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State budget chief upbeat

HARRISBURG — Gov. Tom Wolf’s top budget official provided an upbeat assessment of the state’s finances this week despite a recent warning of difficult budget times ahead. In what turned out to be his final mid-year budget briefing, Budget Secretary Randy Albright said, “We are very ...

US: Girl who died in custody was in good health

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. immigration officials on Friday defended their actions in the detention of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died two days after she and her father were taken into custody along a remote stretch of the U.S. border. The girl, identified by a Guatemalan official as ...

AP: Ivanka, Kushner could profit from tax break they pushed

WASHINGTON (AP) — At an Oval Office gathering earlier this year, President Donald Trump began touting his administration’s new real estate investment program, which offers massive tax breaks to developers who invest in downtrodden American communities. He then turned to one of the plan’s ...

Dog aids woman in bear attack

A woman survived a mauling by a bear by repeatedly punching the animal and crawling into a bush as her Chihuahua-mix distracted the attacker. Melinda LeBarron has broken bones, cuts and bruises and multiple bites after the attack outside her home in rural Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening, ...

Utah senator regrets comments

WASHINGTON — Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch is backtracking after saying this week that he wasn’t concerned that prosecutors have implicated President Donald Trump in a crime. The Republican senator said in a statement that he spoke “imprudently” in a CNN hallway interview on Tuesday. He ...

Republican drops recount request

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A Republican incumbent dropped his request for a recount Friday in the first congressional race in U.S. history held under a system by which voters rank candidates in order of preference. The announcement by Rep. Bruce Poliquin came a day after a federal judge tossed ...

Trump weighs next move on wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is racing to avoid a partial government shutdown next Friday over President Donald Trump’s border wall. But you wouldn’t know it by the schedule, as lawmakers left town waiting for the White House’s next move. The House is taking an extended five-day ...

Mulvaney selected as chief of staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday picked budget director Mick Mulvaney to be his next chief of staff, ending a chaotic search that had been inching forward with the feel of an unfolding reality TV show. Trump tweeted that Mulvaney “will be named Acting White House Chief ...

Serbia talks up armed invention

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Serbia threatened a possible armed intervention in Kosovo after the Kosovo parliament on Friday overwhelmingly approved the formation of an army. Belgrade called the move a “direct threat to peace and stability” in the Balkans and lashed out at the United States ...

Nation briefs

NEW YORK J&J denies asbestos in baby powder NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson on Friday forcefully denied a media report that it knew for decades about the existence of trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder. The report by the Reuters news service sent the company’s shares ...

World briefs

INDIA 10 die of suspected food poisoning NEW DELHI — At least 10 people in southern India died Friday of suspected food poisoning after a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Hindu temple, police said. Another 32 people were hospitalized after they ate at the ceremony in ...

Apple to build new Austin hub

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that will create at least 5,000 jobs ranging from engineers to call-center agents while adding more luster to a Southwestern city that has already become a bustling tech hub. The decision, announced Thursday, comes ...

Recall

Toyota pickups, SUVs to fix air bag, brakes Toyota is recalling nearly 143,000 SUVs and pickups worldwide to fix air bag and brake problems. The first recall covers about 96,000 Toyota Land Cruisers and Lexus LX570 SUVs from 2008 through 2019. Toyota says a seat belt tension sensor can ...

Ticker

With OK from Congress, US hemp market to boom Hemp is about to be­come legal nationwide. A provision of the farm bill that received final approval in Congress on Wednesday removes hemp from the list of federally controlled substances and treats it like a regular crop. Hemp is a type of ...

Tourism rocket ship reaches space

MOJAVE, Calif. — Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above Cal­i­for­nia’s Mojave Desert on Thurs­day, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space. The rocket ship hit an altitude of 51 miles before beginning its ...

Senate rebukes Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — Senators voted Thursday to recommend that the U.S. end its assistance to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen and put the blame for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi squarely on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a direct challenge to both the longtime Middle East ally ...

Train crash kills 9, injures dozens

ANKARA, Turkey — A high-speed train hit a railway engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass Thursday at a station in the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing nine people and injuring dozens, officials said. The 6:30 a.m. train from Ankara to the central Turkish city of Konya collided ...

Wave of hoax bomb threats made across US

NEW YORK — A wave of bomb threats emailed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the U.S. triggered searches, evacuations and fear — but there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt. Law ...

Nation

Georgia Officer killed after traffic stop ATLANTA — Authorities said a Georgia police officer and a suspect have both died after a traffic stop led to a foot chase and shooting. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, DeKalb County police Chief James Conroy said at a news ...

World

Netherlands Man with knife arrested at airport THE HAGUE — Military police in the Netherlands have arrested a man armed with a knife at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. Military police spokeswoman Joanna Helmonds said the man allegedly threatened passers-by on Thursday night before ...