Ousted S. Africa leader blames gov't for mine deaths; police had no right to fire live rounds

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Miners and their families welcomed expelled politician Julius Malema on Saturday as he told the thousands who gathered at the site where 34 miners were killed this week that South African police had no right to fire the live bullets that killed them.

Malema, the former youth leader of the governing African National Congress, arrived as family members continued to hunt for loved ones missing since Thursday's shootings. Women said they did not know if their husbands and sons were among the dead, or among the 78 wounded or some 256 arrested by police on charges from public violence to murder.

"They had no right to shoot," Malema said, even if the miners had opened fire first.

Obama camp asks for just 3 more years of Romney's returns, Romney camp says 'no thanks'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's campaign offered Mitt Romney a deal: If he releases a total of five years of tax returns, Obama's team won't criticize him for not releasing any more. Romney's campaign quickly rejected the offer.

Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina made the offer in a letter Friday to Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades. Messina said he was taking the step because Romney "apparently fears the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide."

Rhoades rejected the offer, calling it a way for Obama to avoid talking about issues that voters care about.

Police comb theaters after threat to Carmike chain

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) -- Movie theaters in several states were combed for explosives Friday after someone phoned in a bomb threat to the corporate headquarters of Carmike Cinemas, a spokesman for the chain said.

Carmike officials alerted the FBI after discovering the threat in a voicemail message Friday morning, said company spokesman Terrell Mayton. He said the call was placed after hours Thursday by someone claiming to work for a contractor that provides janitorial services to Carmike.

While Mayton wouldn't discuss specifics of the call, Columbus police said the person referenced the Sylvester Stallone movie, "The Expendables 2," that opened Friday.

Guantanamo plea deal prisoner said to have a cat

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- A former Maryland resident who is detained at Guantanamo Bay seems to have acquired a cat at the isolated prison on a U.S. base in Cuba, a fellow prisoner says in a letter released Friday.

Majid Khan has not been seen in public since he pleaded guilty in February to aiding al-Qaida in a deal that requires him to testify against others at Guantanamo. Details of his confinement are shrouded in secrecy as he is one of about a dozen men the Pentagon calls "high-value detainees," who are kept apart from others.

The letter from prisoner Rahim al-Afghani has one intriguing bit of information and little else: "Majid Khan has a cat," he writes to his lawyer, Carlos Warner, a federal public defender in Cleveland, Ohio.

GOP's Paul Ryan has bold plans for Medicare and Medicaid costs, but they've proved divisive

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The idea behind Paul Ryan's Medicare plan is to slow growing costs and keep the program more affordable for the long haul.

But it's all in the details. The Republican-backed shift to private insurance plans could saddle future retirees with thousands of dollars a year in additional bills.

That would leave the children of the baby boom generation with far less protection from medical expenses than their parents and grandparents have had in retirement.

And there's another angle consumers need to look at: Medicaid.

The GOP vice presidential candidate has also proposed to sharply rein in that program and turn it over to the states. Usually thought of as part of the safety net for low-income people, Medicaid covers nursing home care for disabled elders from middle-class families as well.

Tea party evolves, achieves state policy victories

ATLANTA (AP) -- Tea party activists in Georgia helped kill a proposed sales tax increase that would have raised billions of dollars for transportation projects. In Pennsylvania, tea partyers pushed to have taxpayers send public school children to private schools. In Ohio, they drove a referendum to block state health insurance mandates.

These and other battles are evidence of the latest phase of the conservative movement, influencing state and local policy, perhaps more effectively than on a national level. Tea party organizers are refocusing, sometimes without the party label, to build broader support for their initiatives. The strategy has produced victories that activists say prove their staying power.

"I call it Tea Party 2.0," said Amy Kremer, a Delta flight attendant who leads Tea Party Express. The California-based group, co-founded by GOP strategist Sal Russo, claims it's the largest tea party political action committee.

Felix gets 3rd gold of London Olympics as US women win stress-free 4x400 relay title

LONDON (AP) -- By the time Allyson Felix was done with her part, her third gold medal of the Olympics was all but hanging around her neck.

