national news

FILE - This Nov. 16, 2011 file photo shows law enforcement officers photographing a window at the White House in Washington, as seen from the South Lawn. A bullet hit an exterior window of the White House and was stopped by ballistic glass, the Secret Service said. An additional round of ammunition was found on the White House exterior. The bullets were found Tuesday morning. An Idaho man who pleaded guilty to shooting at and hitting the White House is set to be sentenced. Prosecutors say Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez should spend 27 years in prison for the 2011 shooting. His sentencing is scheduled for Monday afternoon. No one was injured, but prosecutors say Ortega-Hernandez hit the executive mansion about eight times and did nearly $100,000 in damage. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)Germany’s expulsion of a top intelligence official in Berlin has added a new strain.


2014-07-14 02:45:14 -0600
GIGLIO, Italy (AP) — The shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been successfully refloated in preparation for towing it away for scrapping.
2014-07-14 04:07:48 -0600

Hiker Matthew Donnelly of Milford, Pennsylvania, uses his cell phone on the Appalachian Trail in Bear MountainBy Barbara Goldberg HARRIMAN STATE PARK N.Y. (Reuters) - Maybe it was guilt over alarming her parents when she inadvertently dialed 911 from the Appalachian Trail, but Caitlin Belcher wishes she could ditch her cell phone for the rest of the 2,180-mile (3,508-km) hike. I just want to be out in the woods, isolated," said Belcher, 23, who has called home to Fredericksburg, Virginia, twice weekly since her journey began in April and gets constant texts from her parents, who even call her hiking partner's phone as well. Then Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina used "hiking the AT" as an excuse for disappearing for six days in 2009, while in fact he was on a rendezvous in Argentina with his mistress. Today camping gadgets such as a twig-fueled stove that can charge a smartphone while it heats baked beans, and online tips such as using an empty foil-lined potato chip can to boost Wi-Fi signals, mean there is no need to go off the grid while on the trail.     With Twitter, Instagram and blogs, hikers may be safer but lose the solitude and silence once found in the woods.     "The whole idea of the Appalachian Trail is to get away from it all," said Bill Bryson, whose best-selling 1998 book "A Walk in the Woods" about the trail is being made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte.     "I am all in favor of gadgets, but my fear is that most people spend all their rest time texting and staring at little screens and miss out on all the glorious solitude around them," Bryson said.     Summer is high season on the trail that draws up to 3 million visitors a year, including 1,100 "thru hikers" like Belcher who hope to conquer the entire 14-state route.


2014-07-14 06:49:21 -0600