Google Will Make Monthly Reports on Self-Driving Cars

googleNEW YORK (AP) — Google will release monthly reports on the performance of its self-driving cars, and it disclosed summaries of the 12 accidents that involved the vehicles.

Google described all of the accidents as minor, saying no injuries were reported. The company said Friday, as it has in the past, that its cars were not to blame for any of the accidents.

The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has pushed Google to release the accident reports, and The Associated Press has asked Google and the California Department of Motor Vehicles for the reports. Both have refused, citing privacy concerns.

The Mountain View, California-based company says the cars have driven about 1 million miles in autonomous mode since 2009, and Google’s drivers have been in control for 800,000 additional miles.

 

Petco Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for Dog’s Grooming Death

petcoRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Petco has accepted responsibility for the death of a 2-year-old dog that was being groomed at a suburban Richmond store.

The pet supply chain said in a written statement Thursday that it takes “full responsibility” and has fired the employees directly involved in the incident for not following proper procedures. The company also said it will remove the kind of dryers used on the golden retriever, Colby, and will reinforce its training with groomers in all of its stores next week.

Allison Marks of Powhatan County dropped Colby off for a regular grooming Saturday. She told media outlets that when she called to check on her dog, she was summoned to a nearby animal clinic where a veterinarian told her he believed Colby had died of a heat stroke.

Feds: Florida Cancer Doctor Gave Patients Unapproved Meds

Medical-ChartFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida oncologist has been charged with giving cancer patients medications from other countries that were not approved by the federal government.

Federal health officials said patients at East Lake Oncology in Palm Harbor were unaware that for the past six years Dr. Diana Anda Norbergs, and her staff were giving them cheaper, misbranded drugs, including chemotherapy drugs, that weren’t approved for use in the United States.

According to the indictment, she billed the taxpayer-funded Medicare program and private insurance companies for the illegal prescriptions, claiming that she was actually using the Food and Drug Administration-approved versions.

Norbergs was arrested Thursday and is charged with 12 counts of health care fraud and nine counts of receiving misbranded drugs in interstate commerce. She is expected to appear in court later Thursday.

‘Pong,’ ‘Tetris’ Make Video Game Hall of Fame’s First Class

pongROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The new World Video Game Hall of Fame has its first class of inductees.

It includes “Pong,” the early table tennis game that introduced millions to electronic play, and “Doom,” which turned players into virtual gunmen and fueled the debate over whether violent games contribute to real-life aggression.

The hall of fame at The Strong museum in Rochester says the six games inducted Thursday cross decades and platforms, but all have impacted the video game industry, popular culture and society in general.

Joining 1972’s “Pong,” and 1993’s “Doom” are: “Super Mario Bros.,” arcade draw “Pac-Man,” Russian import “Tetris,” and “World of Warcraft.”

Nominations for the hall of fame’s class of 2016 are open from now through the end of March.

That’s Not Mistletoe…North Pole Won’t Block Pot Sales

marijuana-jointNORTH POLE, Alaska (AP) — North Pole residents can put marijuana on their Christmas list next year.

The city council in North Pole, Alaska, rejected a measure Monday that would have banned marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana became legal in Alaska in February, and sales begin next year.

Even Santa Claus — yes, that’s his real name — testified in favor of selling pot in this Christmas-themed town, where light poles resemble candy canes.

Claus said he is medical marijuana patient, and he’d like to buy pot in North Pole instead of making the short drive to Fairbanks.

Some worried how others might perceive North Pole if marijuana dispensaries are allowed. But one council member noted North Pole already allows the sale of alcohol, cigarettes and guns.

Man Convicted of Killing Girl, 4, in Oven Wants New Trial

gavel-and-scaleAUBURN, Maine (AP) — A federal magistrate says a Maine man convicted of killing a 4-year-old girl by placing her in an oven should be allowed to argue he was too mentally ill to file a timely appeal.

The judge’s recommendation provides a possible avenue for 66-year-old John Lane to seek a new trial three decades after he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

The Auburn man was convicted of murder in 1985 for placing Angela Palmer in an oven, turning up the heat and blocking her escape by putting a chair under the handle of the oven door.

Lane contends his lawyer was ineffective and says drugs provided in prison left him “cognitively diminished, if not incapacitated.” The state attorney general will seek to uphold his conviction and sentence.

High Court Throws Out Conviction for Facebook Threats

supreme-courtWASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has thrown out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man accused of making threats on Facebook.

The justices ruled Monday that it was not enough for prosecutors to show that the comments of Anthony Elonis would make a reasonable person feel threatened.

Elonis was prosecuted for making illegal threats after he posted Facebook rants in the form of rap lyrics about killing his estranged wife, harming law enforcement officials and shooting up a school.

Elonis claimed the government had no right to prosecute him if he didn’t actually intend his comments to be threatening to others. But the Obama administration said that the test is whether the comments would strike fear in a reasonable person.

Microsoft Window 10, with Mobile in Mind, Arrives in July

microsoftNEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will roll out the latest version of its Windows operating system at the end of July.

The company said Monday that Windows 10 is designed with mobile computing in mind, allowing users to switch seamlessly between personal computers, tablets, smartphones and other gadgets. The operating system is intended to give apps a similar feel on all devices and comes with a new Web browser integrated with Cortana, the company’s voice-activated answer to Apple’s Siri.

Microsoft Corp. says Windows 10 will be available in 190 countries as a free upgrade on July 29 for anyone currently running Windows 8.1 or 7, the two previous versions of the software.

Vice President’s Son Beau Biden Dies at 46

Beau Biden

Beau Biden

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden and two-time attorney general for the state of Delaware, has died.

The 46-year-old lawyer died Saturday of brain cancer, less than two years after being diagnosed.

Beau Biden was hospitalized earlier this month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. At the time the vice president’s office declined to say why he was being treated.

Beau Biden also suffered a mild stroke in 2010.

He announced last year that he would not seek a third term as attorney general and instead planned to run for governor in 2016.

In addition to serving as attorney general, Beau Biden was a member of the Delaware National Guard.

Toddler Drowns in Ohio Pond on Same Day Her Brother is Born

ambulance-lightsCOLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio family is mourning for a toddler who drowned in a pond on the same day her mother gave birth to her brother.

Authorities in Marion County, which is north of Columbus, say 18-month-old Jaylynn Adamson had been staying with a relative while her mom was at the hospital.

Lt. Jason Dutton of the Marion County sheriff’s office says the little girl was found in the pond Friday morning. She was pronounced dead at Marion General Hospital, where her mother was in labor.

David Adamson, an uncle of the children’s father, tells The Columbus Dispatch that the girl’s mother gave birth to a son later that day.

The sheriff’s office isn’t saying who found the little girl in the pond or releasing other details about the drowning.