By Gulsen Solaker and Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday denounced a corruption crackdown on his allies months ahead of elections as a "dirty operation" to smear his administration and undermine the country's progress. He said those behind the investigation were trying to form a "state within a state", an apparent reference to the movement of U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are influential in Turkey's police and judiciary. A total of 52 people, including three ministers' sons, prominent businessmen close to Erdogan and local government officials, were detained on Tuesday in the country's biggest corruption probe since Erdogan swept to power in 2002. "As we fight to make Turkey in the top 10 countries of the world ... some are engaged in an effort to halt our fast growth.
PHOENIX (AP) — The case against a woman who spent more than two decades on Arizona's death row in the murder of her 4-year-old son was dealt a crushing blow Wednesday when a judge ruled that a discredited detective won't be forced to testify at her retrial.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sparse crowds at malls and "50 percent off" signs at The Gap, AnnTaylor and other stores give a clue as to how the holiday season is going.
LONDON (AP) — An antique Stradivarius violin that was stolen from its owner at a London railway station in 2010 has fetched almost 1.4 million pounds ($2.3 million) at auction.
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A man fatally shot during a carjacking at an upscale New Jersey mall was full of integrity and chivalry, insisting on carrying packages and heavy things for others, mourners recalled at his funeral Wednesday — noting that his final act was to open the car door for his wife.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve's decision Wednesday to slow its bond purchases is a sign of progress and he expects the Fed to take "similar moderate steps" throughout next year to reduce the purchases further if the economy shows continued improvement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Below are highlights from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's news conference following the Fed's policy announcement on Wednesday that the central bank would begin to trim its aggressive bond buying program. ON DECISION TO TAPER BOND PURCHASES: "Today's policy actions reflect the committee's assessment that the economy is continuing to make progress but that it also has much farther to travel before conditions can be judged normal. ...
NEW YORK (AP) — Apple will start taking orders for its high-end Mac Pro desktop computer on Thursday.
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's faction-ridden ruling party lost its majority in the House of Representatives as 37 legislators defected to a new opposition coalition Wednesday, in a major blow to President Goodluck Jonathan before 2015 elections.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — University of Maryland police say finals-week offerings left around a statue of the school's mascot, Testudo, caught fire overnight, but the bronze terrapin is unharmed.
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. warned of tough price competition and harder-to-reach profit targets Wednesday, a sign that the company and the auto industry face a tougher road after four years of robust recovery from the Great Recession.