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memoir of man whose hands were blown off by convict

hilton head island, s.c. (ap) — pat graybeal of hilton head island starts his new memoir with this:“i think of myself as one of the luckiest men alive.”that seems odd from an 84-year-old man whose “hands” are two metallic clamp hooks, daily reminders for 44 years of that he was wronged by an ex-con who tried to kill him with a homemade bomb.graybeal’s life was defined that night, near midnight, in the quiet town of christiansburg, va.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weekshe was the montgomery county prosecutor and he’d pushed 20 cases through court that day — dec. 4, 1973. he stayed late at the office preparing seven more cases for the next day. then he stopped by a victory party for a new state senator.when he pulled into his driveway, he noticed that someone had left a can of potato chips on the roof of his wife’s car. he leaned over the side of the car to pick it up and take it inside.it was a bomb. the explosion shattered windows in the house, where his wife, jill, and their two little girls, ages 11 and 9, were sleeping.it blew away both his hands.“my hands felt like they were frozen, extremely cold,” he writes. “i swung back around to put my elbows on the fender of the car and started leaning my hands together trying to touch them, and i couldn’t feel a thing.”it left him temporarily blind and deaf.they had to put more blood in him that night than a body holds.jill said: “the rescue squad man told me he was within 1 minut...





the last straw? uber loyalists tested by string of scandals

detroit (ap) — uber has managed to hold the title of world’s largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals.its latest misbehavior involving a data breach cover-up revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere — or keep looking the other way.hackers were able to steal data for 57 million riders and drivers, and uber concealed it for a year after paying $100,000 in ransom for the stolen information to be destroyed.riders and business experts say that while uber’s problems such as workplace sexual harassment, drivers with criminal records and other past infractions are serious, stolen data hits people directly and could make them mad enough to delete the app. then again, riders have fled from the service before, but enough have stayed because of the uber’s convenience so the latest scandal-of-the-week may not make much of a difference. the brand is so well-known for quickly responding to ride requests that it’s often used as a verb for such trips, no matter which service is summoned.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksmichael pachter, a technology analyst based in los angeles, said he uses uber five to 10 times a month.“i don’t blame the drivers for the company transgressions, and view uber as the glue that facilitates drivers willing to drive me around,” he said.but for vermont resident jay furr, the breach was the “final straw.” he had stuck with uber despite recent problems becau...





retailers look to woo shoppers from rivals as amazon grows

new york (ap) — toys and tvs at j.c. penney, barbies at best buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at b.j.’s. as the holiday shopping season officially kicks off thursday, shoppers may find some surprises at their favorite stores.even as retailers are counting on a lift from a better economy, they’re looking beyond economic data and mapping out ways to pick up sales from other retailers as amazon expands its reach. that can mean opening earlier than rivals on the holidays or even jumping into new product categories. the fight for market share comes as analysts at bain say amazon is expected to take half of the holiday season’s sales growth. and amazon is the top destination for people to begin holiday shopping, according to a september study by market research firm npd group.“the retailers are in survival mode. it’s about stealing each other’s market share,” said marshal cohen, chief industry analyst at npd. “amazon is the grinch. they’re stealing the growth.”with the jobless rate at a 17-year-low of 4.1 percent and consumer confidence stronger than a year ago, analysts project healthy sales increases for november and december. the national retail federation trade group expects sales for that period to at least match last year’s rise of 3.6 percent and estimates online spending and other non-store sales will rise 11 percent to 15 percent.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksamazon is expected to be a big beneficiary as it ...





