WASHINGTON — States could force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes under a bill that overwhelmingly passed a test vote in the Senate Monday.Under current law, states can only require stores to collect sales taxes if the store has a physical presence in the state. As a result, many online sales are essentially tax-free, giving Internet retailers a big advantage over brick-and-mortar stores. Read More
MAKHACHKALA, Russia — The elder suspect in the Boston bombings regularly attended a mosque and spent time learning to read the Quran, but he struggled to fit in during a trip to his ancestral homeland in southern Russia last year, his aunt said.Tamerlan Tsarnaev seemed more American than Chechen and "did not fit into the Muslim life" in Russia's Caucasus, Patimat Suleimanova told The Associated Press. She said when Tsarnaev arrived in January 2012, he wore a winter hat with a little pompom, something no local man would wear, and "we made him take it off." Read More
WEST, Texas — Rescuers searched the smoking remnants of a Texas farm town Thursday for survivors of a thunderous fertilizer plant explosion, gingerly checking smashed houses and apartments for anyone still trapped in debris while the community awaited word on the number of dead.Initial reports put the fatalities as high as 15, but later in the day, authorities backed away from any estimate and refused to elaborate. More than 160 people were hurt. Read More
People keep asking Joe Berti if he feels unlucky.A bomb exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon seconds after Berti finished the race. Two days later, he was in his home state of Texas when he saw a fertilizer plant explode near Waco."I was just like, 'I can't believe this!'" said Berti, who said he had never witnessed an explosion before. Then he thought: "I just want to get out of here and get away from all these explosions." Read More
BOSTON — Plucking a couple of faces in baseball caps out of a swarming crowd, the FBI zeroed in on two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and shared surveillance-camera images of them with the world Thursday in hopes the public will help hunt them down. Read More
CORINTH, Miss. — A Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and claimed "various parties within the government" were trying to ruin his reputation.
Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, is charged with threatening President Barack Obama and others, according to a Thursday news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. He is scheduled to appear in federal court on the two charges later Thursday, and if convicted could face up to 15 years in prison Read More
BOSTON — The painstaking work to identify a bombing suspect from reams of Boston Marathon footage yielded a possible breakthrough as investigators focused on a man seen dropping off a bag, and then walking away from the site of the second of two deadly explosions.
The discovery of the image — found on surveillance footage from a department store near the finish line — emerged two days after the attack that left three people dead, wounded more than 170, and cast a dark shadow over one of this city's most joyous traditions. Read More
CORINTH, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and sometimes performed as an Elvis Presley impersonator.
Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line about 50 miles north of Presley's birthplace in Tupelo. Read More
The bombs that made Boston look like a combat zone have also brought battlefield medicine to their civilian victims. A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has sharpened skills and scalpels, leading to dramatic advances that are now being used to treat the 13 amputees and nearly a dozen other patients still fighting to keep damaged limbs."The only field or occupation that benefits from war is medicine," said Dr. David Cifu, rehabilitation medicine chief at the Veterans Health Administration. Read More
DALLAS — American Airlines played catch-up Wednesday, resuming most flights and even adding a handful that were not on the schedule to help passengers stranded by a massive technology failure that grounded the carrier's entire U.S. fleet.A day after the nationwide breakdown, some cancellations persisted, and delays were still common. About a third of American flights were late as of mid-afternoon.American's CEO blamed Tuesday's failure on a software problem that knocked out computers needed for booking flights, tracking bags, loading and fueling planes and more. Read More