• Fidel Castro writes statement on shift in Cuba-US relations

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HAVANA, Cuba (AP) — Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro ended his long silence over his country's decision to restore diplomatic ties with the United States, writing that he backs the negotiations even though he distrusts politics in Washington. The comments were the first by the 88-year-old revolutionary leader on the talks with the U.S. since the historic Dec. 17 declaration that the countries would move to restore ties broken more than a half century ago. "I don't trust the policy of the United States, nor have I exchanged a word with them, but this does not mean I reject a pacific solution to the conflicts," he wrote in a letter to a student federation read at the University of Havana. It also appeared in Communist Party n

  • Arab lawmakers shake up Israeli politics with historic union

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    HAIFA, Israel (AP) — Israel's Arab political parties are banding together under one ticket for the first time ever ahead of national elections in March, hoping to boost turnout and help unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The result is an awkward political marriage of communists, Palestinian nationalists, religious Muslims, feminists and even one Jew. But Arab politicians say it will improve chronically low Arab voter turnout and help block Netanyahu from forming the next government. "We will be a central player in politics like never before," said Ayman Odeh, a first-time parliamentary candidate and the leader of the combined Arab list.

  • Ex-Army prosecutor found guilty of rape at court-martial

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — A former U.S. Army prosecutor who oversaw sexual assault cases has been found guilty on rape and other charges following a six-day court-martial at Fort Bragg, military officials said Monday. Maj. Erik J. Burris was found guilty on two charges of rape, a charge of forcible sodomy, four charges of assault and a charge of disobeying an order, the Army said in a five-sentence statement. Burris was sentenced to 20 years in prison, dismissed from the service, and ordered to forfeit all pay, the statement said. Burris, 39, had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He could not be reached for comment, and the name of the lawyer representing him was not provided.

  • Clippers ride Crawford's shooting to 102-98 win over Nuggets

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamal Crawford scored 19 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Denver Nuggets 102-98 Monday night for their fifth straight victory. Crawford scored their final five points and had a key save that led to a basket in the closing seconds, when the Clippers completed their biggest comeback of the season after being down by 16 earlier in the game. Matt Barnes added 18 points for Los Angeles, and Blake Griffin had 14 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Chris Paul scored 15 points. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 19 points and 11 assists.

  • Philadelphia schools, city offices closed Tuesday

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All public and Catholic schools in Philadelphia will be closed Tuesday along with city offices as residents cope with the massive storm hitting the Northeast. Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency and the Philadelphia mayor declared a snow emergency, ordering the removal of vehicles from snow emergency routes. The National Guard activated 150 guardsmen. Transportation officials warned that speed limits might be reduced and commercial vehicles banned on parts of the Pennsylvania turnpike and area freeways. Philadelphia International Airport said most Tuesday flights had been canceled but there were no plans to close the airport. Stranded passengers were to be given some food and drink along wi

  • Japan special envoy hopeful about release of hostage, pilot

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese envoy in Jordan expressed hope that both a Japanese hostage and a Jordanian pilot held by Islamic militants will return home "with a smile on their faces," as criticisms mounted Tuesday over the government's handling of the crisis. Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama was determined, saying he believed there were "firm ties" between Japan and Jordan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assigned Nakayama, a lawmaker, to coordinate efforts in Amman to save two Japanese hostages of the Islamic State group. "I hope we can all firmly work hard and join hands to cooperate, and for the two countries (Japan and Jordan) to cooperate, in order for us to see the day when the Jordanian pilot and our Japanese national

  • Record number of exonerations driven by Texas drug cases

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — A new report says 125 people falsely convicted of crimes were exonerated last year in the U.S. The record number of exonerations was due in part to 33 cases in Texas in which individuals had their drug convictions dismissed after lab tests determined they never had illegal substances. The report, by the National Registry of Exonerations, says the exonerations in 2014 were 34 more than in 2013, the year with the previous highest total. Texas had the most exonerations in 2014 with 39. New York was second with 17. The registry is a project of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University law schools and has documented more than 1,500 such cases in the U.S. since 1989.

