NEW YORK — Just how much would you give up for your children to go to their dream schools? For Seattle's Al Sanders, the answer was his precious stash of 5,000 comics starring everyone from the Avengers to Iron Man to the Fantastic Four. He had been collecting them ever since the eighth grade. It was a tough decision for the lifelong comic fan, but the four-figure proceeds helped with his daughter's first year at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.
A winter storm system sweeping the Pacific Northwest on Friday is expected to unleash heavy snow, freezing rain and high winds as it moves across much of the United States over the weekend, making holiday travel treacherous, forecasters said. The storm brought light snow and rain to Seattle in the Pacific Northwest as temperatures hovered around freezing. The National Weather Service said as much as 3 inches of snow could fall on elevated lowland areas by Saturday morning.
LOS ANGELES – U.S. sales and distribution of antibiotics approved for use in food-producing animals increased 1 percent from 2014 to 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a report Thursday. The report comes as scientists warn that regular use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent illness in healthy farm animals contributes to the rise of dangerous, antibiotic-resistant "superbug" infections, which kill at least 23,000 Americans each year and pose a significant threat to global health.
SÃO PAULO — The soybean harvest, which kicked off this week in Brazil's leading production area, is expected to accelerate after Christmas, which may help drive the world's largest soybean exporter to supply the market well ahead of previous seasons, farming groups said. The harvest in Mato Grosso state normally starts in mid-January, but favorable weather prompted some farmers to plant soybeans earlier than usual.
• Pets could play an active role in the treatment of their owners' long-term mental health problems, according to authors of a small study in the United Kingdom. • Researchers found that many pets were seen as the most valuable and central social support in owners' lives, often providing secure relationships not available through human ties.
It's called "holiday heart" because it happens to binge drinkers who feel a flutter or irregular heartbeat after too many cocktails at parties. But a research review suggests it can happen after just one drink.
NEW YORK — Roughly 6.4 million consumers signed up for Obamacare insurance on Healthcare.gov from Nov. 1 to Dec. 19 indicating "clear demand for quality, affordable coverage," the U.S. government said Wednesday. The number of people signing up for Jan. 1, 2017, coverage during this period represents an increase of 400,000 compared with the same period a year ago, the government said. Total plan selections through the extended deadline of Dec. 19 include 2.05 million new consumers and 4.31 million returning consumers actively renewing their coverage.
MEXICO CITY—A massive, multicolored explosion decimated a fireworks market outside the Mexican capital on Tuesday, leaving it a charred wasteland and killing at least 29 people with dozens more injured. Television images showed a flurry of pyrotechnics exploding into the early afternoon sky as a giant plume of smoke rose above the market. Fireworks detonated in a peal of clattering bursts reminiscent of a war zone.
SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON/WASHINGTON — In the summer of 2013, Yahoo Inc. launched a project to better secure the passwords of its customers, abandoning the use of a discredited technology for encrypting data known as MD5. It was too late. In August of that year, hackers got hold of more than a billion Yahoo accounts, stealing the poorly encrypted passwords and other information in the biggest data breach on record. Yahoo only recently uncovered the hack and disclosed it last week.
Preschoolers whose natural preference is for going to bed and waking up on the late side are more likely than their early-bird peers to have sleep problems, a recent study suggests. Adults and teens with a late chronotype tend to stay up later and wake up later and to have more sleep problems than others, the researchers write Dec. 3 in the journal Sleep Medicine.