuesday night at a theater in Santa Monica, California. He put the emphasis on topics including black deaths at the hands of law enforcement rather than politics.

During Wednesday's Q&A, he was self-assured and relaxed as he fielded questions that included the backlash to jokes that the comedian had tweeted several years ago, including ones that mocked Jews and women.

Noah politely dismissed the tweets as a few among many, suggesting they were judged harshly in part because Americans were unfamiliar with him and his comedic perspective. Before coming to the United States, he'd developed an international fan base.

"Luckily, Comedy Central hasn't limited me to 140 characters on the show, so I should be able to (speak) in a better, well-formed way," he said.

When Noah was asked why he appeared to be so unflappable, he traced it back to a difficult early life that included a household beset by domestic violence and a native country fighting to break free from apartheid. Both his family and country are better off now, he said.

"Maybe I've been tainted by hope and optimism. Maybe that's why I'm unflappable. I'm mixed now only in my blood but my life," he said. There are issues that get him "riled up," he added, but he likes to think before he acts.


Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at and on Twitter at

Ohio cop indicted on murder charge in traffic-stop shooting Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:01:23 -0400 CINCINNATI (AP) — A University of Cincinnati officer who shot a motorist during a traffic stop over a missing front license plate was indicted Wednesday on a murder charge, with a prosecutor saying the officer "purposely killed him" and "should never have been a police officer."

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced the grand jury indictment at a news conference to discuss developments in the investigation into the July 19 shooting of 43-year-old motorist Samuel DuBose by Officer Ray Tensing.

Authorities have said Tensing spotted a car driven by DuBose and missing the front license plate, which is required by Ohio law. They say Tensing stopped the car and a struggle ensued after DuBose refused to provide a driver's license and get out of the car.

Tensing has said he was dragged by the car and forced to shoot at DuBose. He fired one shot, striking DuBose in the head.

But Deters dismissed Tensing's claim that he was dragged by the car and suggested that he shouldn't have pulled DuBose over to begin with.

"He fell backward after he shot (DuBose) in the head," Deters said, adding that it was a "chicken crap" traffic stop.

On footage released from the body-camera video Wednesday, the officer could be heard asking for DuBose's driver's license several times with DuBose at one point saying he had one. Later, DuBose said, "But I don't think I have it on me. "

Tensing asks DuBose to unbuckle his seat belt. About that time Tensing appears to be trying to open the door, and DuBose puts his hand on the door and leans away from the door. Then the video becomes shaky, but a gunshot can be heard and DuBose appears to be slumped in the seat before the car moves away.

The University of Cincinnati said it fired Tensing after his indictment. Tensing turned himself in Wednesday afternoon at the Hamilton County Justice Center and was processed on charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Tensing's attorney, Stewart Mathews, didn't return phone messages seeking comment after the indictment announcement.

Mathews said earlier Wednesday that he thought an indictment was likely "given the political climate" and comments made by city officials. But Mathews said given the evidence he's seen, he doesn't believe there should be an indictment.

DuBose's death comes amid months of national scrutiny of police dealings with African-Americans, especially those killed by officers. DuBose was black. Tensing is white. Authorities haven't indicated whether race was a part of the investigation.

Body-camera video of the shooting was also released Wednesday. DuBose's family had been pressing for its release, and news organizations including The Associated Press had sued Deters to get it released under Ohio open records law, but Deters released it before any ruling had been made.

Deters called the shooting "senseless" and "asinine."

"He purposely killed him," Deters said. "He should never have been a police officer."

The prosecutor also said he thought it was time to reconsider the UC police department's role.

"I don't think a university should be in the policing business," Deters said.

A message for comment was left Wednesday with the police department. The university said earlier this week it plans an independent review of its police department's policies.

The UC officer made the traffic stop near the university's main campus, and UC police have said the intersection was within the campus police's jurisdiction.

The University of Cincinnati on Wednesday closed its main campus in anticipation of grand jury action in the case.

Mark O'Mara, attorney for DuBose's family, called for a "peaceful and nonaggressive" response from the community after the officer's indictment. O'Mara said the family wanted a peaceful reaction because "Sam was a peaceful person."