balloons, broadway stars and security at macy’s parade

new york (ap) — new faces and old favorites will fly, float and march in the macy’s thanksgiving day parade as police go all-out to secure it in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots.one of the nation’s biggest outdoor holiday events, the parade makes its way through 2 ½ miles of manhattan with marching bands, performers from broadway hits, elaborate floats and signature giant balloons. olaf from the disney movie “frozen” and chase from the tv cartoon “paw patrol” will be among the new balloons thursday, along with a new version of the grinch of dr. seuss fame.the parade also will feature heavy security, including officers with assault weapons and portable radiation detectors among the crowds, sharpshooters on rooftops and sand-filled city sanitation trucks poised as imposing barriers to traffic at every cross street.“every year the nypd has done more to keep this event tonight and the parade itself safer,” democratic mayor bill de blasio told crowds gathered to watch the balloons being inflated wednesday. “because we understand we are dealing with a very challenging world. and so the amount of resources and personnel we put in has increased each year to make us safer.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksauthorities say there is no confirmation of a credible threat to the parade, but it comes after a truck attack on a bike path near the world trade center killed eight people in october. weeks earlier, a gunman in a 32n...





smooth sailing so far on $7.5m makeover of pilgrim ship

plymouth, mass. (ap) — if you’re a fan of the mayflower ii, here’s something that will float your boat.a year after craftsmen embarked on an ambitious effort to restore the rotting replica of the ship that carried the pilgrims to the new world in 1620, the work “is going really great,” project manager whit perry says.britain built the vessel and sailed it to the u.s. as a gift of friendship in 1957. usually it’s moored in plymouth harbor, where more than 25 million people have boarded it over the past six decades. but over the years, the elements, aquatic organisms and insects took their toll.it’s now in dry dock at the henry b. dupont preservation shipyard at connecticut’s mystic seaport, getting a $7.5 million makeover in time for 2020 festivities marking the 400th anniversary of the pilgrim landing.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksthe associated press caught up with perry, director of maritime preservation and operations at plimoth plantation , for a progress report.___ap: you’re 12 months into a 2½-year project involving major structural repairs to america’s most beloved boat. any unpleasant surprises?perry: not really. i couldn’t be more pleased with the progress we’re making right now. we’ve had some major milestones since we began on nov. 3, 2016. we have more than 100 new frames and floor timbers inside in the hold. now we’re actually going to start the planking process on the outside of the ship, which is very exci...





democrats also juggling politics of sexual predation

washington (ap) — democrats have been quick to support the “me too” chorus of women — and some men — who have stepped up to allege sexual misconduct and name names. but now “me too” stains the democrats, too, putting them in an awkward place as they calibrate how forcefully to respond.allegations against sen. al franken of minnesota and rep. john conyers of michigan are part of the newest chapter in the hot-potato politics of sexual predation for the party, which has its own fraught history on the subject.the latest revelations have prompted a hard look back at the way democrats and their allies once circled the wagons around president bill clinton, dismissing allegations that extended to serious assault as mere dalliances or the tales of “looney” women.in her 2016 presidential campaign, hillary clinton drew a clear line on behalf of women who allege sexual assault, saying flatly: “you have the right to be believed.” but she equivocated when asked if her husband’s accusers from another decade should be believed, too: “i would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksthe pressure’s on now to act without equivocation.franken’s prankish photo of his hands over a napping woman’s breasts on a military plane, combined with her allegations that he kissed her forcibly on another occasion, prompted swift condemnation from throughout the party??...





report: barton said he’d go to capitol police over photo

dallas (ap) — u.s. rep. joe barton told a woman that he would complain to u.s. capitol police if sexually explicit photographs of him and other material from their relationship were to be exposed publicly, according to a published report. the washington post reported the threat wednesday after barton, a north texas republican, apologized for a nude photo of him that circulated on social media.the photo of barton appeared on an anonymous twitter account. it was not immediately known who posted the photo or when it was taken.barton issued a statement saying that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce in 2015, he had sexual relationships “with other mature adult women.” the 68-year-old republican said each relationship was consensual and has since ended.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks“i am sorry i did not use better judgment during those days. i am sorry that i let my constituents down,” said barton, the longest-serving member of congress from texas.however, a woman whom the post did not identify told the newspaper of barton’s threat over the sexually explicit photographs, videos and messages he had sent to her. the woman described sexual encounters and contact extending over five years, beginning with her posting of a message on barton’s facebook page in 2011.she also shared with the post a secretly recorded telephone conversation with barton in 2015 in which he warned her against using the material “in a way that ...





