SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy is returning to duty. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports Deputy Erick Gelhaus will be on a desk assignment while the Sonoma County district attorney reviews an investigative report and determines whether he committed criminal wrongdoing. Gelhaus has been off patrol since shooting Andy Lopez seven times on Oct. 22 after mistaking a BB gun the boy was carrying for an assault rifle. Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Duenas said Friday that Gelhaus underwent mental health screening and was cleared to come back to duty this week. The shooting has led to numerous protests, and Duenas says Gelhaus has received threats. Lopez's family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will be sentenced Monday on felony and misdemeanor charges. He pleaded guilty in October to charges related to placing a woman in a headlock, kissing another woman and grabbing the buttocks of a third. In a plea agreement, prosecutors say they will recommend that he get three months of home confinement and three years of probation. The 71-year-old Democrat left office Aug. 30, amid widespread allegations that he sexually harassed women.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the world has lost an influential, courageous and 'profoundly good' man with the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. Obama says Mandela "no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages." Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95. Speaking from the White House, Obama said he was one of the countless millions around the world who was influenced by Mandela. Obama met with Mandela's family earlier this year when he visited South Africa. But he did not meet with the ailing leader, who was hospitalized throughout the U.S. president's visit.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Nelson Mandela was "a giant for justice" whose "selfless struggle for human dignity, equality and freedom" inspired many people around the world. "No one did more in our time to advance the values and aspirations of the United Nations," he told reporters soon after Mandela's death was announced Thursday. "Nelson Mandela showed what is possible for our world, and within each one of us, if we believe a dream and work together for justice and humanity," Ban said. "Let us continue each day to be inspired by Nelson Mandela's lifelong example to keep working for a better and more just world." The U.N. Security Council interrupted a meeting on the tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and stood for a minute in silent tribute to Mandela.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Doctors at a Northern California hospital say a couple has given birth to a rare set of naturally conceived identical triplets. The Sacramento Bee reports Abby, Brin and Laurel Hepner were born Nov. 22 at Sutter Memorial Hospital to Hannah and Tom Hepner, of Quincy. The triplets were produced when a single, fertilized egg split into three. Dr. William Gilbert, director of Sutter Women's Services, says the odds of producing identical triplets without fertility drugs range from 1-in-1-million to 1-in-100-million. He said the rarity makes it difficult to more accurately calculate the frequency of such births. Abby weighed 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Brin 3 pounds, 11 ounces; and Laurel 4 pounds. The triplets are still in the hospital until they can maintain body temperature and eat properly.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Californians twice voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, but they are split on his most important domestic policy achievement — health care reform. A Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday finds that just 44 percent of Californians favor Obama's Affordable Care Act, while the same percentage has an unfavorable opinion. In better news for the new law, two-thirds of uninsured residents say they plan to get insurance by next year now that it is more available to them. Nearly a quarter said they would opt to remain without health insurance. At the same time, Obama's job approval rating has taken a hit, with 51 percent of Californians approving. That matches a record low from two years ago and is down 10 points from last summer.
The survey was conducted the month after the Affordable Care Act's online marketplaces went live on Oct. 1, a disastrous rollout for the federal exchange that serves 36 states. The Public Policy Institute survey interviewed 1,700 adults by telephone from Nov. 12-19 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is stepping up efforts to extend jobless benefits to long-term unemployed Americans, arguing that more than a million people will lose the assistance if it isn't renewed by the end of the month, slowing economic growth.
In a report released Thursday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Labor Department concluded that if Congress allows benefits, to expire 3.6 million people will lose access to the benefits by the end of 2014.
Democrats are pressing for legislation continuing a program in place since 2008 that gives federally paid benefits to jobless people after their 26 weeks of state benefits run out. Republicans in the GOP-controlled House oppose it.
"Despite ten consecutive quarters of GDP growth and 7.8 million private sector jobs added since early 2010, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high at 7.3 percent, and far too many families are still struggling to regain the foothold they had prior to the crisis," the report states.
