• WikiLeaks' Assange seeks asylum in France; president says no

    Updated: 43 min ago

    PARIS (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors and leading French companies. Hollande quickly said "no." In a statement, his office noted that Assange is under a European arrest warrant and his life is not in imminent danger. The exchange came after prominent French voices, including soccer legend Eric Cantona and economist Thomas Piketty, appealed for France to grant haven to Assange and NSA leaker E

  • Officials to begin lifting evacuation after train derailment

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Preparations began Friday to allow thousands of eastern Tennessee residents to return to their homes after a CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire. About 5,000 people within a mile-and-a-half radius of the crash site were evacuated, along with several businesses, Thursday morning in Maryville. Most received urgent knocks at their doors between midnight and 6 a.m. Thursday by emergency workers who told them they should leave immediately. City Manager Greg McClain said Friday that officials were working on a plan to lift the evacuation. More details were expected at a news conference at noon Friday.

  • All aboard capsized Philippine ferry accounted for; 45 dead

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Rescuers on Friday were winding down the search for survivors and bodies from a ferry that capsized shortly after departing from a central Philippine port, leaving 45 people dead. Coast guard spokesman Cmdr. Armand Balilo said all 187 passengers and crew members of the M/B Kim Nirvana have been accounted for, a day after the vessel overturned in choppy waters off Ormoc city. He said 142 survived and there were no more reports of anyone missing. Balilo said they were waiting for the regional coast guard commander to declare an end to the search and rescue operation. A floating crane pulled the 36-ton wooden motorized outrigger close to the city port, Ormoc rescue officer Ciriaco Tolibao said.

  • IS says it destroyed archaeological pieces from Palmyra

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group militants have destroyed six archaeological pieces from the historic town of Palmyra that were confiscated from a smuggler, the group said. An IS statement released late Thursday said the six busts were found when the smuggler was stopped at a checkpoint. The issue was referred to an Islamic court in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, which ordered that they be destroyed and the man be whipped. Photographs released by the group showed IS militants destroying the busts with large hammers. Another photo showed the smuggler being whipped.

  • Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $37B deal

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Aetna will spend $37 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul. The proposed cash-and-stock deal, announced early Friday, could make Aetna the nation's second-largest insurer and a sizeable player in the rapidly growing Medicare Advantage business, which offers privately run versions of the federally funded health care program for the elderly and some people with disabilities. It also would bolster Aetna's presence in the state- and federally funded Medicaid program and Tricare coverage for military personnel and their families. Hartford, Conn.

  • Heavy rain in metro leaves motorists stranded

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 9 hr ago

    Occupants of a vehicle at Danforth Road and Chowning Avenue had to be rescued after driving into floodwaters, Edmond police said. Occupants of another vehicle had to be rescued at Covell Road and Air Depot, also in Edmond.

  • Meth in toaster among many drug parcels sent to Hawaii

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Federal agents last month intercepted a package mailed to Hawaii from Southern California containing a toaster oven. Hidden inside the four-slice toaster, there appeared to be 6 pounds of crystal meth. Leland Akau Sr. and Allen Gorion, who allegedly received the package in Kapolei, pleaded not guilty Thursday to meth distribution and conspiracy charges. Lab analysis results to determine the purity of the methamphetamine are pending, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Roberts said. It's one of the latest cases involving drug packages mailed to Hawaii. Crystal meth is known as the drug of choice in Hawaii, where it gained a stronghold across the islands long before becoming popular on the mainland. "It's the

  • Year's third case of West Nile virus confirmed in Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Jul 2, 2015

    An Ellis County resident has been confirmed by medical authorities as Oklahoma's third West Nile virus case of the year.

  • Smoke subsides after hazardous rail spill in Tennessee

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire in the middle of the night in eastern Tennessee, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people and sending dozens to the hospital with respiratory issues and nausea. The fire was still burning around noon Thursday, and officials said firefighters had been unable to get close to the burning car because of the heat. Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said there were also concerns that the fumes contained cyanide, a byproduct of burning the chemical acrylonitrile, which was leaking from the train car. The smoke had stopped by 6 p.m., however, Mitchell said. About 5,000 people in the area were being evacuated, along with several businesses

  • Man shot in northeast Oklahoma City dies, police report

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 13 hr ago

    A man has died found lying in a driveway late Wednesday is Oklahoma City's 36th homicide of the year.

  • Documents: Mexican army ordered troops to 'kill criminals'

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A human rights group said Thursday that military documents show high-ranking officers had given Mexican soldiers standing orders to kill criminals ahead of an army mass slaying of suspected cartel members after they surrendered. The documents, shared with The Associated Press by the Miguel Agustin Pro human rights center, appear to be the first evidence that soldiers involved in the alleged execution killing of at least 12 civilians on June 30, 2014, could argue they were following orders. "Soldiers should operate on a mass scale at night and reduce daytime activities, with the aim of killing criminals at night," read standing orders signed June 11 by Lt. Col. Sandro Diaz Rodriguez, on behalf of the comma

  • Federal officials OK disaster aid for more Oklahoma counties

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The federal government has approved disaster assistance for nine more Oklahoma counties following a series of severe storms. Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had accepted her request for aid, raising the number of counties receiving individual assistance to 33 out of 77. Twenty eight other counties have requested help but haven't received a response from FEMA. The latest additions are Carter, Jefferson, Latimer, Mayes, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Pushmataha, Stephens and Tulsa counties. The disaster assistance will benefit individuals and businesses that suffered damages from tornadoes, flooding and severe storms that occurred between May 5 and June 4.

