SEATTLE (AP) — A photo of the new U.S. ambassador to China carrying his own backpack and ordering his own coffee at an airport has charmed Chinese citizens not used to such frugality from their officials. ZhaoHui Tang, a businessman from Bellevue, Washington state, snapped the photo Friday on his iPhone when he spotted Gary Locke wearing a backpack at the counter of an airport Starbucks. Locke is the first Chinese-American ambassador to China and a former governor of Washington state.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday over new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and a picture of diseased lungs, saying the warnings violate their free speech rights and will cost millions of dollars to print. The companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., said the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision whether to smoke. They instead force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands, the companies say. They want a judge to stop the labels.
WASHINGTON (AP) — After examining hundreds of combat support and reconstruction contracts in Afghanistan, the U.S military estimates $360 million in U.S. tax dollars has ended up in the hands of people the American-led coalition has spent nearly a decade battling: the Taliban, criminals, and power brokers with ties to both. The losses underscore the challenges the U.S. and its international partners face in overcoming corruption in Afghanistan. A central part of the Obama administration's strategy has been to award U.S.-financed contracts to Afghan businesses to help improve quality of life and stoke the country's economy.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — In the words of Gov. Rick Perry, secession was one scenario on the table for frustrated Texans. The BP oil spill? Might have been an act of God instead of corporate errors. And if the Federal Reserve puts more money in the U.S. system, as Perry told voters in Iowa this week, you could chalk it up as a treasonous act that would be treated "pretty ugly" back home. No, that wasn't on the same level as his famous interview signoff, "Adios, mofo." But Perry's just warming up.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Large new cuts in defense spending would "terribly weaken" U.S. national security, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday as he and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton used a rare joint interview to argue that the nation cannot afford to keep playing partisan chicken with its finances. Panetta expressed optimism about progress by American-led forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan and by NATO forces in support of anti-government rebels in Libya. He cited those conflicts as examples of why severe cuts to spending on defense and diplomacy would be dangerous.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Two Democratic Wisconsin state senators targeted by Republicans survived their elections Tuesday, ending a tumultuous summer of recalls spurred by anger over how lawmakers reacted to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal curbing collective bargaining rights of public workers. Democrats picked up two seats through the nine recalls but were unable to wrest majority Senate control away from the GOP, which now holds a narrow 17-16 majority. Before the recalls, Republicans had a 19-14 edge in the chamber.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter was encouraged by what he saw in Brian Matusz's return to the majors, even if the results haven't changed all that much. For Baltimore, owner of the worst record in the American League, success has to be measured in smaller increments this season.
SEATTLE (AP) — A photo of the new U.S. ambassador to China carrying his own backpack and ordering his own coffee at an airport has charmed Chinese citizens not used to such frugality from their officials. ZhaoHui Tang, a businessman from Bellevue, Washington state, snapped the photo Friday on his iPhone when he spotted Gary Locke wearing a backpack at the counter of an airport Starbucks. Locke is the first Chinese-American ambassador to China and a former governor of Washington state. Tobacco firms sue FDA over new graphic warnings STRY:V2380; PHOTO:NY119-0621110543; AUDIO:
DETROIT (AP) — As erratic as the Detroit Tigers have looked at times this season, when Justin Verlander takes the mound, they seem like World Series contenders. Verlander allowed one run over 7 2-3 innings to become baseball's first 18-game winner, and the first-place Tigers breezed to an easy 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night. Verlander labored through a 29-pitch first inning but settled down after that, allowing seven hits in another impressive outing.
SEATTLE (AP) — Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 35th home run, Colby Rasmus and Aaron Hill each drive in four runs and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied twice in a 13-7 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays appeared on the way to an easy victory with a six-run first inning, highlighted by Rasmus' three-run double. But by the third inning, the Mariners had tied it.