Death Toll from Beijing Poultry Plant Fire Now 120

 BEIJING (AP) _ One more body has been recovered following Monday’s fire at a
poultry processing plant in northeast China, bringing the death toll to 120.  
     But Officials say 17 people are still unaccounted for.  
 State media says most of the victims were women recruited from nearby farming
villages to work part time at the plant. Workers say all but one of the plant’s
exits were locked at the time of the fire. Continue Reading

Walgreen’s Revenue Grows, Even as Generics Grow

 DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Walgreen’s revenue from established stores topped
analyst expectations for May, even though a rise in generic drugs continues to
dent the top line of the nation’s largest drugstore chain.  
 The Deerfield company says today that revenue from stores open at least a year
increased 2.8 percent last month compared with May 2012. That included a 3.8
percent gain from the pharmacy, which accounted for most of its sales. The
company also had a 1.2 percent increase from sales in the rest of the store. Continue Reading

Minnesota cheerleader accused of prostituting 16-year-old girl

A Minnesota high school cheerleader is accused of prostituting a younger student by creating an online ad and taking her to see potential customers, pocketing $60 in one case. Montia Marie Parker, 18, of Maple Grove faces felony charges of sex trafficking and promoting prostitution. She is scheduled to appear in court June 12. Parker was a senior at Hopkins High School when she allegedly set up a ad for a 16-year-old, driving her to an apartment to have oral sex with a man, and taking the $60 the girl made. Authorities allege Parker and the girl drove to another home the next day, but left after the man refused oral sex. Continue Reading

Chinese-American released from China after five years

The wife of a Chinese-American businessman who was held in China for nearly five years after he became involved in a business dispute says her husband has returned to his California home. Hong Li told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her husband, Hu Zhicheng, arrived from China on Monday night and is back at the family’s Rancho Palos Verdes home. Hu is an internationally known expert on catalytic converters. He became caught up in the dispute with a competitor in 2008. He was jailed for 17 months before Chinese authorities cleared him of wrongdoing. Continue Reading

US deportation procedures challenged by ACLU lawsuit

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. government Tuesday over the way Mexicans accused of living in the country illegally agree to be sent home, claiming the so-called voluntary departures are actually coerced. The federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles alleges immigration authorities in Southern California routinely steer Mexican immigrants away from insisting on an appearance before an immigration judge. They are told they face months in jail while their cases are decided and are falsely informed that they can easily arrange legal status once they’re back in Mexico, the lawsuit alleges. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol offer voluntary departures to some immigrants without criminal records, sparing them the possibility of stiffer penalties under formal deportation orders. Voluntary departures prohibit immigrants from re-entering the U.S. for up to 10 years. Continue Reading

Manning trial shrouded in secrecy, security

The court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the central figure in a massive leak of government documents, is focused on secrecy and government security. Yet his trial has become a secretive drama that allows the public little insight into what’s going on in the military courtroom. One of the pretrial hearings was closed to the public. Many court documents have been withheld or heavily redacted. Continue Reading

Houston police chief describes beating of suspect as sickening

Houston’s police chief told jurors on Tuesday that the 2010 videotaped beating of a black teen burglary suspect made him “sick to my stomach” and gave the police department a “black eye.” Police Chief Charles McClelland Jr. testified that fired officer Drew Ryser — one of four officers who were indicted in the case — mistreated the teen during his arrest and failed to follow proper procedures. Ryser, 32, is on trial this week on a misdemeanor charge of official oppression. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted. “It made me sick to my stomach because it was an egregious use of force and the men and women of the Houston police department are better than that … Continue Reading


Coming Soon to Iowa: Online License Renewal

The Iowa Department of Transportation says it expects to set up an online process to renew driver’s licenses’ by mid-July. In a news release today, the agency said it’s close to establishing a system. Also, people need to be aware of fake Internet renewal sites that exist. Until the state site goes live next month, people still need to have their license renewed in person. Under the new system, drivers between 18 and 72 can renew their license through the State Department of Transportation website without passing a vision test. Continue Reading


Illinois Lawmakers Adjourn Before Gay Marriage Decision

Governor Patt Quinn says he’s disappointed that the sponsor of a same-sex marriage bill didn’t call it for a vote before lawmakers adjourned for the summer. The Chicago Democrat told reporters today that even if there weren’t enough votes, it’s a democracy. Democratic State Rep. Greg Harris didn’t call the gay marriage legislation late Friday. He says he wanted to give the undecided time to think it through. He vowed to bring it back soon. Continue Reading