WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.
Lt. Todd Ojile said Friday the 29-year-old man was booked on suspicion of aggravated endangerment but has not been charged.
Ojile says the man had "somehow forgotten" leaving the girl in the back seat after picking her up from the baby sitter late Thursday afternoon. He went inside the house with a 5-year-old child but left the baby strapped in the car seat outside.
No charges are expected against the other foster parent, a 26-year-old man who was inside the house.
Ojile says they didn't remember the child was outside until something on television jogged their memories. The girl had been in the car for about 2 hours.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Police planned Friday to give prosecutors the results of their investigation into an 80-year-old man's fatal shooting of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.
Tom Greer, whose collarbone was broken in the assault, told a television station he fired even though the female burglar told him not to shoot because she was pregnant.
The woman's alleged accomplice was being held for investigation of murder and police said Thursday they had yet to decide whether to recommend any charges be brought against the octogenarian homeowner.
"She says, 'Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant — I'm going to have a baby,' and I shot her anyway," Greer told KNBC-TV outside his house.
Long Beach police Chief Jim McDonnell said at a news conference Thursday that the woman, 28-year-old Andrea Miller, did not appear to be pregnant, but an autopsy would determine whether she was.
The surviving suspect, Gus Adams, 26, has been arrested on suspicion of residential burglary and murder, McDonnell said. The murder charge is possible because he is accused of being involved in a felony that led to a death, the chief said. He was being held on bail just over $1 million, and police did not know if he had hired an attorney.
Both Miller and Adams, who had histories of similar crimes, were unarmed, McDonnell said.
Greer had been burglarized three times before and believed the same suspects were responsible.
He returned home shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday to find the pair in his home. Both suspects attacked him, hitting him with their fists and ultimately "body slamming" him to the floor, breaking his collar bone, McDonnell said.
Miller continued to hit him, McDonnell said, while Adams moved to a safe and began trying to pry it open.
The homeowner was able to get to another room where he grabbed a gun and returned to open fire on the suspects. They fled through the garage and into an alley, and Greer gave chase, firing at them again outside, McDonnell said.
Miller was hit, collapsed in the alley and died at the scene, McDonnell said.
"The lady didn't run as fast as the man, so I shot her in the back twice," Greer told the TV station. "She's dead ... but he got away."
McDonnell would not say whether Miller was shot in the back as Greer said. He also declined to say how many shots were fired and whether either of the suspects was hit inside the house before fleeing.
No phone listing was available for Greer and he could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press.
It will be up to the district attorney to decide whether to charge Greer with a crime, the chief said. Under California law, homeowners can defend themselves if they are in "imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death," he said.
Prosecutors will have to determine whether chasing after the suspects and firing on them outside the home goes beyond self-defense, McDonnell said.
NEW YORK (AP) — Disappointing news on the American consumer, reflected in the results of retail giant Amazon and credit card processor Visa, dragged down the stock market Friday, putting two major indexes on course for a weekly loss.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 130 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,954 as of 2:35 p.m. Eastern time. The index is on pace to close below 17,000 for the first time since July 9.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,979. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite dropped 22 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,449.
For the week, the S&P 500 is flat and the Dow is off 0.9 percent.
MISSED: Amazon's stock slumped 10 percent after the online retail giant posted a much wider loss than analysts had forecast, hit by expenses. The Seattle-based company is focused on spending the money it makes to expand into new areas and products, including a smartphone, the Fire, which starts selling Friday. Amazon fell $36.08 to $322.53 in afternoon trading and was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 index.
NOT EVERYWHERE: Dow member Visa fell $9.50, or 4 percent, to $212.23. The credit card processing giant reported an 11 percent rise in quarterly profit but cut its full-year forecast on concerns about growth overseas. Because the Dow is a price-weighted index, and Visa is the most expensive stock in the Dow, Visa was having an outsized impact on the Dow. Roughly 60 points of the Dow's decline can be attributed to Visa.