Tensing has more than five years of experience in law enforcement and has worked as a University of Cincinnati police officer since April 2014, said Jason Goodrich, UC police chief. His annual performance review this April noted that he was extremely strong in the traffic area and maintains control of his weapons and of "situations he is involved in."

Tensing formerly worked as an officer in the small Cincinnati suburban village of Greenhills.

Deters said when he saw the video of the shooting, he was shocked.

"I feel so sorry for this family and what they lost," Deters said. "And I feel sorry for the community, too."

If convicted, Tensing could face up to life in prison.


Associated Press writer Dan Sewell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

Lawmakers poised to leave town with lots of work left undone Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:01:51 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is on track to shore up federal highway aid and veterans' health care before heading out of town this week for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of sticky issues that are sure to complicate an autumn agenda already groaning under the weight of indecision.

In one of their last decisions before adjourning for a month, House members are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would extend spending authority for transportation programs through Oct. 29, and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion. That's enough money to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states through mid-December.

The Senate plans to take up the House bill before a midnight Friday deadline, when authority for the Transportation Department to process aid payments to states will expire.

Lawmakers said they were loath to take up yet another short-term transportation funding extension — this will be the 34th extension since 2009. But Republicans and Democrats don't want to see transportation aid cut off, and they are eager to pass an amendment attached to the extension bill that fills a $3.4 billion hole in the Department of Veterans Affairs' budget. The money gap threatens to force the closure of hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The three-month patch puts off House action on a long-term transportation bill, adding one more messy fight to a fall agenda already crammed with difficult, must-pass legislation.

Twelve annual spending bills face a Sept. 30 deadline but are being held up by a clash over the Confederate flag. Congress must also decide whether to approve or disapprove President Barack Obama's Iran deal, and whether to pass a contentious defense policy bill that faces a veto threat from the White House. Another fight is certain over raising the nation's borrowing authority.

Spending authority for the Federal Aviation Administration expires Sept. 30. Since long-term bills to set aviation policy have yet to be introduced in either the House or the Senate, lawmakers acknowledge they will have to pass a short-term extension there as well.

"I think it will be an extremely active fall with the potential for either terrific accomplishment or a train wreck," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of House Republican leadership.

A $350 billion, long-term Senate transportation bill cleared a procedural hurdle Wednesday by a vote of 65 to 35. Senate passage is likely Thursday. The bill would make changes to highway, transit, railroad and auto safety programs, but only provides enough funds for the first three years of the six years covered by the bill. The bill also renews the Export-Import Bank, which makes low-interest loans to help U.S. companies sell their products overseas. The bank's charter expired June 30 in the face of opposition from conservatives, who call it corporate welfare.

Senate GOP leaders had hoped the House would pass the long-term bill and send it to the White House before the recess. But their Republican counterparts in the House have made it clear they won't be hurried into accepting the Senate measure.

It has been a decade since Congress last passed a long-term transportation bill, even though lawmakers in both parties generally support highway and transit aid. The difficulty has been finding the money to pay for programs in a way that doesn't increase the federal deficit.

Complicating passage of a long-term transportation bill is that President Barack Obama and House Republican leaders want to change corporate tax laws that encourage U.S. companies to park foreign profits overseas and use the resulting revenue to fully pay for highway and transit aid. But there is no consensus on the details of the corporate tax changes, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has repeatedly tried to dampen support for that approach.

House Republicans say they will use the next three months to develop a tax plan that generates enough money to pay for a long-term highway bill. Two key House members — Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., and Richard Neal, D-Mass. — unveiled part of the plan Wednesday. It would create a special 10 percent tax bracket that would be applied to a portion of the income companies get from patents, formulas, inventions and other intellectual property. The current corporate income tax rate is 35 percent.

Technology firms and pharmaceutical companies would be among the beneficiaries. The goal is to slow the flow of U.S. companies that have been relocating their headquarters to foreign countries to reduce their tax bills.


Associated Press writer Stephen Ohlemacher contributed to this report.


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Turkish attacks on Kurds muddle Obama's Islamic State fight Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:00:47 -0400 ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — President Barack Obama's stepped-up partnership with Turkey in fighting the Islamic State may come at the cost of alienating another key group he's counting on for help in the same conflict: the Kurds.

