• Uzbekistan's election sees turnout at 91 percent

    Updated: 11 min ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Uzbekistan's election commission said 91 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in Sunday's presidential election, where victory by longtime authoritarian leader Islam Karimov is a foregone conclusion. The 77-year-old Karimov has led the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since the late 1980s and ruthlessly quashed all opposition to his rule. While Uzbekistan is untroubled by any immediate signs of unrest, the future of the country of 30 million people is colored with uncertainty amid a troubled security situation in neighboring Afghanistan and the lack of a clear succession plan should Karimov suddenly leave office.

  • 3 West African countries increase fight to end Ebola

    Updated: 12 min ago

    CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — The West African countries hit hardest by Ebola are ramping up efforts to eradicate the deadly disease using lockdowns, restrictions on burials and a warning to survivors about the potential dangers of unprotected sex. The region's Ebola outbreak has killed more than 10,000 people since cases were first recorded more than a year ago, with most of the dead coming from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Sierra Leone, which has seen the most cases, imposed a three-day lockdown that officials hoped would help the country get "total control" over Ebola. The lockdown was expected to conclude on Sunday.

  • Michigan Legislature revisits major bills from last session

    Updated: 13 min ago

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — What's old is new again with the Michigan Legislature as the Republican majorities in the House and Senate reintroduced many bills that died last session or were vetoed by Gov. Rick Snyder for various reasons. Here's a look at some measures that didn't make it into law last session and where they stand as the Legislature heads into a two-week break: PASSED AND SIGNED — Giving Michigan State Police rather than counties the authority to approve concealed weapons licenses: Snyder vetoed similar legislation last session because it included a provision that would have allowed some people with personal protection orders against them to get concealed weapons licenses.

  • More restrictive spring break pondered after party shooting

    Updated: 19 min ago

    PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A house party that dissolved into a hail of gunfire and left seven young people hurt has officials on the Florida Panhandle pondering what to do with a spring break season they say has gotten out of control. The raucous parties in the spring break capital of Panama City Beach have, for years, had politicians, police and businesses tussling over how much to crack down on a key economic force. That debate was revived again when a packed gathering of dancing 20-somethings turned into a sprawling crime scene early Saturday. "This is what we've been trying to warn people about," said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. "It was only a matter of time and it's only a matter of time until it happ

  • Montana ski area back in operation after Saturday evacuation

    Updated: 20 min ago

    RED LODGE, Mont. (AP) — A southern Montana ski area resumed normal operations Sunday and weather conditions improved, allowing firefighters to attack wildfires that ignited the previous day in the state and northern Wyoming. Red Lodge Mountain ski area spokesman Jeff Carroll says the ski mountain was open and the snow was good Sunday morning. On Saturday, about 650 skiers were evacuated from the ski area because of a wildfire about 3 miles away. The fire burned about 700 acres. There was no containment as of Sunday morning, but weather conditions were much improved with less wind and cooler temperatures. North of the Red Lodge fire, another wildfire burned about 3,000 acres about 30 miles west of Billings.

  • Islamic State group beheads 8 Shiites in Syria's Hama

    Updated: 23 min ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — A new video released by the Islamic State group on Sunday shows its fighters cutting off the heads of eight men said to be Shiite Muslims. The video posted on social media said the men were beheaded in the central Syrian province of Hama. The video could not be immediately independently verified, but it appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that the video was authentic. IS has beheaded scores of people since capturing large parts of Iraq and Syria last year in a self-declared caliphate. In the video, the men, wearing orange uniforms with their hands tied behind their backs, were led forward in a field by teen

  • Suspect who escaped from W.Va. hospital to be moved to SC

    Updated: 23 min ago

    WESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A suspect who escaped from a state psychiatric hospital in West Virginia is being moved to a facility in South Carolina. Brooke County Circuit Judge Ronald Wilson initially ordered 29-year-old Rocco Jesse Zuccaro to be returned to William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston. Media outlets report that Wilson revised the order on Friday at the request of prosecutors and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. Prosecutors and the department say Correct Care LLC Columbia Regional Care Center in Columbia, South Carolina, is a more secure facility.' Zuccaro was at Sharpe to restore competency for trial when he escaped last week. The Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, resident is charged with a

