Dirty Dining

Offbeat News

Last Update on October 07, 2015 09:35 GMT


LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Take this job and -- well, you know the rest. A Michigan Powerball winner quit her job on the spot after learning she had won a more than $310 million jackpot. Julie Leach says her job as a supervisor at a fiberglass factory was nasty and dirty. Leach says she was having a "really bad night" working the third shift, when she took her lunch break at McDonald's. She checked the five numbers in the drive-thru line. She's opted for a lump-sum payout of about 140 mil after taxes. Leach says she hopes to build her own little community of houses for her children and grandkids.


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- High school senior John Krahn is big -- even for a football player. At 7 feet and 440 pounds, the Riverside, California, teenager could be the biggest guy ever to play high school football. Even NFL players would have to look up to him. But big John would like to be a little less big. He was wants to lose some weight to increase his speed and mobility. His coach at Martin Luther King High is Kevin Corridan. Corridan recognizes John needs some work to be able to play big-time college ball. But Corridan says his giant offensive lineman is "a kid worth taking a chance on."


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Call it a marijuana mystery. Border Patrol agents have seized nearly 1,400 pounds of weed found near the fence that runs along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. Federal officials say the bundles of pot were somehow launched over the fence. In the past, drug smugglers have used catapults and even air-cannons to send contraband sailing over the border. In the latest incident, agents recovered about 80 large bundles of the illegal weed.


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Police could be looking for a healthy bandit. A truckload of tofu and organic drinks has been stolen. Police in Portland, Oregon, have recovered the missing delivery truck, but the cargo was gone. According to authorities, the truck was swiped from a parking lot, while the driver was inside a grocery store. Police say a tip led them to the truck in another part of town, but not the tofu or drinks.

Science & Tech News

Last Update on October 07, 2015 07:11 GMT


NEW YORK (AP) -- The cost of cybercrime is going up. A new study says the average annual cost of online pilfering per large U.S. company is $15.4 million. That's up 19 percent from the $12.7 million level from last year. The Ponemon Institute study says the money spent on cybercrime includes shelling out to respond to incidents and money designed to prevent additional costs from losing business or customers. This is the sixth year Ponemon has done a report on the cost of cybercrime -- and the current total is up 82 percent from the first study.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to make a drone company pay for sending automated aircraft into areas they're supposed to steer clear of. The FAA is proposing a record $1.9 million fine to be paid by SkyPan International. The Feds say the Chicago-based aerial photography firm sent up drones in crowded New York and Chicago airspace without permission. The FAA's administrator says flying drones in violation of federal regulations "is illegal and can be dangerous."

National/International News

Did US strike on Afghan clinic exceed combat authority?
October 07, 2015 11:55 GMT

Eds: Updates with details. With AP Photos. By ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The deadly U.S. attack on a hospital in Afghanistan, which U.S. officials have called a "mistake," leaves open the possibility that the decision to open fire exceeded the authority under which American forces have operated since their combat mission ended nearly a year ago, officials say.

U.S. officials have declined to discuss most circumstances of the attack in Kunduz that killed 22 civilians, since American and Afghan investigations are underway.

Gen. John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told a Senate committee on Tuesday that he is requiring that every U.S. service member in Afghanistan be retrained on the circumstances in which U.S. firepower can be used.

"To prevent any future incidences of this nature, I've directed the entire force to undergo in-depth training in order to review all of our operational authorities and rules of engagement," he said.

Campbell did not elaborate, but his statement pointed to the possibility that the U.S. attack mission was undertaken in error, even if the target had not been a hospital and there had been no civilian casualties.

Campbell said Afghan forces fighting to retake Kunduz from the Taliban had requested U.S. air power, and that a U.S. special operations unit in the "close vicinity" was communicating with the crew of the heavily armed AC-130 gunship that pummeled the hospital.

U.S. forces do not have blanket authority to fulfill every Afghan request for U.S. firepower.

When President Barack Obama ended the U.S. combat mission he directed the remaining U.S. forces to focus on training and advising Afghan security forces and on counterterrorism missions. Authority to use force was limited to three circumstances: "force protection," or the defense of U.S. and allied troops; support of missions targeting remnants of al-Qaida in Afghanistan; and assisting Afghan forces in extreme situations where they faced mass casualties.

It's not clear whether any of those three criteria applied to Kunduz. Campbell has said that U.S. forces were not directly threatened at the time, and there is no indication that al-Qaida was present.

In a report to Congress in June, the Pentagon said U.S. forces were no longer authorized to target individuals based on affiliation with the Taliban or any group other than al-Qaida. It said U.S. forces are permitted to take action against individuals that "pose a direct threat" to U.S. and coalition forces.

"For example, U.S. forces no longer target individuals solely on the basis of their membership in the Taliban; however, if a member of the Taliban threatens U.S. or coalition forces, or provides direct support to al-Qaida, U.S. forces may take appropriate action," the report said.

Campbell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that although Afghan forces requested U.S. air power, final responsibility lay with U.S. forces.

