Israeli President Peres to honor Spielberg, Wiesel

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s president will award this year’s Presidential Medal of Distinction to a group that includes Hollywood director Steven Spielberg and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel. Shimon Peres’ office said Thursday that Spielberg will be recognized for…

Carson Daly to join ‘Today’ in newly created role

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC says Carson Daly is joining the on-air team at the “Today” show. Daly will be host of the Orange Room, a digital studio that will be part of the show’s revamped Manhattan home,…

Rohingya boat people detained in southern Thailand

BANGKOK (AP) — More than 200 members of the Rohingya minority fleeing Myanmar have been detained in southern Thailand after their boat ran aground, a Thai official said Thursday. Thai district chief Watcharasak Chulayanon said the 219 men…

Warsaw’s delayed luxury tower nears completion

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The high-rise tower in Warsaw designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind is offering potential clients a peek at its luxurious apartments after years of delay caused by a legal battle. A marketing suite opened…

China urges joint efforts to denuclearize NKorea

BEIJING (AP) — China has called for joint efforts to denuclearize the Korea Peninsula following reports that North Korea may be restarting a plutonium nuclear reactor. “To achieve denuclearization and to maintain peace and stability is what China…

Assad credits Russia with chemical weapons move

MOSCOW (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad says his government has agreed to surrender its chemical weapons in response to Russia’s initiative and not because of the U.S. threat of attack. Assad told Russia’s state Rossiya 24 news…

No Plan B if bid fails to right ship off Italy

ROME (AP) — An international team of engineers is expressing confidence a never-before attempted strategy to set upright a luxury liner which capsized off Italy will work. They devised no “Plan B” if the Concordia falls back on…

US stock futures mixed in light trading

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures were mixed in very light trading, with many investors heading to the sidelines ahead of the Fed’s policy statement next week. Jobs numbers released Thursday were largely ignored due to technical…

Aguilera says trip to Rwanda was fulfilling

NEW YORK (AP) — Christina Aguilera says that although she went to Rwanda to help others, she ended up helping herself. The 32-year-old singer visited Rwanda in June for a hunger relief effort. She said the experience helped…

Computer upgrades cut US jobless claims to 292K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 292,000. But the drop was mostly because of technical issues in two states that delayed the processing of applications. The…

NJ teen to be sentenced in girl’s slaying

WOODBURY, N.J. (AP) — A southern New Jersey teenager is facing a 17-year prison sentence for killing a young girl who disappeared while riding her bike last year. Justin Robinson’s sentencing is scheduled for Thursday. The 16-year-old pleaded…

Suspected ‘I-55 Bandit’ bank robber surrenders

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man suspected of robbing banks in five states has turned himself in to the FBI. The FBI announced Wednesday that 19-year-old Andrew Maberry, of O’Fallon, Ill., was arrested and charged with one federal…

Statoil: Algeria terror attack was ‘unprecedented’

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian oil company Statoil said Thursday it may have relied too heavily on Algerian military protection at its Ain Amenas gas facility, which was attacked by armed terrorist in January. “There is reason to…

Pittsburgh Zoo: Boy’s mauling death is mom’s fault

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium says the mother of a 2-year-old boy fatally mauled in a wild African dogs exhibit is to blame for her son’s death and shouldn’t be allowed to sue. The…