  • More restaurants in Portland passing health inspections

    Updated: 25 min ago

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Restaurant owners and health inspectors in Portland, Maine, say food safety courses and an increase in inspectors have led to more restaurants passing health inspections. The Portland Press Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1BAtgwC ) that only 6.4 percent of restaurants failed inspections in 2014 — a dramatic decline from 83 percent in 2011, when the city hired its first health inspector. Greg Dugal, the head of the Maine Restaurant Association, told the newspaper he credits the city for partnering with restaurant owners and offering a food safety courses. "In most cases, these guys are doing a good job and working with (restaurants) to make things happen," Dugal said. "The course offered by these

  • Paolini wins Gent-Wevelgem cycling race

    Updated: 28 min ago

    GENT, Belgium (AP) — Italian veteran Luca Paolini posted his first victory in nearly two years after overcoming difficult weather conditions to win the Gent-Wevelgem classic on Sunday. The 38-year-old Paolini pulled away from his breakaway companions with about five kilometers (three miles) to go to prevail in the heavy wind and rain and derail the sprinters' ambitions. Paolini, whose previous victory dated back to May 2013 when he claimed a stage win at the Giro d'Italia, won ahead of Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands and British rider Geraint Thomas. "This is a surprise but I'm so happy to have won," said Paolini, who crashed during the 239-kilometer (148.5-mile) ride. "I don't think I was the strongest but I played

  • NBC News' boss faces challenge fixing MSNBC

    Updated: 28 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The new boss of NBC News Group is facing a puzzle he tried to solve once before: how to make MSNBC work. MSNBC changed from traditional news to a political network with a liberal lens since Andy Lack has been gone. Now Lack's mandate will be figuring out if MSNBC needs a complete overhaul or a sharpening of its mission. The current picture is seriously ugly. Ratings are down for key shows featuring Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. Among the 25-to-54-year-old demographic that is the basis for advertising sales, the prime-time lineup lost nearly half its audience. Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann says Lack's skill is in spotting and managing talent, often from unexpected places.

  • Air Canada plane skids off Halifax runway after hard landing

    Updated: 28 min ago

    HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — An Air Canada plane made a hard landing in bad weather and skidded off the runway at the airport in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the airline said Sunday that 25 people were taken to hospitals for observation and treatment of minor injuries. The airline said Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late Saturday, had 133 passengers and five crew members. Airport spokesman Peter Spurway said the aircraft touched down in stormy conditions at 12:35 a.m. Sunday. "It came down pretty hard and then skidded off the runway," Spurway said. He said he didn't know whether runway conditions played a role.

  • Yankees' Teixeira hit on leg by pitch, says he's fine

    Updated: 29 min ago

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira left a minor league intrasquad game Sunday with a bruised right knee after being hit by a pitch. Teixeira was the designated hitter in a game between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Double-A Trenton when a ball struck his kneecap. After he returned to Steinbrenner Field from the minor league complex, Teixeira said he was "fine." He said no tests were planned. Teixeira went into a kneeling position in front of the plate after being hit by the fourth-inning pitch. He left the field with a limp, which was gone by the time he reached Steinbrenner Field. Teixeira became the second Yankees' starting infielder to get hurt in as many days.

  • Nigerians vote Sunday despite violence, technical hitches

    Updated: 30 min ago

    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Voting in Nigeria's elections continued in certain areas on Sunday after technical problems prevented some people from casting their ballots on Saturday and despite extremist violence in the northeast and protests in the south. Suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked polling stations and destroyed election material in two northeastern towns. Fleeing residents said scores of the extremists headed for Nigeria's northeastern city of Bauchi and soldiers engaged them with heavy gunfire. Police spokesman Haruna Muhammad said security forces had stopped a convoy of 10 vehicles of "unidentified gunmen" at Dindima village, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Bauchi. Muhammad said the gunmen attacked polling st

  • Landscaper settles Superstorm Sandy price gouging claims

    Updated: 34 min ago

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey landscaping company will pay the state $33,000 to settle claims of price gouging and other deceptive practices that allegedly occurred during Superstorm Sandy. The state's Consumer Affairs Division recently announced the settlement with Stephen's Landscaping. It had accused the company of defrauding customers by charging exorbitant prices for generators and illegally selling gasoline. In settling the case, the company did not admit to any wrongdoing or liability. Their attorney, Robert Weir Jr., told the Asbury Park Press that the firm denies the state's allegations, but settled the case over the high cost to litigate it.

