• Tacoma zoo's trained owl spooked, flies off

    Updated: 22 min ago

    TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Tacoma zoo says a Eurasian eagle owl named Forrest that is trained to fly during performances of its outdoor theater got spooked and flew off into a nearby park. Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is asking for calls from anyone who sees Forrest, who is believed to be in Point Defiance Park. Members of the zoo's Wild Wonders Outdoor Theater staff were rehearsing a new show when Forrest flew off Wednesday afternoon. They think he was startled by changes made to the stage. He's trained to fly during performances and then return. Forrest is about 2 feet tall, with a 5-foot wingspan.

  • Nobel laureate Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Updated: 24 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose intoxicating novels and short stories exposed millions outside Latin America to its passions, superstition, violence and social inequality, died at home in Mexico City on Thursday. He was 87. Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, the Colombian-born Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. His flamboyant and melancholy fictional works — among them "Chronicle of a Death Foretold," ''Love in the Time of Cholera" and "Autumn of the Patriarch" — outsold everything published in Spanish except the Bible.

  • California rail line fined for worker deaths

    Updated: 31 min ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Workplace safety officials fined a San Francisco Bay Area commuter rail line $210,000 on Thursday over the deaths of two track workers who were killed by a train the officials said was operated by an inexperienced driver with inadequate supervision. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said a high-ranking manager who was supposed to be instructing the driver of the fast-moving, four-car Bay Area Rapid Transit train was not in the cab with the trainee when the incident occurred on Oct. 19.

  • Police: Man ate pot candy before shooting wife

    Updated: 32 min ago

    DENVER (AP) — A Denver man accused of killing his wife while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher ate marijuana-infused candy before the attack, according to search warrants released Thursday. The Denver Police Department is investigating if the pot influenced his behavior and also whether police responded quickly enough to pleas for help from the woman, who was shot to death 12 minutes into the 911 call she made Monday. Officials said Thursday that a dispatcher has been placed on paid leave during the investigation. Kristine Kirk, 44, told dispatchers her husband bought and ate the marijuana candy and may have also taken prescription pain pills before he started hallucinating and frightening the couple's three

  • 4th US Navy official charged in bribery scheme

    Updated: 33 min ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — Prosecutors say a fourth member of the U.S. Navy has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery in a multimillion-dollar scheme involving a Singapore-based defense contractor accused of giving cash, vacations and the services of prostitutes in exchange for information. The U.S. attorney's office says Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug made his initial court appearance Thursday, a day after special agents arrested him in San Diego. A judge ordered him held on $100,000 bond and subject to GPS monitoring. He hasn't entered a plea, and messages seeking attorney comment were not immediately returned.

  • Condition upgraded for victim of firetruck crash

    Updated: 36 min ago

    MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Authorities have upgraded the condition of a man who was critically injured in a Los Angeles-area crash involving two firetrucks. The trucks were heading to a fire Wednesday in Monterey Park when they collided, pushing one into a cafe and injuring 15 people — including six firefighters. On Thursday, officials say only two people remain hospitalized — a Monterey Park firefighter in moderate condition and a civilian whose condition was upgraded from critical to critical but stable. California Highway Patrol Officer Doris Peniche tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (http://bit.ly/1gNpMko ) that the civilian is a 51-year-old man with head and leg injuries.

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    Updated: 46 min ago

    DENVER (AP) — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions. U.S. Circuit Judge Jerome Holmes is seen as the swing vote on the three-judge panel that heard the Oklahoma appeal and a similar case from Utah last week. The two cases are the first to reach an appellate court since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Since then, gay rights lawyers have successfully convinced eight federal judges that the ruling means courts must strike down laws against gay marriage because they deprive same-sex couples of a fundamental right.

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

    Updated: 51 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez crafted intoxicating fiction from the fatalism, fantasy, cruelty and heroics of the world that set his mind churning as a child growing up on Colombia's Caribbean coast. One of the most revered and influential writers of his generation, he brought Latin America's charm and maddening contradictions to life in the minds of millions and became the best-known practitioner of "magical realism," a blending of fantastic elements into portrayals of daily life that made the extraordinary seem almost routine. In his works, clouds of yellow butterflies precede a forbidden lover's arrival. A heroic liberator of nations dies alone, destitute and far from home.

  • Opposition cries fraud in Algerian election

    Updated: 56 min ago

    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The main opposition candidate in Algeria's presidential elections cried foul late Thursday night hours after voting ended, alleging massive fraud and vowing to reject any results announced. Ali Benflis told supporters at his headquarters that preliminary information indicated fraud on a grand scale with grave irregularities across the country. "Our history will remember this date as a great crime against the nation by stealing the voice of the citizens and blocking popular will," he said, while fireworks from celebrating supporters of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, his opponent, could be heard in the background.

  • 911 calls capture chaos after truck-on-bus crash

    Updated: 59 min ago

    ORLAND, Calif. (AP) — With shrieks in the background, a shocked passenger struggled to recount to an emergency dispatcher how a FedEx tractor-trailer smashed into a tour bus carrying high school students. In other 911 calls released Thursday, motorists described explosions after the fiery wreck that left 10 people dead. The California Highway Patrol released the recordings as investigators returned to the scene about 100 miles north of Sacramento to reconstruct aspects of the accident. Dozens of injured students escaped through windows before the bus exploded into towering flames on the afternoon of April 10. One student who escaped held back sobs in describing on a 911 call how the FedEx truck barreled across the med

  • Oregon ruling spurs halt on immigration detainers

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Oregon has found that an immigrant woman's constitutional rights were violated when she was held in jail without probable cause at the request of U.S. immigration authorities, one of several recent federal court decisions to scrutinize the practice of keeping people in jail after they're eligible for release so that they can be considered for deportation. The rulings make it clear that local officials are not required to honor immigration authorities' requests that someone in custody continue to be held even though their original charges were resolved or they are eligible for bail, and that local jurisdictions may be held liable for doing so.

  • Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3½ years

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — An ex-con who spent most of his adult life in behind bars on Thursday got what he said he wanted for robbing a suburban Chicago bank. The 74-year-old gets to go back to the place he called home — prison. Telling Walter Unbehaun he frightened a teller by showing her a revolver tucked in his pants during the 2013 heist, a federal judge imposed a 3 1/2 year prison sentence, citing the man's lengthy rap sheet that includes crimes from home invasion to kidnapping. "This is not the first time you've inspired fear," Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said, repeatedly scolding the high-school dropout and part-time bathtub repairman. As he had on the day he robbed the bank, Unbehaun gripped a cane as he hobbled to t

  • Texas seizes polygamist group's secluded ranch

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — State agents have seized a polygamous group's Texas ranch where hundreds of children were removed during a 2008 FBI raid prompted by child sex abuse allegations. The group's leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting two girls he took as child brides. The Texas Department of Public Safety says its agents took possession of the secluded property near Eldorado on Thursday. In a statement, DPS says authorities were helping the remaining eight adults living on the ranch leave and to do an inventory. A judge in January ordered the forfeiture of the Yearning For Zion Ranch, which was owned by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Sain

  • Herbalife discloses investigation in Illinois

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nutritional supplements and weight-loss products maker Herbalife is being investigated by the attorney general of Illinois. The office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan confirms it is investigating complaints brought by consumers. Herbalife says it will work with the attorney general's office, and that it is confident in the integrity of its business and its compliance with the law. The company has over 15,000 members in Illinois. Herbalife shares fell 17 cents to $55.10 on Thursday. For more than a year, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has accused the company of being a "pyramid scheme" that makes money by recruiting more salespeople instead of through selling products. Herbalife rejects the accusation.

  • Woman convicted in hammer beating speaks to jury

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman convicted of bludgeoning her husband to death with a hammer made a tearful plea for mercy Thursday, telling the jury deciding her fate that she is sorry for her actions and wishes she could go back and undo the pain she caused. Marissa Devault, 36, broke down in tears and repeatedly lost her composure as she spoke to the jury in the penalty phase of her trial. The same jury that convicted her of first-degree murder is deciding whether she should get the death penalty or a life sentence. "I don't know if I can be useful to anybody in this world or in any way ... but I would like the opportunity to try," she said.

  • Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman's death

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — An Iraqi immigrant was convicted Thursday of bludgeoning his wife to death in a case that initially was considered a hate crime because a note found next to her body said: "This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist." Kassim Alhimidi, 49, shook his head from side to side and wagged a finger as jurors were polled, then chaos erupted in the courtroom when his oldest son stood and shouted obscenities. The son proclaimed his father's innocence before several deputies wrestled him out of the courtroom. Alhimidi turned to the son and yelled in Arabic "God knows, and I attest to God, that I am not the killer. I am innocent.

  • Police: Student ate more pot than recommended

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — A Wyoming college student who jumped to his death at a Denver hotel had eaten more of a marijuana cookie than was recommended by a seller, police records show — a finding that comes amid increased concern about the strength of popular pot edibles after Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Levy Thamba Pongi, 19, consumed more than one cookie purchased by a friend — even though a store clerk told the friend to cut each cookie into six pieces and to eat just one piece at a time, said the reports obtained Thursday. Pongi began shaking, screaming and throwing things around a hotel room before he jumped over a fourth-floor railing into the hotel lobby March 11.

  • Fraternity shuts Ole Miss branch after noose tying

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A national fraternity group has closed its University of Mississippi chapter after three members were accused of tying a noose around the neck of a statue of the first black student to enroll in the then-all white Southern college. The university announced Thursday that the national office of Sigma Phi Epsilon, based in Richmond, Va., had closed its Ole Miss chapter. The names of the three students haven't been released. They were kicked out of the fraternity. Besides the noose, someone draped a pre-2003 Georgia state flag with a Confederate battle emblem in its design on the face of the James Meredith statue in the pre-dawn hours of a Sunday morning in February.

  • Gulf Arab states strike new deal to heal rifts

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Western-allied Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council said Thursday the bloc has agreed on the mechanisms to implement a security pact, marking a possible first step toward bridging deep rifts among its six energy-rich states. Qatar's official news agency confirmed that Doha's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah took part in the GCC Foreign Ministers meeting held in Saudi Arabia's capital of Riyadh. The GCC statement was released just before midnight after the meeting concluded.

  • US tells jury Egyptian imam pursued global terror

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The imam of a London mosque used his influential position in the late 1990s to train and aid terrorists and used the cover of his religion to hide in plain sight, a prosecutor told jurors in his opening statement Thursday before a defense attorney promised that the defendant will explain himself during the trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward Kim described Mustafa Kamel Mustafa in starkly different terms than did defense attorney Joshua Dratel, even referring to him by a different name, his alias Abu Hamza, as he told how Mustafa led a large London mosque with hundreds of followers and engaged in a "global campaign to spread terror." "Abu Hamza was not just a preacher of religion," Kim said.