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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Kansans to see effects of tax hike on paychecks this month

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 14:00

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansans will see the bite from an income tax increase with their first paychecks this month.

Business owners legally can avoid the bill until next year but the state is advising them to start paying up this fall.

Legislators enacted the tax increase over Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto. It is expected to raise $1.2 billion over two years to help balance the budget and provide additional money for public schools.

The law took effect Saturday but applies retroactively to the beginning of this year to raise revenue faster.

The new law largely rolls back past income tax cuts championed by Brownback. It increases rates and ends an exemption for more than 330,000 farmers and business owners.

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Harsh winter took heavy toll on wildlife across western US

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 13:30

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – Wildlife managers in seven states in the western U.S. report this past winter was rough on wildlife.

California, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming report above-normal losses of wildlife in the wake of one of the coldest and snowiest winters in decades.

Record snowfall made it difficult for wildlife to find food, and spells of bitter cold made matters worse.

Wildlife managers are assessing the damage using radio collars and surveys of herds.

Mule deer in several Rocky Mountain states and elk in eastern Washington were hit hard. Wyoming was expecting above-normal losses among antelope, and California’s threatened Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep herd lost dozens of animals.

Wildlife managers are reducing hunting permits in the hard-hit areas.

Biologists say the wildlife herds should eventually recover, with the help of reduced hunting, if normal conditions return next winter.

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UK to pull out of fishing deal that let others in its waters

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 13:24

LONDON (AP) — Britain is pulling out of an agreement that permits fishermen from five other countries to operate in U.K. waters, the first step in reasserting control over its fishing industry as it prepares to leave the European Union.

The government announced Sunday it will trigger the two-year process of leaving the London Fisheries Convention, which allows vessels from France, Belgium, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands to fish between six and 12 nautical miles off the U.K. coastline.

Britain signed the convention before it joined the EU and would be bound by its terms after leaving the bloc unless it starts to withdraw from the treaty now. EU regulations govern fishing in the zone between 12 nautical miles and 200 nautical miles from shore, giving other member states the right to fish in U.K. territorial waters as long as they comply with the bloc’s rules.

“This is an historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union – one which leads to a more competitive, profitable and sustainable industry for the whole of the U.K.,” Environment Secretary Michael Gove said.

Britain had about 6,000 fishing boats in 2015, which landed 708,000 tons of fish worth about 775 million pounds ($1 billion), according to the government. Vessels from other convention members caught 10,000 tons of fish worth an estimated 17 million pounds.

Irish fishermen called the decision to pull out of the London Convention an aggressive move, although they expected it.

“The access for us is huge, but the access between six and 12 is not our greatest priority,” said Sean O’Donoghue, chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organization, a large producers’ group based on Ireland’s west coast. “Our access is between the 12-mile limit and 200-mile UK-wide limit. That is the important one.”

Ben Stafford, head of campaigns at WWF, said after leaving the EU and the London Convention, Britain must continue to focus on protecting its fisheries because fishing policy is “about a lot more than which country fishes where.”

“It is about ensuring that fishermen use the right fishing gear, that fishing takes place at levels that maintain sustainable stocks and that we pioneer ways to monitor what is happening at sea in order to understand the impacts of fishing,” Stafford said. “Leaving the EU means we could get these things right. But we will still need to cooperate with our neighbors, as fish do not recognize lines on a map.”

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Doctor: No idea why he would be hospital shooter’s target

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 13:19

NEW YORK (AP) — A doctor who appears to have been the intended target of a former physician who started shooting at a New York hospital, killing one person and injuring six, said he has no idea why he would have been singled out.

Dr. Kamran Ahmed told the New York Post he wasn’t the only one Dr. Henry Bello had a problem with.

However, “he never argued with me,” Ahmed said. “I don’t know why he put my name.”

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Bello arrived at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx on Friday with an assault rifle hidden under his lab coat and asked for a specific doctor whom he blamed for his having to resign. The physician wasn’t there at the time. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Ahmed, who specializes in the early detection and treatment of dementia, said Bello “had a problem with almost everybody, so I’m not the only one. That’s why they fired him, because so many people complained.”

Authorities said Bello went to the 16th and 17th floors and started shooting anyway, killing Dr. Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, 32, who, like him, was a family medicine doctor. Hospital officials said that Tam normally worked in one of the hospital’s satellite clinics and was covering a shift in the main hospital as a favor to someone else.

“It makes you think that anything can happen to anybody,” said Tam’s neighbor, Alena Khaim, who saw Tam’s sister outside the home Friday night overcome with grief, shaking and unable to walk. “She was such a sweet girl. You would never think something like that would happen but it happened.”

Before the shooting, Bello sent an email to the New York Daily News, blaming colleagues he said forced him to resign two years earlier.

“This hospital terminated my road to a licensure to practice medicine,” the email said. “First, I was told it was because I always kept to myself. Then it was because of an altercation with a nurse.”

His former co-workers described a man who was aggressive, loud and threatening. Bello had warned his former colleagues when he was forced out in 2015 that he would return someday to kill them.

“All the time he was a problem,” said Dr. David Lazala, who trained Bello. When Bello was forced out in 2015, he sent Lazala an email blaming him for the dismissal.

Of the six others who were injured, one remained in critical condition Saturday and the rest were stable, hospital officials said Saturday. A call Sunday to the hospital for an update was not immediately returned.

Detectives searched the Bronx home where Bello was most recently living and found the box where the gun came from. Investigators were checking serial numbers and trying to determine where it was purchased.

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This story has been corrected to show Bello had an assault rifle, not an automatic weapon.

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