U.S. & World News

Long-Term US Mortgage Rates Rise, Staying Near 2014 Highs

WASHINGTON (AP) – Long-term US mortgage rates ticked up again this week, staying at their highest levels since early 2014. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac on Thursday reported the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans rose to an average 4.32 percent from 4.30 percent last week. That average is at its highest since April 2014. It’s a sharp increase from a 30-year…

Trump Touts Plan To Bring 8,000 Jobs To US

WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump is touting plans by a Japanese mogul to bring 8,000 jobs to the United States. Tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create 50,000 jobs after meeting with the president-elect in December. Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan’s largest technology outfits. He owns the U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, which Trump…

Victim Identified In Rapid City Homicide

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The victim has been identified as 61-year-old Robert Smith of Rapid City. Police in Rapid City have arrested Gilbert Clifford, 33, of Rapid City on second degree murder charges with other charges potentially pending. Authorities say Clifford was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He is being held in the Pennington County Jail. Police were dispatched to the Stardust Motel…

Chicago Speeds Up Plan To Equip Officers With Body Cameras

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago authorities say all police officers will be equipped with body cameras by the end of 2017, a year ahead of schedule. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says in a Wednesday statement announcing the speeded up schedule that body cameras “improve transparency while building trust.” Scrutiny of police intensified after the release of a squad-car video last year ago…

Kerry Set To Deliver Farewell Speech On Middle East Policy

WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State John Kerry is delivering a farewell speech to outline his proposals for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. Kerry’s speech comes days after the U.S. refused to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that called Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem a violation of international law. Israeli Prime…

Carrie Fisher’s Books Become Best Sellers After Her Death

NEW YORK (AP) – There’s been a run on Carrie Fisher’s books since the “Star Wars” actress and humorist died on Tuesday. Fisher’s book, “The Princess Diarist,” was on top of Amazon’s list of best-selling books on Wednesday, just ahead of “Zero Sugar Diet.” “Wishful Drinking” and “Postcards From the Edge” were also in Amazon’s top 10, with “Shockaholic” ranked…

Island Of Misfit Toys, UPS Expects 1.3M Returns In One Day

WASHINGTON (AP) – Christmas is the season of giving, and January the month of returns. UPS expects to deliver 1.3 million packages back to retailers on Jan. 5, celebrated by the delivery service, but no one else, as “National Returns Day.” Surging online sales have been followed by a surge of returns by air and if UPS is right, it…

Daughter: Actress And Author Carrie Fisher Dies At Age 60

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Actress Carrie Fisher, who found enduring fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars,” has died. She was 60. Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, released a statement through her spokesman saying Fisher died Tuesday just before 9 a.m PST. Lourd said her mother was “loved by the word and she will be missed profoundly.” Fisher had…

UN’s Ban Ki-Moon To Push Times Square 2017 Countdown Button

NEW YORK – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will perform one last ceremonial duty before ending his 10-year leadership of the world body. Organizers of the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration announced Monday that Ban will push the Waterford crystal button to begin the official 60-second countdown to 2017. The South Korean statesman was elected as the eighth secretary-general…

California Bus Rider Injured After E-Cig Bursts Into Flames

FRESNO, C.A. – Authorities say a man was taken to a California hospital Wednesday afternoon after an e-cigarette exploded in his pocket while he was riding a bus. The Fresno Bee reports that witnesses on the bus say the man was trying use the device when the driver told him to stop. Authorities say the man then put the device…

Kellyanne Conway Is Heading To The White House

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is headed to the White House, where she’ll serve as counselor to the president. The announcement was made by the president-elect’s transition team early Thursday. Conway served as Trump’s third campaign manager and is widely credited with helping guide him to victory. She is also a frequent guest on television news programs….

Obama Ending Registry For Some Immigrant Men, Mostly Muslims

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is officially ending a post-9/11 era registration system for immigrant men from mostly Muslim countries. The decision to scrap the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System comes amid growing international terror fears and President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestions that he could ban Muslim immigrants from the United States. Trump said Wednesday, “You know my plans.” The NSEERS…

Feds Order Correction To Plan To North Dakota Pipeline Owner

BILLINGS – Federal regulators have outlined corrective steps that must take place before a company may restart a pipeline that leaked 176,000 gallons of oil into and along a creek in western North Dakota. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued the order Tuesday to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. Company spokeswoman Wendy Owen says the order is under review…

Berlin Attack Prompts High Security In US Cities For Holiday

NEW YORK – Police in U.S. cities have stepped up security at places where Christmas shoppers gather following a deadly truck attack in Berlin. In Manhattan, police dispatched heavily armed counterterrorism officers to stand guard at crowded Christmas markets in Union Square, Bryant Park and Columbus Circle only an hour after news broke on Monday about the Berlin attack. Mayor…

Trump Adviser Says He Is Ditching ‘Drain The Swamp’

WASHINGTON – One of Donald Trump’s advisers says the president-elect is no longer interested in his rallying cry “drain the swamp.” “I’m told he now just disclaims that. He now says it was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NPR. Gingrich, a vice chairman…

Obama Oil Pipeline Rules Face Uncertain Future Under Trump

BILLINGS – President Barack Obama’s administration is expected to push through long-delayed safety measures for the nation’s sprawling network of oil pipelines in its final days in power. The proposal calls for more stringent inspections in rural areas and immediate repairs when pipe defects are found. But the timing has raised concerns that incoming president Donald Trump or a Republican-controlled…

Stephen Curry Auctions Shoes For Oakland Fire Victims

OAKLAND – Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is auctioning off two special pairs of shoes to raise money for victims of the Oakland warehouse fire. KCBS reports that Curry teamed up with a local artist and had two distinctive pairs designed. As of Wednesday morning on EBay, Curry’s shoes had received 157 bids and were at a combined $20,000…

Mark Zuckerberg Unveils Morgan Freeman-Voiced AI Assistant

PALO ALTO – Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted the help of Morgan Freeman and taken a shot at Nickelback while unveiling his new artificial intelligence assistant. The Facebook founder and CEO showed off “Jarvis” with a post on the project and videos on his Facebook page. The voice interactive assistant takes its name from a similar AI device in the “Iron…