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TMCNet:  AP Top News at 4:55 a.m. EST

[February 05, 2014]

AP Top News at 4:55 a.m. EST

(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Administration drills down to find the uninsuredWASHINGTON (AP) — Uninsured Americans are still procrastinating about President Barack Obama's health care law. With less than 60 days left to enroll, can the administration find the millions of customers needed to sustain new insurance markets? Geography could hold the answer, according to a study conducted for The Associated Press. It found the uninsured aren't scattered around the country willy-nilly; half live in just 116 of the nation's 3,143 counties. That means an outreach campaign targeted to select areas can pay off big.


States look to rein in government surveillancePORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Angry over revelations of National Security Agency surveillance and frustrated with what they consider outdated digital privacy laws, state lawmakers around the nation are proposing bills to curtail the powers of law enforcement to monitor and track citizens. Their efforts in at least 14 states are a direct message to the federal government: If you don't take action to strengthen privacy, we will.

Woman set to be executed in Texas for 1998 killingHUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A woman convicted of torturing and killing a mentally impaired man she lured to Texas with the promise of marriage was scheduled to be executed Wednesday in a rare case of a female death-row inmate. If 59-year-old Suzanne Basso is lethally injected as scheduled, the New York native would be only the 14th woman executed in the U.S. since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. By comparison, almost 1,400 men have been put to death.

Exam cheating scandal hits Navy nuclear forceWASHINGTON (AP) — In a new twist to a widening tale of ethical lapses in the military, the Navy is investigating cheating allegations against about one-fifth of its trainers at a school for naval nuclear power reactor operators. It is the second exam-cheating scandal to hit the military this year, on top of a series of disclosures in recent months of ethical lapses at all ranks in the military as it transitions from more than a decade of war-fighting.

Was Microsoft smart to play it safe with CEO pick?SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After compiling a list of more than 100 CEO candidates, Microsoft settled on Satya Nadella a home-grown leader who joined the software maker in the early 1990s. That's back when Google's founders were teenagers and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in elementary school. Tuesday's hiring of Nadella as Microsoft's CEO after a five-month search is a safe move that's likely to be greeted with sighs of relief around the company's Redmond, Wash. headquarters, industry analysts say. But the methodical, almost predictable decision is likely to reinforce perceptions that Microsoft Corp. is a plodding company reluctant to take risks as it competes against younger rivals who relish going out on a limb.

Snow heads back to Northeast after Midwest slammedWinter-weary Northeast residents are readying themselves for the second storm of the week, a day after heavy snow fell on the Midwest, forcing classes to be canceled and government and business offices to close. Anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more of snow is expected to fall on East Coast states, and some will get the freezing rain and sleet that makes driving treacherous. It's their second go-round since Monday. ARKANSAS Bombings kill at least 17 in Iraqi capitalBAGHDAD (AP) — Multiple bombings rocked central Baghdad on Wednesday, striking mainly near the heavily fortified Green Zone where key government offices are located and killing at least 17 people, Iraqi officials said. The attacks were the latest in a relentless push by Sunni militants to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government's efforts to maintain security in Iraq, two years after the pullout of American troops from the country.

Farm bill doesn't just benefit farmersWASHINGTON (AP) — It isn't just farmers who will benefit from the sweeping farm bill that Congress has sent President Barack Obama. There's also help for rural towns, grocery stores in low-income areas and, most notably, the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients. After years of setbacks, the Senate passed the nearly $100 billion-a-year measure Tuesday on a 62-38 vote. The White House said the president will sign the bill Friday in Michigan, home state of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow.

Sea survivor's family rejoices to regain lost sonGARITA PALMERA, El Salvador (AP) — The family of a Salvadoran fisherman who says he survived at least 13 months at sea in an open boat had thought he was dead after losing touch with him eight years ago and are calling his astonishing story of survival a miracle. While authorities said questions remained about his tale, relatives provided details that might help explain how Jose Salvador Alvarenga could survive floating across 6,500 miles of the Pacific in a small boat. They said he was always unusually strong and resilient and was an experienced sailor.

Flea: Red Hot Chili Peppers mimed Super Bowl songThe Red Hot Chili Peppers decided long ago they were never going to mime a live performance. The band made an exception for the NFL, it turns out. The group's bassist, Flea, said in a letter to fans posted on the group's website Tuesday that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members pretended to play along to a pre-taped track of "Give It Away" during the Super Bowl halftime show as Anthony Kiedis sang live. The request came from NFL officials who felt it was too difficult to pull off a completely live performance because of potential sound issues.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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