To Obama's relief, Turkey has finally started bombing Islamic State targets in neighboring Syria, and agreed to let the U.S. military launch airstrikes from key air bases inside Turkey in a deal announced last week. But in an unexpected twist, Turkey simultaneously started shelling Kurdish rebels in Iraq, where Kurds have proven unusually capable of wresting back territory from the Islamic State militants with the help of air support from the U.S.-led coalition.

The White House has publicly sided with Turkey, endorsing the NATO ally's right to defend itself against recent deadly attacks in Turkey by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK. But Iraq's prime minister says the Turkish strikes violate Iraq's sovereignty, and U.S. officials have quietly signaled they're urging Turkey to lay off.

It's a dizzying array of alliances that illustrates Obama's paucity of good options for partners in his campaign against the Islamic State, an extremist Sunni militant group known in Arabic as Daesh. The U.S. considers the PKK, which has waged a long insurgency in Turkey, to be a terrorist group, but is supporting and equipping other Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria that share the PKK's goal of defeating the Islamic State.

"Knowingly or not, the U.S. is going to end up having to choose between the Turks and the Kurds," said Blaise Misztal, national security director at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.

While defending Turkey publicly, the U.S. has been urging Turkey to be "judicious" in its retaliation against the PKK, senior U.S. officials said. But Turkey's air campaign shows few signs of letting up.

Turkish jets hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq overnight and the government said strikes would continue until the rebels lay down their arms. White House spokesman Eric Schultz called Wednesday for "a return to the peaceful solution process," but Turkey's prime minister shot down that prospect until the PKK withdraws its armed fighters from Turkey.

Despite the strikes against the PKK, the U.S. is pledging to work with Turkey to create a 68-mile "Islamic State-free zone" along its border with Syria.

But the White House has rejected claims that Obama agreed to look the other way to secure Turkey's help against IS. Although Turkey began shelling Islamic State and Kurdish targets on the same day, the administration insists there's no connection.

"I understand the coincidence of all of this, but it is just that," said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

Likewise, senior U.S. officials said Turkey agreed two weeks ago to let the U.S. launch airstrikes from Incirlik and elsewhere in Turkey. That was before the PKK killed two policemen in Turkey and took credit for it, which the officials said was the reason Turkey struck the Kurds.

But Turkey isn't drawing any such distinction.

"There is no difference between PKK and Daesh," said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. And Turkey specifically referenced its strikes against Kurdish rebels when it called an urgent NATO session this week under the alliance's Article 4, which applies when a member state feels its security or sovereignty are threatened.

Obama's strategy against the Islamic State depends on local forces in Iraq and Syria fighting the militants on the ground while the U.S-led coalition provides cover from the air. Despite U.S. training, Iraq's military has been slow to take the advantage. The Kurds, an ethnic group with their own language with populations in Syria and Iraq, have helped loosen the Islamic State's hold on key sections of both countries.

Until he shifted course last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been primarily focused on opposing Syrian President Bashar Assad in the brutal Syrian civil war — putting him at odds with Obama, who has said fighting Islamic State is the priority. But recent attacks blamed on Islamic State inside Turkey drew alarm from Turkey's government, leading to its decision to step up its role in Obama's coalition.

"The price Turkey wants for cooperation is a free hand against the Kurds," said Jon Alterman, a former State Department official who runs the Mideast program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

And the U.S. still hasn't determined which Syrian rebels will do the fighting on the ground to oust Islamic State militants along the Turkish border, said the U.S. officials, who weren't authorized to comment by name and requested anonymity.

The main Syrian Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, is affiliated with the PKK, and claimed Monday that it had been shelled by Turkish troops. Turkey said it isn't targeting the YPG, but promised an investigation. The other potent force there that opposes Islamic State in Syria, the Nusra Front, is linked to al-Qaida. And the U.S. acknowledged recently it has only managed to train 60 so-called moderate Syrian rebels to fight IS.


Reach Josh Lederman at

GOP presses Planned Parenthood aid ban, faces long odds Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:00 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans pressed their fight Wednesday to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood, but likely opposition from at least one GOP senator highlighted the long odds they face to prevail.

