*Abe seeks China thaw with party executive appointments. TOKYO, Sept 3- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked two veteran lawmakers with friendly ties to China for top party posts on Wednesday in an apparent signal of hope for a thaw in chilly ties with Beijing and a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.» Read More
BEIJING-- An array of activists, academics and dissidents are questioning the authorities' purge of Bo Xilai, demanding that China's legislature follow the rule of law and allow the disgraced leader to defend himself before lawmakers.
SEATTLE-- Michael Henrichsen has ideas about how he might celebrate his 26th birthday this week. First, Billy Idol rolls up in a limo and tells him to hop in.
ROCK HILL, S.C.-- A company that provides medical testing services is bringing more than 350 jobs to a new facility in South Carolina's York County. State and company officials said Tuesday that Physicians Choice Laboratory Services is planning to invest more than $24 million to set up a new facility.
HELSINKI-- Nordic paper maker Stora Enso Oyj reported Tuesday a third-quarter net profit of 80 million but says it will slash 520 jobs to save 36 million annually. Stora's job cuts _ mostly in Finland, Sweden and Poland _ will be accompanied by mill closures in Sweden and Finland and efficiency improvements at several other plants, the company said.
NEW YORK-- Bob Schieffer took a light hand Monday as moderator of the final presidential debate, ending with advice from his mother: "Go vote.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.-- West Virginia University plans to buy nearly 40 properties in Morgantown in a $14.5 million real estate deal that the Board of Governors was set to consider Tuesday afternoon. WVU officials have declined to discuss the details this week but told media outlets they may have more to say in a few days.
SMITHFIELD, R.I.-- Bryant University has received a $1 million gift from the foundation established by the chairman of the Hasbro toy company's executive committee to support the work of the school's Institute for Public Leadership.
IMPERIAL, Pa.-- Southwest Airlines Co. is launching daily, nonstop service from Pittsburgh International Airport to Houston starting April 14. The flight will leave Pittsburgh at 11:50 a.m. weekdays and arrive at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport at 2 p.m. The flight will follow a similar schedule on Sunday but will leave Pittsburgh at 9:15 a.m. on Saturdays.
NEW YORK-- Shares of SunTrust Banks continued to fall on Tuesday, after the regional bank posted higher third-quarter expenses amid low interest rates.
FRANKFORT, Ky.-- A Medicaid managed care provider has filed a lawsuit against Kentucky, alleging that state officials provided incorrect information that led to $120 million in losses in the first 11 months of its contract. The Medicaid provider had announced last week that it would exercise its right to end the contract effective July 5, 2013.
GREAT FALLS, Mont.-- A Malta, Mont. man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for defrauding a Belt bank when he and his wife applied for operating credit for their ranch. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 50- year-old Steven Lloyd Knudsen was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon in Great Falls and ordered to pay $948,555 in restitution.
NEW YORK-- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a Canadian company have settled a lawsuit over steel for an antenna that will sit atop One World Trade Center. A joint announcement was made Tuesday by the Port Authority, ADF Steel Corp. and WTC 1 LLC. One World Trade Center is being built to replace the twin towers destroyed on 9/ 11..
GENERAL ESCOBEDO, Mexico-- Even before the tour bus comes to a stop, the women rise from their seats and wait in the aisle to exit. "The goal is to come to look for them," said Virginia Olcot, 42, of Chimaltenango, Guatemala, who last heard from her husband in September 2009 when he arrived at the U.S. border in Sonora. "
LIANGJIAHE, China-- The next leader of China spent much of his youth living in a dug-out cave. Xi Jingping's seven years in this remote northern community meant toiling alongside rural villagers by day and sleeping on bricks by night, in stark contrast to his pampered early years in Beijing.
LANSING, Mich.-- Nearly two dozen community health centers in Michigan are getting funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The Michigan Department of Community Health announced Tuesday that the money for 22 centers aims to enhance the quality of care and allow more women to be screened for cervical cancer.
LOS ANGELES-- Crews have repaired a pipe that leaked flammable hydrogen gas at Edison International's San Onofre nuclear power plant and officials say there was no danger to the public. Edison International's Southern California Edison unit says a small leak in a pipe fitting was discovered in a non-nuclear part of Unit 2 on Sunday.
LONDON-- Europe's top drug regulator announced Tuesday it is taking action against pharmaceutical giant Roche for allegedly failing to properly report the side effects of 19 drugs being used by U.S. patients. It is the first time the European Medicines Agency has begun a so-called `infringement proceeding' against a drug maker.
HONOLULU-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a Honolulu company is recalling more than 4,000 pounds of ground beef products distributed to Oahu restaurants because the products may be contaminated with E. coli.