"To be clear, the decision to provide (airstrikes) was a U.S. decision, made within the U.S. chain of command," Campbell said. "The hospital was mistakenly struck. We would never intentionally target a protected medical facility."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who was traveling in Europe on Tuesday, issued a statement promising a full and transparent investigation. "We will do everything we can to understand this tragic incident, learn from it and hold people accountable as necessary," he said.

Some international groups, including Human Rights Watch, are calling for an independent investigation.

"The U.S. should establish an independent panel outside the military chain of command with the aim of establishing the facts and assessing possible culpability for the strike that killed at least 22 medical staff and patients and wounded dozens more," the group said.

In his testimony, Campbell also recommended that Obama revise his plan and keep more than 1,000 U.S. troops in the country beyond 2016.

Campbell said security and political conditions in Afghanistan have changed since Obama announced his plan in 2014 to cut the current U.S. force of 9,800 to an embassy-based security contingent of about 1,000 in Kabul post-2016. Obama has vowed to a war-weary nation to end the U.S. war in Afghanistan and get American troops out by the time he leaves office in January 2017.

Campbell said, however, that Afghanistan remains engaged in a violent battle against the Taliban. He said military operations in Pakistan have pushed fighters, including those linked to al-Qaida, into eastern and northern Afghanistan and the emergence of Islamic State fighters has further complicated the conflict.

Reducing the U.S. presence to just a 1,000-person contingent based at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul would leave the United States with limited ability to train and assist the Afghan forces and even less capacity to conduct counterterrorism operations. Campbell said the options he has provided to his superiors are for troop levels beyond 1,000, but he declined to reveal how many troops he believes may be needed or for how long.

Romania: lawyer to dictator's son and a killer dog dies, 83
October 07, 2015 11:34 GMT

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Paula Iacob, a Romanian lawyer whose cases ranged from unsuccessfully defending a dictator's son to saving a killer street dog from being put down, has died. She was 83.

Iacob died Tuesday, a few days after suffering a stroke, lawyer Daniel Ionascu said Wednesday.

She became a celebrity by taking on controversial cases and made regular television appearances.

Iacob made her name in 1990 when she unsuccessfully defended the late Nicolae Ceausescu's flamboyant son, Nicu Ceausescu, sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1992 for misuse of funds under during his father's rule. He died of liver cirrhosis in Vienna in 1996.

She successfully represented the street dog, Bosquito, who had fatally mauled a Japanese man.

She will be buried Thursday at the Bellu cemetery in Bucharest.

Business/Consumer News

Major business and economic events scheduled for Wednesday:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The lone government economic report expected today comes from the Federal Reserve, which will release consumer credit data for August this afternoon.

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
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   "Customers appreciate seeing your logo and knowing you support a cause
 they care about," said Christine Marion, MAS, director of retail
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   About EmbroidMe
  With hundreds of Resource Centers around the world,
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   Media Contact:
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 P: 561-713-2503
   AP-WF-03-21-14 1926GMT

Posted 5:30 AM EDT on March 21, 2014

Eds: APNewsNow.
   BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) -- Nike says strong global demand for its athletic goods helped third-quarter net income beat expectations as it readies for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.
   The world's largest athletic clothing maker says that not counting income from discontinued operations, earnings rose 3 percent, to $685 million, or 76 cents per share, in the three months ended on Feb. 28. The year before, profit came to $662 million, or 73 cents per share. The discontinued operations added another $204 million in profit to last year's period. Analysts expected 72 cents per share, according to FactSet. Nike sold its Cole Haan and Umbro brands last year.
   Revenue rose 13 percent to $6.97 billion, beating analysts' expectation of $6.81 billion.
   The Beaverton, Ore.-based company said Thursday that future orders worldwide rose 12 percent.
   AP-WF-03-20-14 2110GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EDT on March 20, 2014

