SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook's Messenger app is evolving into a multitasking tool equipped to send an animated fist bump to a friend at one moment and then get a little business done in the next.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Severe storms were bearing down on the Tulsa area, ending a quiet start to the nation's tornado season.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A motorist who was having a seizure when he critically injured a Denver policeman during a demonstration late last year over the killing of an unarmed black teenager in Missouri was arrested on Wednesday on assault charges, authorities said. Christopher Booker, 42, is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault, vehicular assault, forgery and attempting to influence a public servant, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey told reporters. Morrissey said Booker allegedly concealed his medical history of seizures when he applied for a driver's license, leading to the forgery and influence accusations. Booker was behind the wheel of a sport utility vehicle on Dec. 3 when he plowed into four Denver bicycle officers as they performed traffic and crowd control during a protest march by students from East High School.
By Kelly Twedell FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a former Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan, was formally charged on Wednesday with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the most serious count, the Army said. Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell of Yale Law School, said the Army had scheduled an Article 32 investigation hearing on April 22 to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a court-martial. The Army said the investigation, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, would take place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
Former Philadelphia sportscaster Don Tollefson was sentenced to two to four years in state prison on Wednesday after he was convicted for fraud back in January.
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday again passed a bill that would outlaw abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or at about six weeks, but it is not expected to become law. The bill is opposed by Governor John Kasich, also a Republican, along with some anti-abortion activists, who think it would be unconstitutional. "With the passage of HB 69, Ohio Republicans have shown they'll stop at nothing in their quest to deny women their rights, no matter how dangerous their efforts may be," said Ohio State Representative Kathy DiCristofaro, chair of the Democratic Women's Caucus. Other anti-abortion bills are also under consideration in the Ohio House, including a 20-week ban.
CINCINNATI (AP) — A woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter with a chef's knife was indicted Wednesday on a charge of aggravated murder.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he's ready to sign "good, bipartisan" legislation protecting physicians from steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements and bolstering health programs for children and the poor as Senate Democrats seemed to soften their opposition to the package.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State University disbanded a fraternity chapter Wednesday following the discovery of a notebook filled with sexist and racially offensive entries in a restaurant off campus.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Wednesday she is seeking judicial authority to refuse to allow the author of an "utterly reprehensible" anti-gay proposed ballot initiative to gather signatures to place it on the ballot. The proposed initiative, called by its author the "Sodomite Suppression Act," calls gay sex an "abominable crime" for which participants should be killed. The proposal is so patently extreme that it could never become law, but it has nonetheless upset people in California, who have urged Harris to step in. Typically, when the author of a ballot proposition files a measure and pays a fee of $200, the next step is for the Attorney General to prepare a title and summary, which would then be used to show voters as backers gather signatures to try to place it on the ballot.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Before he was a soldier and a captive, before he faced military desertion charges, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was a local kid living near a small Idaho town.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley has incensed South Carolina legislators by suggesting people need to take a shower after talking to them.
SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle jury has convicted a 36-year-old man for killing six members of his ex-girlfriend's family on Christmas Eve 2007.
Investigators are looking for the cause of a massive fire at a fabrication business in Bethlehem, Lehigh County.
MIAMI (AP) — Two particularly hungry, exotic termite species apparently have found love halfway around the world and, as with so many other Florida hook-ups, the results are disturbing.
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Texas Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to cut about $4.5 billion in taxes, with most of the cuts in property taxes and a franchise tax paid by businesses. The bill next goes to the Republican-controlled House, where support for the measure is strong. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Supporters of the ousted leader of the University of Mississippi are pressuring trustees to renew his contract.
DENVER (AP) — The top VA official in charge of construction nationwide retired Wednesday amid an internal investigation of delays and massive cost overruns at the Denver veterans hospital, the agency said.
By Ernest Scheyder WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - Business and community leaders in North Dakota's western oil patch have launched an aggressive campaign to convince more manufacturers to set up shop locally, part of a push to expand the area's economy beyond crude production and slash costs. The effort, which was launched on Wednesday at a conference in Williston, capital of the state's oil industry, comes as crude prices have plunged more than 60 percent since last summer, threatening the economy of a region overly reliant on one industry - pumping of oil out the ground. Industry and community leaders say diversification is crucial for not only the state's economy, but also for oil producers who have long complained of excessive costs for pump repairs, valve parts and myriad other components and services. "We're just asking for a quality product at a reasonable price," Dave Ruffie, a production foreman with Continental Resources Inc, said at the conference, dubbed "ManLog" by organizers for its focus on manufacturing and logistics.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas has received a new stock of a lethal injection drug after its supply of the sedative it uses in executions fell to just one batch, prison officials said on Wednesday. "The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has obtained a new supply of pentobarbital, which will allow the agency to carry out executions that are scheduled for the month of April," spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement. Texas, which has accounted for 37 percent of all executions in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, has four executions planned for April. "We continue to explore all options including the continued used of pentobarbital or alternate drugs to use in the lethal injection process," he said.