Staking the U.S. team to more than a 2-second lead at the halfway point Saturday night, then watching Sanya Richards-Ross bring home the blowout victory, Felix added the 4x400-meter relay gold to the titles she won earlier in the 4x100 relay and 200-meter sprint.

"By the time I got the stick," Richards-Ross said, "it was basically a victory lap."

The United States finished in 3 minutes, 16.87 seconds - good for a 3.36-second rout over Russia, the biggest margin in the final of the long relay at the Olympics since East Germany beat the U.S. by 3.58 seconds in 1976.

Jamaica took third in 3:20.95.

Russian official's tweet appears to target Madonna

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian deputy premier has made a rude statement apparently aimed at Madonna regarding her support for the jailed members of a Russian punk band awaiting a verdict in their trial.

Dmitry Rogozin didn't name Madonna when he tweeted this week that "every former w. wants to give lectures on morality when she grows old. Especially during foreign tours." By "w." he apparently meant "whore."

"Either take off your cross or put on your knickers," Rogozin added.

His remarks have drawn sarcastic tweets from those who recalled that Rogozin was a nationalist opposition leader before joining officialdom. "Why are you calling yourself a former whore, you are still on it," one of the tweets said.

Judge denies request by skater Kerrigan's brother to return to jail to finish assault sentence

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts judge on Wednesday denied a request by ice skater Nancy Kerrigan's brother to return to prison to serve the last four months of an assault sentence rather than comply with the conditions of his probation.

Mark Kerrigan asked Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman to send him back to jail to serve the rest of his 2 1/2-year sentence for assault and battery in connection with the 2010 death of his father.

His attorney told Tuttman the terms of his probation were too much of a financial burden and that he would rather go back to jail than deal with the onerous conditions.

Tuttman denied the request.

Hamlisch left his signature on decades of films

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The word "prolific" gets tossed around a lot, but it couldn't be more appropriate in discussing the work of the late, great Marvin Hamlisch. This is especially true in considering his many contributions to film over the past five-plus decades.

Yes, he's been duly decorated in other artistic realms - the longtime Broadway favorite "A Chorus Line," which eventually ended up on the big screen, earned him a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 - but he also crafted some of the best-loved and most enduring songs and scores in movie history.

Hamlisch died Monday after a brief illness, his family said. The former child prodigy, who was accepted to Juilliard School of Music at age 7, was 68.

Regardless of the genre or year, Hamlisch's music had a unifying factor - something intangible, an old-fashioned sense of showmanship, a feeling of substance and a respect for craft. He tapped into our emotions in a way that felt intimate and personal, yet he expressed yearnings that are universally relatable,

APNewsBreak: Money for fair victims came with provision guarding Ind. from stage owner's suit

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana lawmakers presented their decision to offer an additional $6 million to victims of a deadly stage collapse at last year's state fair as a way to help those who weren't adequately compensated by its first settlement. But buried in the legislation was a clause protecting the state from having to pay even more.

The clause sought by Attorney General Greg Zoeller enabled him to tie the state money to a settlement with the company that owned the stage, and thrust the state into the role of negotiator as lawsuits swirled over the Aug. 13, 2011, stage collapse at a show by country duo Sugarland.

The state would make $6 million available, and victims could share another $7.2 million offered by the stage owner and manufacturer if they agreed not to sue the companies.

NFL's rules change reduced concussions on kickoffs in 2011, injury data study finds

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Changes to the NFL's kickoff rules appear to account for a slight decline in the number of concussions reported across the league last season, according to a consulting firm's study of injury data provided by the NFL Players Association.

Jesse David, senior vice president at Edgeworth Economics, said the number of concussions reported on kickoffs decreased by about 43 percent from 2010 to 2011. That led to a slight drop in the overall number of reported concussions, reversing a multiyear trend toward more head injuries, he said.

"Most concussions are happening somewhere else, but kickoffs was one that they felt, I presume, that it was pretty easy to target," David said Tuesday, in an interview with The Associated Press. "And it looks like the rule did what it was supposed to do."

With a surge at the 400-meter finish, Sanya Richards-Ross gets the Olympic gold this time

LONDON (AP) -- Disappointment, tears and that oh-so-unsatisfying color - bronze - are all in the past for Sanya Richards-Ross.

On this trip to the Olympics, she closed the deal.

