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Valley & State

  • Ducey to lead economic development delegation on Canada trip

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey will lead an economic development delegation to Canada in early October.An announcement by Ducey's office says the delegation will visit Toronto Oct. 4-6 and Montreal on Oct. 6-7. The visit to Toronto will include an address by a Ducey to a public affairs forum.The delegation will include executives and leaders of Tucson Electric Power, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona State Retirement System, Greater Phoenix Economic Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority.According to the announcement, the purpose of the trip is to highlight the state's business climate and lifestyle.The announcement says ties between Arizona and Canada include 18,000 Arizonans working for Canadian-headquartered companies and 25,000 Canadians owning homes in Arizona as well as 1 million visits each year as tourists.

  • Reverend, 2 others arrested at police brutality protest in Tempe

    TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Three people, including a local activist, were arrested Monday at a protest against police brutality in Tempe.Police took the Rev. Jarrett Maupin and two others into custody Monday after they refused to get out of the roadway. Initially, authorities reported that four had been arrested but later said that figure was incorrect. The identities of the other two were not immediately released.All three were booked for impeding a public thoroughfare.Between 40 and 60 protesters showed up to the morning demonstration. The group marched on the Mill Avenue Bridge and attempted to block traffic. Several police officers on motorcycles and bicycles ordered them to get onto the sidewalk.It was then that Maupin was arrested and placed inside a police transport van. Demonstrators continued their march and returned to downtown.Most protesters left the area about 90 minutes later. No injuries were reported, police spokeswoman Liliana Duran said.

  • State jobless rate down

    PHOENIX -- The state's jobless rate is finally ticking down again after four straight months of gains. New figures on September 15 show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August of 5.8 percent. That's down two-tenths of a point from July, a figure that matched the August 2015 rate. But it's not because the economy is necessarily growing. In fact, the private sector lost 1,500 jobs between July and August. That compares with the typical month-over-month gain for this time of year of 16,100. Government did add 31,100 jobs. But virtually all of those are in public education, representing staffers in universities, community colleges and public schools who were in jobs like cafeteria workers and janitors where they are technically unemployed for the summer even though they expected to be hired back when the new school year began last month. The unemployment picture is even more complex than that. 


  • Europe's comet probe Rosetta ends 12-year mission with crash

    BERLIN (AP) — After 12 years of hurtling through space in pursuit of a comet, the Rosetta probe ended its mission Friday with a slow-motion crash onto the icy surface of the alien world it was sent out to study.Mission controllers lost contact with the probe, as expected, after it hit the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 1039 GMT (6:39 a.m. EDT) Friday, the European Space Agency said."Farewell Rosetta, you've done the job," said mission manager Patrick Martin. "That is space science at its best."ESA chief Jan Woerner called the 1.4 billion-euro ($1.57 billion) mission a success. Aside from sending a lander onto the surface of comet 67P in November 2014 — a cosmic first — the Rosetta mission has collected vast amounts of data that researchers will spend many years analyzing.Scientists have already heralded several discoveries from the mission that offer new insights into the formation of the solar system and the origins of life on Earth.Spectacular images taken by the orbiter and its comet lander revealed a desert-like landscape on the comet with wide, featureless regions but also high cliffs and sinkholes that were more than a hundred meters (110 yards) across.

  • Black box recorder recovered from wreckage of train crash

    HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — Federal investigators pulled one of the black box recorders from the wrecked commuter train at the Hoboken station and struggled to extract the second one Friday as they tried to figure out what caused the crash that killed one person and injured more than 100 others.The two event recorders could contain information on speed, braking and other conditions that can help investigators determine whether the tragedy resulted from an equipment malfunction or a distracted or incapacitated engineer.Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board will be looking to determine how fast the train was going when it crashed at the busy station Thursday morning. They hope to speak to the train's injured engineer on Friday, NTSB Vice Chairman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr said. State officials say he has been cooperating.The investigation will seek to answer many questions, including whether a system designed to prevent accidents by overriding the engineer and automatically slowing or stopping trains that are going too fast could have helped if it had been installed on the line.Investigators recovered an event recorder from the locomotive Thursday night and will be examining it Friday, Dinh-Zarr said Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." The device contains information on the train's speed and braking.But investigators are struggling to extract a recorder from the forward-facing camera on the train without damaging it, the NTSB said Friday. That recorder should show what was ahead of the train before it crashed.