WORRIES ON THE CONSUMER: Visa is a closely watched company because of its heavy exposure to U.S. and global consumer spending, so to see the company warn about consumer spending is worrisome, strategists say.
"Visa put a lot of caution into the market this morning," said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial
'COMPLACENCY': "I continue to see the level of complacency in the (stock) market to be unnerving," Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman, which manages $25 billion in assets for private investors. "All of this geopolitical tension, the market trading near all-time highs, I think the market is at a critical state right now."
Clemons said he doesn't believe the market is poised for a major sell-off, but instead thinks investors should brace for more volatility and more heavy-handed reaction to disappointing earnings or data, like Friday's Amazon and Visa results.
NEEDS A PICK-ME-UP: Starbucks fell $1.85, or 2 percent, to $78.61 despite the company reporting a profit that came in above analysts' expectations. The company also raised its full-year profit forecast.
BONDS AND OIL: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note eased to 2.48 percent from 2.50 percent late Thursday. Bond yields fall when prices rise. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 55 cents to $101.51 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange
DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas man who prosecutors say did not commit a 1990 rape for which he served 12 years in prison should be exonerated based on recent DNA testing he did not request, a judge recommended Friday.
The conviction of 57-year-old Michael Phillips should be vacated, Dallas County Criminal District Court Judge Gracie Lewis said. The matter now goes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; it was not immediately clear when the court would make a ruling.
Dallas County district attorney Craig Watkins sought the exoneration after DNA testing identified another man as the culprit in the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a motel where both men lived.
Watkins has an ongoing project of reviewing untested rape kits, even without defendants initiating the request. Should the appeals court decide in Phillips' favor, it would be the 34th exoneration by Watkins' Conviction Integrity Unit.
"This is a great day for Mr. Phillips but a terrible day for our justice system," Watkins said Friday.
Phillips served 12 years in prison after entering a plea deal that he said his attorney advised him to take, fearing a jury would not side with a black man accused in the rape of a white girl who picked him out of a photo line-up. He was released in 2002 but his failure to register as a sex offender later landed him back in jail for six months. He now lives in a nursing home.
Phillips said during the hearing that he was appreciative.
"I never imagined I would live to see my name cleared," Phillips, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and uses a wheelchair, said in a news release Thursday. "I always told everyone I was innocent and now people will finally believe me."
Police and prosecutors have long aided some exonerations without having special conviction-review units, and many still do. But since Watkins started his Conviction Integrity Unit in 2007, several more prosecutors' offices across the country have created such staff teams or expert panels to review wrongful-conviction claims.
In the Dallas County unit, DNA preserved by the Southwest Institute of Forensic Sciences in sexual assault kits is tested. There was no DNA from Phillips to compare to the profile from the semen in the rape kit, Watkins said in a news release Thursday. But when the semen was put into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, another person was identified as the perpetrator.
A district attorney's office spokeswoman said the statute of limitations has expired on the crime and that the perpetrator who was identified remains free.
The district attorney's office said his attorney at the time was Mike Morrow. When reached by The Associated Press on Thursday night, Morrow said he could not immediately recall the case from 24 years ago and had no immediate comment.
MOSCOW (AP) — Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.
Throughout the Ukrainian crisis, U.S. and European sanctions had mainly targeted a handful of individuals, sparing economic ties. Then last week the U.S. imposed penalties on some of Russia's largest corporations. And when the airliner was shot down just a day later in Ukraine, allegedly by separatists with Moscow's support, concern grew in Russia that the sanctions would only get worse as President Vladimir Putin shows little sign of cooperation.
Reinforcing those concerns, the European Union said Friday it is planning newer, tougher penalties on businesses.
"Over the past few months, there was a sense that Mr. Putin acted decisively, forcefully, and correctly, and that everybody else in the world would accommodate themselves to that reality and we'd get back to something like business as usual," said Bernard Sucher, a Moscow-based entrepreneur and board member of Aton, an independent investment bank. "Now we're talking about real fear."