The report notes that Congress has renewed the benefits when unemployment has been lower than the current 7.3 percent. New jobless numbers for November will be released Friday.
The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the Democratic legislation would cost $25 billion but stimulate the economy by 0.2 percent next year and create 200,000 jobs. Other estimates say the benefits would stimulate the economy by place the economic growth
The report says that since 2008, nearly 24 million workers have received the unemployment insurance benefits.
More than 11 million Americans remain unemployed; of those, more than 4 million have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.
The White House report coincides with a hearing in Congress Thursday organized by Democrats in which unemployed people will testify about the financial cliff they face if benefits are cut off.
The report challenges studies cited by Republicans that the benefits have actually depressed job creation since 2008 because it forces companies to increase wages to keep and attract workers.
The White House report, however, argues that for workers to use jobless benefits as leverage for higher wages, they would have to threaten to resign their jobs. Workers who quit are not eligible for the unemployment insurance.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A private survey shows U.S. businesses last month added the most jobs in a year, powered by big gains in manufacturing and construction. Payroll processor ADP says companies and small businesses added 215,000 jobs in November. And ADP says private employers added 184,000 jobs in October, much stronger than its initial estimate of 130,000. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government's more comprehensive report. Last month, the Labor Department said private businesses added 212,000 jobs in October. The Labor Department will report on November job growth Friday.
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California city has voted to ban electronic cigarettes in enclosed public spaces, including fenced parks. The Contra Costa Times reports the Richmond City Council voted Tuesday to adopt a new ordinance that would prohibit e-cigarettes. Violations can be met with fines of up to $1,000, City leaders and health advocates believe the smokeless devices may be dangerous to smokers and those around them. E-cigarettes allow users to inhale nicotine vapor instead of tobacco fumes. They are not yet regulated by the federal Food and Drug Administration agency. E-cigarette sales surged from about 50,000 in 2008 to 3.5 million in 2012, and the number of children who reported trying the product has increased, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
Chico's City Council is put on notice about a deficit reduction plan. Administrative Services Director Chris Constantin told the Council Tuesday night that auditors are concerned about the city's multi-million dollar deficits. The E-R reports he suggested bringing a reduction proposal to the council later this month. Otherwise auditors could ask the city to repay debts immediately. The city is more than 15-million-dollars in the red.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new Field Poll finds that California voters increasingly disapprove of President Barack Obama's job performance while fewer than half support his handling of health care. The poll released today shows that 51 percent of registered voters approve of the job Obama is doing, the lowest mark in two years. Meanwhile, just 43 percent approve of his handling of health care, while half disapprove
Chico Police say the cost for a busy Halloween weekend came to more than 60-thousand-dollars. The department says even though officers modified shifts to cut down on overtime costs, it still cost the department just over 42-thousand-dollars in regular wages and 20-thousand-dollars in overtime. Already dealing with budget cuts and a decrease in manpower, police say special events like Halloween coverage continue to be a signifigant drain on police resources due to necessary staffing levels for just a small segment of the community.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away a Christian university's attempt to overturn a key part of the Obama administration's health care law. The justices did not comment Monday in leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling dismissing Liberty University's lawsuit. Liberty made several arguments in challenging the portion of the health care law that requires most employers to provide health insurance to their workers or pay a fine. The 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Richmond, Va., rejected those claims. The Supreme Court separately is considering whether for-profit corporations can mount religious objections to the law's requirement to include birth control among preventive health benefits.
NEW YORK (AP) — The National Retail Federation says people have been spending less on holiday shopping than they did last year. The trade group says a record 141 million people likely shopped in stores and online from Thanksgiving Day to Sunday. Last year, 137 million people shopped during the four day stretch. But spending is expected to fall for the first time ever since the group began tracking in 2006. It says over the four days this year, spending fell an estimated 2.9 percent.
