Karplus, Levitt, Warshel share Nobel chemistry prize
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Scientists Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday cited the three researchers "for the development of the multiscale models for complex chemical systems."
Earlier this week, three Americans won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries about how key substances are moved around within cells and the physics award went to British and Belgian scientists whose theories help explain how matter formed after the Big Bang.
Obama to nominate Fed Vice Chair Yellen to succeed Bernanke as chairman of central bank
WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a lengthy and politically charged search, President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve's vice chair, to be chairman of the nation's powerful central bank, succeeding Ben Bernanke at a pivotal time for the economy and the Fed's monetary policies.
If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to head a major central bank anywhere in the world. She also would be the first Democrat chosen to lead the Fed since Paul Volcker was picked by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
Obama was scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday with Yellen and Bernanke at his side in the White House's ornate East Room.
Bernanke, 59, will serve until his term ends Jan. 31, completing a remarkable eight-year tenure in which he helped pull the U.S. economy out of the worst financial crisis and recession since the 1930s.
Under Bernanke's leadership, the Fed created extraordinary programs that are credited with helping save the U.S. banking system after the financial crisis erupted in 2008. The Fed lent money to banks after credit markets froze, cut its key short-term interest rate to near zero and bought trillions in bonds to lower long-term borrowing rates.
AP-GfK Poll: Republicans get most blame for shutdown, tea party is potent and divisive factor
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are holding Republicans primarily responsible for the partial government shutdown as public esteem sinks for all players in the impasse, President Barack Obama among them, according to a new poll. It's a struggle with no heroes.
The Associated Press-GfK survey, out Wednesday, affirms expectations by many in Washington — Republicans among them — that the GOP may end up taking the biggest hit in public opinion from the fiscal paralysis, just as that party did when much of the government closed 17 years ago. But the situation is fluid nine days into the shutdown and there's plenty of disdain to go around.
Overall, 62 percent mainly blamed Republicans for the shutdown. About half said Obama or the Democrats in Congress bear much responsibility.
Asked if she blamed Obama, House Republicans, Senate Democrats or the tea party for the shutdown, Martha Blair, 71, of Kerrville, Texas, said, yes, you bet. All of them.
"Somebody needs to jerk those guys together to get a solution, instead of just saying 'no,'" said Blair, an independent. "It's just so frustrating." It's also costly: She's paid to fly with a group to four national parks in Arizona and California next month and says she can't get her money back or reschedule if the parks remain closed.
Obama claims GOP extortion, Boehner vows no surrender amid hints of short-term budget truce
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are increasing the pressure on each other to bend in their deadlock over the federal debt limit and the partial government shutdown. Even as they do, there are hints they might consider a brief truce.
With the shutdown in its ninth day Wednesday and a potential economy-shaking federal default edging ever closer, neither side was showing signs of capitulating. Republicans were demanding talks on deficit reduction and Obama's 2010 health care law as the price for boosting the government's borrowing authority and returning civil servants to work, while the president wanted Congress to first end the shutdown and extend the debt limit.
Amid the tough talk, though, were indications that both sides might be open to a short-term extension of the $16.7 trillion borrowing limit and a temporary end to the shutdown, giving them more time to resolve their disputes.
Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Tuesday he was not drawing "lines in the sand." He sidestepped a question about whether he'd raise the debt limit and fund government for short periods by saying, "I'm not going to get into a whole lot of speculation."
Hours later, Obama used a White House news conference to say he "absolutely" would negotiate with Republicans on "every item in the budget" if Congress first sent him short-term measures halting the shutdown and the extending the debt limit.
US expected to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Egypt
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — U.S. officials said Wednesday that the Obama administration is poised to slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance to Egypt. The announcement is expected this week, once official notifications have been made to all interested parties.
The U.S. has been considering such a move since the Egyptian military ousted the country's first democratically elected leader in June. It would be a dramatic shift for the Obama administration, which has declined to label President Mohamed Morsi's ouster a coup and has argued that it is in U.S. national security interests to keep aid flowing. It would also likely have profound implications for decades of close U.S.-Egyptian ties that have served as a bulwark of security and stability in the Middle East.
The move follows a particularly violent weekend in Egypt, as dozens of people were killed in clashes between security forces and Morsi supporters.
The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly before the administration's official announcement.
President Barack Obama's top national security aides recommended the aid cutoff in late August, and Obama had been expected to announce it last month. But the announcement got sidetracked by the debate over whether to launch military strikes against Syria.