With a showdown Senate vote planned for early next week, Democrats stepped up their defense of the beleaguered organization, focusing on the health-care services the group provides for millions of women.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the administration strongly disagrees with the bill, adding, "We support them getting the types of services and health care they need."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a long-time moderate, said she would oppose the proposal because it would immediately end the federal aid, "and I don't know how all the patients of Planned Parenthood could be absorbed" by other health care providers. She said such action should await an investigation into Planned Parenthood's practices.

Republicans want to block the money because of videos secretly recorded by an anti-abortion group showed Planned Parenthood officials describing their procedures for providing tissue from aborted fetuses for research.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, the bill's sponsor, said Planned Parenthood's role in obtaining fetal organs "is morally reprehensible and wrong." The bill would block federal funds for Planned Parenthood and transfer the money to community health centers and other providers.

Abortion foes say Planned Parenthood shouldn't provide the organs and have accused the group of profiting from it, which would be illegal. Planned Parenthood officials say they've done nothing wrong.

Republicans have 54 Senate seats but will need 60 votes to keep the bill alive.

The dispute spilled over onto the Democratic presidential campaign trail as well.

Front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Tuesday that the videos were "disturbing," but also said Planned Parenthood "for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women." She said questions "about the whole process" should be addressed broadly, not aimed solely at Planned Parenthood.

Another Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, said attacks on Planned Parenthood were "part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies."

Mia Farrow faces Twitter backlash for lion dentist's address Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:02:25 -0400 NEW YORK (AP) — Mia Farrow took some Twitter heat Wednesday for joining other angry social media posters and blasting out the business address of the dentist who killed the beloved lion Cecil in Zimbabwe.

Some apparently thought the actress had listed Walter Palmer's home address in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, calling for her verified Twitter account to be suspended under the site's terms of service.

A Twitter spokesman said the company does not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. He directed The Associated Press to official Twitter rules and policies that allow wiggle room on disciplinary action when information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter.

The Farrow account deleted the original missive amid the outrage questioning whether the intent was to ensure Palmer is physically tracked down by haters. But the deletion did little to calm Twitter nerves.

One tweeter clucked back at Farrow, "Maybe Donald Trump should give out your phone number," referring to Trump doing just that for a GOP rival, Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Another tweeted: "I hate what he did, but giving out his address isn't the way to go."

Farrow's manager did not immediately return an email Wednesday seeking comment.

On Capitol Hill, GOP fighting itself instead of Democrats Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:01:44 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — When Republicans took full control of Congress this year, they were determined to show voters they could govern responsibly. Instead they've been tearing each other apart in extraordinarily public displays, delighting Democrats and giving some in the GOP heartburn as the party aims for the White House in 2016.

Just a few days ago, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor to accuse Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying, provoking a public dressing-down from top GOP senators.

A second tea party-backed senator, Mike Lee of Utah, had to dispense mea culpas to McConnell and others after an aide's email surfaced suggesting outside groups should punish fellow Republicans for their votes.

And in the latest episode of Republican vs. Republican savagery in less than a week, a conservative lawmaker, Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, filed a resolution Tuesday evening aimed at unseating GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Meadows' move, which infuriated House party leaders, is highly unlikely to oust Boehner. The speaker dismissed it as of little consequence and made clear he would not allow it to come to a vote.

"You got a member here and a member there who are off the reservation," Boehner told reporters. "No big deal."

But the effort was enthusiastically cheered by some conservative groups that promised to use Congress' upcoming August recess to pressure House Republicans to support it — a period Republican leaders had hoped to use to build unified opposition to President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

As with the incidents involving Cruz and Lee, the episode underscores the divisions and discontent within a fractured GOP that's struggled all year to balance its promises of good governance with the demands of frustrated activists clamoring for action to thwart Obama.

Democrats haven't escaped their own intramural disputes this year, particularly when a major trade bill divided Obama from most of his allies on Capitol Hill. And they are clearly enjoying the GOP discomfort.

