Associated Press
Latest stories
Kaspar the Friendly Robot Helps Autistic Kids

Eden Sawczenko used to recoil when other little girls held her hand and turned stiff when they hugged her. This year, the 4-year-old autistic girl began playing with a robot that teaches about emotions and physical contact — and now she hugs everyone.

"She's a lot more affectionate with her friends now and will even initiate the embrace," said Claire Sawczenko, Eden's mother.

W140 Full Story
Doctors Aim to Save Fertility of Kids With Cancer

The treatment beating back 9-year-old Dylan Hanlon's cancer may also be destroying his chances of fathering his own children when he grows up.

Upset that doctors didn't make that risk clear, his mother, Christine, tracked down an experiment that just might salvage Dylan's future fertility. Between chemo sessions, the pair flew hundreds of miles from their Florida home to try it.

W140 Full Story
Rescuers Work to Help Vietnam's 'Sacred' Turtle

Thousands of Vietnamese jostled and climbed trees around a lake in the capital Tuesday hoping to see a rare giant turtle considered sacred by many but in desperate need of medical attention.

Dozens of workers waded chest-deep through the chilly green water in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake to try to capture the giant freshwater creature for the first time, so it could be pulled to an island and treated. It is one of the world's most endangered turtles — one of only four Rafeteus swinhoei believed to be alive today — but its value to the nation transcends the natural world.

W140 Full Story
To LOL, or Not to LOL? That is The Question

There was a time when LOL — "laughing out loud" — was so simple.

If I thought something in a casual online conversation was funny, I typed it. If I wanted to let someone know I was kidding in an e-mail or an instant message, same.

W140 Full Story
Study Shows Mom's Blood Test Can Reveal Down Syndrome

Scientists in Europe report they were able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally by giving a simple blood test to pregnant women, an approach that might one day help them avoid the more extensive procedure used now to detect the condition.

The preliminary report published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine is the latest of several recent studies that suggest scientists can spot Down syndrome through fetal DNA that has been shed into the mother's bloodstream.

W140 Full Story
At Least 17 Killed in Libya Arms Depot Blast

At least 17 people were killed Friday when a huge explosion ripped through a military weapons depot outside Benghazi, the main city held by Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi.

Dr. Habib al-Obeidi in Benghazi's al-Jalaa hospital said the blast also hit a residential area. Witnesses on the scene, about 32 kilometers from downtown, said ambulances were rushing to the area and secondary explosions caused two fire trucks to blow up.

W140 Full Story
Nepal Bans Sale of Marijuana at Hindu Festival

Nepalese authorities have banned the sale of marijuana during a popular Hindu festival at which holy men traditionally smoke the drug and share it with young men and women, police said Thursday.

About 500,000 devotees attended the festival Wednesday at Katmandu's Pashupati temple, considered the most revered Hindu shrine in Nepal.

W140 Full Story
Stomach Pacemaker Could Help Obese Lose Weight

Patrick Hetzner tried diets and exercise, just about everything short of stomach stapling to lose weight. Nothing worked. Five months ago he tried something new: a stomach pacemaker that curbed his appetite.

Since having it implanted, Hetzner, a 20-year-old Munich mailman, has knocked off more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) from his earlier weight of 104 kilos (229 pounds).

W140 Full Story
Serena Williams Treated for Blood Clot in Lungs

Serena Williams' absence from tennis could stretch to almost a year after two new health scares — a blood clot in her lungs followed by a hematoma — have added to her injury woes.

Her agents confirmed Wednesday that Williams was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism last week and later needed treatment for a hematoma. The 13-time Grand Slam champion hasn't played an official match since winning Wimbledon last July because of a foot injury she sustained not on the court but at a restaurant.

W140 Full Story
Turkish Police Raid Homes of Journalists over Plot to Topple the Government

Turkish police on Thursday raided the homes of several people, including journalists and a former intelligence officer, as part of a crackdown on an alleged secularist network accused of conspiring to topple the Islamic-rooted government.

The raids come two weeks after a court jailed three journalists of a dissident website Oda TV in the case. Critics say press freedom is under attack in the country and the United States has expressed concern over media freedom. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied any government attempt to silence journalists.

W140 Full Story