Asian shares climb, yen weakens on upbeat US services data

HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks posted modest gains and the dollar strengthened further against the yen Thursday as a healthy U.S. economic report and rising oil prices overnight bolstered investor optimism.

  • Written by KELVIN CHAN, AP Business Writer

Plane evacuated after Samsung smartphone starts smoking

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An overheating, smoking Samsung smartphone forced the evacuation of a Southwest Airlines jet that was preparing to take off Wednesday from the Louisville airport.

  • Written by REBECCA REYNOLDS YONKER, Associated Press DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press

Clown hoaxes force police to check pranks for real threats

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Carrying golf clubs, shovels and hockey sticks, several hundred University of Connecticut students gathered just before midnight in a cemetery, ready to do battle with menacing clowns they had heard might be lurking among the headstones.

  • Written by PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press

Feds: 80 charged in prison racketeering, drug conspiracies

BALTIMORE (AP) — Correctional officers at Maryland's largest state prison for years helped scores of inmates smuggle narcotics, tobacco, pornography and cellphones into the facility in exchange for money and sex, according to a pair of sweeping federal indictments against 35 inmates, 18 jail guards and 27 "outside facilitators" unsealed Wednesday.

  • Written by JULIET LINDERMAN, Associated Press

Portugal's Guterres, likely UN chief, wants to build bridges

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Portugal's former prime minister Antonio Guterres, who is virtually certain to be the next U.N. secretary-general, says he wants to be "an honest broker, a bridge-builder and someone who tries to create conditions for consensus."

  • Written by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press