  • $18.7B deal clears path for BP to close books on Gulf spill

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Trying to close the books on the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, BP agreed Thursday to provide billions of dollars in new money to five Gulf Coast states in a deal the company said would bring its full obligations to an estimated $53.8 billion. Federal and state government officials touted the record-breaking $18.7 billion agreement as a historic milestone in the Gulf Coast's recovery. The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of crude that stained beaches, coated wildlife and polluted marshes. BP also gets a valuable return: Much of the payments, to be made over the next 18 years, could be tax-deductible.

  • Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on 'Sesame Street,' retiring

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — "Sesame Street" is about to be less A-OK. Sonia Manzano, who has played the role of Maria on the groundbreaking kid show since 1971, is retiring. Manzano, 65, broke the news earlier this week at the American Library Association Annual Conference. She said she wouldn't be part of PBS' new "Sesame Street" season. A beloved resident of Sesame Street since she was a teenager, the character Maria owned the neighborhood repair shop with husband Luis (played by Emilio Delgado, who remains on the show). Manzano also served as a writer for the show, sharing in 15 Emmy awards as a member of the writing team. She has also written children's books.

  • Police: No evidence of shooting at Washington Navy Yard

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators found no evidence of a shooting after the Washington Navy Yard went on lockdown Thursday when someone reported shots fired in the same building where a gunman killed 12 workers in a rampage two years ago. D.C. police said a woman called from inside a Navy Yard building to report that she might have heard sounds of gunshots around 7:20 a.m. However, investigators found no sign of a shooting, a shooter or anyone injured. No arrests were made and no weapons found, officials said. "At this time there is no evidence of gunshots," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "There is no evidence of a shooter, and there is no evidence of any victims today." A U.S.

  • Google's new app blunders by calling black people 'gorillas'

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's new image-recognition program misfired badly this week by identifying two black people as gorillas, delivering a mortifying reminder that even the most intelligent machines still have lot to learn about human sensitivity. The blunder surfaced in a smartphone screen shot posted online Sunday by a New York man on his Twitter account, @jackyalcine. The images showed the recently released Google Photos app had sorted a picture of two black people into a category labeled as "gorillas." The accountholder used a profanity while expressing his dismay about the app likening his friend to an ape, a comparison widely regarded as a racial slur when applied to a black person.

  • Tunisia: 8 people suspected of direct links to beach attack

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Eight people are in custody in Tunisia, suspected of having direct links to a deadly beach attack that killed 38 people, but four other possible suspects have been released, a minister said Thursday. The British Foreign Office, meanwhile, raised the death toll of British tourists killed in Friday's attack from 27 to 30. Other European tourists were among the dead. The attack was Tunisia's deadliest ever and threatens to be a devastating blow to its tourism sector. In Britain, bereaved relatives looked on at an air base in Oxfordshire as a military plane flew home the remains of nine Britons on Thursday, a day after another flight returned eight other bodies.

  • Applications for US jobless aid rise to still-low 281,000


    WASHINGTON (AP) — More people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the level of applications is still low and points to an improving job market. The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000. The four-week average, a less volatile figure, ticked up 1,000 to 274,750. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Even with the increase, they remain far below 300,000, a historically low level that indicates companies are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers. That confidence can also cause them to hire more people. Consumers have stepped up spending on clothing, furniture and cars, spurring faster growth. Home sales have also accelerated and are now ru

  • Amy Winehouse documentary wins raves but angers family


    LONDON (AP) — In "Amy," performers as diverse as Yasiin Bey and Tony Bennett sing the praises of the late Amy Winehouse, and the documentary helps reclaim the talented, troubled singer as a musician, rather than a mess. Critics love it — but it has left her family hurt and angry. The singer's father, Mitch Winehouse, has branded the film inaccurate and misleading. He claims director Asif Kapadia depicts the family as doing too little to help the singer overcome addiction. "They have selectively edited what I said to suggest that me and my family were against her getting any kind of treatment," Mitch Winehouse told The Associated Press. "We took her dozens of times to detox and rehab over the years.

  • New warden, security measures after New York prison escape

    Updated: Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A range of new security measures is being put in place at a maximum-security prison to close gaps exploited by two inmates who escaped last month. The state correction department said Wednesday that includes stepped-up searches of inmates' cells, staffing changes to ensure bed checks are more effective and installation of security gates in the facility's tunnels. The department also announced that 30-year correction veteran Michael Kirkpatrick will be the new superintendent of the prison, the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.