Wednesday, March 7, 2012


GOP rivals share Super Tuesday glow: Romney takes Ohio and 5 other states, Santorum wins 3

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are trying to make the most of a mixed Super Tuesday, each claiming a measure of victory but unable to settle the most tumultuous race for the GOP presidential nomination in decades.

Romney narrowly won in pivotal Ohio, seized a home-state victory in Massachusetts, triumphed in Idaho, Vermont and Alaska, and won easily in Virginia -- where neither Santorum nor Newt Gingrich was on the ballot.

Romney was forced to share the attention with Santorum, who won contests in Oklahoma, Tennessee and North Dakota.

"This was a big night tonight," Santorum said. "We have won in the West, the Midwest and the South, and we're ready to win across this country."

The results padded Romney's delegate lead in the nomination fight, but they also refreshed questions about his appeal to conservatives in some of the most Republican states in the nation. The best-funded and best-organized of the four Republican candidates, Romney vowed to press on.


Analysis: The arduous task of chasing an incumbent from a crowded field

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As Mitt Romney reflects on his showing on Super Tuesday, he might sneak a peek at clips of President Barack Obama's news conference performance hours earlier. It was an object lesson about the power of incumbency and about the challenge facing Romney while his own party foes still nip at his heels.

As hard as Romney tries, he has yet to be able to define the race against Obama on his own terms. Busy fending off Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich on his right, his critiques of Obama become part of the Republican chorus, diluted and subsumed.

By contrast, there was the president, wielding a powerful megaphone, able to steal the limelight even on a day when 10 states were deciding GOP nominating contests.

From behind the lectern in the White House Brady Briefing Room, Obama dismissed the Republican contenders for the "casualness" with which they discuss war, giving their calls for a more muscular policy against Iran the back of his hand.

"Those folks don't have a lot of responsibilities," he said scornfully. "They're not commander in chief."


After Super Tuesday, some lessons emerge on a big night in the volatile GOP race

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans in 10 states weighed in on the GOP presidential nomination race in its busiest day yet. Mitt Romney won six states, Rick Santorum clinched three and Newt Gingrich prevailed in one. And along the way, clues were gleaned from the results about the path ahead. A look at what we learned:



It's almost like a bad version of Goldilocks. Nobody is just right.

Listen to voters -- in person and in exit polls -- and it's pretty clear Republicans aren't all that hot on any of the candidates.


Dow falls more than 200, but rally since October has survived dips before

Is the stock market rally of 2012 already over?

Nobody knows. But investors might be glad to know that the strong gain in stocks that began last Oct. 4 has survived six other 200-point drops in the Dow Jones industrial average like the one investors endured Tuesday.

On Nov. 21, the Dow fell 248 points after a congressional committee failed to reach a deal to reduce federal spending. Two days later, it fell 236 points because of worries about the European debt crisis.

But the Dow is still up almost 20 percent since its close on Oct. 3, 2011, and 4.4 percent this year -- even after Tuesday's sell-off, driven by concerns about Europe and slower economic growth in China.

"We had one pullback," said Frank Fantozzi, CEO of Planned Financial Services, a Cleveland wealth management firm. "I think it's not indicative of anything, that all the sudden we're going to jump off a cliff, or that the market is going to go in a different direction."


6 UK troops missing, presumed dead after blast hits their patrol in southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Six British soldiers were believed killed after an explosion hit their armored vehicle in southwestern Afghanistan, Britain's Ministry of Defense said Wednesday. If confirmed, it would be the biggest loss of life for British forces in the country since a plane crash in 2006.

The soldiers were on patrol in Helmand province at the time of the blast on Tuesday evening. The military did not explain why they are unable to confirm whether the soldiers were killed.

"This tragic incident brings home to us the dangers that are faced on a daily basis by the men and women of our armed Forces deployed in Afghanistan," said Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said. "My thoughts are with the families and friends of the six soldiers who are missing, believed killed and also with their colleagues, both in Afghanistan and the UK, whose brave work continues or is about to start."

The deaths would be the biggest loss of life for Britain in a single incident in Afghanistan since a Nimrod aircraft crashed in 2006, killing 14 service members. It would be the largest number of casualties in a ground operation for Britain in the country.

It would also be the deadliest single incident for NATO since Jan. 19, when six U.S. Marines died in a helicopter crash in Helmand province. Last August, insurgents shot down a Chinook helicopter, killing 30 American troops.