When Russia annexed Crimea in March, triggering a deep freeze in relations with the West, stock markets in Russia dropped but later rebounded as investors understood that the country's lucrative trade relations would remain largely unscathed. Europe, which is in frail economic health, dared not block energy imports from Russia or the trade in goods such as cars or heavy machinery. Oil companies like BP and ExxonMobil continued their operations in Russia, with some even signing new deals.
The U.S. took a tougher stance, but until last week was also careful to limit sanctions to asset freezes on individuals who were perceived to have had a hand in destabilizing Ukraine.
On July 16, the night before the Malaysia Airlines jet crash, Russian markets appeared to have fully recovered from the crisis in Ukraine, with the MICEX benchmark index adding 23 percent since March 1.
Then last week, the U.S. announced new sanctions that had investors in Russia fear a turn for the worst. The U.S. shut off its financial markets for a broad swath of defense companies as well as Russia's largest oil company, Rosneft, gas producer Novatek, which is half-owned by a close Putin ally, and a major bank, VEB. The move offered investors a glimpse of what they had thought would never happen: serious international isolation of Russia's powerhouse corporations.
According to Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, those sanctions were the first to really pack a punch because they were "broader and more specific: they went beyond the symbolic."
Rodzianko said anecdotal evidence suggests that in some cases investment decisions have been delayed "particularly when people were just considering coming in to the market."
When the Malaysian airliner went down one day later, investors worried conditions would get even worse.
The stock market has fallen 5 percent since Thursday last week. That is expected to see investors keep pulling money out of the country. They withdrew $74.6 billion in the first six months of the year, a figure forecast to reach $100 billion for the whole of 2014 — almost twice the $60 billion in withdrawals seen last year.
Growth, meanwhile, is nose-diving. The International Monetary Fund this week slashed its forecast for 2014 from 1.3 percent to 0.2 percent. And the currency is unstable — Russia's central bank on Friday raised its key interest rate by half a point to 8 percent, saying the heightened geopolitical risks are putting pressure on the ruble.
EU countries are stepping up the pressure. On Friday they reached a preliminary agreement to follow the U.S. in sanctioning businesses, not just individuals. Officials said the deal, which has yet to be finalized or approved, would affect 18 companies by limiting trade in defense, technology and other goods with the view of hindering key sectors like energy and steel.
The EU plan would also restrict access to European capital markets for Russian state-owned financial groups. Last year alone, 47 percent — or 7.5 billion euros ($10.2 billion) worth — of all the bonds issued by such institutions came from EU markets.
Despite all this, there is little public criticism in Russia — none at all from those with the most at stake, the billionaire oligarchs.
Russia's biggest companies denied comment for this story. One spokesman said he was not authorized even to say a "no comment" for an article about sanctions.
A person who had close ties to the government until last year told The Associated Press that it is "too risky to express concerns in public and even in closed-door meetings with Putin." The person, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said tycoons usually express their concerns to government officials who in turn communicate them to the president.
That silence has been a hallmark of Putin's rule. In the early 2000s, he forged a deal with Russian businessmen in which the Kremlin offered its protection for the often murky deals that created the oligarchs' fortunes. In return, the tycoons promised to not meddle in government policy. The only man who broke this rule — Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man — was punished with two sets of charges and spent 10 years in prison before he was pardoned by Putin a month before the showcase Winter Olympics held in Russia.
In public, Putin appears to be unfazed by the economic sanctions. In a speech Tuesday, he suggested Russia should accept to sacrifice economic growth for the sake of foreign-policy objectives — a nightmare scenario for a business leader hoping to tap global markets.
But analysts note that for all his belligerent rhetoric, the Russian leader has softened on some fronts in Ukraine.
Though the first sanctions, which targeted Putin's billionaire friends, were perceived as a failure, they did work in the sense that Russia did not annex any other parts of Ukraine the way it did with Crimea, says Sergei Guriev, a prominent Russian economist now working at Sciences Po university in Paris. They also "forced the Russian government to recognize Ukrainian elections," he said.
