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Today's News

  • Oil drops to near $108 ahead of key demand reports

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Oil prices slumped to near $108 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, extending losses from the previous session ahead of key reports on the impact of rising fuel costs on global crude demand.

    Benchmark crude for May delivery was down $1.64 at $108.28 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $2.87 to settle at $109.92 on Monday.

    In London, Brent crude for May delivery was down $1.51 to $122.47 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

  • Obama first to put tax increases on budget table

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher taxes have been missing from the fierce budget battle that nearly shut down the federal government. But President Barack Obama is about to put them on the table — at least a modest version that he had pushed before and then rested on the shelf.

    Most economists and budget analysts say a comprehensive mix of spending cuts and tax increases is essential to any viable deficit-reduction plan. Yet few players in the negotiations have gone there.

  • Japan ups nuke crisis severity to match Chernobyl--video extra

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan raised the crisis level at its crippled nuclear plant Tuesday to a severity on par with the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, citing high overall radiation leaks that have contaminated the air, tap water, vegetables and seawater.

    Japanese nuclear regulators said they raised the rating from 5 to 7 — the highest level on an international scale of nuclear accidents overseen by the International Atomic Energy Agency — after new assessments of radiation leaks from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant since it was disabled by the March 11 tsunami.

  • Early warning prevented injuries in Iowa twister--video extra

    MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) — Residents of a small Iowa town had 15 minutes of warning before a tornado leveled more than half their community — a critical advantage in preventing any deaths or serious injuries, authorities said Monday.

    The storm barreled through Mapleton on Saturday night with winds of more than 130 mph. But the worst injury was a mere broken leg.

    Monona County Sheriff Jeff Pratt said he and his deputies, along with trained storm spotters, tracked the twister across the countryside and notified communities in its path to blow their warning sirens earlier than normal. That let people scramble into basements or seek other shelter.

  • Forces capture Ivory Coast strongman in bunker--video extra

    ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast's elected president used his troops and French tanks and air power to oust strongman Laurent Gbagbo, ending their four-month standoff on Monday by pulling him from his burning residence.

    Images of Gbagbo being led into a room in a white undershirt were broadcast on television as proof of his capture even as he refused to sign a statement formally ceding power after losing November's election.

    Residents of the commercial capital of Abidjan refrained from celebrating in public, still fearful of the hundreds of armed fighters that continued to prowl the streets, refusing to believe their leader had been arrested. Sporadic gunfire echoed across the city Monday night.

  • Japan shaken by quake after more evacuations urged--video extra

    SENDAI, Japan (AP) — A strong new earthquake rattled Japan's northeast Monday as the government urged more people living near a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant to leave, citing concerns about long-term health risks from radiation.

    The magnitude 7.0 aftershock came just hours after people bowed their heads and wept in somber ceremonies to mark a month since a massive earthquake and tsunami that killed up to 25,000 people and set off a crisis of radiation leaks at the nuclear plant by knocking out its cooling systems.

  • Schwartzel wins the Masters--see videos

    AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Charl Schwartzel gave this Masters a finish it deserved.

    On an amazing Sunday at Augusta National, where the roars came from everywhere and for everyone and didn't stop until it was over, Schwartzel emerged from the madness by becoming the first Masters champion to close with four straight birdies.

    His final putt from 20 feet curled into the side of the cup for a 6-under 66, the best closing round at the Masters in 22 years. It gave the 26-year-old South African a two-shot victory over Australians Adam Scott and Jason Day.

    "Just an exciting day," Schwartzel said. "So many roars, and that atmosphere out there was just incredible. A phenomenal day."

  • Mining is nearly everywhere in state

    The state’s roughly 240 “active registered” mines, 83 percent of them producing aggregate and stone, employed 5,156 people in 2009, paid them $287 million, and produced minerals worth about $1.8 billion – good for a ranking of 20th nationally without counting oil and gas.
    The big value numbers come from coal ($736 million in 2009), potash ($491 million), and copper ($290 million and hiring again).
    Except for potash and salt mines around Carlsbad, the mines are located in the southwest quadrant and in a broad and mostly rural northern arc that starts at Raton, swings south to include Belen and Albuquerque, edges north and west to Grants and then goes to the Arizona.

  • Adolescents represent the most underserved group in healthcare

    The Preparticipation Physical Exam, or PPE, commonly known as a sports physical is performed over six million times in the U.S. annually and may be the only contact an adolescent or teen ever has with a physician.
    In fact, adolescents represent the most underserved population in healthcare. Traditionally, parents have viewed the PPE as a yearly, comprehensive medical evaluation, whereas physicians have held that it is more of a cursory exam in which possible limitations to sports participation may be identified.

  • Track and field: Toppers heading to Meet of Champions

    The Los Alamos Hilltopper boys and girls track and field teams will take several athletes to the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions Monday.
    The Sepulveda Invitational is the most prestigious meet of the regular track and field season. Individuals taking part in the invitation-only meet have posted the top marks in the state, irrespective of their teams’ classifications.
    The meet is hosted by Albuquerque Academy.
    Los Alamos’ Chase Ealey will compete in three different events at the meet Monday, while Lindsay Benage and Laura Wendelberger were invited to compete in two events.
    In all, 10 Hilltoppers will travel to Monday’s meet to compete in 14 events.