March 5, 2015

Mostly clear

Ringling Bros. to eliminate elephant acts by 2018 due to concerns about wellbeing


POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phase out the show’s iconic elephants from its performances by 2018, telling The Associated Press exclusively that growing public concern about how the animals are treated led to the decision. Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company, said the decision to Read More…

Sen. Sherrod Brown pushes measure to reduce testing in schools

Sherrod Brown

A bill supported by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown to reduce testing in the country’s schools is not picking up traction among legislators, but that has not stopped Brown from fighting for education changes. It’s been a month since Brown, D-Cleveland, co-sponsored the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely Act. Since then, no hearings have been Read More…

FACT CHECK: Did Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu go too far in US speech?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (AP PHOTO)

WASHINGTON — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overstated Iran’s domination of the Middle East and understated the timespan of the nuclear deal taking shape with Tehran, while neglecting the role of Congress in lifting Iranian sanctions, in his speech to U.S. lawmakers Tuesday. On the whole, Netanyahu largely adhered to what is known about the Read More…

Landmark net neutrality rules win FCC approval in party-line 3-2 vote

Tom Wheeler

WASHINGTON — In a landmark decision for the future of the Internet, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved tough net neutrality regulations to oversee online traffic. The new rules prohibit Internet service providers from discriminating against legal content flowing through their wired or wireless networks, such as by charging websites for faster delivery of Read More…

Former Marine convicted in deaths of ‘American Sniper’ author, second man

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STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A former Marine was convicted Tuesday in the deaths of the “American Sniper” author and another man at a shooting range two years ago, as jurors rejected defense arguments that he was insane and suffered from psychosis. The trial of Eddie Ray Routh has drawn intense interest, in part because of the Read More…

Somalia extremists urge attacks on US shopping malls


JOHANNESBURG — A video purported to be by Somalia’s al-Qaida-linked rebel group al-Shabab urged Muslims to attack shopping malls in the U.S., Canada, Britain and other Western countries. U.S. authorities said there was “no credible” evidence suggesting a U.S. mall attack was in the works. The threat by the al-Qaida affiliate came in the final Read More…

Harper Lee to release ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ sequel in July

FILE - In this Aug. 20, 2007, file photo, Harper Lee, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "To kill a Mockingbird," smiles during a ceremony honoring the four new members of the Alabama Academy of Honor at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. Publisher Harper announced Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, that "Go Set a Watchman," a novel Lee completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. It will be her second published book. (AP Photo/Rob Carr, File)

NEW YORK — “To Kill a Mockingbird” will not be Harper Lee’s only published book after all. Publisher Harper announced Tuesday that “Go Set a Watchman,” a novel the Pulitzer Prize-winning author completed in the 1950s and put aside, will be released July 14. Rediscovered last fall, “Go Set a Watchman” is essentially a sequel Read More…

Top two congressional Republicans publicly support childhood vaccinations

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, pauses at a news conference before announcing that the House plans to vote today to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, following a GOP strategy session at Republican National Committee headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Boehner also reacted to President Barack Obama's budget proposals that arrived in Congress yesterday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — The top two Republican leaders in Congress have backed childhood vaccinations. House Speaker John Boehner says there may not be a need for a law, but that “all children ought to be vaccinated.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that as a polio survivor, he’s a “big fan of vaccinations” — and as Read More…

Middletown man pleads guilty to selling fake urine for workplace drug tests

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PITTSBURGH — An Ohio man who sold fake urine and other products meant to help people pass workplace drug tests has pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Pennsylvania. David Neal, 61 of Middletown, Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to defraud the United States and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. He faces Read More…

Treasure-hunting professor discusses fugitive ex-student

Charles Herdendorf, professor emeritus of limnology and oceonography, and president of Sheffield Village Historical Society, holds a photo Thursday and a strand of golden coral named in his honor. The coral was discovered during  a recovery operation of the S.S. Central America off the Carolina coast. (STEVE MANHEIM / GAZETTE)

Charles Herdendorf hasn’t seen or heard from Tommy Thompson in years. But the well-known former Ohio State University oceanography professor wasn’t surprised when told Thompson, a one-time treasure hunter and fugitive from justice, may fight extradition to Ohio over allegations he cheated investors out of about $50 million in gold Thompson recovered from a famed Read More…