• Correction: Exchange Student Shot story

    Updated: 11 min ago

    MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — In a story Dec. 18 about a Montana man convicted in the shooting death of a German teenager, The Associated Press reported erroneously the position of George Zimmerman, acquitted in the death of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer, not a security guard. A corrected version of the story is below: Guilty verdict in German exchange student's death Jury convicts Montana man in German exchange student's death in 'castle doctrine' case By LISA BAUMANN Associated Press MISSOULA, Mont.

  • Tsarnaev lawyer says he plans to seek trial delay

    Updated: 27 min ago

    BOSTON (AP) — A lawyer for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) says the defense plans to ask to delay the start of his trial. Attorney David Bruck told the judge during Tsarnaev's final pretrial conference Thursday that the defense plans to soon file a motion for a continuance. Bruck did not say how long of a delay the defense will seek. Tsarnaev's trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Jan. 5. Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on April 15, 2013.

  • Ebola: 11th Sierra Leone doctor dies; fire destroys supplies

    Updated: 35 min ago

    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — One of Sierra Leone's most senior physicians died Thursday from Ebola, the 11th doctor in the country to succumb to the disease, a health official said. In neighboring Guinea, a fire destroyed medicine crucial to fighting Ebola. The fire engulfed a warehouse at the Conakry airport and burned everything inside, said Dr. Moussa Konate, head of logistics for Guinea's Ebola response. He could not immediately say how much had been lost. The world's largest Ebola outbreak has drawn a massive international response, and supplies, including everything from rubber gloves to ambulances, have poured into West Africa.

  • Woman, 56, arrested after car slams into crowd

    Updated: 37 min ago

    REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A driver suspected of being intoxicated hit a group of pedestrians and another car outside a Southern California church as a Christmas service ended, killing three people and injuring several others including five children, police said. Margo Bronstein, 56, was arrested after the crash Wednesday night on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, Redondo Beach police Lt. Shawn Freeman said. Five children and eight adults, including the suspect and the other driver, suffered injuries including broken bones, abrasions and head trauma, Freeman said. Three of the adults later died. At least two people remained in critical condition Thursday morning, Freeman said.

  • Experts clash over competency in Slender Man case

    Updated: 38 min ago

    WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Experts have made contrasting arguments for whether one of two Wisconsin girls accused of trying to kill a classmate to please the fictional character Slender Man is competent to stand trial. Psychiatrist Robert Rawski testified Thursday that he believes the girl is extremely intelligent. Psychologist Anthony Jurek testified, though, that the girl doesn't fully understand the criminal justice system. The testimony came during the first of a pair of back-to-back competency hearings for both girls. Court documents say the girls attacked their friend in May in a Waukesha park. The victim was stabbed 19 times but survived. All three girls were 12 at the time.

  • Fire in northwest Oklahoma City allegedly was intentionally set Thursday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    Fire investigators are looking into a fire in northwest Oklahoma City.

  • Oklahoma City Barons hockey team to cease operations after season

    BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    OKC BARONS — After a five-year run in Oklahoma City, the AHL’s Barons, an affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, will cease operations at the conclusion of this season. Citing declining attendance and rising financial concerns, Prodigal CEO Bob Funk Jr. announced Wednesday this would be the last season of hockey in Oklahoma City for the forseeable future.

  • Should Land Run re-enactments be discontinued in Oklahoma school districts?

    Tim Willert | Updated: 45 min ago

    We're working on a story about how some schools have decided to discontinue Land Run re-enactments because some American Indian parents find them culturally insensitive and hurtful. A lot of districts still do them and don’t have plans to stop.  Reporter Tim Willert would like to hear from American Indian parents on this, especially those whose children attend school in the Oklahoma City district. Students, too; even non-natives. If you'd like to share your thoughts on this, you can call him at 405-475-3524 or send an email to twillert@opubco.com.

  • 4 more flu-related deaths reported in Oklahoma

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    The Oklahoma Department of Health is reporting four more deaths due to influenza in the state. The department said Thursday that six people have now died as a result of the flu during the season that began Sept. 28. Each person who died was 65-years-old or older. Two of the deaths were reported in Garfield County and one each in Carter, Oklahoma, Payne, and Stephens counties. Nearly 140 people have also been hospitalized due to the flu. A record 61 people died in the state due to flu last flu season to break the previous record of 46 deaths recorded in the 2009 season, when the state began tracking the statistic.

  • Pope praises the diplomacy of US-Cuba accord

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis praised the "small steps" of diplomacy and peacemaking that brought about the rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba, expressing joy over the outcome that he helped bring about. "Today we're all happy, because we saw how two people who had been so far apart for so many years took a step closer yesterday," Francis said Thursday in his first public comments about the breakthrough. In remarks to a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See, Francis said diplomacy was a "noble job ... a work of small steps, of little things that always end up making peace, to bring people's hearts together and spread fraternity among peoples." Francis played a crucial role in bringing the U.S.