Four years after a late fade left her crying and wearing the Olympic bronze medal, Richards-Ross won the 400-meter gold she always thought she could.

"What I have learned is you don't win the race until you win the race," Richards-Ross said. "I knew I had to cross the finish line first to call myself the Olympic champion."

She did it.

Nearly banging elbows with runners on both sides of her - and with the defending champion making up ground on the outside - Richards-Ross got stronger, not weaker, this time over the last 100 meters.

She might be famous on bars, but don't count Gabby Douglas out for another gold on beam

LONDON (AP) -- Gabby Douglas knows how to deliver.

After bobbling and wobbling her way across the balance beam this summer, the bubbly 16-year-old promised she'd get things cleaned up in time for the Olympics.

Sure enough, not only is Douglas in Tuesday night's beam final, it might just get her a third gold medal.

"If I can just do what I did in the all-around finals or team finals, then I'll be good," she said. "I'm going to get a lot of rest, just rest up, and do a lot of therapies and relax my body and hopefully prepare for that."

Uneven bars may be Douglas' signature event - it's her altitude sickness-inducing release moves that earned her that "Flying Squirrel" nickname, after all - but it's balance beam that's made her a star. Her consistency and monster scores on the gymnastics' equivalent of the tight rope were key as the Fierce Five won the team title, the first by the Americans since 1996, and her confident routine two days later gave her the all-around gold, a first for an African-American gymnast.

Fitting finale: Phelps retires with one last gold

LONDON (AP) -- Michael Phelps got up to leave his last news conference at the Olympic pool when his relay mates were asked if they thought he would really stay retired.

Before they could answer, Phelps smiled and said emphatically: "Yes, yes."

The most decorated Olympian called it a career on Saturday night with a fitting ending - a gold medal in the 4x100-meter medley relay at the London Games.

Phelps' totals in four Olympics: 22 medals, 18 golds, 51 races and 9,900 meters of swimming.

"I've been able to do everything that I wanted," he said. "If you can say that about your career, there's no need to move forward. Time for other things."

Having hung up his suit, cap and goggles for the last time, the 27-year-old from Baltimore is looking forward to the rest of his life.

Violence erupts as Swedish police try to stop activists attacking anti-Islam demonstration

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Swedish activists clashed with police amid a hail of bottles and fireworks in downtown Stockholm on Saturday as they tried to break through a police line and attack an anti-Islam demonstration.

Police spokesman Kjell Lendgren said around 400 leftists had gathered to heckle the 100-strong demonstration, which was rallying to bring attention to what it perceives is the Islamization of Europe.

He said the leftists shouted and blew vuvuzelas to drown out anti-Islam and nationalist speeches, but then started throwing bottles and lit fireworks at police, injuring two officers.

Andy Murray beats Roger Federer for gold a month after Wimbledon loss

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Andy Murray put his hands over his face when it was over, then crouched down as Centre Court roared. He quickly popped back up and went to the net to shake Roger Federer's hand.

One month after anguish at Wimbledon, it was elation in the Olympics - all in the same spot.

Murray used an aggressive approach to beat Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 for the men's singles title, delighting a partisan crowd that had watched the dour Scotsman wilt in his biggest matches all too often.

Not this time.

Sunday's victory marked a career breakthrough for Murray. He has dropped all four of his Grand Slam finals, three against Federer, including the devastating loss at the All England Club a month ago.

"It has been the best week of my tennis career by a mile," Murray said. "I've had a lot of tough losses. This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I'll never forget it."

Bull's-eye! Aided by Hollywood, iconic venue, archery hit the target in London

LONDON (AP) -- Maybe it's the effect of "The Hunger Games" and bow-and-arrow-toting heroine Katniss Everdeen, or the lure of competing at a 200-year-old venue. Or maybe it's the Robin Hood factor.

Whatever the reason, archery is hot at the London Olympics - sometimes hotter than anything else NBC showed on its cable channels during the opening week of the games.

Much the same way curling became the can't-miss niche sport of the Vancouver Games two winters ago, archery shined in London.

"The profile of our sport," said Brady Ellison, the world's top-ranked archer who helped the U.S. win a team silver medal, "has never been higher."