  • Russia fighting in Syria for a year, still at odds with US

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A year after Russia waded into the war in Syria, aiming to flex its national security muscles and prop up beleaguered Syrian President Bashar Assad, Moscow appears no closer to one of its military goals, getting the U.S. to cooperate in the skies or on the ground in the civil war, and prospects for a diplomatic resolution seem dim.The yearlong offensive of airstrikes and ground combat in Syria, however, has showcased some of Moscow's newer military capabilities and underscored President Vladimir Putin's willingness to go to war to protect an ally — particularly one that hosts a critical Russian base on the Mediterranean Sea. More broadly it put Russia at the center of the conflict, which provided an opening for diplomatic cooperation between the U.S. and Russia to end the civil war. But it also further complicated the U.S.-led campaign to wipe out Islamic State militants who created their safe haven amid the chaos.The diplomacy was collapsing this week with the U.S. threatening to end all Syria-related cooperation unless the bombardment of Aleppo stopped and Russia responding that the U.S. was encouraging extremist attacks on Russian assets.For its part, Russia has demanded that the U.S separate the anti-Assad rebels it has supported from al-Qaida-linked militant groups, who often intermingle. But the U.S. has been unable to do so, and instead has said it remains focused on defeating the Islamic State in Syria.The bickering and diplomatic stalemates have threatened to stymie other U.S.-Russian issues, such as economic sanctions or the annexation of Crimea.As members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday demanded to know what the Obama administration's "plan B" was for Syria, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out the administration's view of Russia's position.

Featured columns

  • LETTER: Attorney questions actions of federal officials

    This is an open letter to FBI Director Comey and U.S. Attorney General Lynch.I am an attorney, admitted to practice law for 54 years at various times in California, Illinois, Iowa and Michigan. The disgrace each of you have brought upon the legal profession cannot go unsaid. Your total disregard and abandonment of decency, respect for the law and even common sense, is difficult to understand.Your collective inability or unwillingness to understand and apply the meaning of the words “gross negligence” in the matter of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s violations of federal statutes regarding her “email/server” scandal is appalling.One definition of gross negligence is “the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences.” How Secretary Clinton’s behavior, which you define and accept as “extremely careless or reckless,” fails to meet the definition of gross negligence as set forth in the statutes is not comprehensible. Your failure to present the facts uncovered by the FBI to a grand jury demonstrates your collusion in ignoring evidence of her gross negligence. Your ruse of defining her conduct as careless or reckless rather than grossly negligent will earn you both negative placement in history.The high esteem in which each of you have been held in the past is deservedly diminished. What did it take to cause you to sell your souls to the Obama/Clinton machines?Paul Tatz

  • LETTER: Trump supporters do not care about the truth

    How can Trump call Hillary Clinton “Lying Hillary” when an independent fact-checking website, PolitiFact, rates her statements as being “Mostly True” or “True” more than 50 percent of the time?Compare that to Trump’s rating of “True” or “Mostly True” less that 10 percent of the time. His statements earn a “Pants on Fire” rating 20 percent of the time with “False and “Mostly False” statements accounting for almost 60 percent more.Obviously, those supporting Trump for president don’t care about the truth.Shirley McAllisterSun City

  • LETTER: Wastewater rate increase means subsidizing others

    There have been guest commentaries, letters and other information in the Sun City Independent the past few weeks concerning the full consolidation of the five EPCOR Water Co. wastewater districts.The bottom line is EPCOR’s proposal would mean that Sun City residents would end up subsidizing Anthem, Agua Fria, Mohave and Sun City West infrastructure! Sun City residents would have three rate increases in three years from the present rate of $22.11 to $41.02. That is a 54 percent increase!Sun City does not need to support these other communities.Join the Sun City Condominium Owners Association, Sun City Home Owners Association and PORA of Sun City West and vote against full consolidation (Dockett No. WS-01303A-16-0145). Send a letter, email or call the Arizona Corporation Commissioners and express your displeasure concerning this issue or it will cost you many dollars. Send letters to Arizona Corporation Commission, 1200 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007-2996. Commissioner phone numbers are: Andy Tobin, 602-542-3625; Tom Forese, 602-542-3922; Doug Little, 602-542-0745; Bob Stump, 602-542-3935; and Bob Burns, 602-542-3682.Jerry WalczakSCCOA vice president

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