CHICAGO (AP) — One of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs and a major player in the sale of Russian natural gas to Ukraine allegedly spearheaded an international conspiracy to pay at least $18 million in bribes to mine titanium in India and sell it to a Chicago-based company, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday by U.S. prosecutors.
WASHINGTON (AP) — While unemployment has been a major impediment to African-Americans' economic progress, underemployment is a bigger obstacle for them than it is for whites or Hispanics, the National Urban League says in its latest State of Black America report.
By Dave Warner PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Pennsylvania's top court on Wednesday rejected a bid by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky to appeal his 2012 conviction on charges of sexually abusing children. In a case that rocked the world of big-time college sports, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, using his position in the prestigious football program to gain access to youth. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the 69-year-old Sandusky's appeal request in a terse, one-sentence ruling: "The petition for allowance of appeal is denied." State officials welcomed the news. "We are very pleased with the Supreme Court's decision," said Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
A leading federation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans said on Wednesday that it is receiving premium payments from 80 to 85 percent of its new Obamacare health insurance customers. The estimate, released by the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, reflects enrollment activity among 35 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 47 of the 50 states, including plans sold by WellPoint Inc, from October 1 through February 1. That data could help shed light on the integrity of administration figures that show 7.1 million people have signed up for private health insurance under President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association did not say how many of those who have signed up for coverage under Obamacare are new customers.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A smorgasbord of options and lower prices for consumers were two of the chief selling points for President Barack Obama as he promoted his overhaul of the nation's health insurance industry, predicting Americans would see "competition in ways we haven't seen before." Companies were even started as a way to encourage innovation and competition, namely 23 consumer-run, co-op insurers created with the help of $2 billion in federal loans.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Electric-car company Tesla Motors has filed notice it intends to go to court to appeal New Jersey's ruling that would stop it from selling its vehicles in the state within two weeks.
DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for a Detroit-area man who fatally shot a young, unarmed woman on his porch are asking a rookie judge to step aside and are signaling that the victim's lifestyle should be fair game at a June trial.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - An African exchange student plummeted to his death from a hotel balcony after eating a marijuana-infused cookie, in the first reported pot-related death in the city since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, the Denver coroner's office said on Wednesday. Levi Thamba Pongi, 19, died on March 11 from injuries related to the fall and marijuana intoxication is listed as "a significant condition" that contributed to the accident, said Michelle Weiss-Samaras, spokeswoman for the Denver medical examiner's office. Possession and use by adults of small amounts of recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado. He went on a spring break in Denver with three other exchange students from the school to try marijuana, Weiss-Samaras said.
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Connecticut woman whose face and hands were ripped off in an attack by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009, on Wednesday was denied a bid to sue the state for up to $150 million to cover her medical expenses. The state legislature's judiciary committee voted 35-3 against Charla Nash's request to sue the state to cover injuries she suffered when the 200-pound (90 kilogram) chimpanzee mauled her while she was visiting the home of her friend and employer, who owned the animal. State Attorney General George Jepsen had said that allowing the suit to proceed would "open the floodgates for unlimited lawsuits and liability that would bankrupt the state." Attorneys for Nash had argued that the state should have removed the animal from her friend's home, noting that the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was aware of its presence and, in one report, had called it "an accident waiting to happen." Nash, 60, has undergone a face transplant, a failed double-hand transplant and many other surgeries since the attack.
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday halted two executions in Texas, declaring that the state's prison system must disclose to defense attorneys more information about the supplier of a new batch of lethal-injection drugs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Muriel Bowser's decisive victory in the District of Columbia's Democratic mayoral primary makes her the presumptive favorite to become the city's eighth mayor, but she can't expect to breeze through the general election like Democratic nominees have in four decades of mayoral elections.