Sen. Kamala Harris: California Should Test DNA of Condemned Inmate
5/24/2018 3:49:27 PM

By Don Thompson   SACRAMENTO—California's governor should allow more sensitive DNA testing that advocates say could exonerate a death row inmate, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris said Friday. “As a firm believer in DNA testing, I hope the governor and the state will allow for such testing in the case of Kevin Cooper,” Harris, a former state attorney general and San Francisco prosecutor who opposes the death penalty, said in a statement . Cooper, 60, is awaiting execution for the 1983 Chino Hills hatchet and knife killings of four people. He escaped from a...

What Rising Interest Rates Mean for Savers, Borrowers
5/24/2018 3:48:26 PM

By Stan Choe   NEW YORK—Interest rates are charging higher, and that can be a good or bad thing depending on whether you're saving or borrowing. For savers, it's a long-awaited win. After years of making virtually nothing on their money market accounts and certificates of deposit, savers are finally getting closer to keeping up with inflation. Investors are also getting rewarded with higher interest payments for buying newly issued bonds. For borrowers, though, the math is getting tougher. Loans for a car or house are getting more expensive, and interest rates...

How a Pit Master Became a 'Best Chef' on His 1st Nomination
5/24/2018 3:46:39 PM

By Stephanie Barna   CHARLESTON, S.C.—In the fine dining world, if you listen closely and promise not to quote anybody on the record, you can hear industry lifers aghast at the thought of a pitmaster winning the James Beard Foundation's award for Best Chef Southeast, as Rodney Scott did earlier this month. The skepticism isn't new to the Charleston restaurant scene. People raised the same questions in 2008, when Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill rode to a win on the strength of his biscuits and grits, beating out Mike Lata of FIG (Lata won the following...

Trump Defends 'Animals' Remark, Says He'll Always Use it
5/24/2018 3:45:25 PM

By Jill Colvin   WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his use of the word “animals” to describe some immigrants who enter the country illegally, saying he would continue to use the term to refer to violent gang members in spite of a sharp rebuke from Democratic leaders. Answering a reporter's question during a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump said his comment a day earlier had clearly been directed at members of the MS-13 gang. “MS-13, these are animals coming onto our country,” Trump said,...

2018 Midterms: An Early Heat for 2020 Democrats?
5/24/2018 3:44:03 PM

By Bill Barrow   ATLANTA—Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump. The leading players—from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to up-and-comers including California Sen. Kamala Harris—don't necessarily put it that way. But the potential 2020 candidates are making the rounds, raising and distributing campaign cash among fellow Democrats, endorsing candidates and meeting...

Singing the Blues: Study of Pop Music Finds Rise in Sadness
5/24/2018 3:33:48 PM

By Mark Kennedy   NEW YORK—A study of hundreds of thousands of popular songs over the past three decades has found a downward sonic trend in happiness and an increase in sadness, as the chirpy band Wham! gave way to the moody Sam Smith. For the report in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers at the University of California at Irvine looked at 500,000 songs released in the UK between 1985 and 2015, and categorized them according to their mood. “'Happiness' is going down, ‘brightness' is going down, ‘sadness' is going up,...

U.S. Approves 1st Drug Developed to Prevent Chronic Migraines
5/24/2018 3:32:51 PM

By Linda A. Johnson   U.S. regulators Thursday approved the first drug designed to prevent chronic migraines. The Food and Drug Administration's action clears the monthly shot Aimovig (AIM'-oh-vig) for sale. It's the first in a new class of long-acting drugs for preventing migraines. Three other shots are expected to win approval by next year, and several pills for preventing migraines are being tested. Current prevention treatments include pills originally developed for epilepsy and other conditions and the wrinkle reducer Botox, but many patients abandon them...

After Fumbling Ebola in 2014, Congo Is Key Test for UN
5/24/2018 3:20:59 PM

By Maria Cheng   Nearly four years after the World Health Organization was accused of bungling its response to the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, the U.N. agency appears to be moving swiftly to contain a flare-up in Congo, in what some experts see as a critical test of its credibility. “The difference between WHO's response in 2014 and now is like night and day,” said Suerie Moon, of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland, who was part of an independent panel that assessed WHO's performance back then. Fourteen...

Red Cross Calls for Summer Blood Donations to Prevent a Shortage
5/24/2018 2:23:07 PM

The American Red Cross is counting on volunteer donors to give blood and help ensure patient needs can be met this summer. Around Memorial Day, the Red Cross sees a steep decline in blood donations. Busy summer schedules, vacations and school breaks also cause a drop in donations. Accidents and medical emergencies don’t take a summer break – patients need blood every minute, every day. In the summer of 1973, Ramona Johnson was playing at the park when she was injured jumping off the swings. She was bleeding profusely from a 7-inch gash in her leg. By the time she reached the...

Markle Had Hollywood-But-Humble Youth Before Royalty Rang
5/21/2018 8:51:34 AM

By Andrew Dalton and Marcela Isaza   LOS ANGELES—Meghan Markle's road to royalty ran through Hollywood. The American actress set to marry Prince Harry this Saturday spent her formative years in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood, a more working-class place than its famous name suggests. It was home to the progressive elementary school and Catholic high school where she starred in musicals and got her first lessons in the social activism she says will now be her life's primary purpose. And it was home to a far more unlikely place for a future royal to be...