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Associated Press

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Shirley Temple, iconic child star and Depression-era box office draw, dies in California at 85

WOODSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Shirley Temple, the dimpled, curly-haired child star who sang, danced, sobbed and grinned her way into the hearts of Depression-era moviegoers, publicist Cheryl Kagan. She was 85.

Temple, known in private life as Shirley Temple Black, died at her home near San Francisco.

A talented and ultra-adorable entertainer, Shirley Temple was America's top box-office draw from 1935 to 1938, a record no other child star has come near. She beat out such grown-ups as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Robert Taylor, Gary Cooper and Joan Crawford.

In 1999, the American Film Institute ranking of the top 50 screen legends ranked Temple at No. 18 among the 25 actresses. She appeared in scores of movies and kept children singing "On the Good Ship Lollipop" for generations.

Temple was credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy with films such as "Curly Top" and "The Littlest Rebel." She even had a drink named after her, an appropriately sweet and innocent cocktail of ginger ale and grenadine, topped with a maraschino cherry.

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Investors await Fed Chair Yellen's first testimony for signals on interest rates and economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen can expect global financial markets to scrutinize her first public remarks since taking over the Fed's leadership this month.

Investors this week will try to determine whether Yellen will embrace all the policies of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. They will also look for any clues that she is worried about the economy or the stock market's turbulence.

Yellen will deliver the Fed's twice-annual report to Congress, starting Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee and then Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee.

Her testimony will likely boil down to a single overarching point: The Fed will keep all its options open depending on how the economy evolves.

Even so, anticipation of Yellen's testimony is running high, given concerns about the economy and the job market, turmoil in global markets and uncertainty about her direction at the Fed.

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White House delays health law coverage mandate for some firms in concession to businesses

WASHINGTON (AP) — It may take weeks to render a verdict on the Obama administration's latest health care concession to employers.

But that could make a difference for Democrats battling to keep control of the Senate in the fall congressional elections.

All-important details are buried in more than 200 pages of dense Treasury regulations released Monday. The biggest change is that medium-sized firms got another delay in a heavily criticized requirement that they cover their workers or face fines.

The administration said companies with 50 to 99 employees will have an additional year to comply, until January 1, 2016.

For businesses with 100 or more employees, the so-called employer mandate will still take effect in 2015. But other newly announced provisions, dealing with technical issues such as the calculation of working hours, may help some of those firms.

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Elderly former South Korean sex slaves see time running out on quest for justice from Japan

TOECHON, South Korea (AP) — A single picture captures the regret, shame and rage that Kim Gun-ja has harbored through most of her 89 years. Dressed in a long white wedding gown, she carries a bouquet of red flowers and stares at the camera, her deep wrinkles obscured by makeup and a diaphanous veil.

A local company arranged wedding-style photo shoots as gifts for Kim and other elderly women at the House of Sharing, a museum and nursing home for South Koreans forced into brothels by Japan during World War II. Kim and many of the other women never married, giving the pictures a measure of bitterness.

"That could have been my life: Meet a man, get married, have children, have grandchildren," Kim said in her small, tidy room at the nursing home south of Seoul. "But it never happened. It could never be."

Japanese soldiers stole her youth, she says, and now, "The Japanese are waiting for us to die."

There are only 55 women left who registered with the South Korean government as former sex slaves from the war — down from a peak of more than 230. Their average age is 88.

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As FAA develops rules for aerial drones, Conn. investigation highlights issues for journalism

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As police responded to a deadly car crash, they noticed an increasingly familiar sight: a remote-controlled aircraft, equipped with a video camera, hovering over the wreckage.

The Federal Aviation Administration has opened an investigation of the drone, which was used by an on-call employee for a Connecticut television station. The FAA is developing new rules as the technology makes drones far more versatile, but for now operators can run afoul of regulations by using them for commercial purposes, including journalism.

The case of the Hartford crash, in which the victim's body was left hanging out of a mangled car, highlights some of the safety, privacy and ethical issues that journalists will wrestle with as interest grows in using drones for newsgathering.

"Here was a dead body still on the scene. We had covered it the best we could," said Lt. Brian Foley, a Hartford police spokesman, who said drones have been appearing more frequently at crime scenes. "You don't want the family to see that."

Hartford officers questioned the man operating the drone on Feb. 1, but did not ask him to take it down, Foley said. The man identified himself as an employee of WFSB-TV but said he was not working for them that day.

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At NJ casino's Bacon Week, you can eat it, drink it — and even brush your teeth with it

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Get ready for bacon like you've never eaten, drank or worn it before.

Bacon milkshakes. Chocolate-covered bacon shaped like roses. Bacon-flavored toothpaste, dental floss and lip balm.

Bacon bourbon, margaritas, beer and vodka. Bacon ice cream sundaes. A BLT sandwich with a full pound of bacon.

