• 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria

    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Islamic militants have struck for a fourth time in three days in Nigeria, killing 20 people including a traditional ruler in attacks in the northeast, local government and security officials said Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, the military said all but eight of more than 100 teenage students kidnapped on Tuesday are free.

    The unprecedented string of attacks, which started with a massive explosion in the capital that killed at least 75 people, has many questioning the ability of Nigeria's military to contain the 5-year-old Islamic uprising. It has killed more than 1,500 people this year alone, compared to an estimated 3,600 between 2010 and 2013.

    "Once again, the sophisticated methods of the bombers and insurgents, the audacity of their open attacks and the devastating stealth with which they operate ... calls into question the strategy of the Nigerian security forces and their commitment to the fight," The Guardian newspaper of Nigeria said in an editorial

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  • California mulls wolf listing amid hunts elsewhere

    California weighs listing gray wolf as endangered species while other states allow hunts

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- While much of the country has relaxed rules on killing gray wolves, California will consider protecting the species after a lone wolf from Oregon raised hopes the animals would repopulate their historic habitat in the Golden State.

    The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday postponed for three months a decision on whether to list the gray wolf as endangered. Commissioners heard impassioned arguments from environmentalists who want the wolves to again to roam the state and from cattle ranchers who fear for their herds.

    "I think we made them blink," said Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity, which leads the push for protection. "I think they heard our arguments."

    State wildlife officials say they don't support the listing because wolf packs haven't roamed in California for nearly a century and there's no scientific basis to consider them endangered.

    Recent interest in protecting the species started in 2011, when one wolf from Oregon —

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  • Consumer groups win appeal to reveal Company Doe

    WASHINGTON (AP) — We soon could know the identity of the manufacturer — only known now as "Company Doe" — in a product safety case that has been linked to a child's death.

    The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., sided with consumer groups Wednesday in their fight to reveal the identity of the manufacturer. The court reversed part of a lower court ruling and sent the case back to the district court in Maryland with instructions to "unseal the case in its entirety."

    "We hold that the district court's sealing order violates the public's right of access under the First Amendment," Circuit Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote.

    In 2011, an unidentified manufacturer went to court to stop the Consumer Product Safety Commission from publishing online a complaint about a product the company makes. It was the first legal challenge to the CPSC's federal database for safety complaints about products ranging from strollers and toys to household appliances.

    The manufacturer argued that the

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  • Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bucks owner Herb Kohl was well past retirement age and realized it was time to secure the future of the franchise. He had one big caveat for any potential investors: Keep the team in his hometown of Milwaukee.

    And he found a buyer.

    The former U.S. senator is banking on New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens to follow through after agreeing to sell them the Bucks for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.

    "I wasn't going to live forever. I've approached a time in my life where I have to think about ... how do we think about succession," Kohl, 79, said Wednesday at a news conference in the atrium of the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The deal was announced hours before the team was to play its final game of a dismal season.

    The first clue that the Bucks were likely staying in town came before Kohl said a word, when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele took seats on stage. Kohl

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  • La-Z-Boy cutting 100 jobs in North Carolina

    La-Z-Boy closing 2 plants and cutting 100 jobs in North Carolina as part of restructuring

    MONROE, Mich. (AP) -- La-Z-Boy Inc. is closing two facilities and eliminating 100 jobs in North Carolina as part of a larger restructuring of its business.

    The furniture maker said Wednesday that it will idle two North Wilkesboro facilities and put them up for sale. It will move warehouse and repair functions from those sites to another North Carolina plant, in Hudson. La-Z-Boy is ending production of some of its bedroom furniture at the Hudson facility in the quarter that ends in October in 2014, as it shifts to importing all of its wood furniture.

    The company said that its North Carolina facility was too big given the level of demand in the U.S.

    It also plans to exit a division that sells furniture to hotels and will put its youth furniture business up for sale.

