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  • Some Wells Fargo customers found their bank accounts drained to zero Wednesday when some sort of glitch caused their online bill payments to be processed twice. >> Read more trending news Numerous customers -- so many that Wells Fargo’s customer service phone lines were jammed Wednesday night -- were discovering that recent payments they had made using the bank’s online Bill Pay system had been deducted twice from their checking accounts. In some cases, that sent customers’ balances to zero -- or below zero -- and triggered the possibility of overdraft protection fees. Some customers received email notices telling them that they now had no money in their checking accounts. Customers who waited out the hour-plus wait to reach a customer service representative Wednesday night were being told that their accounts would be fixed overnight. By Thursday morning, some customers did report seeing their accounts restored to normal. “We are aware of the online Bill Pay situation which was caused by an internal processing error,” Wells Fargo communications manager Hilary O’Byrne said in a statement late Wednesday. “We are currently working to correct it, and there is no action required for impacted customers at this time. Any fees or charges that may have been incurred as a result of this error will be taken care of. We apologize for any inconvenience.” O’Byrne declined to say how many customers were affected or to describe how the double charges occurred. In the meantime, customers took to social media to share their shock and frustration over not being able to access the money that should have been in their checking accounts.
  • Scientists are reporting progress on a blood test to detect many types of cancer at an early stage, including some of the most deadly ones that lack screening tools now. Many groups are working on liquid biopsy tests, which look for DNA and other things that tumors shed into blood, to try to find cancer before it spreads, when chances of cure are best. In a study Thursday in the journal Science, Johns Hopkins University scientists looked to see how well their experimental test detected cancer in people already known to have the disease. The blood tests found about 70 percent of eight common types of cancer in the 1,005 patients. The rates varied depending on the type — lower for breast tumors but high for ovarian, liver and pancreatic ones. In many cases, the test narrowed the possible origin of the cancer to one or two places, such as colon or lung, important for limiting how much follow-up testing a patient might need. It gave only seven false alarms when tried on 812 others without cancer. The test is nowhere near ready for use yet; it needs to be validated in a larger study already underway in a general population, rather than cancer patients, to see if it truly works and helps save lives — the best measure of a screening test's value. 'We're very, very excited and see this as a first step,' said Nickolas Papadopoulos, one of the Hopkins study leaders. 'But we don't want people calling up' and asking for the test now, because it's not available, he said. Some independent experts saw great promise. 'It's such a good first set of results' that it gives hope this approach will pan out, said Dr. Peter Bach, a health policy expert at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who consults for a gene testing company. 'Anything close to 50 percent or 40 percent detection is pretty exciting stuff,' and this one did better than that, he said. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, was encouraged that the test did well on cancers that lack screening tests now. If a blood test could find 98 percent of ovarian cancers at an early stage, as these early results suggest, 'that would be a significant advance,' he said. But he cautioned: 'We have a long way to go to demonstrate its effectiveness as a screening test.' TESTING THE TEST The test detects mutations in 16 genes tied to cancer and measures eight proteins that often are elevated when cancer is present. It covers breast, colon and lung and five kinds that don't have screening tests for people at average risk: ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal. Prostate cancer is not included. A blood test already is widely used — the PSA test — but its value for screening is controversial. Researchers tried the new test on people whose cancers were still confined to where it started or had spread a little but not widely throughout the body. It detected 33 percent of breast cancers, about 60 percent of colon or lung cancers and nearly all of the ovarian and liver ones. It did better when tumors were larger or had spread. It did less well at the very earliest stage. CAVEATS AND NEXT STEPS The test probably will not work as well when tested in a general population rather than those already known to have cancer, researchers say. Hopkins and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania have started a study of it in 10,000 Geisinger patients who will be tracked for at least five years. The work was financed by many foundations, the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which provides The Associated Press with funding for health and science coverage. Many study leaders have financial ties to gene testing companies, and some get royalties for patents on cancer detection methods. Researchers say the test could cost around $500 based on current materials and methods, but the ultimate goal is to commercialize it, so what a company would charge is unknown. OTHER LIQUID BIOPSY NEWS Also this week, Taiwan-based CellMax Life gave results on its liquid biopsy test, which looks for whole tumor cells shed into blood, at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference. Researchers tested 620 people getting colonoscopies or with confirmed colon cancer at a hospital in Taiwan. The company said its test had an overall accuracy of 84 to 88 percent for detecting cancer or precancerous growths and a false alarm rate around 3 percent. The company's chief executive, Atul Sharan, said U.S. studies should start this year. The test is sold now in Taiwan for $500, but should cost around $150 in the U.S., he said. Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the oncology society, said results are encouraging, but the test needs more study, especially to see if it gives too many false alarms. 'The last thing you'd want is a test that tells you you might have cancer if you don't,' he said. ___ Marilynn Marchione can be followed on Twitter: @MMarchioneAP ___ This Associated Press series was produced in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • After getting calls about mothers leaving their kids in freezing temperatures, police are warning parents not to leave their children in their vehicles. >> Read more trending news A mother left her two young children in a car as she spoke with friends for more than 45 minutes, according to WXIN.  Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer Stephen Jones found an 11-year-old girl clutching her 2-year-old brother inside a Toyota Corolla around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Castleton Square Mall. The outside temperature was 8 degrees at the time, according to WXIN.  The girl told Jones she had the keys to the car but had turned it off. Jones asked her to turn on the car.  Jones went into the mall and found the 29-year-old mother speaking with a group of her friends in front of a store. She was very apologetic.  Jones filed a report with the Department of Child Services and warned the woman to never leave her children alone again, according to WISH.  Hours earlier, police had also responded to a call that a woman left her son, 4, and daughter, 7, in a car in freezing temperatures for more than an hour, according to WISH.
  • Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens issued a vague press release Thursday to outline a tax plan he hyped days earlier as the nation's 'boldest,' a muted rollout Democrats said proves the Republican's administration has been disrupted by his acknowledgment of an affair and allegations of blackmail.The first-term governor pledged 'the boldest state tax reform in America' during last Wednesday's State of the State address and was planning a tour of the state this week to promote it. But after the speech, St. Louis television station KMOV reported Greitens had an extramarital affair with his hairdresser in 2015 and more lurid allegations.The governor admitted being unfaithful to his wife but later denied the woman's claim to her now ex-husband, recorded without her knowledge, that Greitens took a partially nude photo of her and threatened to release it if she spoke about their relationship.Greitens' press release on the tax plan offers few specifics. He said he wants to cut taxes for those earning more than about $9,000 a year, which covers most Missourians, but doesn't detail by how much. He also said he wants to eliminate taxes for 380,000 low-income workers, but didn't explain how.House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, a Kansas City Democrat, said in a statement that the general plan, offering 'no details on how he will achieve this magical feat sounds more like the desperation play of an administration in danger of collapsing from scandal than a serious policy proposal.'Until Eric Greitens stops hiding and, in his own words, offers a full and detailed public denial of the allegations that he threatened his former mistress, Missourians won't hear anything else he says,' she wrote.The governor promised more information in the coming weeks. His spokesman, Parker Briden, said Greitens still is finalizing details of the plan.'We're cutting taxes on people that work hard so they can keep more money in their pocket. And we're doing it in a responsible, revenue-neutral way so we don't put our children in debt,' Greitens said in a statement. 'It's the boldest state tax reform in America because it's tax reform for working families — not lobbyists and special interests.'In his press release, Greitens said his other goals include lowering corporate taxes, ending 'loopholes that primarily benefit big businesses and high earners' and ensuring tax changes are revenue neutral.Some fellow Republicans in the Legislature had called the affair a 'distraction' from tax policy, which legislative leaders have also outlined as a top goal this session.Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said shortly before Greitens unveiled his tax-cut plan that he is concerned about the effect of a large tax cut on the state's finances. Unlike in some other states, Richard noted that Missouri lawmakers cannot later raise taxes without going to a vote of the people if they discover that a tax cut has drained too much state revenue.'I'm very cautious about tax increases and tax decreases,' he added. 'I'm just going to make sure that if there is a tax cut, there's an appropriate amount of spending cut to make sure we don't end up in a tax situation or revenue problem.'___Associated Press writer David A. Lieb contributed to this report.