They're all on the menu this week as one Atlantic City casino stretches the bounds of good taste and cardiovascular health with Bacon Week. The festival at the Tropicana Casino and Resort gives new meaning to the term "pigging out."

The idea of a bacon festival is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Americans eat about 1.5 billion pounds of bacon a year, according to the National Pork Board. And the website bacontoday.com counted nearly 30 bacon festivals around the country from late April through December 2013, many of whose tickets sold out in minutes.

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US diplomats, aid in Afghanistan face own drawdown next year after American troops leave

WASHINGTON (AP) — Uncertainty over how many U.S. troops might remain in Afghanistan beyond this year has trickled down to American diplomats and aid workers, whose efforts to develop the still mostly primitive country face a drawdown of their own because of security fears.

In boosting security forces, educating young girls, launching mobile phone technology and providing other aid, the U.S. has allocated nearly $100 billion since 2002 to build Afghanistan after generations of war and isolation.

But the State Department's ability to continue aid programs, or start new ones, hinges largely on Afghanistan's security — and whether officials can travel to project sites to make sure the money is being spent wisely. A long-delayed decision on whether as many as 10,000 American forces will remain in Afghanistan after the war ends this year will determine whether how deeply the aid will be cut.

It's an all-too-familiar pattern of anxiety for diplomats who saw years of development projects in Iraq wither away after U.S. troops withdrew in 2011 because of reduced resources and increased security threats.

"It was not ... particularly pleasant to have to take a very large program down to a very small program in a very short period of time," said Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, who oversaw a gutting of State Department aid to Iraqi police forces two years ago. Violence in Iraq has surged ever since.

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Christie still a draw, but GOP donors worry about his 2016 prospects

CHICAGO (AP) — Where just months ago Republicans brimmed with pride over Chris Christie's landslide re-election, doubts about his prospects as a potential presidential candidate have begun creeping into the minds of some donors in key states, according to some GOP fundraisers.

The celebrity New Jersey governor is in Chicago Tuesday to raise money for the Republican Governors Association that he chairs. While Christie gets credit for helping raise millions of dollars to help hold the GOP's edge in governorships this fall, what was supposed to be a re-election victory tour featuring him as a rising national leader has sparked a different conversation.

Ann Herberger, a national Republican fundraiser based in Florida, said Christie's robust persona and blunt style can pack a room. Some donors, however, have expressed reservations about his future because of the flap over the closure of two access lanes to the heavily traveled George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and Manhattan for four days last September.

Emails from a top political adviser and between a top Christie aide and a Port Authority official he appointed cast the traffic-snarling lane closures as retaliation for a local mayor's decision not to endorse Christie's re-election. Christie fired the aide and his political adviser but has denied authorizing or knowing about the scheme until the emails became public last month.

"There are influential donors who are giving him a second and third look," Herberger said of Christie. "Where they would have been 'this is the guy' two months ago, I think a lot of people are giving him a second look and keeping their powder dry."

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Sochi's merchants hope against the odds that Putin's promise of Olympic prosperity comes true

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Vladimir Putin isn't the only one with a lot riding on the success of the Sochi Olympics. Local businesses and residents have a lot to gain if these Olympics fulfill Putin's pledge to turn Sochi and its environs from a summer playground for well-off Russians into a year-round international resort for everyone.

But that's a big "if."

The limited number of foreign spectators at these games is dampening dreams. So is all the negative attention around the not-quite-finished hotels, and the many "For Rent" signs on empty apartments around the Olympic Park.

So merchants are trying to keep their spirits up by looking past the Olympics to an upcoming new Formula 1 race in Sochi and the 2018 World Cup. Maybe by then, the tourists will come?

"It would be nice to be able to stay open all year, so that no one has to take an extra job," says Marina Nagabedian, whose family owns a convenience store near the sands of the Black Sea shore, not far from Olympic Park. In the past, her husband took a second job in the winter to help feed their two kids, and they just "waited for summer again."

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Halfpipe only half ready as criticism mounts before Olympic competition

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Rider after rider took a crash course Monday night on an Olympic halfpipe that looked only half ready with less than 24 hours until men's competition is set to start.

There were dozens of falls, very few big tricks and a lot of complaining during a practice session that was pushed from morning to night while workers tried to make fixes. The men's event is Tuesday, and American Shaun White will be seeking his third straight gold medal.

"When you see every other person fall, you know something's wrong," said American Hannah Teter, who took gold in 2006 and silver four years ago. "It's a little dangerous. I've seen more people fall today than I saw all season. It's dangerous because it's crappy."

American Danny Davis labeled the halfpipe as "garbage" on Sunday. After returning Monday, he said things were slightly improved but not ideal.

"It's a bummer to show up to an event like the Olympics and not have the quality of the halfpipe match the quality of the riders," Davis said. "Anyone who watched practice tonight can see there were a bunch of people bouncing around in the flat bottom."

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