Your guide to the 2013 Nobel Prizes: Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Econ
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Here's a look at the achievements being honored by this year's Nobel Prizes, the $1.2 million awards handed out since 1901 by committees in Stockholm and Oslo:
NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS
The physics prize was awarded for a theory about how subatomic particles that are the building blocks of matter get their mass. The theory made headlines last year when it was confirmed by the discovery of the Higgs particle, which originates from an invisible field that gives particles mass. This theoretical understanding is a central part of the so-called Standard Model, which describes the physics of how the world is constructed. The prize was shared by two men who proposed the theory independently of each other in 1964: Peter Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium.
NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE
The medicine prize, the first of the 2013 awards to be announced, honored breakthroughs in understanding how key substances are moved around within a cell. That process happens through vesicles, tiny bubbles that deliver their cargo within a cell to the right place at the right time. Disturbances in the delivery system can lead to neurological diseases, diabetes or immunological disorders. The prize was shared by Americans James E. Rothman of Yale and Randy W. Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley; and German-American Dr. Thomas C. Sudhof, of the Stanford University School of Medicine at Stanford University.
Kerry, in Brunei, presses China, smaller neighbors on maritime security in South China Sea
BANDAR SERI BAGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Brunei for meetings with top officials from China and its smaller Southeast Asian neighbors, in which he will urge all countries to cool tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Kerry will make the case in Wednesday discussions with China's prime minister and the leaders of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. U.S. officials said Kerry would call on the Chinese to accept a binding code of conduct to govern maritime behavior until disputes with the ASEAN states are resolved.
Kerry has added an "informal meeting" with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to his schedule Wednesday, according to a senior U.S. official. They are expected to discuss Syria and Iran. This will be their second meeting in three days; they met Monday at a different Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia.
Kerry is filling in at the summits for President Barack Obama, who had to cancel his participation due to the government shutdown in Washington.
One senior official traveling with Kerry said he would he encouraging the ASEAN countries to continue to work "for enhanced coherence and unity" among themselves to bolster their position with China in negotiating a code of conduct.
NJ Gov. Chris Christie's re-election race highlights his political future
WAYNE, N.J. (AP) — With the gubernatorial election less than a month away, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is telling voters that he might not serve out his full second term if elected.
The admission might hurt any other candidate.
But for Christie, it underscores his popularity as a straight-talking Republican in a Democratic state. And it highlights what's at stake in New Jersey's looming gubernatorial election — a contest as much about Christie's presidential aspirations as the governor's race.
He did not laugh off a question about his political future when asked during his first re-election debate Tuesday.
"I am not going to declare tonight ... that I am or I'm not running for president," Christie said. "I won't make those decisions until I have to."
Vandals damage graves in Jerusalem, in latest attack against Christians
JERUSALEM (AP) — Christian leaders in Israel are up in arms over what they say is a string of relentless attacks on church properties and religious sites — most recently the desecration of a historic Protestant cemetery where vandals toppled stone crosses from graves and bludgeoned them to pieces.
The attack in the Protestant Cemetery of Mount Zion, one of Jerusalem's most important historic graveyards, has struck a particularly sensitive nerve because some of the damaged graves belong to important figures from the 19th and 20th centuries, a key period in Jerusalem's history. Among them are a German diplomat, the founder of a local orphanage who was a key contributor to modernizing the city, and a relative of the owners of a prominent Jerusalem hotel.
Though members of the clergy say interfaith relations between top religious leaders have never been stronger, and police have been more responsive to such attacks in recent years, they say attacks continue unabated. Some activists say not enough is being done to stop them.
"We are striving so hard to promote dignity and respect among the living. And here we have our dead people ... vandalized," said the Very Rev. Hosam Naoum, caretaker of the Protestant cemetery. "No human would agree with this."
Police arrested four young Israeli settlers from the West Bank last week, two of them minors, in connection with the cemetery attack, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. But Rosenfeld said the four were subsequently released until further questioning. No charges have been filed, and they are not under house arrest, he said.
Red Sox eliminate resilient Rays 3-1, return to AL championship series for 1st time since '08
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — When the champagne stopped flowing in the visitor's clubhouse, the Boston Red Sox took the celebration back out to the stands at Tropicana Field so that family and friends could share some of the fun.
A year after finishing in last place, the AL East champion Red Sox won 97 games to match St. Louis for the best record in baseball. Now, they're moving on to the AL championship series for the first time in five years.
"I think at this point it really doesn't do any good to kind of look at where we were," reliever Craig Breslow said after coming out of the bullpen to give the team a huge boost in a 3-1 victory that ended Tampa Bay's season.
"We had guys come to spring training, everybody bought in," Breslow added, explaining Boston's quick turnaround after going 69-93 last year. "There's accountability and 25 guys who prioritize winning baseball games beyond any kind of individual achievement or accolade."
The resilient Rays won four win-or-go-home games over the previous nine, but couldn't win another to send the best-of-five matchup back to Fenway Park for a decisive Game 5.