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Businesses cautious to expand in weak economy

NEW YORK — Ron Pierce has one eye on expanding his information technology business and the other on something he can’t control: the economy. “I’m not afraid to expand my company, but I realize that a recession may be coming and that any expansion could have me reducing my staff,” ...

Tiffany introduces its first jewelry collection for men

NEW YORK — Tiffany & Co. is launching its first comprehensive jewelry collection for men in October as it seeks to diversify its traditional customer base. The line announced Thursday is part of the Tiffany’s strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales, which have been ...

US pushes for graphic warning labels

WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials are making a new attempt at adding graphic images to cigarette packets to discourage Americans from lighting up. If successful, it would be the first change to U.S. cigarette warnings in 35 years. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed 13 new ...

Paule Marshall, novelist of diverse influences, dead at 90

NEW YORK — Paule Marshall, an exuberant and sharpened storyteller who in fiction such as “Daughters” and “Brown Girl, Brownstones” drew upon classic and vernacular literature and her mother’s kitchen conversations to narrate the divides between blacks and whites, men and women and ...

Michael Krauss, Alaska linguistics expert, dead at 84

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A linguist renowned for his work with Alaska Native languages has died. Michael Krauss died Aug. 11, a few days before his 85th birthday, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported . A son, Isaac Krauss, confirmed his father’s death. Krauss documented conversations ...

‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ animator Richard Williams has died

LONDON — Richard Williams, a Canadian-British animator whose work on the bouncing cartoon bunny in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” helped blur the boundaries between the animated world and our own, has died. He was 86 years old. The Oscar-winning artist died from cancer at his home in ...

Dutch Princess Christina, sister of former queen

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Princess Christina, the youngest sister of former Queen Beatrix, died Friday after a battle with bone cancer. She was 72. Christina, the youngest of four daughters of the late Queen Juliana and her German-born husband Prince Bernhard, died at the Noordeinde ...

Two firefighters hurt battling blaze

PITTSBURGH — Authorities said an apartment building fire in Pittsburgh injured two firefighters, sending one of them to a hospital. The Pittsburgh public safety department said the blaze was in a four-story building in West Oakland on Saturday afternoon. Public safety officials said one ...

Pa. man heading polka hall

NANTICOKE — Back in his Polka band’s heyday, John “Stanky” Stankovic once had a globe-crossing marathon weekend by playing in England on Friday, at the Bloomsburg Fair on Saturday and in Switzerland on Sunday. “How we did that? I don’t know. But we did it,” Stankovic, 83, ...

Cookie table record draws challenge, crowd

MONONGAHELA — A group of Ohio bakers eagerly awaited the final tally Thursday for the record-setting Monongahela wedding cookie table because its members had already made a challenge to top the city’s Guinness World Record. The Youngstown Cookie Table on Facebook will need to set up a ...

Charles Santore, illustrator of children’s books

PHILADELPHIA — Charles Santore, an illustrator known for his richly detailed and whimsical interpretations of classic children’s books has died, his daughter said Friday. Christina Santore said her father died Sunday after a brief illness in Philadelphia, where he was born, raised and ...

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies

LOS ANGELES — Actor Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right after both writing and starring in the counter-culture classic “Easy Rider,” has died. His family said in a statement that Fonda died Friday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He ...

Iranian tanker captain no longer wants job

GIBRALTAR — The captain of an Iranian supertanker at the center of a diplomatic standoff no longer wants to keep command of the ship, which is in need of repairs that could impede its immediate departure from Gibraltar, the sailor’s lawyer said Friday. Any delay in the Grace 1’s ...

NYC bomb scare evacuates subway

NEW YORK — Three abandoned devices that looked like pressure cookers caused an evacuation of a major New York City subway station and closed off an intersection in another part of town Friday morning before police determined the objects were not explosives. Police were looking to talk to a ...

Rep. Tlaib declines to visit West Bank

JERUSALEM — Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said Friday she would not visit her grandmother in the occupied West Bank, despite being granted an Israeli permit on humanitarian grounds, saying Israel’s “oppressive” conditions aimed to humiliate her. Israel barred Tlaib and another ...

Nation briefs

ME rules Epstein’s death a suicide NEW YORK — New York City’s medical examiner ruled Jeffrey Epstein’s death a suicide Friday, confirming after nearly a week of speculation that the financier faced with sex trafficking charges hanged himself in his jail cell. Epstein, 66, was found ...

World briefs

UN: Executions in Iran world’s highest UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. expert on human rights in Iran said last year saw increasing restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and continuing violations of the right to life, liberty and a fair trial in the Islamic Republic, including 253 ...

Customs, Border Protection outage snarls major airports

DALLAS — Travelers flying into the United States on Friday ran into long lines at major airports nationwide because of a temporary computer outage that affected the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. Airports warned travelers — both Americans returning home and foreign visitors ...

Kim expresses satisfaction over NKorea weapons tests

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said today that leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of an unspecified new weapon, seen as an attempt to pressure Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear negotiations and their joint military exercises. Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency ...

Recession signs worry Trump

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is warning of an economic crash if he loses reelection, arguing that even voters who personally dislike him should base their ballots on the nation’s strong growth and low unemployment rate. But privately, Trump is growing increasingly worried the ...