  • A look at North Korea's cyberwar capabilities

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Most North Koreans have never seen the Internet. But the country Washington suspects is behind a devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has managed to orchestrate a string of crippling cyber infiltrations of South Korean computer systems in recent years, officials in Seoul believe, despite North Korea protesting innocence. Experts say the Sony Pictures hack may be the costliest cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business. The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie "The Interview.

  • US jobless aid applications decline to 289,000

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers. Weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is the lowest level since late October. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined 750 to 298,750. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The average has fallen nearly 13 percent in the past year, evidence the job market is improving. Companies are cutting fewer jobs as the economy expands and hiring has picked up. In the first 11 months of this year, employers have added 2.65 million jobs. That already makes 2014 the best year for

  • Poll: 81 percent back Putin even as ruble falls

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost about half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah. And yet most Russians see Putin not as the cause, but as the solution. The situation as seen from a Russian point of view is starkly different from that painted in the West, and it is driven largely by state television's carefully constructed version of reality and the Kremlin's methodical dismantling of every credible political alternative.

  • Putin: West is trying to 'defang' the Russian bear

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Vowing never to let the West defang his proud nation, President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to fix Russia's economic woes within two years by diversifying and voiced confidence that the plummeting ruble will soon recover. In a live, three-hour news conference that has become a Putin holiday tradition, the Russian leader demonstrated unwavering confidence in his domestic policies despite the catastrophic collapse in the ruble. His fierce defiance toward the United States flared throughout as he insisted the West was trying to destroy Russia to grab Siberia's great natural resources.

  • Will Jim Harbaugh go back to Michigan?

    Berry Tramel | Updated: 2 hr ago

    Jim Harbaugh is considering a return to his alma mater, Michigan, which anyone would when the reports float out that the Wolverines are willing to pay $8 million a year. Harbaugh appears to be coaching out the string in San Francisco, where the 49ers are 7-7 and out of the playoff race barring a series […]

  • Sony film took aim at North Korea's biggest taboo

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — If the U.S. government's claim is correct that North Korea was involved in the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures that scuttled Seth Rogen's latest comedy, no one can say they weren't warned. The movie, "The Interview," pushed all of North Korea's buttons. No country would welcome a movie portraying the glib and graphic assassination of its leader. But nowhere could it be expected to generate more official outrage and possible reprisals than in North Korea, home to the world's most intense cult of personality, where even the hint of criticism of the ruling Kim dynasty can mean a long stint in prison and where it's a serious offense to merely crumple up a newspaper with any of the leaders' images.

  • Circus disputes citation for hair-hanging accident

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has contested a citation it received from federal regulators for an accident that sent eight hair-hanging acrobats plummeting to the ground during a live performance, severely injuring most of them. Stephen Payne, a spokesman for circus parent company Feld Entertainment, said this week that although they are appealing the finding, they are not planning to reprise the act and are implementing other safety measures recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "We want to make sure that something like this never happens again," he said, adding that while one of the injured acrobats has returned to the circus, the others had not.

  • What to do in Oklahoma on Dec. 18, 2014: See Pollard Theatre's "Territorial Christmas Carol" in Guthrie (with video)

    Brandy McDonnell | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    Today’s featured event: GUTHRIE — See the Pollard Theatre’s annual holiday favorite “A Territorial Christmas Carol” at 8 tonight at the theater, 120 W Harrison Ave. The show’s run finishes up this weekend with performances at 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to thepollard.org. For […]

  • Ex-Oklahoma police officer charged with killing daughter's boyfriend in court Thursday

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Dec 18, 2014

    TULSA — A former Tulsa police officer charged with killing his daughter’s boyfriend is due back in court. Court records show a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Tulsa County District Court for 54-year-old Shannon Kepler. Kepler is charged with first-degree murder and shooting with intent to kill in the Aug. 5 shooting death of 19-year-old Jeremy Lake. Kepler has pleaded not guilty. Kepler was off-duty when police say he shot Lake while Lake was walking with Kepler’s daughter. An autopsy report says Lake was shot once in the neck and once in the chest.

  • Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornadoes form. Drones can penetrate parts of weather systems that other instruments can't reach, and they can do it at less cost and with less danger than piloted planes, the scientists say. The University of Colorado and University of Nebraska announced this week that they have formed the Unmanned Aircraft System and Severe Storms Research Group to develop the program. Here are some key questions and answers about the research: WHY USE DRONES? Scientists have no other way to get instrumen