angola’s new leader shakes up old order after dos santos

johannesburg (ap) — angola’s new leader is making surprising moves to shake himself free of the legacy of one of africa’s longest-serving presidents.joao lourenco’s visit to south africa on thursday and friday is giving the world a closer look at the man who stepped in after jose eduardo dos santos ruled the oil-rich but largely impoverished nation for nearly 38 years.since winning election in august, lourenco has taken steps to show that he is running a new government, even firing the daughter of dos santos as chair of the powerful state-owned oil company.when the ailing dos santos stepped down, lourenco, the former defense minister, was generally expected to conduct business as usual. but lourenco, 63, quickly appointed a crop of new ministers to differentiate himself from dos santos and replaced key security personnel.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksin his most striking move so far, lourenco this month removed the former president’s daughter, isabel dos santos, as chair of the national oil company, sonangol. she is said to be africa’s richest woman.lourenco’s steps to distance himself from his predecessor come even though both are longtime members of the ruling party, the popular movement for the liberation of angola that fought for independence from colonial ruler portugal. lourenco was the defense chief throughout much of angola’s 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.dos santos remains party leader with seemingly significant sway ...





week 13 preview: rivalry week and high stakes are everywhere

wait! do not throw out the records.yes, it is rivalry week in college football and the old saying goes that anything can happen when rivals get together, but let’s not go overboard.alabama has won seven of nine against auburn because the crimson tide has been the clearly better going into seven of those games. the tigers two wins came in a game it was favored and in another game when the teams were close. that’s the case saturday, when no. 1 alabama will be favored by about four against no. 6 auburn.ohio state has dominated michigan in recent years, winning five straight and 12 of 13 while being the favorite in just about every game. the ninth-ranked buckeyes go to the big house as an 11 1/2-point favorite against a michigan team that has not beaten a team with a winning record this season. there is history of notable michigan upsets — in 1995 and ’96 unbeaten ohio state teams lost to michigan — but lately the buckeyes have been better and that’s been the difference.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksthings to know about week 13 of the college football season.best gameno. 1 alabama at no. 6 auburnmany good choices, but picking the iron bowl is still obvious. the winner goes to the southeastern conference championship game to face no. 7 georgia for a spot in the college football playoff. the loser? if it’s auburn, the tigers are definitely done in the playoff race. if it’s alabama, the tide might have hope — but it’s not great.defense ...





residents affected by harvey prepare for thanksgiving

houston (ap) — the kitchen where george and arva dorsey prepare an 18-dish feast every thanksgiving has been stripped of everything but its granite countertops, standing on their own with no appliances below. the house they renovated and expanded over three decades has been gutted down to its wooden beams.almost three months after hurricane harvey slammed into the texas gulf coast, killing more than 80 people and damaging at least 200,000 homes, the dorseys and other families are celebrating thanksgiving however they can.“we try to keep our head up, and we know that god is above all,” said arva dorsey, sitting next to her husband in the dining room where they would have served thanksgiving dinner. “so many of the blessings have come through this disaster. we’re just grateful.”george dorsey said one possibility was the family — including some members from out of town — could spend thursday with a friend. or they might go to a local buffet-style restaurant for turkey and trimmings.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weekssome people are gathering at churches that have held large meals for people displaced by the storm and volunteers spending the holiday away from their families to help rebuild. others will go to annual events like houston’s “super feast,” where volunteers this year will hand out clothes and supplies along with turkey and stuffing.furniture store owner jim mcingvale — a houston icon known as “mattress mack” — is open...





northwest tree shortage leads to christmas conundrum in utah

salt lake city (ap) — utah families looking for a fresh-cut christmas tree might find tough sledding due to a shortage of conifers in the pacific northwest this year.the salt lake tribune reported tuesday that the shortage has to do with the great recession.joe shadle, owner of j&t trees in utah, says it takes up to 10 years to grow a christmas tree for the market. he says that demand for live trees was down during the recession, leading to farmers opting not to grow christmas trees and in some cases even tearing trees out to replace them with profitable crops.retailers at the height of the recession were paying just $12 for trees that cost farmers $16 to produce. compare that to this year — when retailers are paying as much as $40 for farmers’ best trees.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks___information from: the salt lake tribune, http://www.sltrib.com





zimbabwe, facing new leader, wonders ‘where is mugabe?’

