South Africa: Mandela family gathers at rural home

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans passed by Nelson Mandela’s home in a Johannesburg suburb on Tuesday and said they were praying for the 94-year-old after the president urged the country to send their wishes to the man he…

Colorado wildfire crews look to change in winds

DEL NORTE, Colo. (AP) — Crews defending resort towns, homes and cabins against a massive and erratic wildfire in Colorado’s southwest mountains were looking Tuesday for a slight break after nearly a week of unrelenting winds. Tim Foley,…

Tunisian army chief retires amid criticism

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s military strongman, who has been criticized for the army’s inability to catch a band of al-Qaida linked militants, has announced his retirement. Army Chief of Staff Rachid Ammar was widely seen as having…

House investigators: Disability judges are too lax

WASHINGTON (AP) — Social Security is approving disability benefits at strikingly high rates for people whose claims were rejected by field offices or state agencies, according to House investigators. Compounding the situation, the agency often fails to do…

Illinois’ bad credit costing taxpayers millions

CHICAGO (AP) — Like your cousin who doesn’t pay his bills on time and squanders money he doesn’t have, Illinois is paying the price — in both cash and reputation — for years of ignored warnings about its…

Dems unhappy IRS screened for progressives too

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats are unhappy that newly revealed Internal Revenue Service documents show the agency screened for progressive groups seeking tax-exempt status, not just the tea party organizations for which the IRS was already under fire. Democrats…

Texas Senate set for filibuster finale on abortion

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A sweeping bill that would effectively shut down most abortion clinics across the nation’s second most-populous state has stalled in the Texas Senate — and a Democratic filibuster that will only need to last…

Senate passage of immigration bill on track

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate passage of historic immigration legislation offering citizenship to millions looks near-certain after the bill cleared a key hurdle with votes to spare. A final vote in the Senate on Thursday or Friday would send…

Speaking too clearly can have a price for leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — For U.S. policy makers, events that seem at first like positive developments can sometimes unexpectedly bite back. When federal budget deficits finally began to shrink in early spring as recovery from the Great Recession advanced,…

94 in Alaska? Weather extremes tied to jet stream

WASHINGTON (AP) — The jet stream, the river of air high above Earth that generally dictates the weather, usually rushes rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight direction. But lately it seems to be wobbling and…

Obama hit by Snowden setbacks with China, Russia

WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s globe-trotting evasion of U.S. authorities has dealt a startling setback to efforts to strengthen ties with China and raised the prospect of worsening tensions with…

Incumbent favored over wrestler in Mongolia polls

ULAN BATOR, Mongolia (AP) — A popular ex-wrestler and a physician, the first woman to seek Mongolia’s top office, are the main rivals to the Harvard-educated incumbent in Wednesday’s presidential elections, but neither is likely to wrest the…

2 blockbusters among Supreme Court’s last cases

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court resolved five cases, including affirmative action, on Monday. That leaves disputes about gay marriage and voting rights among the six remaining cases. The justices are meeting again Tuesday to issue some opinions…

Inside the Supreme Court’s affirmative action case

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the use of racial preferences in college admissions left many questions unanswered: Is the University of Texas’ admissions policy that uses race as a factor constitutional? And do colleges around the country need…

In Taiwan, activist Chen urges democracy for China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — An activist who fled house arrest in China before moving to America last year got his first taste of Taiwan’s democracy Tuesday when raucous lawmakers occupied the legislative floor while he delivered a speech…

AP Survey: Bernanke comments surprised investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stock and bond prices are sinking because investors were caught off guard and alarmed by the Federal Reserve’s signal that long-term interest rates are headed higher. That’s the view that emerges from an Associated Press…

Lebanese troops secure hardline cleric’s complex

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese security officials say a roadside bomb has exploded on the highway linking Beirut to the Syrian capital without causing casualties. The officials say the small bomb went off Tuesday morning near the town of…

List of 22 recipients of Carnegie Hero medals

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Winners of Carnegie Hero medals awarded Tuesday: —Kevin Roberts, 43, of Mount Lookout, W.Va., who died trying to save four youths from drowning in swift currents off the coast of Bald Head Island, N.C., in…

Pakistan’s tourism industry reels after shootings

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s already embattled tourism industry is struggling to deal with worried customers and cancellations after Islamic militants attacked foreign climbers preparing to summit one of the world’s tallest mountains, killing 11 people. For years, intrepid…

Medals fete 13 who risked or lost lives for others

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission has honored 13 people with medals for risking their lives for others, including two people who died in the process. Kevin Roberts, 43, of Mount Lookout, W.Va., died on June…