Chico Police are looking for a carjacking suspect. Police say the victim heard his car start Saturday evening on the 500 block of Humboldt Road. The victim was able to catch up to the suspect and tried to stop him through the driver side door. A struggle ensued but the victim wasn't able to stop the suspect. Police eventually found the vehicle abandoned. The suspect his a Hispanic man, 20 to 30 years old and was wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt. Anybody with information is asked to call Chico Police.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, a sign that workers are in less danger of being laid off. The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average fell 7,500 to 331,750. Both the weekly jobless claims and the average have returned to pre-recession levels. Weekly unemployment claims are a proxy for layoffs. They have fallen in six of the past seven weeks. As layoffs have dwindled, hiring has picked up. Employers added 204,000 jobs last month, indicating that companies were undeterred by the 16-day government shutdown. Private businesses added 212,000 new positions, the most since February. The economy has added an average of 202,000 jobs a month from August through October, up from 146,000 in May through July.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Court rulings this week cast doubt over the future of California's $68 billion high-speed rail plan and serve as a reminder of the biggest question facing the project: Where will the money come from to complete it? So far, state and federal sources account for less than 20 percent of the total price. The current plan relies on vague funding from "federal, state, local and private sources."The plaintiffs in the case say the state has not identified the source of the $31 billion needed to complete the first full phase. In rulings issued Monday, a Sacramento County judge ordered a new funding plan from the rail authority. Jeff Morales, the authority's director, says a revised plan might fall short of identifying all funding sources, likely renewing the court fight.
Glenn County investigators are looking for two suspects after a man was found stabbed several times Tuesday morning. The Sheriff's office says a realtive found 55-year-old John Arano bleeding on the floor of his Willows home and called 9-1-1. Arano was able to tell investigators before he went into surgery that two white men entered his unlocked home Monday night and beat and stabbed him. No motive has been released. Anyone with information about the attempted murder is asked to call the Sheriff's Office.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in September than in August, a sign that weaker sales are preventing the kinds of sharp price gains that occurred earlier this year. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 0.7 percent from August to September, down from a 1.3 percent gain from July to August. Year over year, prices jumped 13.3 percent from September 2012, the fastest such gain since February 2006. Monthly price gains slowed in 19 of the 20 cities tracked by the index. Charlotte, N.C., was only city to post a price decline from August to September. The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It isn't adjusted for seasonal variations, so the monthly changes partly reflect slower buying activity in the late summer and fall.
Glenn County officials have released the name of the man killed in a weekend racing accident. The Sheriff's Office says 50-year-old Kenneth Henry of Elk Grove died Sunday following the accident at Thunder Hill Race Track. A witness told deputies he was behind Henry who was racing at approximately 80 to 100 miles per hour on a Yamaha bike, when Henry abruptly let go of the handle bars and flew backwards off the bike. Medics attempted CPR, but Henry was pronounced dead at Glenn Medical Center.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is assailing the new nuclear deal with Iran, saying he believes it "bodes very, very ominously for the region and U.S. security." The Virginia Republican calls the arrangement "dangerous" and says it brings Iran "closer to becoming a nuclear power." The accommodation announced Sunday gives Tehran six months to increase access to its nuclear sites in exchange for keeping the central elements of its uranium program. Cantor tells "CBS This Morning" Monday that the terms are softer than those already in several U.N. resolutions. In a twist on a famous Ronald Reagan statement about arms control, Cantor says the attitude toward Iran should be "mistrust and verify." Reagan famously said he favored arms pacts with the Soviet Union if there was a "trust-but-verify" standard.
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Two California lawmakers want to ban the sale of imitation firearms like the one a 13-year-old boy was carrying when he was fatally shot by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy last month. Legislation announced Friday would require BB, pellet and airsoft guns to be translucent or brightly colored so they're not mistaken for real firearms. The bill is co-authored by Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa and Sen. Kevin de León of Los Angeles, both Democrats. In 2011, de León introduced similar legislation that was opposed by gun-rights advocates. State and local officials announced the new legislative effort one month after a deputy shot and killed Andy Lopez, who was carrying a BB gun that looked like an assault rifle.