"With apologies to the elephants, when the elephants around here lock tusks it certainly isn't going to be dull," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

It all comes at the very moment when Republican leaders hoped to send lawmakers home for a month with a positive message and maybe even some results, ahead of what promises to be a challenging fall stacked with economic deadlines, fiscal cliffs, showdowns with the White House and the threat of a government shutdown. Instead they find themselves contending with party controversies far afield from the economic issues dear to most voters — similar to the way Donald Trump has overshadowed the more mainstream GOP presidential candidates and forced them to respond to his provocative pronouncements.

"What people are doing is basically creating an issue within the party that distracts us from focusing on winning in 2016, that focuses us away from the real big issue, and that is the deterioration of national security, Iran's bad deal, Hillary Clinton's problems," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who like Cruz is running for president.

Alluding to Meadows, Graham said: "I would say to the gentleman from North Carolina, the biggest beneficiary of your actions has been Hillary Clinton and the ayatollah."

The recent episodes are only the latest manifestations of turmoil within the congressional GOP. Clashes between Republican leaders and their conservative flank brought the Department of Homeland Security to within hours of a partial shutdown earlier this year and resulted in a brief lapse in the National Security Agency's eavesdropping authorities thanks to procedural maneuvers by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., yet another presidential candidate.

Boehner and McConnell, both deeply experienced political pragmatists who have a good relationship, have found themselves repeatedly at odds, including on the Homeland Security and NSA disputes, even while notching wins on issues including trade and Medicare payment reform. Their latest clash was over transportation funding, resulting in both chambers agreeing to a three-month extension that will offer lawmakers little to boast about back home in their districts next month.

"I think we're going to be limping into the recess," said Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Numerous factors contribute to the disunity.

Bank-bench members are celebrated on social media and rewarded by outside conservative groups and voters for challenging party leaders. Leaders themselves can no longer rely on bestowing or eliminating funding for special projects — or earmarks — to reward or punish lawmakers, since that practice has been largely eliminated. Republican animosity toward Obama has created an atmosphere on Capitol Hill where anything that smacks of compromise or retreat provokes howls from conservative voters. And the goals of individual House members representing safe districts — not to mention senators running for president — can run counter to those of their party leaders.

For his part Meadows, a two-term lawmaker elected in the tea party-backed 2010 class, accused Boehner in his resolution of centralizing power, bypassing members of Congress and the public, punishing those who disagree with him and causing the power of Congress to atrophy. "This is really more about an issue of fairness," he said.


Associated Press writers Joan Lowy and Matthew Daly contributed to this report.

Carter: Successful Iran nuclear deal better than strike Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:01:57 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Wednesday that the U.S. armed forces stand ready to confront Iran, but told lawmakers that a successful implementation of the nuclear agreement with Tehran is preferable to a military strike.

Carter, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and three members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet testified at a committee hearing as part of the White House's aggressive campaign to convince Congress to back the Iranian nuclear deal, which calls on Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Carter said there is a possibility that the nuclear agreement will move forward, but will not be "successfully implemented."

"That's why we are under instructions from the president to preserve, and indeed we are improving — and I can't get into that here — the military option," Carter said. "Temporary as it is, it needs to be there because that's our fall back."

At the same time, Carter said that the successful implementation of the agreement would be better than taking military action because a strike would be temporary and likely would make Iran "irreconcilably resigned" to getting a nuclear weapon.

Dempsey added that implementation of the nuclear deal actually strengthens the military option because with enhanced inspections and access to sites in Iran, the U.S. would be able to obtain more knowledge about nuclear sites "that we might strike."

Congress, which has begun a 60-day review of the deal, is expected to vote in September. If the Republican-controlled Congress passes a resolution of disapproval for the deal, Obama has said he will veto it. The administration is hoping to secure the backing of Democrats to sustain the veto.

On Tuesday, the White House won the backing of Democratic Rep. Sander Levin, a Jewish lawmaker from Michigan. His support was critical because Iran has threatened to destroy Israel.

But underscoring the hard-fought gains and losses, New York Rep. Grace Meng, a Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, came out against the deal on Wednesday. She said the inspections protocols in the agreement are "flawed" and that she's concerned that Iran's nuclear infrastructure will remain intact.

