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Today's News

  • Gunfire in Syrian coastal city; 35 dead in 4 days

    BEIRUT (AP) — Heavy machine-gun fire erupted across the besieged Syrian city of Latakia on Tuesday as the death toll rose to 35 from a military assault now in its fourth day, residents and activists said.

    President Bashar Assad has dramatically escalated the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising since the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Despite broad condemnation, the regime is trying to retake control in rebellious areas by unleashing tanks, ground troops and snipers.

    Assad has launched military operations in the opposition stronghold of Hama, the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, the central city of Homs and now the port city of Latakia.

  • US stock futures fall on global economic worries

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures fell Tuesday after more evidence pointed to a slowing global economy and threatened to halt the market's three-day rally.

    Germany's economy stalled last quarter, dragging down growth for Europe. That offset strong profit reports from blue-chip U.S. companies, and it may also erase hopes that the market had finally calmed down since Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating less than two weeks ago.

  • Police: Kidnapper thwarted by alert neighbor--video extra

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a suspected kidnapper was thwarted by a man who witnessed a 6-year-old girl being pushed into a van and then quickly alerted authorities.

    Albuquerque police officer Robert Gibbs tells KRQE that suspect Phil Garcia tried to coax the girl into a green van late Monday afternoon before pushing her into the vehicle.

    Gibbs says an alert neighbor, who was not identified, got into his own car and began following the van while also calling 911.

    According to Gibbs, Garcia notice he was being followed and tried lose the car but instead crashed about a mile and a half from where the girl was taken.

  • To be frank, it's a dog fight

    CHICAGO (AP) — The nation's largest hot dog makers argued about the meaning of "100 percent pure beef" and the merits of ketchup Monday in a lawsuit over advertising claims stemming from their years of dog-eat-dog competition.

    Attorneys for Sara Lee Corp., which makes Ball Park franks, and Kraft Foods Inc., which makes Oscar Mayer, superimposed giant hot dogs on a courtroom screen as they delivered opening remarks in a case that could clarify how far companies can go when boasting about their products.

  • Gov. Martinez sets special session for Sept. 6

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez announced on Monday she's calling the Legislature back to work in a special session starting Sept. 6.

    The Republican governor's announcement of the date for the session puts an end to speculation on when lawmakers will return to the Capitol to deal with the politically thorny task of redistricting and a host of issues Martinez wants the Legislature to consider, including a package to finance capital improvement projects in the state.

    The Legislative Council, a leadership group, had recommended a Sept. 12 session start date.

  • Stocks rise after acquisition spree

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are rising after companies announced a series of acquisitions totaling more than $19 billion.

    The Dow Jones industrial average is up 104 points, or 0.9 percent, to 11,375 at midday in New York. The S&P 500 is up 13, or 1.1 percent, to 1,192. The Nasdaq is up 17, or 0.7 percent, to 2,525.

    The biggest deal of the day is Google's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility Holdings. Time Warner Cable, Cargill and Transocean also announced purchases of more than $1 billion.

  • Obama criticizes GOP presidential rivals on taxes--video extra

    CANNON FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Hitting back against an emboldened GOP, President Barack Obama launched a rare direct attack Monday on the Republican presidential field, criticizing his potential 2012 rivals for their blanket opposition to any deficit-cutting compromise involving new taxes.

    "That's just not common sense," Obama told the crowd at a town hall-style meeting in Cannon Falls, Minn., as he kicked off a three-day bus tour through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois.

    "You need to take a balanced approach," he insisted.

  • Taos Bridge renovations won't include hampers to jumpers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A planned $2.6 million renovation of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos won't include structural changes to prevent suicides.

    According to the Department of Transportation, proposals to directly address jumpers — including higher fencing and a net extending beneath the bridge — are costly, and the look of the bridge can't be altered because of it is on both state and national registers of historic places.

  • Ex-Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty ends White House bid

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is dropping out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce on ABC's "This Week" that he was ending his campaign after a disappointing finish in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday.

    The poll was a test of organizational strength and popularity in the state whose caucuses lead off the GOP nomination fight.

    Pawlenty had struggled to gain traction in Iowa, a state he had said he must win, after laying the groundwork for a campaign for nearly two years.

  • Bachmann wins GOP 2012 test vote

    AMES, Iowa (AP) — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won a test vote of Iowans on Saturday, a show of popularity and organizational strength for the tea party favorite five months before the state's caucuses kick off the GOP presidential nominating season.

    The result is the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it's hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House.