A tragic ending to a missing persons case in Butte County. Search and Rescue located the body 40-year-old Michael Gundlach of Chico Sunday morning in upper Bidwell Park. Police had been searching for him since Friday when family members became concerned and asked Police to check on him. Park Rangers say his car had been parked at Horseshoe Lake since Wednesday. His body was found in Big Chico Creek. Officials say foul play isn't suspected.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement early on Sunday to curb Tehran's atomic ambitions in exchange for limited sanctions relief, in a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff. The deal between the Islamic state and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia was nailed down after more than four days of negotiations. "We have reached an agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal.
No details of the agreement were immediately available. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and foreign ministers of the five other world powers joined the talks with Iran early on Saturday as the two sides appeared to be edging closer to a long-sought preliminary agreement. more
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An autopsy shows a security officer killed by a gunman at Los Angeles International Airport had been shot 12 times. The report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez had 40 bullet fragments in his body that were sent to the FBI.
Coroner's officials said previously the 39-year-old Hernandez died between two and five minutes after being shot on Nov. 1 in Terminal 3. Authorities say 23-year-old Paul Ciancia was targeting TSA officers in a vendetta against the federal government when he pulled a semi-automatic rifle from a bag and shot Hernandez. Two other TSA employees and an airline passenger were wounded before airport police shot Ciancia, who has been charged with murder.
GENEVA (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top diplomats are heading into a tough round of negotiations in Geneva where six world powers are trying to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. Kerry and the others joined the talks today on a first-step agreement that would begin to roll back Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the easing of U.S. and international sanctions that are hurting Iran's economy. The latest round of talks began on Wednesday, but so far there is no deal. Before he left Washington, Kerry said he had no particular expectation that an agreement could be reached this week. But after talking with top European Union diplomat Catherine Ashton on Friday, he decided to travel to Geneva to help negotiators narrow their differences.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's interior minister says his forces have foiled several attempted terror attacks and arrested leading militants, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of mobilizing and financing some of the country's most violent groups to cause unrest. Minister Mohammed Ibrahim's comments Saturday were the first detailed examples offered by a senior Egyptian official to back claims that the Brotherhood, the group of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, is responsible for attacks against security, government institutions and the country's Coptic minority. The Brotherhood repeatedly has denied government claims that it uses or condones violence. Ibrahim told reporters that five senior militants were detained from two pro-Morsi sit-ins which authorities broke up violently in August. Ibrahim accused sit-in participants of stockpiling weapons. He said other militants arrested were released from prison by Morsi's government.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A powerful storm is being blamed for three deaths in California and one in Arizona. Forecasters said parts of both states could see more bad weather today. Winter storm warnings were posted for the mountains and the Antelope Valley foothills northeast of Los Angeles. And a flood watch was in effect in the Phoenix area, where several miles of the Loop 303 freeway in the western suburbs were closed due to flooding. The system iss expected to head east and reach the Atlantic coast by the middle of next week, but not before hitting the Southwest again with rain, snow and wind, forecasters said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional advisory panel is sounding a warning over China's military buildup, predicting that the rising Asian power may be able to field the largest fleet of modern submarine and combat ships in the western Pacific by 2020. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says China's military modernization is altering the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific, challenging decades of U.S. preeminence.
The commission advises Congress on the national security implications of the relationship between the two world powers. Its annual report was released Wednesday. Its primary recommendation is for Congress to pay for navy shipbuilding and increased operational presence in the region and support the Defense Department's goal to base 60 percent of its warships in the Asia-Pacific by 2020, up from about 50 percent currently.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers shrugged off the 16-day partial government shutdown and spent more on autos, clothing and furniture in October, pushing U.S. retail sales up by the largest amount in four months.