  • 4 rockets launched into northern lights to study turbulence

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Four NASA soundings rockets were launched within a half hour into the northern lights in an effort to better understand and visualize turbulent air currents in the upper atmosphere. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/NTxf0H) the rockets appeared to have produced data in the early Monday morning launches near Fairbanks. The launches into the active aurora in minus 40 degree weather came after 13 straight nights of unsuitable weather for a launch. Two rockets were led by University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute's Rich Collins to measure turbulence.

  • Browner tells Pats to hit Sherman, Thomas where it hurts

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    Brandon Browner is telling his New England teammates not to hold back against Seattle's Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. In an interview with ESPN, Browner talked about the toughness both Sherman and Thomas showed in the NFC championship game playing with injuries. Sherman suffered a sprained elbow, while Thomas suffered a separated shoulder. But Browner said he would also target those injuries. "I'm going to tell my teammates go hit that elbow, or go hit that shoulder," Browner said in the interview. Asked if he would tell his teammates that, Browner said, "Most definitely." "Try and break it if you can. You're going to be my best friend after the game, but at the end of the day I know you want the Super Bo

  • Nadal loses in quarterfinals to Berdych at Australian Open

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal is out of the Australian Open, beaten 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (5) in the quarterfinals by seventh-seeded Tomas Berdych on Tuesday. The third-seeded Nadal , a 14-time Grand Slam singles champion, said before the tournament began that his lack of match fitness due to injuries and illness in the last half of 2014 made him unlikely to win more than a few rounds at Melbourne Park. Nadal saved two match points in the 12th game of the final set, sending it to a tiebreaker. Berdych led 5-2 and finally ended the match on his fourth match point when Nadal netted a return of serve. Coming into the Australian Open, Nadal had played only eight matches since last June because of a right wrist injury a

  • What you need to know about northeastern US snowstorm

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    The busy Northeast corridor was in line for a winter wallop that was predicted to bring up to 2 to 3 feet of snow from northern New Jersey to Maine. Here's what residents of the big cities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic need to know about the storm: ___ THE STORM The nor'easter was predicted to strengthen off the southern New England coast. Snow was expected to intensify and become heavy beginning Monday evening in Philadelphia, central New Jersey and New York City, Monday night in Boston and early Tuesday morning in Maine. ___ SNOWSTORM VS. BLIZZARD: WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for a huge swath of the region, meaning potential whiteout conditions as

  • Prince helps Celtics edge Jazz 99-90

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — For one night at least, Tayshaun Prince brought back memories of his successful run with Detroit at the start of his career. Prince scored 19 points, and the Boston Celtics held off the Utah Jazz for a 99-90 victory on Monday. "I just had shots fall for me tonight and got in a good rhythm," Prince said. "Everybody knows I bring some intangibles and defense. I can slow things downs and help my teammates out, but tonight shots were falling and that made it even better." Tyler Zeller had 14 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which grabbed control with a big second quarter. Jared Sullinger had 12 points and nine rebounds, and Avery Bradley also scored 12. The 34-year-old Prince, who was acqu

  • Obama wants more money to fight antibiotic-resistant germs

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants the U.S. to invest much more in fighting antibiotic-resistant germs to prevent re-emergence of diseases conquered long ago. The White House said Tuesday that Obama will ask Congress to nearly double its funding to fight antibiotic resistance to $1.2 billion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 23,000 Americans die every year from infections that can withstand some of the best antibiotics. The World Health Organization said last year that bacteria resistant to antibiotics have spread to every part of the world and might lead to a future where minor infections could kill.

  • Boston JetBlue flight searched after threat; nothing found

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — A JetBlue Airways plane returned to the gate before takeoff on Monday after an unspecified threat, but nothing hazardous was found, state police said. Authorities have been investigating other hoax threats against airlines, five since Saturday. Passengers were taken off Flight 321 to Palm Beach, Florida, at about 9 p.m. Monday, police spokesman David Procopio said. Troopers with search dogs swept the aircraft and about 100 pieces of luggage, he said. "Information known by law enforcement prior to the search suggested the threat was not credible," Procopio said. "The aircraft was nonetheless carefully examined per security protocols.

