Madonna’s French painting sells in NYC for $7.2M

NEW YORK (AP) — A French painting owned by Madonna has sold at a New York City auction for more than $7 million. Sotheby’s auction house hasn’t said who bought Fernand Leger’s (lay-ZHAYZ’) “Three Women at the Red…

Late-payment rate on mortgages tumbled in 1Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A resurgent housing market, rising home values and steady job gains are helping more U.S. homeowners stay on top of their mortgage payments. Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Wednesday that the percentage of mortgage…

Treasury secretary working on penmanship

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s loopy signature is showing signs of improvement as he gets ready to affix his “Jacob Lew” to the nation’s currency. President Barack Obama joked in January when he nominated Lew for…

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, May 8, the 128th day of 2013. There are 237 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On May 8, 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced on radio that Nazi Germany’s forces had…

2 of 3 Rodin sculptures fetch $16M in NYC auction

NEW YORK (AP) — Two early casts from Auguste Rodin’s masterpiece “The Gates of Hell” have sold for a total of more than $16 million at a New York City auction. “The Thinker” sold Tuesday for $15.3 million,…

Despite scandal, Ex-SC Gov. Sanford back in office

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Four years after scandal derailed his political career, ex-Republican Gov. Mark Sanford once again holds a South Carolina political office, winning back his old congressional seat Tuesday after a race in which he battled…

Dodgers’ Kemp makes cancer-stricken fan’s day

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Kemp became an Internet sensation after an impromptu gesture he made toward a cancer-stricken Dodgers fan attending a game at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The Dodgers’ Gold Glove center fielder was informed of…

LAPD: 3 parties to split $1 million Dorner reward

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three parties will split the $1 million reward offered during the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, with most of it going to a couple tied up by the rogue ex-cop before his final shootout with…

Biden: Susan Rice has Obama’s absolute confidence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is praising U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and her authoritative role in the Obama administration. Biden says Rice has, in his words, “the absolute, total, complete confidence of the president.” He says…

BLM postpones oil, gas lease auctions in Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Federal land managers have postponed all oil and gas lease auctions in California until October, citing budget problems and low staffing as well as the toll of environmental litigation. The U.S. Bureau of Land…

NY officials vow attack on predatory debt-fixing

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal authorities announced a crackdown Tuesday on predatory businesses that cheat “desperate and vulnerable” people harmed by the 2008 financial crisis with phony promises to consolidate their debt. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told a…

In Ohio neighborhood, suspect was familiar figure

CLEVELAND (AP) — In the tight-knit neighborhood near downtown where many conversations are spoken in Spanish, it seems most everyone knew Ariel Castro. He played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands. He parked his school bus on…

McDonald’s reaching out to Ohio man

NEW YORK (AP) — The discovery of three missing women who police say were held captive in an Ohio home for a decade has put an unexpected spotlight on McDonald’s. Charles Ramsey, a neighbor who said he heard…

A look at US government’s cuts in mineral payments

The U.S. Department of Interior is cutting mineral payments to 35 states as a result of the automatic federal spending cuts that took effect in March. A list of the cuts, which total $110.86 million: Alabama $217,731 Alaska…

Texas inmate executed for fatal drug-deal robbery

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas death row inmate convicted of killing a fellow drug dealer while robbing him outside of a Waco convenience store 10 years ago was executed Tuesday evening. In the seconds before being injected…