The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.4 percent in October, up from a flat reading in September. Sales were held back by a steep drop in gas prices. Excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending increased an even stronger 0.5 percent. And core sales, a category that excludes volatile spending on autos, building supplies and gas, also rose 0.5 percent, up from a 0.3 percent gain in September. The October retail sales indicate that consumers stepped up spending at the start of the October-December quarter. Their spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Cheaper gasoline lowered overall U.S. consumer prices slightly in October. But outside the steep drop at the pump, inflation stayed mild. The Labor Department says the consumer price index fell 0.1 percent last month, down from a 0.2 percent gain in September. The October decrease was primarily due to a 2.9 percent drop in gasoline costs, the largest since April. Over the last 12 months, overall prices have increased 1 percent, well below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of two percent. Excluding volatile energy and food costs, so-called core prices rose 0.1 percent in October from September and just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months. The prices for new motor vehicles, clothing and medical care declined last month. But airfares rose a whopping 3.6 percent.
LONDON (AP) — Michelle Obama shared one with her "first dog" Bo, Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now "selfie" — the smartphone self-portrait — has been declared word of the year for 2013 by Britain's Oxford University Press. The publisher of the Oxford dictionaries says "selfie" saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, bursting from the confines of Instagram and Twitter to become mainstream shorthand for any self-taken photograph. Oxford usually assigns a separate word of the year to the U.S. and to the U.K., but it said "selfie" captured the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic this year. The term beat other buzzwords including "twerk," the sexually provocative dance move that got a huge boost in usage thanks to an attention-grabbing performance by pop star Miley Cyrus; "showrooming," the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price; and "Bitcoin," the digital currency that gained widespread media attention. Also making the shortlist was "binge-watch," a verb that describes watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The future of state laws that regulate everything from the size of a hen's cage to safe consumption of Gulf oysters may be at stake as farm bill negotiators work to resolve a long-simmering fight between agriculture and animal welfare interests. The House Agriculture Committee added language to its version of the farm bill that says a state cannot impose certain production standards on agricultural products sold in interstate commerce. The provision authored by Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa is aimed at a California law that will require all eggs sold in the state to come from hens that inhabit cages in which they can spread their wings. Opponents say that depending on how it is interpreted, the provision could lead to challenges of dozens of other state laws.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is refusing to intervene in the controversy surrounding the National Security Agency, rejecting a call from a privacy group to stop NSA from collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers in the United States. While the justices on Monday declined to get involved in this issue, other lawsuits on the topic are making their way through the lower courts around the country. But in the case at hand, the Electronic Privacy Information Center bypassed lower courts and said that only the Supreme Court can overrule a decision by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose order allowing NSA to get the records cannot be reviewed by other federal courts.
DENVER (AP) — A judge says prosecutors in the Colorado theater shootings can use evidence found in defendant James Holmes' apartment, which includes homemade bombs and a calendar with the day of the shootings highlighted. In a ruling dated Friday, the judge rejected defense arguments that the apartment search was illegal because it began before police had a warrant. Prosecutors argued the search was legal because Holmes told them he had explosives at his apartment, and they didn't have time to wait for a warrant because of the danger.
The bombs didn't go off. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder and attempted murder in the July 20, 2012, attack. Twelve people were killed and 70 injured. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
DETROIT (AP) — Officials have confirmed two storm-related deaths in Michigan, raising to eight the toll from the heavy rain, powerful winds and tornadoes that formed across the region. Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski says a 14-year-old boy was pronounced dead at a hospital after grabbing a downed power line Monday morning. He was walking home from a school that was closed due to power outages. Donakowski didn't provide the boy's name. Jackson County Sheriff Steven Rand says 21-year-old Ryan Allan Rickman of Leslie died when his vehicle was crushed by a fallen tree Sunday evening. A band of moved across the Midwest on Sunday, unleashing powerful winds that flattened homes and left cars, trees and belongings strewn across neighborhoods. Officials say the storms also killed six people in Illinois.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California community college officials are considering a plan to tighten requirements for fee waivers. Paige Marlatt-Dorr, a spokeswoman for the chancellor's office, said the colleges' board of governors read the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday. It is expected to read it a second time and vote at its meeting in mid-January. The proposal would require students with fee waivers to maintain at least a C-average over two consecutive terms and to show adequate progress by taking at least half of their courses for credit. Students who are former or current foster youth would be exempt. School officials say as many as 48,000 recipients could lose their fee waivers under the plan. The 112-college system has 2.4 million students. It has some of the lowest fees in the country.
YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have released the names of the men killed in a crash Tuesday at a Northern California highway intersection that left four people dead and four injured. The Sutter County Sheriff's Office has identified the dead as 54-year-old Alfonso Salazar, 42-year-old Reymundo Salazar, 40-year-old Genaro Salazar-Moctezuma and 40-year-old Melchor Inez-Zamacona, all of Yuba City. According to the California Highway Patrol, a 1997 Toyota Camry carrying the four men was approaching Highway 99 south of Yuba City around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday when it entered the intersection and was broadsided by a Mercedes sedan heading south on the highway. The driver — Alfonso Salazar — and all three passengers died at the scene. The Mercedes driver, identified as 23-year-old Sonny Granados, suffered major injuries. Three passengers in the Mercedes had minor injuries.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is asking health insurance companies to maintain their individual insurance policies through 2014 after President Barack Obama extended the deadline.
Jones said he asked the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, on Thursday to release insurers from their contracts to terminate policies as of Dec. 31. Jones said he has opposed terminating more than 1 million insurance policies by the end of the year. He says the Affordable Care Act already did not require those policies to end until December 2014. Obama extended that deadline on Thursday, conceding problems with the rollout of the law. The California Association of Health Plans says California should stay on track with its current plan to get more people into the comprehensive policies required under the federal law.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit widened in September as imports increased to the highest level in 10 months while exports slipped. The Commerce Department says the deficit increased to $41.8 billion, up 8 percent from August. It was the largest trade gap since May and marked the third straight month that the deficit has risen since hitting a four-year low in June. Exports, which hit a record high in June, slipped for the third straight month, dipping 0.2 percent to $188.9 billion, with sales of commercial aircraft and autos both down. Imports rose 1.2 percent to $230.7 billion, the highest level since November. The deficit with China hit an all-time high of $30.5 billion. So far this year, the deficit is running 11.7 percent below the pace of 2012.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says any deal negotiated with Iran will be "failsafe" and will guarantee that Tehran will not have the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Kerry told MSNBC on Thursday that he respects Israel's deep concern about the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. He says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday morning to assure him that the U.S. and Israel both agree that Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear-armed nation. But he says that while the Obama administration wants Congress to hold off in imposing any new sanctions while negotiations continue, Israel wants to see more sanctions to force Tehran to surrender any nuclear weapons capabilities.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say the father of California Assemblyman Mike Gatto has been fatally shot in his Los Angeles home. Lt. Richard Parks says 78-year-old Joseph Gatto was found late Wednesday at his home in Silver Lake. Police say a family member arrived at the home shortly after 8 p.m. and found Gatto shot at least one time. Police say the home had been ransacked. No arrests have been made. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles was elected to represent California's 43rd District in a special election three years ago. Email messages for the assemblyman's spokesmen were not immediately returned Thursday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's pick to be the Homeland Security secretary says that filling key leadership vacancies and improving morale at the sprawling bureaucracy is a higher priority than the department's core counterterrorism mission. In prepared answers to questions leading up to his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday, Jeh (JAY) Johnson deviates from his predecessors' stated priorities by listing counterterrorism third instead of first. Some 40 percent of Homeland Security senior leadership positions are vacant. And it has long been ranked among the federal agencies with the lowest morale. Congress has raised concerns about both issues. Johnson is a long-time Obama supporter and former general counsel of the Defense Department. He is expected to win Senate confirmation. He is testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee.
Chico Police think an armed robbery suspect may have struck again. Police say the latest robbery happened at the Fair Street Market Tuesday afternoon. The suspect entered the store with his face covered and a gun and demanded cash. He got away on a yellow bike. Police say the suspect matches a robbery suspect on Monday at East Avenue Liquors. He's white, in his mid 20s, 5-10, with a large build. Anyone with information is urged to contact Chico Police.