Berkshire Hathaway's 2Q profit declines 9 percent

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Second-quarter profits at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. fell 9 percent because of bigger paper losses on derivatives the company sold, but many of its subsidiaries performed well.

The company reported that profits were up in Berkshire's insurance units. And business improved at the conglomerate's utility, railroad, manufacturing and retail businesses.

"It was obviously a solid rebound in insurance, but what was really terrific was the non-insurance subsidiaries," said David Rolfe, chief investment officer at Wedgewood Partners, which invests in Berkshire.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad added $802 million to Berkshire's net income this year, up from $690 million a year ago. Revenue at the railroad grew about 6 percent thanks to fuel surcharges and a 2 percent increase in total shipping volume. More shipments of consumer goods and industrial products offset weak coal demand.

India left in dark by utilities losing $10B a year

MUMBAI, India (AP) -- A decade ago, Chandrakant's fishing village in India's financial capital Mumbai lived mostly by candlelight. What people did not have - electricity - they stole.

It was easy enough to hook onto the two thin power lines that passed over the village and take a little for themselves.

Today, his settlement has moved up the feeding chain of Mumbai neighborhoods and most residents have city electricity meters. But the loose habits of the past persist. Residents still steal power on special occasions, weddings or funerals that need to be lit brighter than their home meters can bear.

An electrician like Chandrakant - who asked that his full name and that of his neighborhood not be revealed because of his illegal activity - just hooks onto one of four main distribution lines in the village, with the quiet approval of local officials.

India's power sector is lousy with thieves. Men like Chandrakant are the least of them.

Samsung vies for spotlight ahead of iPhone launch

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest mobile-phone maker, said Friday it plans to show a new mobile device in late August, trying to stay in the consumer spotlight ahead of Apple's expected release of the latest iPhone in September.

The move comes as Samsung is ensnarled in a closely-watched courtroom fight with Apple Inc. over smartphone and tablet patents. Each side is seeking billions of dollars in compensation or royalty payments.

The South Korean company said the new device will be unveiled Aug. 29 in Berlin, two days before Europe's biggest consumer electronics show, IFA. The company declined to give more details.

Goldman Sachs to invest $9.6M in NYC jail program as city tests social impact bonds

NEW YORK (AP) -- Goldman Sachs will invest almost $10 million in a city jail program that will produce profits for the investment firm if recidivism rates drop, marking the first U.S. effort of its kind to enlist private investors in financing public social programs, officials said Thursday.

Known as social impact bonds or pay-for-success contracts, such initiatives began in Britain and are in the works in some U.S. state governments. But New York City is the first in the nation to put one together, officials and experts said.

Inmates ages 16 to 18 will receive education, training and counseling intended to reduce the likelihood of them reoffending after their release.

"New York City is continually seeking innovative new ways to tackle the most entrenched problems, and helping young people who land in jail stay out of trouble when they return home is one of the most difficult - and important - challenges we face," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

Syrian rebels accused of executions, other abuses

BEIRUT (AP) -- The unsteady, hand-held video shows several bloodied prisoners, one in boxer shorts, being led into a noisy outdoor crowd and placed against a wall. The prisoners crouch and seem to avert their eyes as men carrying assault rifles shout slogans and take aim. The gunfire lasts for more than 30 seconds.

The international community has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces of war crimes, but the gunmen in this gruesome video were rebels. Their slogans: "Free Syrian Army Forever!" and "God is Great!"

The video, which surfaced online this week, is fueling concerns that opposition fighters are capable of brutality that matches that of the regime they are seeking to topple - a charge that could badly damage the rebellion's ability to claim the moral high ground in the Syrian civil war.

In Senegalese shoe capital, Chinese not welcome

NGAYE MEKHE, Senegal (AP) -- It has taken generations for cobblers in this village to perfect the pointy-toed slippers once favored by local kings, and now considered an indispensable fashion accessory of well-dressed Senegalese men.

It only took months for the Chinese to copy and mass produce the local design, making them out of plastic instead of leather and selling them for a quarter of the price.

The Senegalese government has so far not regulated the import of Chinese-made replicas of local crafts, so the most prominent shoemakers of Ngaye Mekhe have come up with their own retaliation: They are refusing to sell their slippers to Chinese visitors.