harare, zimbabwe (ap) — as zimbabwe on thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, emmerson mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of robert mugabe and his wife.the 93-year-old mugabe, who resigned on tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on sunday night in which he defied calls to step down.he is said to remain in the capital, harare, with former first lady grace but it is not clear under what terms. some are wondering whether he has secured guarantees of protection, including immunity from prosecution.a photo circulating on social media late wednesday, said to be taken this week, showed mugabe and his wife sitting on a sofa with a trio of advisers standing behind them. a dejected-looking grace mugabe, who earlier this month was poised to replace mnangagwa after his firing as vice president, looks off-camera while robert mugabe’s eyes are closed. the photo could not immediately be verified.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksmnangagwa is set to be sworn in friday after making a triumphant return to the country. he had fled after his firing, claiming threats to his life.he greeted a cheering crowd wednesday night outside ruling party headquarters and promised “a new, unfolding democracy.” he also reached out to the world, saying international help is needed to rebuild the shattered economy.mnangagwa, who fled zimbabwe upon being fired as vice ...





nhl’s thanksgiving playoffs rule unlikely to fit this season

erik gudbranson looks at the standings almost every day.sure, it’s only november, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the playoffs and see which teams are atop the division standings.“every single point matters,” the vancouver canucks defenseman said. “you want to stay with that group.”for more than a decade, the status of that group at thanksgiving has been a significant indicator of who gets to keep playing beyond mid-april. since the salary-cap era began in 2005-06, 78.4 percent of teams in playoff position by the fourth thursday in november have made it. it’s so notable that it is considered the nhl’s unofficial thanksgiving rule.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksin most years, the picture solidifies in mid-november and an average of 12-13 playoff teams are all but set by thanksgiving.not so much this season, where there are 12 teams separated by eight points in the eastern conference and 12 teams separated by five points in the west, making the races too close to call at thanksgiving.“with the parity that’s in the league nowadays, i don’t know if that rule really applies anymore,” calgary flames winger troy brouwer said. “usually at some point a few teams break away from the pack and the rest of them, because of the three-point games and everybody’s playing so many divisional games, you never really gain a ton of ground on a team or lose a ton of ground on a team unless you’re continuously losing divisiona...





wsu gets two new class of 2018 commitments on thanksgiving eve

stefanie loh: [email protected]; on twitter: @stefanieloh. stef loh has covered college football in four conferences on both coasts, but her heart has always been rooted in the pacific northwest. she joined the seattle times in august 2015. she loves wine tasting, olympic weightlifting, fall colors and college football saturdays.





raisman embraces role as ‘fierce’ advocate for abuse victims

the people come forward to aly raisman almost daily now. random strangers. men and women of various ages, races and backgrounds. they see the six-time olympic medal winning gymnast out in public and approach with a hug to give and a story to tell.it was jarring at first, if raisman is being honest. when she pitched her autobiography “fierce” to publishers last summer shortly after the 2016 olympics, she intended to focus on her journey from tenacious prodigy to champion. and while all of that is in there, the part of her experience that’s resonated the most since the book’s release earlier this month is the one she wasn’t sure she’d be able to share.it’s chapter 22, titled “the survivors.” in it, raisman outlines how she was abused by former national team doctor larry nassar, how he “groomed” her by presenting himself as a friendly ear and how she feels he was empowered to continue over the course of years by those in charge at usa gymnastics.raisman spent weeks working on the section, revisiting it again and again, trying to get it just right. or at least as close to right as she can get.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks“i put in a ton of thought whether how i wanted to come forward about this,” raisman told the associated press. “what i realized at the end of the day is that i want change and i want people to understand what exactly abuse is. it’s very complicated. it’s very confusing. i didn’t know that i was being ...