Chico Police continue investigating an early morning fatal collision that shut down a stretch of the Skyway. It happened just after midnight near the intersection of Skyway and Bruce Road. Police say a 38-year-old man was hit by a vehicle and taken to Enloe Medical Center where he died. The driver of the vehicle was interviewed and released.
Chico Police are looking for an armed robbery suspect. Police say the East Avenue Liquors was robbed around 3 PM Monday. The suspect told the clerk he had a gun and demanded cash. He got away on a bike. The suspect is white, in his mid 20's, 5-10 with a large build. He was wearing a San Francisco Giants hat and a yellow backpack. Anyone with information is asked to call Chico Police.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has sent what the Vatican calls initial assistance to the typhoon-ravaged Philippines --$150,000 -- to help those left homeless. The money will be sent by the Holy See's charity organization to churches in the hardest hit areas, particularly Leyte and Samar islands. The Vatican described the cash donation as "a first and immediate concrete expression" of Francis' encouragement and spiritual closeness to Filipinos. On Sunday, Francis urged people to provide concrete help to those affected by the typhoon and led tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square in silent prayer for the storm's victims. The Philippines has Asia's largest Catholic population.
WASHINGTON (AP) — For President Barack Obama, the Iranian nuclear deal he covets now depends in part on his ability to keep a lid on hard-liners on Capitol Hill and an array of anxious allies abroad, including Israel, the Persian Gulf states and even France. Each of the wary parties is guided in some measure by their own domestic political interests. But they also share concerns that Obama may want a breakthrough with Iran so badly that he is willing to accept a bad deal. There is little question Obama desires a deal with Iran, which could give him a boost during a shaky stretch in his presidency. Successful negotiations with Iran could also validate Obama's long-held belief that the U.S. should be willing to talk to adversaries without preconditions.
RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — More than 90 tons of prepackaged salads and sandwiches by a California catering company are being recalled because a bacterial strain of E. coli has been linked to its products. The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service says Sunday that Richmond-based Glass Onion Catering recalled the salads and sandwich wraps containing cooked chicken and ham after 26 people in three states were sickened with a strand of E. coli. The products were produced between Sept. 23 and Nov. 6, and were shipped to distribution centers in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Texas. The Contra Costa Times reports the company has supplied food to Trader Joe's, Super Fresh Goods and Delish.
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) — Survivors of the typhoon that may have killed 10,000 people in the Philippines are describing being swept away by a 20-foot storm surge. A 19-year-old student in the hardest-hit city, Tacloban, says he tried to ride out the storm in his home with his ailing father, but the storm surge carried the building away. Marvin Daga says they clung to each other while the house floated, but it eventually crumbled and they fell into the churning waters. He says his father slipped out of his grasp and sank -- and that he's not expecting to find him alive.
Larry Womack and his wife Bobbie, American missionaries from Tennessee, have lived in Tacloban for a long time. Womack says he chose to stay at their beachside home, only to find the storm surge engulfing it. He survived by climbing onto a beam in the roof that stayed attached to a wall. Womack says, "There were actual waves going over my head." Even people who fled to evacuation shelters found that they weren't safe. A 21-year-old woman who was about to give birth was in an evacuation center that was devastated by the storm surge. She had to swim and cling to a post to survive -- eventually reaching safety at the airport, where she gave birth to a baby girl. The baby, Bea Joy Sagales, appeared to be in good health. Her arrival drew applause from others in the airport, and military medics who helped in the delivery.
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays. The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available to Amazon Prime members in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas at first. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix. Amazon Prime membership costs $79 a year. Members get free two-day shipping on millions of items on the site and access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service. Amazon.com Inc. says members can add eligible items to their carts and will see Sunday delivery at checkout when it is available. Shares of Amazon slipped 81 cents to $349.50 in premarket trading.
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