The first baby boomers will be old enough to qualify for Medicare Jan. 1, and many fear the program's obituary will be written before their own. A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that baby boomers believe by a ratio of 2-to-1 they won't be able to rely on the giant health insurance plan throughout their retirement. The boomers took a running dive into adolescence and went on to redefine work and family, but getting old is making them nervous.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea has faster, more powerful tanks prowling the world's most heavily armed border and 200,000 special forces poised to carry out assassinations and cause havoc in South Korea, a major military review said Thursday. Seoul's Defense Ministry report, released every two years, signals that the North's military threat has expanded. It comes as President Lee Myung-bak's administration scrambles to respond to criticism that it was unprepared for a Nov. 23 North Korean artillery attack on a front-line island that killed four people.
NEW YORK (AP) — With many streets still unplowed, New Yorkers are griping that their billionaire mayor is out of touch and has failed at the basic task of keeping the city running, while New Jersey's governor is taking heat for vacationing at Disney World during the crisis. The fallout against two politicians who style themselves as take-charge guys is building in the aftermath of the Christmas-weekend blizzard that clobbered the Northeast, with at least one New Jersey newspaperman noting Gov. Chris Christie's absence in a column headlined: "Is Sunday's storm Christie's Katrina?"
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States has started planning for the possible evacuation of its embassy in Ivory Coast amid concerns that postelection violence could escalate into full-blown conflict, the State Department said Wednesday. Spokesman Mark Toner said a team of eight Pentagon officials is now in Abidjan to weigh the U.S. options, including evacuating embassy personnel, and to assess the damage caused by an errant rocket-propelled grenade that hit the outer wall of the compound last week.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The owner of the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is refusing to honor subpoenas from a federal board that has challenged the company's involvement in monitoring the testing of a key piece of equipment that failed to stop the oil spill disaster. Transocean said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board does not have jurisdiction in the probe, so it doesn't have a right to the documents and other items it seeks. The board told The Associated Press late Wednesday that it does have jurisdiction and it has asked the Justice Department to intervene to enforce the subpoenas.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine (AP) — Ski area employees working in blustery conditions were unable to realign a lift cable that was out of place and had restarted the lift at a slower speed to off-load riders when the cable derailed, sending skiers plummeting 25 to 30 feet, the Sugarloaf resort said Wednesday. High winds had shut down the lift before Tuesday's accident, the worst in the resort's 60-year history, but it was cleared for operations and reopened about half an hour before cable jumped its track. Five chairs fell, eight people were sent to hospitals and dozens were stranded on the crippled lift for more than an hour.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas casino bosses are serving notice to the bandit who made off with $1.5 million in chips from the Bellagio: Try to redeem those worth $25,000 soon or they'll become worthless. Bellagio owner MGM Resorts International is giving public notice that it's discontinuing its standard chip valued at $25,000 and calling for all gamblers holding the chips to redeem them by April 22.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Web may seem like the land of something for nothing. Free video. Free news. Even free tools such as word processing and spreadsheets. But almost two-thirds of adult Internet users in the U.S. have paid for access to at least one of these intangible items online, according to a new survey from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
NEW YORK (AP) — Billy Taylor, an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer who became one of the genre's most ardent advocates through radio, television and the landmark Jazzmobile arts venture, has died at age 89. Taylor died Tuesday of a heart attack in Manhattan, said his wife, Theodora Taylor. "He enjoyed his life," she said. "Music was his love."
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Down to the last few days of the season and maybe Brett Favre's career, the NFL ended a slow-paced investigation of tawdry allegations against the quarterback with a $50,000 fine and a rebuke for not being candid. The league punished one of its marquee players for failing to cooperate with investigators who were trying to determine if the 41-year-old quarterback sent inappropriate messages and below-the-belt photos to Jenn Sterger in 2008, when both worked for the New York Jets.