"This leads me to believe Iran would simply resume its pursuit of a nuclear weapon at the conclusion of the deal in a decade's time," Meng said, adding that she also fears the sanctions relief will give Iran more money to fund terrorism.

Nicholas Burns, former undersecretary of state for political affairs and ambassador to NATO, met with House Democrats at the invitation of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is leading the effort to round up Democratic support for the deal. House Democrats also were scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House later in the day.

At a breakfast with reporters before the hearing, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who also testified, said he believed the White House would gain enough support in Congress to sustain a veto if Congress votes to reject the Iran nuclear deal. There would be sufficient support — "enough for this to be sustained," he said — if Congress rejects the agreement and Obama vetoes the resolution of disapproval.

Secretary of State John Kerry, the lead negotiator of the deal, tried to allay the concerns of Republican senators who complained that they are being asked to vote on the Iran nuclear deal without being privy to verification documents being separately negotiated by international nuclear inspectors.

"That is absolutely astounding," said Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Iran, he said, has a "clear record of cheating."

Kerry said there is no side deal or secret agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. There are, however, technical documents that are standard practice and not released publicly.

"We are aware of what the basics of it are," Kerry told the committee members. "It is standard procedure for 189 counties that have an agreement with the IAEA. ... We don't get that. It is not shared with the world, but we do get briefed on it."


Associated Press Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.

Report: Boy accused of strangling child had past troubles Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:21 -0400 ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy accused of strangling a 4-year-old boy had a history of disturbing behavior, including choking another child until the child turned blue in the face and carrying around dead farm animals, according to sheriff's deputies.

The past problems were detailed in an arrest report for the older child. It was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Authorities say the two boys lived together with their mothers, who are a couple, in a mobile home in north Florida. Around 4 a.m. Monday, a male friend staying at the home was awakened by the older boy and found the 4-year-old slumped over, unresponsive with blood coming out of his mouth, the arrest report said.

The man called 911 and the 11-year-old's mother tried to revive the younger boy. Putnam County sheriff's deputies responded and observed "some suspicious bruises" on the 4-year-old's neck, the arrest report said.

The child was rushed to a Gainesville hospital about 45 miles away and pronounced dead around midday Tuesday. A detective photographed the child's body and "noted several factors consistent with strangulation."

Before the death, the older boy was taken to a juvenile detention facility and charged with aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm. Putnam County Sheriff's Capt. Richard Schauland said in an email to AP on Wednesday that officials were waiting on an autopsy to determine the cause of death before deciding on any new charges.

Investigators didn't immediately have a motive for the attack.

The 11-year-old boy and his mother are named in the police report, but the AP doesn't generally name juveniles charged with crimes and is not naming the mother to protect his identity.

The child's mother told investigators that she has had trouble with him for several years. When he was 4, he lit his crib on fire with a lighter. He also dug up their dead farm animals, cut their limbs off and carried them around, his mother said. The report doesn't say when or how long this occurred.

There were also several instances in which the 11-year-old was accused of "sexually deviant behaviors" as a victim and as a perpetrator, and within the past year had gone to a sexual treatment facility for juveniles, the report said.

The boy was recently released back into the home. After a few weeks of good behavior, his mother noted that he had "become increasingly angrier." She also said that the boys would often argue and fight.

In another incident, the mother said her son was caught choking another child to the point of turning blue in the face before she was able to stop him. The report doesn't specify how old her son was at the time.

AP Top Political News At 4 p.m. EDT Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:22 -0400 Million-dollar donors lift Jeb Bush's presidential ambitionsSen. Cruz takes on more traditional GOP target: the IRSFeds accuse Philadelphia congressman Fattah of corruptionHouse GOP pushes bill to make it easier to fire VA workersLawmakers poised to leave town with lots of work left undoneHealth care spending to accelerate, US report saysUS agency says it is 'deeply concerned' about lion killParole for Pollard revisits divisions over extent of harm]]> Troy Tulowitzki still shocked by trade to Toronto Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:01:08 -0400 TORONTO (AP) — Troy Tulowitzki was "blindsided" to learn he'd been traded to Toronto after 10 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, and said his life has felt "crazy" ever since.

