• 4 more bodies found after Texas flooding

    Updated: 14 min ago

    DALLAS (AP) — Authorities said Friday they reclaimed four more bodies from Texas waters, adding to the growing death toll inflicted by record-setting storms that continue to submerge highways and flood homes. At least 28 people have been killed nationwide in the storms, 24 in Texas. At least 12 are missing in Texas. More than 7 inches fell overnight from a line of thunderstorms that stalled over Dallas, which is in its wettest month ever recorded at 16.07 inches. The National Weather Service reports rainfall records have been crushed across the Lone Star state— from Corpus Christi along the Gulf of Mexico to Gainesville near the Oklahoma border.

  • Texas poised to allow open carry of handguns

    Updated: 30 min ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers on Friday approved carrying handguns openly on the streets of the nation's second most-populous state, sending the bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who immediately promised to sign it and reverse a ban dating to the post-Civil War era. Gun owners would still have to get a license to carry a handgun in a visible holster. The state known for its wild west, cowboy history and some the nation's most relaxed gun laws, has allowed concealed handguns for 20 years. Concealed handgun license holders are even allowed to skip the metal detectors at the state Capitol, as state troopers providing security assume they're armed.

  • Father: Woman shot by sheriff told police it was an accident

    Updated: 33 min ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — The woman who was shot and critically wounded by a Georgia sheriff told a detective the shooting was an accident that happened while they were practicing self-defense tactics in an empty model home, her father said Friday. Gwenevere McCord, 43, was able to speak Thursday for the first time since the May 3 shooting after doctors removed a tube from her throat, her father Ernest McCord told The Associated Press. Gwenevere McCord and Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill were alone in the model home in Gwinnett County, roughly 50 miles northeast of Hill's office, when the shooting happened. Hill called 911 and told an operator that it was an accident that happened while they were "practicing tactics." First respond

  • Fire department: Hawaii man impaled, killed by fish's bill

    Updated: 37 min ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii man was killed Friday after he was apparently impaled by the bill of a large fish, a fire official said. Witnesses at Honokohau Harbor in Kailua-Kona reported that a man in his 40s jumped from the pier in an apparent attempt to catch a billfish, likely a marlin, West Hawaii Acting Battalion Chief John Whitman said. "All we know is next thing they know, the man is seen floating," he said. Firefighters tried to resuscitate the man, who had a puncture wound to his right, upper torso. The man was taken to Kona Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Whitman said. He said police will investigate. The man's identity has not been released. He's a Big Island resident who is in the charter boat b

  • Navy, Coast Guard investigate Arizona Memorial dock mishap

    Updated: 41 min ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy command overseeing the hospital ship involved in a mishap that damaged the USS Arizona Memorial's dock has sent investigators to Hawaii to probe what happened. Investigators will arrive this weekend and begin working immediately, Tom Van Leunen, a spokesman for the Military Sealift Command said in an email Friday. The command's operations chief, Capt. Dean Vesely, will lead the investigation, Van Leunan said. Vesely is based at the command's headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia. The U.S. Coast Guard has started its own probe because civilian tugboats were involved. The incident occurred Wednesday when two tugboats were maneuvering the USNS Mercy hospital ship out of Pearl Harbor.

  • Governor: Nebraska to proceed with executions of 10 inmates

    Updated: 41 min ago

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts says lawmakers' repeal of the death penalty won't stop his administration from proceeding with executions of 10 people already sentenced to death. Ricketts said Friday that he doesn't plan to cancel a shipment of lethal injection drugs that the state bought earlier this month. The GOP-controlled Legislature this week approved a law repealing the death penalty over the governor's veto. The law doesn't go into effect for three months. Attorney General Doug Peterson has raised questions about whether it unconstitutionally changes the sentences of current death row inmates to life in prison. Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha, the law's lead sponsor, has said it'

  • AP source: Hastert paid to conceal claims of sexual abuse

    Updated: 42 min ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert paid hush money to conceal claims that the Illinois Republican sexually molested someone decades ago, a person familiar with the allegations said Friday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and the allegations are not contained in an indictment issued Thursday. The specific nature of the claims was not immediately clear. The federal indictment accused Hastert of agreeing to pay $3.5 million to keep a person from the suburban Chicago town where he was a longtime high school teacher and wrestling coach silent about "prior misconduct," but the court papers did not detail the wrongdoing.

