WASHINGTON

Food-stamp use reaches record 46.7 million people

Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said Tuesday, as Democrats prepare to nominate President Obama for a second term, with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.

Participation was up 0.4 percent from May and 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained greater than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate stayed higher than 8 percent. New jobless numbers will be released Sept. 7.

Food-stamp spending, which more than doubled in four years to a record $75.7 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2011, is the Department of Agriulture’s biggest annual expense.

Republicans in Congress have criticized the cost of the program, and the House budget plan approved in April sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party’s vice-presidential nominee, would cut expenses by $33 billion over 10 years.

HARRISBURG, Pa.

Penn State says legal fees in scandal near $17 million

Penn State’s costs for legal fees, consultants and public relations firms hired to help deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal have reached nearly $17 million.

The university said it has spent almost $16.8 million through June 30.

Nearly $10 million of that went to seven firms for what Penn State calls internal investigation and crisis communications. Nearly $4 million went for university legal services and defense.

The university is also facing lawsuits from Sandusky’s accusers while the NCAA leveled a $60 million fine against the school in July.

The school says the costs will be covered by insurance policies or interest payments on loans it makes.

WASHINGTON

FBI disputes hackers’ claim of data stolen from laptop

The FBI on Tuesday disputed a computer hacker group’s claim that it stole personal identification data on millions of Apple device owners from an FBI agent’s laptop.

FBI officials said the bureau never asked for and never possessed the database that the group, AntiSec, is posting on a website.

The group has released a link to a database of more than 1 million unique identification numbers for Apple devices, which could include iPhones and iPads. AntiSec said the data is just a piece of the more than 12 million unique identification numbers and personal information on the device owners that it got from a laptop used by an FBI agent.

FBI officials said they could not verify the validity of the data that AntiSec released.

WASHINGTON

Pentagon: Bin Laden book may jeopardize security

A former Navy SEAL’s insider account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden contains classified information, the Pentagon said Tuesday, and the admiral who heads the Naval Special Warfare Command said details in the book may provide enemies with dangerous insight into secretive U.S. operations.

Rear Adm. Sean Pybus told his force Tuesday that “hawking details about a mission” and selling other information about SEAL training and operations puts the force and their families at risk.

“For an elite force that should be humble and disciplined for life, we are certainly not appearing to be so,” Pybus wrote in a letter to the roughly 8,000 troops under his command. “We owe our chain of command much better than this.”

The letter was obtained by The Associated Press.