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Podcast ‘Serial’ turns town into fan destination

“Serial” has turned the town of Woodlawn into a destination for zealous fans, anxious to uncover answers to questions in a 1999 murder mystery.

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    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — A Guinean official says a fire at a warehouse at the Conakry airport has destroyed crucial medicine to help fight Ebola. Dr. Moussa Konate, head of logistics for Guinea’s Ebola response, said that the fire on Thursday morning engulfed a building holding medicine, like anti-malarials and antibiotics. He said: “Everything is…

  • Prince William calls Kate’s hair a ‘nightmare’

    WASHINGTON – It sounds like Duchess Kate’s famous locks may not be a favorite of her husband. Prince William was recently on a charity visit when he was overheard cracking jokes to a trainee hairdresser, according to Today. He reportedly told the woman that she should try styling Kate’s “nightmare” hair. Angel, training to be…

  • Irish face new abortion row over brain-dead woman

    DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland is debating its ban on abortion again as doctors keep a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support, awaiting a judge’s verdict on what do to with the living fetus. Irish media reported Thursday that relatives want to turn off the woman’s life support systems but doctors are refusing because the law…

  • Charlie Brown and a city’s ugly Christmas tree

    READING, Pa. (AP) — Reading’s official Christmas tree has brought the city plenty of grief. Good grief. When the 50-foot Norway spruce went up last month, it drew immediate comparisons to the scraggly sapling in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Its giant bare spots and asymmetrical branches were no one’s idea of Christmas tree perfection —…

  • Cambodian villagers angry over HIV outbreak

    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia’s prime minister appealed Thursday to villagers in northwestern Cambodia not to lynch an unlicensed medical practitioner who they suspect caused more than 100 people to become infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Teng Kunthy, head of the Health Ministry’s HIV/AIDS center, said 106 people out of more…

  • 2014: A year of battle lines drawn over dinner

    Have you picked a side yet? If not, you’d better think fast, because the battle lines are being drawn and they cut right down the dinner table. For if there was any theme to the food world in 2014, it was the prevalence of polarizing issues. Whether we were tussling over genetically modified organisms, or…

  • Have a stress-free family holiday

    Leslie Morgan Steiner, ModernMom.com                      

  • A tourist in Detroit: Motown, coney dogs and art

    DETROIT (AP) — I arrived in a power outage, got a $45 parking ticket and drove past dozens of abandoned homes. But as a tourist on my first trip to Detroit, I also sang in the Motown studio, saw the paintings that were nearly sold to pay the city’s bills, and bumped fists with the…

  • European court rules obesity can be a disability

    LONDON (AP) — Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday — a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. The ruling, which is binding across the EU, has such profound implications for employment law that experts…

  • Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A lack of unanimity in both political parties toward President Barack Obama’s sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba complicates any congressional effort to scuttle the most significant change in U.S. policy toward the communist island in 50-plus years. His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers, with criticism coming mostly from…

  • Circus disputes citation for hair-hanging accident

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has contested a citation it received from federal regulators for an accident that sent eight hair-hanging acrobats plummeting to the ground during a live performance, severely injuring most of them. Stephen Payne, a spokesman for circus parent company Feld Entertainment, said this week that…

  • Vegas hotelier faces gambling commission scrutiny

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The man who started a hospitality empire with a Los Angeles nightclub and turned the Sahara Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip into a hipper, sleeker destination is facing questions from gambling regulators for the second time this month about his cocaine use and questionable business dealings. Sam Nazarian…

  • 3-D prosthetics give dog freedom (Video)

    WASHINGTON — A dog with no front paws learned to run with the help of a 3-D printer. A promotional video for 3D Systems tells the story of how the company’s 3-D-printed prosthetics allowed Derby, a disabled dog, to run upright for the first time. Derby was born with a congenital deformity characterized by small…

  • EU bans investment in Crimean, targets tourism

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has imposed a ban on investment in Crimea, and other economic sanctions including measures aimed at keeping tourists away. The new measures on investment, services and trade, announced Thursday, beef up the EU’s previous sanctions taken in response to Russia’s annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine in March. Europeans…

  • Image of Asia: Manila zoo gets in Christmas mood

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, an orangutan named “Pacquiao” and a zoo owner wear Santa costumes while posing for pictures in the Philippine capital, Manila. The orangutan is one of the main attractions in Manny Tangco’s private animal collection in Manila’s suburb of Malabon, which also includes the native Philippine Brown Deer, in the…

  • Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A lack of unanimity in both political parties toward President Barack Obama’s sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba complicates any congressional effort to scuttle the most significant change in U.S. policy toward the communist island in 50-plus years. His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers, with criticism coming mostly from…

  • Charlie Brown and a city’s ugly Christmas tree

    READING, Pa. (AP) — Reading’s official Christmas tree has brought the city plenty of grief. Good grief. When the 50-foot Norway spruce went up last month, it drew immediate comparisons to the scraggly sapling in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Its giant bare spots and asymmetrical branches were no one’s idea of Christmas tree perfection —…

  • New York to ban fracking; environmentalists cheer

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Handing environmentalists a breakthrough victory, New York plans to prohibit fracking for natural gas because of what regulators say are its unexplored health risks and dubious economic benefits. New York, which overlies part of the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation that has led to a drilling boom in Pennsylvania and other nearby…

  • The D’oh of Homer: Professors employ TV’s Simpsons

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Bart and Lisa Simpson have been in elementary school for 25 years. But that hasn’t stopped them from showing up on college campuses. Universities across the country are using satirical references from “The Simpsons” to grab students’ attention and convey lessons in literature and all manner of popular culture. “If the…

  • Obama: As a black man he’s been mistaken for valet

    WASHINGTON (AP) — He may be president now, but Barack Obama says he’s a black man who has been mistaken for the valet and worries his daughters could face stereotypes. “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t…