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Insurers seek double-digit rate increases

20%-40% more proposed; older, sicker buyers cited

Subscriber onlyHealth insurance companies across the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back. Continue reading...

Ad agencies take up reading minds

Subscriber onlyFacebook this spring commissioned a San Francisco company called SalesBrain to gauge how consumers responded to ads viewed on a smartphone versus a TV screen. Neural researchers used various sensors to measure perspiration, heart rate, eye movement and brain activity of the 70 participants. Their conclusion: People get more out of information on a mobile phone than a TV, and watching television forces the brain to work harder to combat distractions. Continue reading...

Kamikaze image off mark, survivors say

Self-sacrifice, necessity sent pilots aloft to die

Subscriber onlyThe pilots filed into the room and were presented with a form that asked if they wanted to be kamikaze. It was multiple-choice, and there were three answers: "I passionately wish to join," "I wish to join," and "I don't wish to join." Continue reading...

U.S. celebrates its independence

Fourth of July festivities include parades, fireworks, concerts

Subscriber onlyPeople around the United States celebrated the Fourth of July with parades, fireworks, naturalization ceremonies and music Saturday, marking the nation’s 239 years as an independent nation. Continue reading...

N.C. looking for patterns in string of shark attacks

Subscriber onlyThis is becoming another summer of the shark. The last one was in 2001, when a series of shark attacks on the East Coast combined with a period of generally slow news to whip up a spasm of shark mania. Continue reading...

State's 'pot' tax revenue soars

Washington tweaks laws after retailers, farmers complain

Subscriber onlyWashington state opened its second-in-the-nation legal marijuana market July 8, 2014, with just a handful of stores selling high-priced marijuana to long lines of customers. A year later, the state has about 160 shops open, tax revenue has soared past expectations and sales top $1.4 million per day. Continue reading...

Leaping sturgeon kills Florida girl, 5

Subscriber onlyA 5-year-old Florida girl riding in a boat has died after a sturgeon leaped from the Suwannee River and struck her. Continue reading...

At nuclear talks, experts draft Iran sanctions deal

Subscriber onlyWorld powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations, diplomats told reporters on Saturday. Continue reading...

Trees tumbling in St. Louis’ wet soil

Subscriber onlyThe wettest June on record in St. Louis has caused rivers to rise and saturated farmland. It’s also a factor in toppling trees. Continue reading...

Deaths rekindle concerns about using spike strips in police chases

Subscriber onlyWhen the police on stretches of country road want to stop a high-speed chase, they reach for their spike strips. Long and spiny like the tail of some steel porcupine, the strips are hurled into the road to flatten a fleeing suspect's tires, ideally ending a dangerous pursuit in just moments. The devices sit in thousands of patrol cars across the country. Continue reading...

Bush tax files show wealth skyrocket

He set up consulting firm that paid him, wife, son, helped him build up nest egg

Subscriber onlyShortly after Jeb Bush left the Florida governor’s office in 2007, he established his own firm, Jeb Bush & Associates, designed to maximize his earning potential as one of the country’s more prominent politicians. Continue reading...

WikiLeaks again says U.S. tapped Brazil phones

Subscriber onlyThe National Security Agency monitored the phone numbers of top Brazilian officials, WikiLeaks revealed, less than a week after President Dilma Rousseff visited the U.S. to mend relations derailed by earlier spying accusations. Continue reading...

In Wisconsin, open-records limits pulled from budget

Subscriber onlyWisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislative leaders said they agreed Saturday to remove a part of the proposed state budget that would roll back open-records laws. Continue reading...

The Nation in brief

Subscriber onlyFerris wheel reopens after 66 stranded ORLANDO, Fla. -- The largest Ferris wheel on the East Coast reopened Saturday, one day after 66 riders were stranded on The Orlando Eye and had to be evacuated from the towering 400-foot attraction. Continue reading...

Names and Faces

Subscriber onlyThe childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke could be torn down after a central Illinois city condemned the dilapidated building. The News-Gazette of Champaign, Ill., reports the 89-year-old actor took to Twitter last week to call attention to the Danville home he and his brother Jerry lived in during high school after relocating from Missouri. Continue reading...

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