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/06/14 --
 PunchTab, the leading omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform,
 announced today the release of their Android SDK. The SDK is a free
 toolkit that provides Android mobile and tablet developers the capability
 to add customized loyalty and engagement programs to any app to help
 increase usage, purchase, awareness, and brand engagement.
   With tens of thousands of apps hitting the market every month and
 billions of dollars spent on mobile marketing, the world of mobile
 development has become a congested, competitive marketplace to carve out
 success. Generating user awareness and continued use remain critical
 challenges for organizations that utilize mobile applications to engage
 customers, or add mobile as part of larger omni-channel initiatives.
 Android developers can now implement PunchTab's loyalty and engagement
 infrastructure in mobile apps, incentivizing users to take actions that
 meet marketing agendas and business goals.
   "Mobile is the most important channel for brands when it comes to
 engaging consumers with relevant, real-time messages and offers.
 According to a recent study, 83% of consumers expect to make more
 purchases via mobile in the next 12 months, a 15% increase from today's
 current statistics -- this is a critical proof point of how important
 mobile has become for brands. Awareness, engagement, and enhanced loyalty
 are essential components in the success of a mobile app," said PunchTab
 Founder and CEO Ranjith Kumaran. "With our Android SDK we can provide
 Android developers with the same high-quality, easy-to-use functionality
 that the PunchTab platform offers to over 19,000 active programs on our
   The Android opportunity is significant. Google Play accounted for almost
 75 percent of total app downloads in 2013 and according to Distimo,
 Google Play's revenue share has actually been growing at the expense of
 Apple's. Since June 2013, Google Play's revenue jumped 51 percent. The
 statistics are a window into the continuously growing Android mobile
 application market that does not appear to be slowing down. Brands have
 taken notice and with the PunchTab Android SDK, they have an opportunity
 to reach even more consumers on mobile.
   Analyst and TIME tech columnist, Ben Bajarin estimates that over one
 billion Android smartphones will be sold in 2014, and by the end of 2014
 mobile web users will be three times that of the desktop web. "Mobile can
 no longer be a side strategy for brands, it needs to be a central
 strategy as it's an essential element for maintaining consumer
 engagement. The Android opportunity is one that cannot be overlooked,"
 Bajarin reports.
   PunchTab's Android SDK offers mobile developers a free toolkit with an
 easy to integrate static library and customizable features to most
 effectively meet bottom line business goals. Developers can easily
 reward-enable engagement, repeat usage, social sharing, and more.
   For more information on PunchTab's developer kit visit
   About PunchTab, Inc.
  Founded in January 2011, PunchTab is an
 omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform that enables agencies,
 brands, and enterprise organizations to incentivize user behavior and
 drive business success. PunchTab's customers use the company's flexible
 solutions to deepen audience engagement, drive purchase, and build
 awareness by leveraging everything from social sharing and UGC and
 awareness campaigns, to sophisticated B2E and B2B programs. PunchTab
 offers both an out-of-the-box product and a fully customizable,
 white-labeled solution that can reward any action with virtual, social
 and real-world rewards. For more information, please visit
   Media Contacts:
 Ben Barenholtz
 Sparkpr for PunchTab
 Robyn Hannah
   AP-WF-03-06-14 1315GMT

Posted 12:49 PM EST on March 06, 2014

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 02/28/14 --
 ADP Dealer Services, Inc., a division of ADP(R) and a leading global
 technology solutions provider dedicated to helping dealerships drive
 measurable results across every area of their operation, announced today
 that due to the overwhelming interest and positive feedback they received
 surrounding their Fixed Ops Expos, they will be launching a new round of
 Dealer Solutions Expos for automotive retail dealers. They will be
 thought leadership events designed to show what successful dealerships
 are doing to change the way they do business in order to meet
 technology-driven consumers' demand.
   Last year, over 600 dealers attended 25 expos across the country, touting
 them as very insightful and informative. One dealer described their
 experience as the "best three-hour time investment I've made in a long
   ADP Dealer Services will offer dealers a unique opportunity to join an
 interactive discussion with industry thought leaders as well as their
 peers during each event. The first subject will feature automotive retail
 expert, Mike Stoll, presenting, "How to Optimize Your Front Office for
 Maximum Customer Retention" and business security expert, Jim Foote,
 presenting "Who Let the Data Out?". They will each share strategic best
 practices and insider knowledge designed to give attendees a competitive
 edge around customer retention and security.
   These expos are a key pillar in Dealer Services' strategy to provide
 insights that help their dealer clients transform how vehicles are
 marketed, sold, and serviced using technology.
   The Dealer Solutions Expos is open to all dealership management across
 the country and will begin in early March, extending throughout 2014. For
 more information or to register for an event in your area, please visit
 our website, email events@adp.com or call 866.722.1844.
   About ADP
  With more than $11 billion in revenues and more than 60 years
 of experience, ADP(R) (NASDAQ: ADP) serves approximately 620,000 clients
 in more than 125 countries. As one of the world's largest providers of
 business outsourcing and Human Capital Management solutions, ADP offers a
 wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and
 benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients
 comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable
 Care Act (ACA). ADP's easy-to-use solutions for employers provide
 superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading
 provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle,
 marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the
 world. For more information about ADP, visit the company's Web site at
   The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other
 marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright Copyright
 2014 ADP, Inc.
   Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528720
 Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528723
 Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528725
 Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame--mw?attachid=2528718
   Media Contact:
 Michelle Benko
 ADP Dealer Services
   AP-WF-02-28-14 1106GMT

Posted 5:27 AM EST on February 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 --
 The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors(R)
 President Steve Brown:
   "NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly
 oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment
 in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy,
 employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all
 federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes.
   "We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained
 in U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft
 released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction
 and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local
 property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate
 will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly.
   "NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can
 best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the
 owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real
   The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is
 America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members
 involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
   Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other
 news releases are posted in the "News, Blogs and Videos" tab on the
   For further information contact:
 Jenny Werwa
   AP-WF-02-26-14 2105GMT

Posted 5:26 AM EST on February 26, 2014

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