AP IMPACT: Govt loves its cars, all 642,233 of ’em (AP)

Video image showing Washington D.C. government fleet vehicles, Thursday, July 24, 2008. Americans love their cars, and so apparently does Uncle Sam — all 642,233 of them. Operating those vehicles — maintenance, leases, and fuel — cost a whopping $3.4 billion last year, according General Services Administration data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press. While Cabinet and other agencies say they need their vehicles to do their jobs, watchdogs say mismanagement of the government fleet is costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in wasteful spending. (AP Photo/Matthew A. Friedman)AP – Americans love their cars, and so apparently does Uncle Sam. He’s got 642,233 of them. Operating those vehicles — maintenance, leases and fuel — cost taxpayers a whopping $3.4 billion last year, according to General Services Administration data obtained and analyzed by The Associated Press.

LA court extends Britney Spears’ conservatorship (AP)

In this Dec. 1, 2007 file photo, singer Britney Spears poses on the press line at the Scandinavian Style Mansion party in Los Angeles. An attorney for Spears said Wednesday, July 30, 2008 that he will not seek an extension for a restraining order against Osama 'Sam' Lutfi, but that doesn't mean the pop star wants her former sidekick back in her life. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, File)AP – Britney Spears’ father will retain control of the pop singer’s finances and personal affairs through the end of the year. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Reva Goetz extended James Spears’ conservatorship over his daughter Thursday morning until the end of 2008.

Obama slams McCain over oil company tax breaks

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama seized on a record oil company profit to argue that rival John McCain offers only tax breaks for Big Oil and “short-term gimmicks” to consumers struggling with soaring gasoline prices.

Alleged thief stuck under trash bin for 12 hours

A suspected thief trying to steal $10 worth of copper got himself into a stinky situation when he was trapped under a trash bin at a county landfill for 12 hours, sheriff’s deputies said.