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Associated Press

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 25 at 11:00 AM

TEACHER KILLED-MASS

Mass. students back in class, 2 days after killing

DANVERS, Mass. (AP) — High school students have returned to class in Danvers, Mass., two days after a 14-year-old student was charged with murder in the death of a popular math teacher.

The school reopened Friday after being closed for two days, although grief counselors were made available Thursday.

Philip Chism is charged with killing 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer. Investigators have not disclosed a possible motive for the slaying that has stunned the community 20 miles north of Boston.

Ritzer's alma mater, Assumption College in Worcester, has scheduled a "quiet and prayerful reflection" at the school's chapel on Friday. Ritzer graduated from the Catholic college in 2011 with a degree in mathematics.

She is described by a school official as "a talented student" and a "cheerful presence in and out of class."

JONBENET LAWSUIT

Jurors wanted child abuse charges against Ramseys

DENVER (AP) — Newly released court documents reveal that a 1999 grand jury indicted John Ramsey and Patsy Ramsey for child abuse resulting in death and being an accessory to a crime, including murder.

However, the indictments released Friday did not say who killed their 6-year-old daughter JonBenet.

The indictment, which the prosecutor refused to prosecute, said the crimes occurred between Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 of 1996, the day the 6-year-old beauty queen's body was found.

The document alleges both parents intended to delay or prevent the arrest of the alleged killer.

GERMANY-US-SPYING

German spy chiefs to head to US for spying talks

BRUSSELS (AP) — Senior German officials will travel to the U.S. "shortly" to talk with the White House and the National Security Agency about spying allegations, including how Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone was allegedly monitored by the NSA.

Government spokesman Georg Streiter said Friday that the heads of Germany's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies would participate in the talks. He did not give a specific date for the trip, saying it was being arranged on "relatively short notice."

At a summit Friday in Brussels, European Union leaders vowed to maintain a strong trans-Atlantic partnership despite their anger over allegations of widespread U.S. spying on allies.

But France and Germany say new surveillance rules should be agreed upon with the U.S. this year.

WALL STREET

Microsoft leads the Dow higher on earnings gain

NEW YORK (AP) — Earnings gains from Microsoft and other big U.S. companies are pushing the stock market higher in early trading.

Microsoft led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after reporting higher sales of tablet computers and progress in a corporate overhaul.

Technology stocks led the market higher.

Amazon.com jumped $34.86, or 10 percent, to $366.90 after reporting a narrower loss and 24 percent higher revenue. Microsoft rose $2.36, or 7 percent, to $36.09.

Newell Rubbermaid rose 65 cents, or 2 percent, at $29.55 after its earnings beat analysts' forecasts.

WHOLESALE INVENTORIES

NEW: US wholesale stockpiles rise by most since January

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesalers boosted their stockpiles in August by the most in seven months, a positive sign that many companies expected demand to rise.

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories rose 0.5 percent in August, the biggest gain since January. Sales also rose, climbing 0.6 percent, the fourth gain in five months.

The restocking was driven partly by recoveries in housing and autos. Auto inventories jumped 2.3 percent, the biggest gain in four months, and furniture stockpiles rose 1.1 percent for the second straight month. Stockpiles of pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and clothing also increased.

Rising inventories point to stronger growth because it means factories have produced more goods. And higher wholesale sales means businesses are unlikely to get caught with too many unsold goods on their shelves.

DURABLE GOODS

Long-lasting US factory goods orders rise 3.7 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A jump in demand for commercial airplanes boosted orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods last month. But orders for most other goods fell as businesses cut spending, a possible sign of concern about the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1.

The Commerce Department says orders for durable goods rose 3.7 percent in September, above the 0.2 percent gain in August. But a 57.5 percent jump in aircraft orders accounted for nearly all the gain. Durable goods are meant to last at least three years.

Orders for core capital goods, which include industrial machinery and electrical equipment, fell 1.1 percent. August's 1.5 percent gain was revised sharply lower to 0.4 percent. Economists pay particular attention to core capital goods, which exclude aircraft, because they are a sign of business confidence.

GREECE-MISSING GIRL

Test proves Bulgarian woman mother of mystery girl

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities say DNA tests have confirmed that a 35-year-old Roma woman is the mother of a mysterious girl in Greece known as Maria.

Bulgaria's Interior Ministry announced the results of the test Friday after matching the woman's DNA with that of Maria.

Sasha Ruseva has said she gave birth to a baby girl four years ago in Greece while working as an olive picker, and gave the child away because she was too poor to care for her.

EGYPT

Muslim Brotherhood supporters rally in Egypt

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of supporters of Egypt's ousted president and his Muslim Brotherhood group have been marching in Cairo to keeping up the pressure on the country's military-backed leadership. Scattered protests also are occurring across Egypt.

Supporters of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first elected president, marched Friday in Cairo's southern district of Maadi. Some held pictures of their fallen members. Others called for Morsi to be reinstated, urging military leader Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi to step aside.

Morsi was overthrown along with his Muslim Brotherhood-led government in July 3 coup after millions protested against his leadership.

Since then, Brotherhood supporters have staged near-daily rallies around the country, protesting security crackdown in which hundreds have been killed and more than 2,000 of group's members have been jailed.

FOOD SAFETY-ANIMALS

FDA proposes rules to make animal food safer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid incidents of pets dying from dog treats, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited rules to make pet food and animal feed safer.

The rules put forward Friday were not the direct result of this week's problem. They stem instead from a sweeping food safety law passed by Congress almost three years ago. Like rules proposed earlier this year for human food, they would focus on preventing contamination before it begins.

The announcement comes as the FDA says it hasn't yet determined a cause of almost 600 dog deaths believed to be linked to pet jerky treats imported from China.

The proposed rules would require those who sell pet food and animal feed in the United States to follow certain sanitation practices and have detailed food safety plans.

UPS-HOLIDAY PACKAGES

UPS to hire 55,000 seasonal workers in US

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS will be hiring 55,000 U.S. seasonal workers to help with an increase in volume over the holiday season.

The world's biggest package delivery company said Friday that it foresees peak season daily volume rising 8 percent this year.

Its peak day for holiday pickups will be Dec. 16, with anticipated pick-ups of more than 34 million packages around the world that day. A day later will be the peak delivery day, at more than 29 million packages.

United Parcel Service Inc. expects that Cyber Monday on Dec. 2 will see a 10 percent increase in pickup volume, surpassing 32 million packages.

The company said that there are 26 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, six fewer than last year and the most compressed holiday shopping season since 2002.

CAR ON ART MUSEUM STEPS

Philly cops seek car seen driving on museum steps

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police are looking for a convertible seen driving down the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps made famous in the movie "Rocky."

Several people posted online videos showing the car driving down the steps in fits and starts at about midnight Thursday. The car then speeds off.

Hugh Dillon, a photographer who runs the local entertainment website PhillyChitChat, posted one of the videos. He says he lives nearby and happened on the stunt.

Police say they plan to review surveillance video to try to find the driver, who would face citations for numerous offenses, including reckless driving and driving on the sidewalk.

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