Getting back on the field should calm things down a little for the five-time All-Star shortstop.

Tulowitzki will lead off against Philadelphia right-hander Jerome Williams in his Blue Jays debut Wednesday night. He was traded to Toronto on Tuesday, along with right-hander LaTroy Hawkins, in exchange for shortstop Jose Reyes and three pitching prospects.

"I'm still shocked," Tulowitzki said Wednesday at his introductory news conference. "When I walk into a clubhouse and it's not purple, it's different for me."

Toronto designated left-hander Felix Doubront for assignment to clear a roster spot for Tulowitzki. Doubront was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five games.

House GOP pushes bill to make it easier to fire VA workers Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:42 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House is moving forward with a bill making it easier to fire or demote hundreds of thousands of employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Supporters say the bill is needed to speed up the pace of change at the beleaguered agency.

The White House has threatened to veto the measure, saying it would remove important due process rights and create a two-tier system in which VA employees would be treated differently than other federal workers.

The measure builds on a law adopted last year that made it easier to fire senior VA executives. The provision was part of a VA overhaul passed in response to a nationwide uproar over long waits for veterans seeking medical care and falsified records by VA employees to cover up the delays.

Devils F Dainius Zubrus placed on unconditional waivers Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:01:09 -0400 NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus was placed on unconditional waivers by the team Wednesday with the intention of ending his contract.

The 37-year-old Zubrus played for the Devils the last eight seasons and was slated to earn $3.1 million this season in the final year of a three-year, $9.3 million deal.

The Lithuanian had 10 points in 74 games last season.

He was drafted by Philadelphia in 1996 in the first round, 15th overall. He played three seasons for the Flyers and competed for Montreal, Washington and Buffalo before joining the Devils in 2007.

Zubrus played in 554 games for New Jersey, scoring 87 goals with 137 assists. He played in 1,243 NHL games, scoring 225 goals and adding 359 assists.

Universal Studios gives trip to class that helped principal Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:01:11 -0400 BETHLEHEM, N.H. (AP) — Universal Studios is donating a free vacation to all 42 seniors graduating from a New Hampshire high school after the class donated funds for a class trip to their principal, who was diagnosed with cancer.

The Caledonian Record reports ( ) the Class of 2015 at Bethlehem's Profile School gave $8,000 to Principal Courtney Vashaw in May. The students spent several years raising money for their class trip but decided it would be better off going to Vashaw to help with her medical treatments.

As word spread of the seniors' selfless act, other people donated funds to help the principal.

In return for the students' compassionate act Universal Studios is offering to pay for their airfare and hotel accommodations to take a trip to the Orlando, Florida, theme park in August.


Information from: The Caledonian-Record,

McCarthy eager to get started in 10th season leading Packers Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:01:09 -0400 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Mike McCarthy is as eager as ever to get training camp started going into his 10th season as coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Players reported on Wednesday. Most of the starters have returned from a team that came close to reaching the Super Bowl, only to collapse late in the 28-22 loss to Seattle in the NFC Championship game.

McCarthy said he was so pleased with the team's progress during offseason workouts that he hopes to get camp off to a fast start when the first practice is whistled into session on Thursday morning.

He's also dealing with uncharacteristic off-field issues for three players in unrelated cases. McCarthy said he was disappointed by the players' mistakes.

BC-ID--Intermountain Grain & Livestock, ID Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:18 -0400 POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Farm Bureau Intermountain Grain and Livestock Report Wednesday, July 29. Bids are subject to change.

BLACKFOOT __ Opening prices white wheat 4.96; 11.5 percent hard red winter 4.62; 14 percent spring 5.37; hard white 4.92;

BURLEY __ white wheat 5.15, down 10; hard red winter 4.10, down 9; 14 percent spring 5.09, down 11; feed barley 5.75, unchanged; hard white 4.70, down 9;

OGDEN — white wheat 5.45, down 15; hard red winter 4.65, down 9; DNS 5.85, down 15; barley 6.00, unchanged; corn 7.75, down 20;

PORTLAND__ no bids for soft white or white club; hard red winter 5.46-5.66, down 9 to up 1; DNS 6.14, down 11; corn 4.51-4.54, down 7; oats 265.00/ton or 3.8475 bushel, unchanged;

