Author: Associated Press

Netflix/Marvel’s ‘Iron Fist’ epic fail, say viewers, critics

BY FRAZIER MOORE NEW YORK (AP) — If your web connection seems sluggish while you’re watching "Iron Fist," don’t blame your internet provider. The problem is the listless pace of this new Netflix series. But such languor isn’t the only failing of this latest offering from the Marvel factory, judging from critical pans and fan unrest since the 13-episode season was unveiled last week. Any Marvel project (and this is Netflix’s fourth, following "Daredevil," ”Jessica Jones" and "Luke Cage") is breathlessly awaited by fans. "Iron Fist" was no different. But even before anybody saw it, it was already drawing...

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Let there be light: German scientists test ‘artificial sun’

BY FRANK JORDANS BERLIN (AP) — Scientists in Germany flipped the switch Thursday on what’s being described as "the world’s largest artificial sun" and which they hope will help shed light on new ways of making climate-friendly fuel. The giant honeycomb-like setup of 149 spotlights – officially known as "Synlight" – in Juelich, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Cologne, uses xenon short-arc lamps normally found in cinemas to simulate natural sunlight that’s often in short supply in Germany at this time of year. By focusing the entire array on a single 20-by-20 centimeter (8×8 inch) spot, scientists...

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After fight, Indiana man receives ‘ATHE1ST’ license plate

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — A man who was initially denied an Indiana license plate reading "ATHE1ST" now has the personalized plate. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles denied Chris Bontrager’s first request in February without citing a specific reason. The bureau’s denial letter to Bontrager noted the agency could refuse a personalized plate if it had a connotation offensive to good taste or decency, was misleading or deemed improper. Bontrager believed the decision was religiously motivated, and he filed an appeal with the state. He said the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana helped the appeal process move quickly,...

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Box office reaches new record, but international sales flat

BY JAKE COYLE NEW YORK (AP) — The Motion Picture Association of America said Wednesday that the worldwide box office reached a record $38.6 billion in 2016, though international revenues were essentially stagnant. The MPAA’s annual report showed a global increase of .5 percent in ticket sales from 2015. While China, the world’s second-largest market after the U.S., has long been a priority of Hollywood, it dropped 3 percent last year with $6.6 billion in ticket sales. Box office in North America hit a record $11.4 billion, although the increase of $300 million was due largely to rising ticket...

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Puerto Rico in scarce supply of hair dye amid baseball fever

BY DANICA COTO SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Pharmacies and beauty stores across Puerto Rico are running out of hair dye with even a top economist joining men going blond in support of the island’s baseball players who bleached their hair ahead of the World Baseball Classic. What began as a joke among team members playing in California has spread across the island in a trend that spiked Tuesday just hours after Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands in 11 innings to reach the championship game undefeated in the tournament, which is held every four years. Puerto Rico will...

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Google Maps already tracks you; now other people can, too

BY MICHAEL LIEDTKE SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Maps users will soon be able to broadcast their movements to friends and family – the latest test of how much privacy people are willing to sacrifice in an era of rampant sharing. The location-monitoring feature will begin rolling out Wednesday in an update to the Google Maps mobile app, which is already installed on most of the world’s smartphones. It will also be available on personal computers. Google believes the new tool will be a more convenient way for people to let someone know where they are without having to...

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Sears, once a stalwart, has “substantial doubt” about future

BY ANNE D’INNOCENZIO AND HANNAH WEIKEL NEW YORK (AP) — Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids and the place newlyweds went to choose appliances, has said that after years of losing money that there is “substantial doubt” it will be able to keep its doors open. It’s a dramatic acknowledgment from the chain that owns Sears and Kmart stores, which has long held fast to its stance that a turnaround is possible, even as many of its shoppers have moved on to Wal-Mart, Target or Amazon. Sears has survived of late mainly with millions in loans...

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Trump signs bill authorizing NASA funding, Mars exploration

BY DARLENE SUPERVILLE WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Tuesday that updates NASA’s mission to add exploration of Mars and authorizes $19.5 billion in spending for the U.S. space agency for the current budget year. It’s the first time in seven years that there has been an authorization bill for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, also known as NASA, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a chief sponsor of the bill. Cruz joined several astronauts and other lawmakers in the Oval Office to watch Trump sign the bill. Last week, Trump sent Congress a...

