• Former Va. governor's appeal cites broad bribery definition

    Updated: 21 min ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said in court papers Monday that his conviction on several counts of public corruption was based on an overly broad definition of bribery and a flawed explanation of what constitutes an "official action" by an elected official. McDonnell made the arguments in the opening brief of an appeal filed in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Earlier in the day, his wife, Maureen McDonnell, filed notice with the court that she would also appeal her conviction. Prosecutors will file their response to Bob McDonnell's brief later this month, and a hearing is set for the week of May 12. The schedule for Maureen McDonnell's appeal has not been set.

  • Australia sending more troops to Iraq to train local forces

    Updated: 25 min ago

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia will send more troops to Iraq to help train local security forces in their battle against the Islamic State group, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday. The deployment of 300 Australian troops to the Taji military base north of Baghdad is part of a joint Australia-New Zealand training mission. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said his country would send 143 of its own troops as part of the mission. Abbott, conscious of a war-weary Australian public, repeatedly stressed that the troops would not be engaged in combat.

  • Execution of Ga. woman on hold pending Supreme Court ruling

    Updated: 42 min ago

    JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — The execution of the first female in Georgia in 70 years was on hold Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed last-minute arguments by her lawyers that they hoped would persuade the nation's top justices to grant a stay. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, was scheduled to die by injection of pentobarbital at 7 p.m. in the state prison for the February 1997 murder of her husband, Douglas Gissendaner. Still pending was a response from the high court after an appellate court rejected her lawyers' request for a delay on the grounds that Georgia's lethal-injection procedures aren't transparent enough to be challenged in court.

  • Disneyland memorabilia auction brings in $1.7 million

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Disneyland memorabilia collector has taken a cue from the movie "Frozen" and decided to "Let It Go." Van Eaton Galleries says nearly 1,000 items — including a bird from the Enchanted Tiki Room and an original "Pirates of the Caribbean" skeleton — brought in $1.7 million during a weekend auction held online and in Sherman Oaks, California. Bids came from around the world. The top seller was a green 1970s-era animatronic Tiki Room bird, which fetched $153,400. The 1967 "Pirates" skeleton, which holds a cutlass and chugs from a bottle, went for $153,400.

  • LA police chief: Man killed on Skid Row reached for gun

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police fatally shot a homeless man on Skid Row during a "brutal" videotaped struggle in which a rookie officer cried out that the man had grabbed his gun, the Los Angeles police chief said Monday. Video showed the man reaching toward the officer's waistband, Chief Charlie Beck said. The officer's gun was found partly cocked and jammed with a round of ammunition in the chamber and another in the ejection port, indicating a struggle for the weapon. "You can hear the young officer who was primarily engaged in the confrontation saying that 'He has my gun. He has my gun,'" Beck said. "He says it several times, with conviction." Then three other officers opened fire.

  • Mom convicted of killing son, 5, by poisoning him with salt

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A woman who blogged for years about her son's constant health woes was convicted Monday of poisoning him to death by force-feeding heavy concentrations of sodium through his stomach tube. A jury in the New York suburbs found Lacey Spears, of Scottsville, Kentucky, guilty of second-degree murder in the death last year of 5-year-old Garnett-Paul Spears. The defense portrayed Spears as a caring mother and her son as sickly, but the prosecution argued Spears reveled in the attention his illness brought her. Video showed Spears twice taking him into a hospital bathroom with a connector tube and him suffering afterward.

  • Cops: Man taped women in fitting rooms, shared on porn sites

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WAYNE, Pa. (AP) — A man sneaking around on his hands and knees videotaped dozens of naked girls and women in dressing rooms at one of the country's largest malls and then posted the clips on pornography websites, police said Monday. Sean Moses, who admitted what he did, is seen on a cellphone video he recorded at the King of Prussia Mall outside Philadelphia reaching under doors to videotape women changing in dressing rooms at stores including Forever 21 and Express, police said. Detectives called it one of the largest invasion-of-privacy cases they've seen in the area. They said Moses, a 37-year-old self-employed information technology worker, did it for "self-gratification" and kept "volumes of files on his computer known

  • Tourism thrives in Malaysia despite association with tragedy

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two airplane catastrophes put Malaysia on the map in a bad way in 2014. But they didn't hurt the country's tourism, and the higher visibility may even have helped: visitor numbers had their strongest growth in years. For the past decade, Malaysia has run an elaborate campaign to market itself abroad as an ideal Asian destination, touting a multiethnic culture, lush rainforests and pristine beaches. Despite the effort to internationalize, its tourism industry still relies heavily on tightly-packed neighboring Singapore and in a renewed push the government had designated 2014 as "Visit Malaysia Year.

  • Developments at the Wyoming Legislature

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Developments at the Wyoming Legislature on Mon., March 2, the 33th day of the 2015 General Session: SCIENCE STANDARDS: Gov. Matt Mead signed into law a bill to allow the Wyoming State Department of Education to consider Next Generation Science Standards, as well as other standards. The Legislature last year, in a budget footnote, prohibited the board from considering the Next Generation Science Standards because some lawmakers were concerned they emphasized a link between burning fossil fuels and global warming. FERAL HORSES: Mead signed into law a joint resolution that calls on Congress and local authorities to take action to take action to prevent and remediate damage caused by free-roaming feral hor

  • Feds want boat panels brought to court to show Tsarnaev note

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors want panels of the boat in which Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found hiding to be brought to court to show jurors what they say is his written confession, but his lawyers want them to see the entire bullet-ridden boat. Prosecutors have said Tsarnaev scrawled the motive for the deadly attack inside the boat. They say he referred to U.S. wars in Muslim countries and wrote, "Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop." Tsarnaev's older brother had been killed hours earlier during a shootout with police, but Tsarnaev escaped and then was captured, wounded and bloodied, inside the boat, parked in a suburban Watertown backyard.