NAMPA— Soft white new crop 8.85, down 56 cwt; 5.31, down 34 bushel.
LIVESTOCK AUCTION__ Blackfoot Livestock Auction on July 24.
Utility & boner cows 97.00-110.00; cutters 90.00-102.00;
heiferettes 110.00-158.00; slaughter bulls 110.00-141.00;
feeder steers: heavy 180.00-217.00, light 210.00-261.00, stocker none;
feeder heifers: heavy none, light 220.00-247.00, stocker 230.00-250.00;
holstein steers: heavy none, light none.
No remarks.

Boeing gives Kennedy Center $20 million for expansion Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:19 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — Aerospace giant Boeing Co. is giving the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts $20 million toward the center's expansion project.

The Kennedy Center announced the gift Wednesday from the Chicago-based company.

The center broke ground on the $100 million project in late 2014 and expects to begin active construction this fall. Officials say they plan to open the addition in the fall of 2018.

It is the first major expansion since the center opened to the public in 1971. It will include rehearsal, education and event and performance spaces.

This story has been corrected to show that the addition will open in the fall of 2018, not May 2017.

Sen. Cruz takes on more traditional GOP target: the IRS Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:36 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — After a week of fighting with other Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz is taking on a more traditional GOP target: the IRS.

At a Senate hearing Wednesday, the Republican presidential candidate called the IRS the embodiment of everything that is wrong with government.

Cruz said the tax agency, which he wants to abolish, has stopped serving the American people.

Cruz was referring to a scandal that erupted in 2013 in which the IRS acknowledged that agents had improperly singled out conservative political groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

At the hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the agency has taken steps to make sure it never happens again.

Last week, Cruz raised the ire of fellow Republicans when he accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying.

US agency says it is 'deeply concerned' about lion kill Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:00:56 -0400 WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is ready to assist Zimbabwe in its investigation of an American dentist's killing of a protected African lion and will conduct its own probe.

Laury Parramore of the Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday declined to say what the agency might do once it has more information. But she said the agency was "deeply concerned."

Walter Palmer of suburban Minneapolis killed the lion named Cecil on a big game hunting trip earlier this month. Police have not said whether Palmer will face criminal charges in Zimbabwe. Palmer said in a statement that he was unaware the lion was protected and relied on his guides to ensure a legal hunt.

In terms of sport hunting abroad, the United States' primary authority is over importation of the carcasses, or trophies. Foreign animals can be listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Things to know about U.S. regulations and big game hunting abroad:



Parramore said the agency is "currently gathering facts about the issue and will assist Zimbabwe officials in whatever manner requested."

The agency could potentially find a way to block importation of the animal's body, or body parts, if Zimbabwean authorities approved it for export.

"It is up to all of us — not just the people of Africa — to ensure that healthy, wild populations of animals continue to roam the savanna for generations to come," she said in a statement.



The agency proposed last year to list the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, a move that could limit the importation of African lion carcasses into the United States from some countries. But that rule has not yet been made final.

Listing a foreign species under the act allows the United States to strengthen enforcement and monitoring of imports and international trade, the agency says. A listing can also prohibit certain commercial activity with regard to body parts.

The agency said when it proposed the listing last fall that 70 percent of the current African lion population exists in only 10 major strongholds. Threats facing the lions include loss of habitat, loss of prey and hunting, officials said.



The agency's proposal would allow permits for the importation of sport-hunted lion trophies only if the lions come from countries with a "scientifically sound management plan for African lions."

Long before Cecil's killing, Zimbabwe was heavily criticized for failing to properly manage its wildlife populations. The Fish and Wildlife Service last year announced an indefinite suspension on the import of sport-hunted trophies from elephants hunted in Zimbabwe.

The agency cited shortcomings in Zimbabwe's plans for overseeing its elephant herds and said it was "unable to find that the killing of an elephant whose trophy is intended for import would enhance the survival of the species."

Legal sport hunting, when properly regulated, is considered to be a sound element of wildlife management. Revenues from hunting can be funneled into conservation programs and finance incentives for local communities to guard protected species.