Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment


Associated Press

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 21 at 5:00 AM


UPDATE: Feds begin probe of SF Bay Area rail worker deaths

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Federal investigators say it won't be known for weeks whether a strike by the two largest unions representing San Francisco Bay Area transit workers played a role in a fatal train accident.

A commuter train on Saturday struck and killed two workers who were inspecting a section of track.

The train was returning from a routine maintenance trip.


NEW: Shutdown over, solution to next crisis unclear

WASHINGTON (AP) — The partial government shutdown has ended but that doesn't mean anyone has a solid idea for dodging a potential sequel.

The 16-day partial shutdown ended last week although a possible repeat may be on the horizon. Lawmakers approved a budget that keeps the lights on through Jan. 15 and lets Treasury continue to pay its bills through Feb. 7.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says such a standoff cannot be repeated. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell similarly says there won't be another government shutdown.

That's not to say there is a solution at hand, and no one is rushing forward with alternatives to a potential repeat of the gridlock that shuttered parts of the government and pushed the nation toward a default on its debt.


NEW: Obama to address widespread health care glitches

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to acknowledge that widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the glitches.

Obama will speak this morning from the Rose Garden, his first health care-focused event since the cascade of computer problems became apparent. The troublesome rollout of the health care exchanges has been a glaring embarrassment for Obama's signature legislative achievement.

White House officials say the president will discuss steps the administration is taking to address the glitches, including ramping up staffing at call centers where people can apply for insurance by phone.


Same-sex marriages begin in NJ

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey is now the 14th state to recognize same-sex marriage.

Just after midnight, same-sex couples started tying the knot in the state.

Mayor and U.S. Sen.-elect Cory Booker led a ceremony in Newark for seven gay couples, telling the audience, "This is very beautiful."


Study: 15 percent of US youth out of school, work

WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, or about 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24.

That's according to a report released Monday from Opportunity Nation, a bipartisan coalition advocating greater economic mobility.

Idle youth are missing an opportunity to build skills they will need later in life or to use knowledge they acquired in college. Without those experiences, the report predicts they're less likely to command higher salaries and more likely to be an economic drain on their communities.

The study also finds that the number of families living in poverty has increased in 49 states, while household median incomes have fallen in 45 states last year. The dour report underscores the challenges young adults face now and foretells trials they're likely to face.


NEW: Japan delaying cleanup of towns near nuclear plant

TOKYO (AP) — Radiation cleanup in some of the most contaminated towns around Fukushima's nuclear power plant is far behind schedule, so residents will have to wait a few more years before returning.

Environment Ministry officials say they are revising the cleanup schedule for six municipalities. The original plan called for completing decontamination by next March.

An International Atomic Energy Agency team is also finishing a weeklong visit to check cleanup progress in Kawauchi, a less-contaminated community where an evacuation order was lifted earlier this year.

The government hopes to restore lost communities in some areas around the plant, but challenges remain in ensuring food safety and job security.


Hurricane Raymond barrels toward Mexican coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Raymond is barreling toward Mexico's southern Pacific coast.

Forecasters predict Raymond will take a sharp westward turn and head out to sea before reaching land.

But they warn the Category 1 storm still might get as close as 50 miles, bringing the threat of heavy and possibly dangerous rains to an area that was devastated last month by Tropical Storm Manuel.


UPDATE: Bacteria found in breast milk sold on Internet

CHICAGO (AP) — Researchers say much of the breast milk sold online could be contaminated with high amounts of bacteria.

Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, say three-quarters of the breast milk tested from one popular site was found to contain high levels of bacteria.

And the study cites several cases in which babies got sick by a stranger's milk.


UPDATE: 2 dead after Mich. senior center shooting

DETROIT (AP) — A 65-year-old resident of a Detroit senior center is behind bars after police say he shot and killed two women at the center.

Authorities say the shootings happened Sunday after the man got into an argument with his girlfriend that led to the end of their relationship.

The man went to his apartment, allegedly got a rifle and shot a 54-year-old friend of his ex-girlfriend and a 65-year-old woman.

Neither was the ex-girlfriend.


Pew study says love is in the air and on the Web

NEW YORK (AP) — A new survey suggests acceptance of online dating is growing, with a majority of Internet users saying it's a good way to meet people.

Still, the study from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life finds that people who actually use online dating sites are still in the minority.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans who characterize themselves as "single and looking" say they've used an online dating site or mobile dating app.

But overall, just 10 percent of Americans say they've tried online dating.

Fifty-nine percent of Internet users agree that online dating is a good way to meet people. That's up from 44 percent in 2005.

The other side of the coin, more than half of online daters surveyed believe someone else "seriously misrepresented themselves" online.

Online dating is most popular with people ages 25 to 34.


At these coffee klatches, death is on the agenda

NEW YORK (AP) — For the person who wants to talk about death, it can be tough to get a conversation going.

Growing numbers of people have been gathering in small group meetings known as Death Cafes to discuss subjects ranging from suicide to estate planning.

The idea is to provide a place where death can be discussed comfortably, without fear of violating taboos or of being mocked for bringing up the subject.

Participants say getting comfortable with death enriches life.

Inspired by a Swiss sociologist, a Londoner started Death Cafes in 2011. They have spread quickly across the U.S., and nearly 300 such gatherings have already been held in churches, restaurants and homes.

They appear to be drawing especially well among baby boomers.