3 alaska men file suit, say they were poisoned at work

anchorage, alaska (ap) — three former alaska construction workers have filed a lawsuit against oilfield service company baker hughes, saying working conditions in 2014 caused them to suffer brain damage.ktva-tv reported tuesday that the men’s lawsuit calls the conditions at baker hughes’ kenai chemical transferring building a “ridiculous situation.” former co-workers steve adams and chris lovely say a vent near their working area spewed toxic gasses at them.the men were employed by ukpeagvik inupiat corporation, which was contracted by baker hughes to build a new building. they say they smelled the gasses for months, but remember a specific day in may 2014 that was the worst.a baker hughes subsidiary company was fined $1,050 by the office of safety and health administration after an investigation into the emissions.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksbaker hughes declined to comment.___information from: ktva-tv, http://www.ktva.com





trump’s stop in honolulu before asia costs city nearly $141k

honolulu (ap) — president donald trump’s recent visit to honolulu with first lady melania trump cost the city $140,776.khon2-tv reports that the couple arrived nov. 3 and spent less than 24 hours on the island before departing for asia.various city departments worked with the u.s. secret service to ensure their safety. the largest share of overtime cost was borne by the honolulu police department at $100,630.since president trump’s visit was not designated a national special security event by the u.s. department of homeland security, the city does not expect to be reimbursed for the costs associated with the overnight visit.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks___information from: khon-tv, http://khon.com





ward village developer files suit against waiea contractor

honolulu (ap) — the developer of honolulu’s ward village community has filed a lawsuit against the general contractor of the luxurious residential high-rise waiea.the honolulu star-advertiser reports that developer howard hughes corp. filed suit on tuesday against waiea general contractor nordic pcl construction, saying the more than $300 million tower has voluminous deficiencies and isn’t finished despite initial residents moving in nearly a year ago.hughes corp. is seeking damages “well in excess of $75 million.”nordic denied the allegations and said it will defend itself in court.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksmike betz, nordic’s district manager, said hughes corp. filed the lawsuit because nordic threatened to place a lien on the tower after not receiving payments it claims are almost a year overdue.___information from: honolulu star-advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com





biologist expects more bears in kodiak after poor berry crop

kodiak, alaska (ap) — several kodiak residents have reported seeing bears in town throughout the past few weeks, and at least one area expert believes that’s because of a lackluster berry crop this year.the kodiak daily mirror reported wednesday that although the state department of fish and game hasn’t received a higher-than-normal number of reported bear sightings, area wildlife biologist nathan svoboda believes a berry crop failure might have something to do with the encounters.svoboda says in years when the berry crop fails, bears become nutritionally stressed and might be more prone to strolling into town.svoboda’s advice is to remove any attractants that could be tempting to bears.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks___information from: kodiak (alaska) daily mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com





shanghai stocks tumble, other asian stocks clam

seoul, south korea (ap) — stocks in shanghai fell sharply but in rest of asia, markets were calm thursday after the fed minutes largely met investor expectations that it will soon raise interest rates for a third time next month.keeping score: china’s shanghai composite index sank 2 percent to 3,359.92, its lowest level since august, while hong kong’s hang seng index slipped 0.4 percent to 29,886.99. south korea’s kospi finished flat at 2,540.71 and australia’s s&p/asx 200 also finished unchanged at 5,986.20. stocks in singapore and other southeast asian countries were mixed. japan was closed on a holiday.fed: minutes of the fed’s last meeting that ended nov. 1 showed that most officials generally believe that it’ll soon be time for another increase in the fed’s key interest rate. a few fed leaders think rates should stay where they are until there is more evidence inflation is rising, showing the concerns that the u.s. inflation is falling short of expectations despite the jobless rate falling to the lowest level in nearly 17 years. but the minutes did not change expectations for a december rate hike, analysts said.analyst’s take: while the minutes did not surprise markets, “the statement does clear the air of one raging debate, and that’s 2018 rate hikes unambiguously depend more pressingly on inflation than on growth,” said stephen innes, head of asia trading at oanda.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weekswall street: u.s. stocks ...