  • Gunman wounds worker at Los Angeles-area mental clinic

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man described as paranoid shot and wounded a mental health worker Monday during a struggle at a Los Angeles-area clinic where he had sought help, but the employee was expected to survive, officials said. The shooting occurred shortly after noon at a mental health urgent care center that shares a campus with Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in unincorporated Willowbrook. The gunman, 20-year-old Vincent Heard, entered the clinic and was being interviewed in the office of a nurse practitioner when he became agitated, sheriff's officials said. Heard "became more and more paranoid," and the nurse practitioner pushed a "panic button," said Luana Murphy, president and CEO of Exodus Foundation, w

  • Family of missing Tech student Gordon Fang-Wong headed to California with money, weapons

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    The parents of formerly missing Texas Tech student Gordon Fang-Wong are currently en route to California in the hopes of rescuing the 19-year-old from what they fear is a cult. Hon Wong, Fang-Wong’s father, contacted local media Sunday evening to report he and his wife were traveling to the West Coast after receiving several confusing phone calls and messages from his son. Wong said he is bringing guns and money with him to protect himself and aid his son’s return. “If you disappeared, and someone put you in that situation, wouldn’t you want your parents or loved ones to get you out?” Wong said. On Monday, officials with the Dallas division of the FBI said they were planning to investigate Wong’s situation f

  • Border Protection lends a hand for Super Bowl security

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Black Hawk helicopters and truck-sized X-ray machines that are typically deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border have been brought to the Super Bowl venue to assist with the security effort. U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed off the technology Monday as it helps with Super Bowl security. Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske was on hand for a demonstration of the agency's Black Hawks and large mobile X-ray machines that are used to detect contraband and explosives. The helicopters and X-ray machines are from Tucson and Nogales, some of the busiest spots in the nation for the smuggling of drugs and immigrants. Kerlikowske said Arizona's border with Mexico still has adequate security while some eq

  • AP PHOTOS: A selection of Northeast snowstorm images

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    A storm predicted to be among the worst to hit the Northeast has dumped a few inches of snow from Philadelphia up to Boston and beyond, and much more is expected. States of emergency have been declared; airports, schools and city offices have closed; roadway travel bans have been issued; mass transit, by train and ferry, has shut down. Tens of millions of people along the Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor raced home to avoid getting caught in the swirling snow Monday. Areas usually teeming with pedestrians, such as Times Square in New York and the boardwalk in Revere, Massachusetts, were almost empty except for cleaning crews. In parks, a few people took the opportunity to use their skis, sleds and other winter recreational equipment

  • McMillan named chairman of new House Health Committee

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    LAS CRUCES >> As the only medical doctor in the state Legislature, Terry McMillan, R-Las Cruces, was a likely choice as chairman of the new Health Committee in the House of Representatives. McMillan, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, was the only local representative selected to chair a committee under the revamped system announced last week by new Speaker Don Tripp, R-Socorro, who was elected following Republican takeover of the House in the November election. Tripp changed the makeup of a number of the committees, including Health. It had previously been the Health, Government Relations and Indian Affairs Committee. "It was a waste basket, and we got a lot of stuff besides those," McMillan said.

  • Lawyer: Boy Scout files depict 'sordid' history of abuse

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The sexual abuse of a 13-year-old Boy Scout by an adult volunteer was part of a "sordid history of child sexual abuse" within the organization that has been documented internally for nearly a century, the victim's attorney said Monday in his opening statement at a civil trial in California. The Scout, now 20, has sued the Boy Scouts of America and a local scouting council for punitive damages after being molested by a volunteer leader in 2007. He claims in his negligence lawsuit that the Scouts failed to educate, train and warn parents and adult volunteers about the dangers of sex abuse.




Advertisement