  • Battle over ownership of giant emerald may be over

    Updated: 47 min ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The legal battle over ownership of a 752-pound emerald may have been settled after six years and millions of dollars in legal and other costs. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson tentatively ruled on Thursday that FM Holdings Inc. had established clear title to the Brazilian gem, which has been appraised at $372 million. Unless other parties object, the ruling will become final, then a judgment will be submitted and Johnson will sign off on it, said Andrew J. Spielberger, an attorney for FM Holdings. Nobody was expected to object, he added, because other claimants had either lost in court or settled with the holding company.

  • US fines Wisconsin bar $7,000 for death in dumbwaiter

    Updated: 48 min ago

    FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined a Wisconsin bar $7,000 for the death of an employee who died when her head got caught in a dumbwaiter. OSHA says WingDam Saloon and Grill in Fountain City failed to furnish a workplace free from recognized hazards that were likely to cause death or serious harm to employees. Twenty-one-year-old Brooke Baures died Dec. 1 from severe head trauma after she became trapped in the food service elevator, or dumbwaiter. She was a gymnast at Winona State University in Minnesota who lived in Chetek. She was also a 2011 graduate from Cameron High School. OSHA says the dumbwaiter lacked safeguards to prevent it from moving when employees w

  • 2 hurt in French Quarter shooting; tourists, workers rattled

    Updated: 54 min ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An afternoon shooting in New Orleans' busy French Quarter left two people injured and rattled both merchants and tourists. Police spokesman Officer Frank Robertson said the two adult male victims are believed to have been in a car at an intersection in the quarter when gunfire broke out Friday afternoon. Robertson said their wounds were not considered to be life-threatening. He had no information about possible suspects or motives. Mark Stephens is a front desk worker at the Grenoble House hotel nearby. He said the driver of the car tried to leave when police arrived. The car came to a stop outside the Quarter and the two men were taken away by ambulance.

  • Spieth in contention after rain alters course at Nelson

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    IRVING, Texas (AP) — Jordan Spieth wasn't sure what par was at his hometown AT&T Byron Nelson and thinks it actually might have helped him through some frustrating early holes. There's a reason the Masters champion was uncertain — overnight rain turned one of the signature par 4s at the saturated TPC Four Seasons into a pitch-and-putt par 3 at 105 yards for the second round Friday. Spieth and every other early finisher within three shots of clubhouse leader Jon Curran turned in a birdie 2, and Gary Woodland had a hole-in-one when it was still possible that the easy wedge over a pond would play as a par 4. Tour officials later made the switch.

  • California panel mandates low-water lawns on new buildings

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Driven by a historic drought, California regulators on Friday mandated that lawns and other landscaping on new and renovated homes and buildings across the parched state guzzle less water. The state Building Standards Commission voted to change development rules to reduce the demand for water. Developers can meet the rules by planting shrubs and bushes instead of grass or installing slow-trickling valves instead of traditional sprinklers. "You can still see grass, you are just going to see a lot less of it," said Bob Raymer of the California Building Industry Association, which supported the changes. The new standards are part of California's continued targeting of ornamental lawns as water w

  • Marathon bomber's friend fights officer's family testimony

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for a college friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) are trying to prevent the family of a slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer from testifying at his sentencing. Dias Kadyrbayev (DY'-us kah-dur-BY'-ehv) is to be sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to impeding the investigation of the 2013 bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260. His attorneys filed a motion Friday in federal court in Boston seeking to prevent victim impact statements by relatives of MIT Officer Sean Collier, who was shot in an encounter with Tsarnaev and his brother. The Boston Herald (http://bit.ly/1RwvUOu ) was first to report on the motion.