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SpaceX sends satellite into orbit after 2-day delay

  <iframe width=”590″ height=”332″ src=”http://launch.newsinc.com/?type=VideoPlayer/Single&widgetId=1&trackingGroup=69016&playlistId=19132&siteSection=90121_dynamic_wirematch_ap&videoId=32130137″ frameborder=”no” scrolling=”no” noresize marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen></iframe> CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched a communications satellite into orbit after a two-day delay. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an EchoStar satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 2 a.m. Thursday. The satellite was deployed into orbit high above Earth about 35 minutes later. The launch was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was pushed back due to high winds in Florida. This was the second SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. Last month’s space station resupply launch...

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Barn yarn: Retirees knitting sweaters for chilly chickens

BY RODRIQUE NGOWI MILTON, Massachusetts (AP) — Sweaters for chickens? It sounds like a joke, but a plucky group of retirees in suburban Boston has hatched a plan to keep poultry warm during the New England winter. The unusual project began after members of a knitting club at Fuller Village, a retirement home in Milton, Massachusetts, heard about the hardships that some chickens suffer this time of year. Certain breeds shed their feathers and grow new plumage in the winter months. Others imported from tropical climates just aren’t suited for the wintry conditions. Organizer Nancy Kearns said the project...

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Big week for markets: Brexit, Fed and elections to collide

BY PAN PYLAS LONDON (AP) — Investors around the world are bracing for a series of events this week that could potentially cause waves in markets. And, for once, they’re not directly about U.S. President Donald Trump. From the expected launch of Britain’s exit from the European Union to the Federal Reserve’s discussion of another interest rate hike, there’s a lot that could cause volatility and even put a brake on the so-called Trump Bump, the months-long rally in stocks. “This week is most unusual from a macro point of view as there is a heavy concentration of ‘event...

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Intel drops $14 Billion on Mobileye in race for a driverless future

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Intel will buy Israel’s Mobileye in a deal valued at just over $14 billion, the latest push by a major tech company to advance autonomous vehicles that could change the way traffic moves globally. Mobileye develops technology that essentially gives computers a sense of their physical surroundings and it has also been busying creating ties to get that technology onto the road. Last year, it teamed up with Delphi Automotive to develop the building blocks for a fully autonomous car. Also in 2016, ride-hailing company Uber Technologies and Volvo signed a $300 million deal...

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March Madness: Tears, double takes, and then Northwestern

BY EDDIE PELLS There were tears in Syracuse, head-scratching about Duke and more than a few double takes at Wichita State. At Northwestern, they simply celebrated. On a Selection Sunday that was more about minor quibbles than pure outrage, Northwestern’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history stole the headlines – reminding hardcore fans and casual bracket-fillers alike that March Madness really is that time of year when anything can happen. The forever also-rans from outside of Chicago knew they’d see their name pop up when the brackets were released, but when they did, they partied anyway....

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Ed Sheeran to guest star on ‘Game of Thrones’

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Ed Sheeran will guest star in the upcoming season of “Game of Thrones.” The show’s producers made the announcement Sunday night during a panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. Producer David Benioff told the audience that they’ve been trying to get the 26-year-old British singer a spot on the show for years to surprise Sheeran fan Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the HBO fantasy drama. The seventh season of “Game of Thrones” premieres on HBO July 16. Recommended: Police investigate destruction of Trump’s Hollywood...

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Ancient palace revealed under destroyed Mosul shrine

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi archaeologists think that tunnels dug by Islamic State militants under a destroyed shrine in Mosul have revealed the palace of an ancient Assyrian king who ruled some 2,700 years ago. IS fighters blew up the shrine of the biblical Jonah’s tomb in 2014 after taking control of the city. They started digging tunnels into the side of the hill under the shrine, leading to the discovery. Ancient inscriptions and winged bulls and lions were found deep in the tunnels, thought to be part of the palace of King Esarhaddon, who ruled the Neo-Assyrian empire...

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California to give the green light to truly driverless cars

BY JUSTIN PRITCHARD LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cars with no steering wheel and nobody at all inside could be driving themselves on California roads by the end of the year. In a powerful boost to the industry from the nation’s most populous state, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is proposing rules that would open the way for truly driverless cars. For the past two years, tech companies and automakers have been testing self-driving cars on California’s roads. But regulators insisted that those vehicles have steering wheels, pedals and human backup drivers who could take over in an emergency. Now...

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