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Nation / World

Amazon's Echo, a digital assistant that can be set up in a home or office to listen for various requests, such as for a song, a sports score, the weather, or even a book to be read aloud, is shown, Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in New York. The $180 cylindrical device is the latest advance in voice-recognition technology that's enabling machines to record snippets of conversation that are analyzed and stored by companies promising to make their customers' lives better. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Is the Internet listening in?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Like a lot of teenagers, Aanya Nigam reflexively shares her whereabouts, activities and thoughts on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks without a qualm. But Aanya’s care-free attitude dissolved into paranoia a few months ago shortly after her mother bought Amazon’s Echo, a digital assistant that can be set up in a home or office to listen for various requests, such as for a song, a sports score, the weather, or even a book to be read aloud. After using the Internet-connected device for two months, Aanya, 16, started to worry that the Echo was eavesdropping on conversations in her Issaquah, Washington, … 0

Rising debt increasing risk of another financial crisis

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — It’s not just Greece, Puerto Rico and China. Debt is piling up around the world — stifling global economic growth and heightening the risk of more defaults and market turmoil. World leaders are caught in a trap: More debt in the form of government and private spending is needed to stimulate … 0

Penn. congressman indicted on charges of racketeering

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., and four associates were indicted Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy charges stemming from several alleged schemes to misuse campaign funds and hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money to further their political and financial interests. The five schemes include accepting a $1 million illegal loan for Fattah’s failed 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor from a … 0

As death nears, chemotherapy may do more harm than good

Friday, July 24, 2015

It’s been documented that many terminal cancer patients don’t benefit from chemotherapy and other types of treatments toward the end of their lives. Nonetheless, many, with their doctors, opt to continue treatment — faced with impossible choices, they hold on to hope that treatment might buy some time, … 0

Out of the ordinary

Friday, July 24, 2015

560-pound man biking across US to lose weight TIVERTON, R.I. — A 560-pound man biking across the United States to lose weight hit a snag in Rhode Island. The Newport Daily News reports a bent rim on Eric … 0

Another Earth: Scientists find closest thing yet to our twin

Thursday, July 23, 2015

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Scientists have identified a “close cousin” to Earth that’s orbiting a sun-like star and might harbor life. “It is the closest thing that we have to another place that somebody else might call home,” … 0

House OKs bill against label laws for GMOs

Friday, July 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — A bill that would prevent state and local governments from requiring labels on genetically modified foods passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday after contentious debate, 275-150. The bill now heads to the Senate. If enacted into law, it would nullify labeling laws that already … 0

Wage war: NY board backs $15 minimum wage hike for fast-food workers

Thursday, July 23, 2015

NEW YORK — Fast-food workers in New York state would see a super-sized raise under a plan to phase in a $15 minimum wage — the first time a state has singled out a particular industry for such … 0

Pentagon blames live anthrax shipments on sloppy work

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — Pentagon leaders used unusually harsh language in criticizing the failure of the Defense Department to detect and control inadvertent shipments of live anthrax to at least 86 labs across the United States and in seven other countries over the course of a dozen years. Deputy Defense … 0

Western wildfires threaten homes, tourism

Thursday, July 23, 2015

HELENA, Mont. — Firefighters on Thursday braced for a fresh run by a wildfire that sent tourists fleeing from hotels and campgrounds in Montana’s Glacier National Park, while a blaze threatening hundreds of homes in Northern California shot … 0

Cosby lawyers: Deposition release broke settlement terms

Thursday, July 23, 2015

PHILADELPHIA — Bill Cosby’s lawyers on Thursday asked a judge to hold an accuser’s attorney responsible for the release of the comedian’s deposition in a 2005 Pennsylvania case. They fault Andrea Constand’s lawyers for the weekend release of … 0

Nation and World Briefs, July 24

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trump at Mexican border: Hispanics will love me LAREDO, Texas — Ever sure of himself, Donald Trump paid a whirlwind visit to the Mexico border Thursday and predicted Hispanics would love him — “they already do” — because … 0

Greece tackles final reform hurdle before new bailout talks

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ATHENS, Greece — Greek lawmakers held a whirlwind debate into the early hours Thursday on further reforms demanded by international creditors in return for a third multibillion-euro bailout, with attention focusing on government rebels who oppose the measures. … 0