  • Jury begins deliberations in Nevada trespasser killing

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — A jury on Friday began deliberating the fate of a Nevada man accused of murder in the shooting of two unarmed trespassers in the latest case to test the boundaries of so-called stand-your-ground laws. Wayne Burgarello maintains he was acting in justified self-defense when he killed Cody Devine and seriously wounded Janai Wilson last year inside a vacant, rundown duplex he owns. The retired Sparks schoolteacher faces murder charges, but jurors could convict him of lesser counts, including manslaughter. They started deliberating at about 1:30 p.m. and took a brief break at 5 p.m., indicating they would continue their discussions into the evening. It wasn't clear if they would finish their work Friday n

  • 2 plead guilty in Los Angeles fashion district raids

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Father and son Chinese immigrants pleaded guilty Friday in a case of suspected money laundering for Mexican drug cartels in the Los Angeles fashion district. Xilin Chen and his son, Tom Chen, pleaded guilty in federal court in Los Angeles and are set to be sentenced in August. The Chens were among nine people arrested in September after authorities raided businesses in the fashion district suspected of taking bulk cash from drug traffickers for garments, allowing the clothing to be shipped to Mexico and resold — all in an effort to avoid detection. Though the arrests were announced together, the Chens aren't believed to be directly connected to the most serious case involving the Sinaloa Cartel an

  • Holmes: Mind 'was kind of falling apart' before shooting

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes said his "mind was kind of falling apart" and he began to have homicidal thoughts months before he killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a Colorado movie theater, according to a video excerpt presented Friday at his murder trial. Holmes told a state-appointed psychiatrist in the videotaped interview that he had contracted mononucleosis in late 2011 and became depressed and lacked energy partly because of a breakup with a girlfriend in early 2012. "My mind was kind of falling apart," he told Dr. William Reid in the interview at a state mental hospital two years after the July 20, 2012, theater attack in Aurora. "I don't know what else to say.

  • Jury deliberating in TV actor's Wisconsin stabbing case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PORT WASHINGTON, Wis. (AP) — TV actor Dustin Diamond testified Friday that he didn't intentionally stab a man in a Christmas Day barroom scuffle in Wisconsin and that other patrons had been harassing him and his girlfriend before the fight broke out. Diamond, 38, said some people had wanted to shake his hand and pose for photos at the bar in Port Washington, but that others were badgering him and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz. "I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes," said Diamond, who played Screech in the 1990s show "Saved by the Bell." Diamond faces a felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and two misdemeanors — carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.

  • Ginsburg urges young women to wage inspiring fights

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday advised young women to fight for things they care about, but to do so in a way that inspires others to join their cause. "Young women today have a great advantage, and it is that there are no more closed doors," the 82-year-old justice said in a speech at Harvard University, in Cambridge. "That was basically what the 70s was all about. Opening doors that had been closed to women." Ginsburg, once a prominent women's rights lawyer and now the oldest active justice on the nation's highest court, spoke at an outdoor luncheon at Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

  • Nigeria's new president pledges fight against Boko Haram

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's new president was sworn in on Friday and pledged to tackle Boko Haram "head on," asserting the fight against the Islamic extremists wouldn't be won until hundreds of schoolgirls abducted last year and other kidnapping victims were brought home alive. Muhammadu Buhari's new administration won a signal of support from the United States, which indicated it was prepared to increase military aid. The inauguration turned into a nationwide celebration by Nigerians welcoming their country's newly reinforced democracy after Buhari became the first candidate to defeat a sitting president at the polls since the end of military rule in 1999.

  • AP PHOTOS: Aerial views of Texas floodwaters

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    The record rains that have submerged highways, flooded homes and led to several deaths in Texas show little signs of diminishing. The National Weather Service said Friday that there's up to a 70 percent chance of heavy rain and thunderstorms in the Houston area this weekend, with similar forecasts for other areas of the beleaguered state. Here's a collection of images showing the floodwaters from the air. ___ Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.