"If I see a Chinese person, I put my hand up like this," said Mactar Gueye, his palm open, in the universal gesture for stop. "It's not that I'm afraid of them. I just won't sell to them."

Larry David to write, star in movie for HBO

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Larry David is coming back to HBO - but not in a new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The cable channel told the Television Critics Association on Wednesday that the 65-year-old will write, executively produce and star in an HBO film directed by Greg Mottola. The network didn't announce a title.

Network executives say it's not a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" film, and David won't be playing himself in the movie.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says the "Seinfeld" co-creator hasn't "closed the door" on a possible ninth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Fed: US growth slows, but no action needed _ yet

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is losing strength and repeated a pledge to try to boost growth if hiring remains weak.

The Fed took no new action after a two-day policy meeting. But it appeared to signal in a statement released after the meeting a growing inclination to take further steps to lift the economy out of its funk. The Fed noted that growth had slowed over the first half of the year, with job creation slackening and consumer spending tapering off.

The Fed reiterated its plan to hold its benchmark short-term interest rate at a record low near zero until at least late 2014.

Market reaction to the Fed's announcement was muted. Stocks fluctuated slightly after the statement was released and ended the day lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33 points to 12,976, and broader indexes also closed down. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note increased from 1.50 percent to 1.52 percent.

From Sydney to London: How online Olympics evolved

NEW YORK (AP) -- At the turn of the millennium, online video at NBCOlympics.com meant still images taken from NBC's television feeds. Fast forward a dozen years, and every event is being shown live in the U.S. Here's a look at that evolution:

- 2000 Summer Games in Sydney. Video wasn't really video at all. Rather, NBCOlympics.com showcased a series of still images grabbed from NBC's video feeds. The exception was an experiment in which NBC piped delayed video of selected events down controlled cables to about 100,000 homes.

New Bible translation hopes to engage readers with screenplay format, modern language

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new Bible translation tackles the challenge of turning ancient Greek and Hebrew texts into modern American English and then adds a twist: It's written like a screenplay.

Take the passage from Genesis in which God gets angry at Adam for eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil:

"Adam (pointing at the woman): It was she! The woman You gave me as a companion put the fruit in my hands, and I ate it.

"God (to the woman): What have you done?

"Eve: It was the serpent! He tricked me, and I ate."

Later, Eve bears her first son, Cain.

European stocks recover poise ahead of Fed meeting

LONDON (AP) -- European shares recovered their poise Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement and an announcement from the European Central Bank as to how it plans to combat Europe's debt crisis.

The consensus in the markets is that the Fed won't do anything dramatic despite mounting signs of a sharp slowdown in the U.S. economy. However, most analysts think the Fed will reiterate its view that the fed funds rate, its benchmark interest rate, will remain low until late 2014, or perhaps extend it into 2015.

Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital, said another monetary stimulus from the Fed could be on the cards if Friday's U.S. nonfarm payrolls data disappoint once again.

"Much will depend on the outcome of Friday's jobs report," he said.

By midafternoon London time, Germany's DAX was 0.2 percent lower at 6,762 but the CAC-40 in France rose 0.7 percent to 3,315. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was 0.9 percent higher at 5,687.

Kent St suspends student accused of Twitter threat

KENT, Ohio (AP) -- A Kent State University student accused of posting a message on Twitter saying he would be "shooting up" the northeastern Ohio campus has been suspended.

Nineteen-year-old William Koberna was arrested Sunday in Brunswick, outside Cleveland. He has been charged with inducing panic and aggravated menacing.

A Portage County judge has instructed Koberna to stay away from the school and President Lester Lefton. The sophomore remains at the county jail awaiting a GPS device as part of a $50,000 bond.

Boeing says NTSB investigating 787 engine issue, sees no challenge to safety

Boeing Co. says federal regulators are investigating after one of its 787 jets had an engine issue that sparked a fire in South Carolina, but the company remains confident in its safety.

The jet is one of Boeing's most critical products. The company delivered the first 787, known as the Dreamliner, last year following several years of design and production delays. Airlines set record orders for the jet, as its lightweight, high-tech design was expected to offer travelers more comfort, provide airlines significant fuel savings and open up new routes.