AP News


FCC: Lift ban on in-flight calls. DOT: Not so fast PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by SCOTT MAYEROWITZ, AP Airlines Writer   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 15:32

WASHINGTON (AP) — As one part of the federal government looks to remove restrictions on making phone calls from airplanes, another agency is apparently considering its own prohibition.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler told members of Congress Thursday there is no longer any technical reason to ban calls on planes. He called rescinding the existing rule "the responsible thing to do."

But Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx may see things differently. In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Foxx said that given the DOT's role in consumer protection, his agency wants to determine if permitting phone calls "is fair to consumers" or if they should be banned. He noted that the FCC proposal has caused consternation among travelers, airlines and airline workers.

Calls during flights have been prohibited for 22 years over fears that they would interfere with cellular networks on the ground. Technological advances have resolved those concerns, which is one reason Wheeler wants to repeal the rule. He also wants the airlines, not the government, to have final say on in-flight calling.

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Poisoned Illinois lottery winner's heirs settle estate PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 15:28

CHICAGO (AP) — The wife and daughter of a Chicago man who was poisoned with cyanide after winning the Illinois lottery have settled his estate with an agreement that prevents either woman from filing a wrongful death lawsuit unless new evidence surfaces in a criminal investigation of his death.

The settlement approved Wednesday in Cook County probate court gives one-third of Urooj Khan's lottery winnings to his widow, according to her attorney, Al-Haroon Husain. Shabana Ansari also will get the home where she lived with her late husband, their dry cleaning business and commercial property.

Khan's daughter from a previous marriage will receive the remaining lottery winnings and some of Khan's other investments.

"At this point (Ansari) wants to put this behind her and move forward," Husain said.

Khan died in July 2012, days before the 46-year-old was to collect $425,000 in lottery winnings.

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Interpreter at Mandela event: I was hallucinating PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALAN CLENDENNING, The Associated Press JUERGEN BAETZ, The Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:41

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The man accused of faking sign interpretation while standing alongside world leaders like U.S. President Barack Obama at Nelson Mandela's memorial service said Thursday he hallucinated that angels were entering the stadium, has schizophrenia and has been violent in the past.

Thamsanqa Jantjie said in a 45-minute interview with The Associated Press that his hallucinations began while he was interpreting and that he tried not to panic because there were "armed policemen around me." He added that he was once hospitalized in a mental health facility for more than one year.

A South African deputy Cabinet minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, later held a news conference to announce that "a mistake happened" in the hiring of Jantjie. However, many questions remain, including who in the government hired the company that contracted Jantjie, how much money the government paid the company and Jantjie's own involvement with the company — and even whether it really exists.

AP journalists who visited the address of the company that Jantjie provided found a different company there, whose managers said they knew nothing about SA Interpreters. A woman who answered the phone at a number that Jantjie provided confirmed that she worked at the company that hired him for the memorial service but declined comment and hung up.

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Legal weed sales will be spotty in Colorado PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:29

DENVER (AP) — Legal marijuana sales in Colorado are set to start on Jan. 1, or so the law says. Knowing when the recreational pot shops will actually open, however, is anyone's guess.

The state's 160 hopeful pot shops are so mired in red tape and confusion that no one knows yet when or if they'll be allowed to open. Not a single shop will clear state and local licensing requirements until about Dec. 27.

"There's a perception that come Jan. 1, Colorado's going to be like Wal-Mart on Black Friday, people pouring through the doors. Not going to happen," said Mike Elliott, spokesman for the state's Medical Marijuana Industry Group.

Even as so-called ganjapreneurs are expanding operations, pouring concrete and planning tentative grand openings, they're still navigating a maze of regulations. Many of the applicants are still waiting on inspections, local zoning hearings and background checks before finding out whether they've been approved to open their doors to adults over 21.

"There might be a lot of disappointed people on New Year's Day," Elliott said.

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'12 Years,' 'Hustle' lead Globes nominations PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:28

The searing historical epic "12 Years a Slave" and the con-artist caper "American Hustle" lead the 71st annual Golden Globes with seven nominations each.

The nominations announced Thursday morning in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suggested "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" — one farcical and outlandish, the other grimly accurate — may be this year's Oscar favorites.

Hailed by critics as the movies' most unblinking portrait of slavery, "12 Years a Slave" verified its front-runner status with nominations including best film drama, Chiwetel Ejiofor for best actor in a drama, Steve McQueen for best director and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o for their supporting roles.

"American Hustle" dominated on the Globes' other category side: comedy or musical. The fictionalized story of the FBI's Abscam investigation in the late 1970s earned nominations for best movie comedy and David O. Russell for best director. Much of its starry cast received nominations, including lead actors Christian Bale and Amy Adams, as well as last year's Oscar darling, Jennifer Lawrence for best supporting actress.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:03
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