Life with invisible enemy: Small but uncertain radiation risks torment Japanese in nuke zone

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) -- Yoshiko Ota keeps her windows shut. She never hangs her laundry outdoors. Fearful of birth defects, she warns her daughters: Never have children.

This is life with radiation, nearly one year after a tsunami-hit nuclear power plant began spewing it into Ota's neighborhood, 40 miles (60 kilometers) away. She's so worried that she has broken out in hives.

"The government spokesman keeps saying there are no IMMEDIATE health effects," the 48-year-old nursery school worker says. "He's not talking about 10 years or 20 years later. He must think the people of Fukushima are fools.

"It's not really OK to live here," she says. "But we live here."

Ota takes metabolism-enhancing pills in hopes of flushing radiation out of her body. To limit her exposure, she goes out of her way to buy vegetables that are not grown locally. She spends 10,000 yen ($125) a month on bottled water to avoid the tap water. She even mail-ordered a special machine to dehusk her family's rice.


New iPad expected with faster chip, sharper screen; competing tablets struggle

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apple is holding an event Wednesday in San Francisco, and has hinted that it will reveal a new iPad model. Rumors speak of an updated tablet with a speedier processor, a sharper screen and an option for faster wireless broadband access.

If last year's launch of the iPad 2 is any guide, the new iPad model will go on sale in the U.S. next week, likely on Friday.

The upgrade from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3 will be less significant than the upgrade from the original iPad to the iPad 2, which added two cameras while cutting both the thickness and the weight of the device.

One big unknown is whether Apple will keep the iPad 2 in production and offer it at a lower price, like it kept the iPhone 3GS after the launch of the iPhone 4.

Another big question is whether Apple will reveal its rumored foray into making TV sets. Some have speculated that the invite to the Apple event, which said "We have something you really have to see," points in that direction.


Mystery looms after reclusive 73-year-old twins die within hours, without signs of foul play

When they were young, Patricia and Joan Miller sang and danced for Bing Crosby, troops and their friends.

But as the identical twins grew older, they became less interested in socializing. When people called, the sisters came up with excuses to get off the phone. Without explanation, they stopped sending birthday cards to a childhood friend. And on the rare occasion when they left their home, the two women didn't chat up the neighbors.

Never married and without children or pets, the Miller sisters withdrew into their four-bedroom home in California's South Lake Tahoe, where they were found dead last week at the age of 73. One was in a downstairs bedroom and the other was in the hallway just outside.

It was as if the two sisters, long each other's only companion, could not live without each other, said Detective Matt Harwood with the El Dorado County sheriff's office.

"My perception is one died and the other couldn't handle it," said Harwood, who has been unable to identify any close friends or family members to inform of the sisters' deaths. "It appears purely natural, but we are still trying to piece it all together."


Attorneys for celebrity chef Paula Deen: Harassment accusations made by ex-employee are false

SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) -- Attorneys for Paula Deen said Tuesday that a former worker who claimed she was sexually harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment at a restaurant co-owned by Deen and her brother made false claims after the celebrity chef refused to pay her to keep quiet.

A lawsuit filed Monday by Lisa Jackson "makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court," said a statement from the Oliver Maner law firm, representing Deen. The law firm said the suit was filed in a local court after the Southern cooking star refused to pay the woman to "address false claims."

Attorneys for Jackson, a former general manager at the restaurant, didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Jackson said in the lawsuit that her doctor encouraged her to quit her post at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah because she suffered from panic attacks and other stress. The restaurant is owned by Deen and her brother Bubba Hiers.

Jackson, who is white, was hired at the restaurant in February 2005 and within months was promoted to general manager.


Person with knowledge of the decision: Colts expected to part ways with Manning

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Peyton Manning forever will be thought of around these parts as No. 18, the quarterback who led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL championship.

He'll be remembered, too, for his record four MVP awards, his 50,000 yards passing and his 200 consecutive starts. Most of all, Manning will be the guy in the horseshoe helmet who turned around a franchise and transformed a basketball-loving city into a football hotbed that hosted the Super Bowl.

Despite all of that and barring a last-minute change of heart, the Colts planned to release the 35-year-old Manning rather than pay him a $28 million bonus. The Colts scheduled a noon news conference for Wednesday without saying why, but a person with knowledge of the decision said the team was preparing to announce it will part ways with its QB, who missed all of last season after a series of operations on his neck.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday night because no official announcement had been made. Manning's impending departure was first reported by ESPN earlier Tuesday.

While the Colts are widely expected to begin moving on by taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, Manning will become a free agent -- and, if healthy, certainly will draw interest from other teams.