    As a result of these changes, the company expects to take $13 million to $15 million in pre-tax charges, or 15 to 17 cents per share

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  • Top Asian News at 11:00 p.m. GMT

    MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — Koo Bon-hee could see the exit. For half an hour, as the doomed ferry filled with water and listed severely on its side, the crew told passengers to wait for rescuers. With their breathing room disappearing, the 36-year-old businessman and some of the other passengers floated to an exit and swam to a nearby fishing boat. But 290 of the 475 people aboard — many of them high school students on a class trip — were still missing after the ferry sank Wednesday off the southern coast of South Korea. Six were confirmed dead and 55 were injured.

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. The Bluefin 21 sub surfaced early for the second time in as many missions, this time after experiencing technical difficulties. It was sent back into the water after its data were

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  • Philadelphia chocolate store closed over tax spat

    Popular Philadelphia chocolate store shut down days before Easter in $12,000 tax bill dispute

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A popular Philadelphia chocolate maker and candy store has been shuttered by the city days before Easter.

    WPVI-TV (http://bit.ly/1l42Hhe) said Wednesday the Department of Revenue revoked the business license of the Blasius Chocolate Factory in the city's Kensington neighborhood.

    The small company has been hand-making chocolates since the 1920s. It's noted for its buttercreams and giant Easter eggs.

    City officials say the business was delinquent in paying taxes. The city says it sent numerous warnings.

    Owner Phillip Kerwick says he tried to negotiate his $12,000 tax bill but city officials didn't appear for the court hearing. He says he's being harassed by city revenue officials.

    ___

    Information from: WPVI-TV, http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi

  • Discovery exits Britain's Channel 5 bidding: sources

    By Liana B. Baker and Karen Rebelo

    NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Discovery Communications has dropped out of bidding to buy Britain's free-to-air Channel 5, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

    Discovery, which has been aggressively expanding outside of the United States in television, had been in talks with British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc over a possible joint bid, according to media reports.

    It was unclear on Wednesday whether BSkyB was still involved in the process. Representatives from BSkyB and Channel 5 could not immediately be reached for a comment outside of regular working hours.

    Channel 5, which broadcasts "Big Brother," was bought by Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell media group in 2010 for 103.5 million pounds and made a profit of 20.6 million pounds in the first half of 2013, up from a loss of 16.1 million a year earlier.

    Media reports in January said Desmond had hired Barclays to look for buyers for the television network and was expecting to raise

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  • Yahoo nominates co-founder, 2 others to join board

    Yahoo nominates company co-founder, stock brokerage magnate, former Wal-Mart CEO to board

    SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) -- Yahoo co-founder David Filo is vying to rejoin the Internet company's board after an 18-year absence.

    The 47-year-old Filo is among three board candidates hoping to be elected at Yahoo's annual meeting scheduled for June 25. Yahoo Inc. disclosed the candidates to fill recently vacated positions in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

    The other nominees to the board are Charles Schwab, the founder of a stock brokerage that still bears his name, and H. Lee Scott Jr., the former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer is on Wal-Mart's board.

    Filo started Yahoo with Jerry Yang in a trailer while they were Stanford University graduate students in 1994. Although he gave up his seat on the company's board in 1996, Filo has remained among Yahoo's largest shareholders.

  • 'Paul Robeson' playwright Phillip Hayes Dean dies

    NEW YORK (AP) — Phillip Hayes Dean, a playwright, director and theater actor who wrote the one-man play "Paul Robeson" starring James Earl Jones on Broadway in 1978, died Monday in Los Angeles from a heart condition, according to a family spokesman. He was 83.

    His plays include "The Last American Dixieland Band," ''Moloch Blues," ''Freeman," ''The Owl Killer and Dink's Blues" and "The Sty of the Blind Pig," which Time magazine called one of the best plays of 1971.

    Dean's most famous work is "Paul Robeson," a powerful chronicle of the singer, actor and civil rights activist, which has had three Broadway productions and a London production, and has toured across the United States and Europe. The two revivals on Broadway — in 1988 and 1995 — both starred Avery Brooks.

    Wren T. Brown, the founder of the Ebony Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles, where a production of "Paul Robeson" is currently playing, called Dean "a towering playwright and brilliant man of the theater."

    Dean, who was born and

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