  • Salonga says she is in talks on taking role in "Allegiance"

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Tony award winner Lea Salonga says talks have not yet been finalized on her joining the cast of George Takei's musical "Allegiance" on Broadway, but added it is a show she wants to be part of. The Broadway veteran played the lead female role Kei Kimura when the musical made its sold-out premiere in 2012 at the Old Globe in San Diego, California, "Star Trek" actor Takei's personal and heartfelt show about Japanese-Americans imprisoned during World War II goes to Broadway this fall with him in a starring role. "Of course I'd like to be a part of it, if only to be part of something that's very important in Broadway history," Salonga told The Associated Press in a telephone interview late Monday

  • Pollution documentary attracts huge interest in China

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — A slick new documentary on China's environmental woes has racked up more than 175 million online views in two days, underscoring growing concern in the country over the impact of air, water and soil pollution. Hosted by former state television reporter Chai Jing, "Under the Dome" offers a well-produced look at the cost to the environment of 30 years of breakneck economic development. Chai discusses the issues before a studio audience while standing in front of a screen showing videos of polluting industries, interviews with affected people and visits by her to sites in China and abroad illustrating the extent of the problem.

  • Life in prison for man, 19, who killed 9-year-old witness

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man convicted of fatally shooting a 9-year-old boy who witnessed him kill two other men at an apartment in Flint has been sentenced to life in prison. Genesee County Circuit Judge Archie Hayman issued the sentence Monday to Deonte I. Gray. First-degree murder carries an automatic penalty of life behind bars without possibility of parole. A jury in January convicted Gray in the July 15, 2013, shootings of 9-year-old Trashawn Macklin, 25-year-old James R. Allen Jr. and 22-year-old Akeem Easterling. Standing beside Trashawn's crying mother, Freeman Elementary School teacher Laura Garrison told the judge her student was loved by all who knew him. Authorities say the killings began with

  • Appeals court upholds protection for threatened seabird

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by the timber industry seeking to strip Endangered Species Act protection from a threatened seabird that nests in old-growth forests. Environmentalists say the ruling Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., should mark the end of a 15-year legal battle over logging trees used by marbled murrelets along the coasts of Oregon, Washington and northern California. The American Forest Resources Council had argued that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted arbitrarily and capriciously in designating the U.S. population of marbled murrelets distinct from birds in Canada, despite a line in the law saying political boundaries are a valid reaso

  • Artist: Clinton museum portrait has nod to Lewinsky's dress

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia artist has disclosed that his museum portrait of former President Bill Clinton contains a shadow reference to Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress. Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that a shadow beside Clinton is a literal reference to the dress and a symbolic nod to the shadow the affair cast on his presidency. "If you look at the left-hand side of it there's a mantle in the Oval Office and I put a shadow coming into the painting," Shanks told the newspaper. "The Clintons hate the portrait," he said. "They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They're putting a lot of pressure on them." The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

  • Official: Man on terror most-wanted list detained in Somalia

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    McLEAN, Va. (AP) — A former taxi driver from Northern Virginia who was recently placed on the FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists has been captured in Somalia, a U.S. law enforcement official said Monday. The official told The Associated Press that Liban Mohamed, 29, is currently in Somali custody. The official would not describe what efforts would be made to bring Mohamed to the United States for trial. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation. Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, where Mohamed would be prosecuted, did not return a telephone call and email seeking comment Monday. Mohamed's capture was first reported Monda

  • Italian tourist killed when hit by piece of Alaska glacier

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 28-year-old Italian tourist was killed in Alaska when he was crushed by a chunk of ice that broke from a glacier, authorities said. Alaska State Troopers said Alexander Hellweger, of Sand in Taufers in northern Italy, died Sunday at Lake George Glacier, north of Anchorage. Hellweger was with a group of eight friends from Italy and Belgium who were vacationing in Alaska. Guides had taken seven members of the party to the backcountry by helicopter to go skiing. The party was later taken to the glacier site by helicopter. Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said the group began gathering for a photo.

  • Correction: Volcano Scientist story

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (AP) — In a story Feb. 26 about the scientist-in-charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory stepping aside, The Associated Press reported erroneously how long he has been in office. It is more than 10 years not more than 11 years. A corrected version of the story is below: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's chief scientist stepping down Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's top scientist stepping down, eager to return to research HAWAII NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii (AP) — The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's chief scientist will step aside next month to focus on research. Jim Kauahikaua has been the observatory's scientist-in-charge for more than 10 years. That's the third-longest tenure in the

  • Illinois governor says New Jersey is 'going down the drain'

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Republican governor of Illinois has some harsh words for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who campaigned hard for his election last year. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says New Jersey "is lost." He said during an Illinois Farm Bureau conference last week his state has the highest property taxes in America after New Jersey. He says he doesn't want to compete with New Jersey on anything — especially that. He says the situation in New Jersey is a disaster. He says: "They're going down the drain, and they ain't turning it around." Rauner defeated Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn in November with the help of the Republican Governors Association.

  • Contractor: Texas inmates in uprising wanted transfer

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    RAYMONDVILLE, Texas (AP) — Inmates who set fires and caused significant damage to a South Texas prison after taking over part of the facility last month orchestrated the uprising to get a transfer and affect where they would be deported, the private contractor operating the facility said Monday. The inmates at the prison were primarily "low-level" offenders who were in the U.S. illegally. A small group of prisoners instigated the Feb. 20 uprising at Willacy County Correctional Center because they feared for their safety when released and wanted to be let go in a different part of Mexico, said Issa Arnita, spokesman for the Utah-based Management & Training Corp., which runs the prison for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.