Putin seems to be in a balancing act, seeing how far he can pursue his geopolitical interest in Ukraine without getting hit too hard by sanctions. The U.S. and EU's level of tolerance may have dropped since the Malaysian plane's downing, however, increasing the risk of further damaging sanctions on Russia's economy.
Russia's former long-time finance minister Alexei Kudrin blames a part of the Kremlin's elite for seeking to isolate the country internationally, no matter the cost to businesses.
"Business wants development, wants to invest, build new factories, trade. And businesses are really worried about what they hear on radio and television," Kudrin said in a recent interview with the Itar-TASS news agency.
The U.S. and EU's strategy of gradually intensifying and broadening sanctions against Russia offers some strategic advantages. It ensures they have 'ammunition' to get tougher in case the crisis worsens, keeping an effective threat against Russia. It also helps them scale down easily, as an incentive for cooperation.
But it remains to be seen whether the EU will go ahead with its tougher sanctions on Russian businesses, as it has much more to lose economically than the U.S.
The U.S. and EU are still playing something like "good cop, bad cop" with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, and it is not yet clear whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer.
"Either the event will push Russia toward greater isolationism ... or it will mark some sort of end, or the start of the end, of the most dangerous phase in the conflict in eastern Ukraine."
In the meantime, Russia's businesses will have to cope with the uncertainty.
John-Thor Dahlburg in Brussels contributed to this report.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state made a new attempt Friday to nail down a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas, as Israel's 18-day military operation in the Gaza Strip fueled new unrest in the West Bank, where five Palestinians were killed during protests.
Also Friday, Israel's military announced that an Israeli soldier whom Hamas had claimed to have captured in Gaza earlier this week was in fact killed in battle that day. The capture of an Israeli soldier could have been a game changer in Israel-Hamas fighting and the international efforts to end it.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to try to bring a week-long pause in the Israel-Hamas fighting, beginning as soon as this weekend.
Kerry delayed his anticipated departure from Cairo for several hours to talk again by phone to Qatari officials who are serving as a go-between with Hamas, which the U.S. considers terrorist organization and cannot negotiate with directly.
Over the last week, in his travels from Cairo to Ramallah to Israel, Kerry has made clear that he wanted to secure at least a temporary pause in the violence before he returned to Washington. But U.S. efforts have been frustrated by deeply-ingrained hostilities between Israel and Palestinian officials, and by mistrust among Mideast nations who have taken sides in the conflict even as they agree to push for a cease-fire.
The West Bank has become increasingly restive over Israel's Gaza operation, in which more than 800 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,200 wounded since July 8, according to Palestinian health officials.
In the West Bank, protests against the Gaza operation operation erupted Friday in the northern village of Hawara, near the city of Nablus, and the southern village of Beit Omar, near the city of Hebron.
Palestinian hospital officials said three Palestinians were killed in Beit Omar and two in Hawara.
The mayor of Hawara, Mouin Idmeidi, said he and hundreds of others from the village participated in a protest after emerging from a local mosque following Friday noon prayers.
Hawara is located along a main north-south thoroughfare that is also used by Israeli motorists. Idmeidi said an Israeli motorist slowed down as he passed the march and fired at the group.
The mayor said four people were wounded and that one of them, a 19-year-old, died at Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus of his injuries.
After the shooting, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli troops who opened fire, killing a 22-year-old from Hawara, the mayor said.
Rafidiyeh hospital confirmed the deaths.
In Beit Omar, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian stone-throwers. Hebron hospital officials said three Palestinians were killed.
The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.
On Thursday, thousands of Palestinians clashes with Israeli forces at a West Bank checkpoint and in east Jerusalem, the largest protests in those areas in several years.
Associated Press writer Lara Jakes in Cairo and Mohammed Daraghmeh in the West Bank contributed to this report.