  • Oklahoma regional robotics competition stresses problem-solving, collaboration

    Updated: 36 min ago

    The energy inside Cox Convention Center on Friday morning was palpable. Loud music, high-profile guests that included Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, and hundreds of motivated high school students punctuated the start of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. Jonathan Imhoff, math teacher who brought a team of students from Capitol Hill High School, compared the atmosphere to Comic-Con, the annual comic book convention in San Diego. “I think that’s probably the best way to describe it, without all the comic book characters,” he said. The regional competition, which continues Saturday, pits 61 teams from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tex

  • Official: Debris from NYC blast going to secure location

    Updated: 42 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Some debris from an explosion and fire in Manhattan's East Village is being taken to a secure site where it will be examined again for any human remains. An official with knowledge of the operation told The Associated Press of the plans. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the operation is ongoing. Emergency workers have been looking through the rubble for signs of two people who have been missing since Thursday's blast. The explosion and subsequent fire leveled three buildings. The official says upper layers of debris have already been removed and workers have reached the basement level. One of the buildings contained a restaurant where the missing men are believed to have been at the

  • Film advocates change tactics, lobby for more grant money

    Updated: 47 min ago

    WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Film supporters have changed their tactics to lobby for more money in a grant program rather than trying to restore North Carolina's 25 percent tax credit. Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo tells the StarNews of Wilmington (http://bit.ly/1ypoP7D) advocates prefer the tax credits, but they recognize the GOP-controlled General Assembly won't restore it. Instead, bills have been filed in the House and Senate to earmark $66 million for the film grant program in 2015-16. The program has $10 million in it for the first half of 2015. In 2014, nearly $170 million was spent by film and television productions in southeastern North Carolina. This year, the newspaper reported that best estimates put spending at

  • With fishing poles and bait, Team HPD gears up for local Relay for Life where there's bigger fish to fry

    Updated: 51 min ago

    Members of the Huntsville Police Department took advantage of the gorgeous spring weather Saturday by hosting a fishing tournament that raised more than $500 for Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society. More than 20 contestants participated in the tournament, which took place on a private lake east of Crabbs Prairie, combining to catch more than 130 fish for a worthy cause. Huntsville Police Department Detective Marshall Douglas and Team Huntsville PD wanted to support cancer research in a unique way. “Everybody is doing bowling,” Douglas said. “Everybody is doing the normal thing. I just thought this would be something different and I have a good friend (who lives) on this lake and we come out here all the

  • Officials: Iran nuke talks solving some issues, not others

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Iran is considering demands for further cuts to its uranium enrichment program but is pushing back on how long it must limit technology it could use to make atomic arms, Western officials involved in the nuclear talks said Sunday. Iran's potential movement on enrichment reflected the intense pressure to close a deal. But substantial differences between the sides may prove too difficult to bridge before Tuesday's deadline for a preliminary agreement, which is meant to set the stage for a further round of negotiations toward a comprehensive deal in June. The goal is a long-term curb on Iran's nuclear activities. In return, Tehran would gain relief from the burden of global economic penalties.

  • UN warns emergency fund for Palestinians in Syria near empty

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Just four percent of emergency work in Syria for Palestinians has been funded so far this year, threatening the viability of a cash assistance program that UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness described on Sunday as a "lifeline" for refugees. He said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees needs around $415 million, of which $250 million would fund its cash program — which provides cash distributions for roughly half a million Palestinian refugees affected by the war in Syria. Gunness spoke to The Associated Press from Kuwait, where an international conference will take place Tuesday to raise funds for humanitarian operations in Syria. "We're not crying wol