• The Latest: Guard dropping 1-ton sandbags on breeched dam

    Updated: 16 min ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The latest on the rainstorm that pounded parts of the East Coast (all times local): 3:30 p.m. The South Carolina National Guard is trying to bolster a major breech in a waterway near Columbia and is working with local officials to try to help keep other smaller dams in the state's flooded regions from bursting. South Carolina National Guard commander Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston said Tuesday's planned operation involved helicopters dropping 1-ton sandbags from Chinook helicopters on a break between a canal and the Congaree river in Columbia. "These are big sandbags," the two-star general told reporters at the Emergency Management Division headquarters outside Columbia.

  • Belgian director Chantal Akerman is dead at 65

    Updated: 17 min ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian avant-garde filmmaker Chantal Akerman, whose patient, personal reflections on the lives of women made her a leading figure of arthouse cinema, has died. She was 65. Artemis Productions in Brussels, which worked with her, confirmed her death on Tuesday but released no other details. Police confirmed Akerman's death in Paris, but gave no details on the cause. Belgium's minister of francophone culture, Joelle Milquet, lauded Akerman for films "often experimental and without concessions," adding that her work "will have its place in world cinema." Her unexpected death reverberated across the film world. The Toronto International Film Festival in a statement called Akerman "one of the greatest f

  • Correction: Religion-Briefs story

    Updated: 19 min ago

    In a weekly religion briefs fixture published Sept. 30, The Associated Press reported erroneously the affiliation of a group asking to erect a monument depicting Satan. The group identifies as a satanic church but is not affiliated with the Church of Satan. A corrected version of the story is below: Religion news in brief Religion news in brief By The Associated Press ___ Oklahoma panel orders removal of Ten Commandments monument OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A six-foot-tall granite monument of the Ten Commandments outside the Oklahoma State Capitol is on its way out. A panel that oversees artwork at the statehouse voted 7-1 on Sept.

  • 2,000 form human peace sign to honor John Lennon in NYC

    Updated: 21 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of people joined Yoko Ono and tried to set a world record for largest group of human bodies forming a peace sign. The record attempt to honor Ono's husband, John Lennon, didn't succeed. Still, the Central Park crowd celebrated the upcoming birthday of the late Beatle. Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday. A Guinness World Records representative says Tuesday's effort brought together more than 2,000 people. But Guinness said 5,000 or more needed to turn out for an official record. Lennon was assassinated in 1980 at his apartment building on Manhattan's west side just across from the park. The crowd included everyone from aging hippies to schoolchildren not yet born when Lennon died.

  • Woman says airline suggested pumping breast milk in pet area

    Updated: 23 min ago

    CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — A woman who flew from Boston to Washington says staff with United Airlines at Dulles Airport suggested she pump her breast milk in the pet-relief area. Liz Meagher Cooper is the mom of a 4-month-old. She tells WFXT-TV in Boston that after she left the plane early Monday at Washington's Dulles Airport, she asked a woman at the counter where she could pump. Cooper says the woman told her she could use the bathroom, which Cooper rejected as unsanitary. Cooper says the woman then suggested the pet relief area. A spokesman for Dulles says the airport does not have dedicated nursing areas but is working to develop such lounges.

  • LAPD: Rap group posted video of gun flashed near officer

    Updated: 24 min ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A video posted online that shows someone flash a gun while filming a police officer is an attempt at publicity from an old hip-hop group looking to find new relevance, but it has still led to an investigation and at least one arrest, Los Angeles police said Tuesday. The video posted to Instagram and widely circulated on Twitter was first treated as a threat by high-level detectives at the LAPD when the department became aware of it Thursday. But the department said in a statement that it has determined the purpose was entertainment. "The investigation revealed that the film was made by members of an early 1990s rap group no longer in fashion," the statement said, and was "posted on social media to ignite

  • Judge tosses conviction in infamous '90 NYC tourist killing

    Updated: 25 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A man imprisoned for a quarter-century in a notorious tourist killing was granted a new trial Tuesday when a judge overturned his conviction in a case that helped crystallize an era of crime and fear in the nation's biggest city. Johnny Hincapie broke into sobs as he heard the decision to throw out his conviction in a subway-platform mugging that killed Utah tourist Brian Watkins as Watkins defended his parents. State Supreme Court Justice Eduardo Padro cited new evidence, including new testimony from two witnesses and a co-defendant saying Hincapie wasn't involved in the crime. Padro stopped short of declaring Hincapie innocent, as he and his lawyers had hoped the judge might, but agreed to release him on $

  • After weeks of unrest, Palestinian leader appeals for calm

    Updated: 29 min ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Tuesday for calm after several weeks of heightened unrest with Israel, saying his people had no interest in any further "escalation" and urging renewed dialogue. The comments marked the Palestinian leader's strongest attempt yet to restore calm after the worst outbreak of fighting in months, and came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to take even tougher measures to quell the violence. The clashes erupted three weeks ago at the start of the Jewish new year and have turned more violent in recent days.

  • Dog rescued after fall into crack at Volcanoes National Park

    Updated: 33 min ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — A Big Island family was reunited with their dog after a rescue team removed the Labrador retriever trapped in a crack in the earth at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/1WL9dIM ) that volcano resident Marta Caproni and her boyfriend were walking the 4-year-old chocolate Lab, Romeo, and his littermate, Tommy, at the park when Romeo ran off and disappeared. Caproni says they tracked Romeo's faint whining and discovered that it was coming from deep inside a crack. A rescue team was able to remove Romeo, who didn't appear to be hurt. The Capronis have lived across from the entrance to the park for 15 years.

  • South Sudan starts unlikely quest to reach 2018 World Cup

    Updated: 33 min ago

    KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A month after celebrating its first win in a competitive game, South Sudan will make its debut in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday as Africa's lowest-ranked countries begin their quests to reach soccer's biggest tournament. None of them are expected to make it to the World Cup in Russia in 2018, but for South Sudan this is still a big moment. The world's newest nation only gained independence from Sudan in 2011, joined the Confederation of African Football and FIFA in 2012, and achieved its best result to date last month by beating Equatorial Guinea in an African Cup of Nations qualifier. The team could make more history against Mauritania in their two-leg 2018 World Cup qualifying tie.

  • AP News in Brief at 3:18 p.m. EDT

    Updated: 34 min ago

    Top general in Afghanistan: US strike on hospital a mistake WASHINGTON (AP) — The deadly American attack on a hospital in northern Afghanistan occurred despite "rigorous" U.S. military procedures designed to avoid such mistakes, the top commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan said Tuesday. Gen. John F. Campbell also told a Senate committee that he thinks President Barack Obama should revise the current plan to reduce the U.S. force in Afghanistan at the end of 2016. The plan calls for cutting the force from 9,800 to about 1,000 embassy-based security. Campbell said he had provided his superiors with several options because conditions in Afghanistan have changed significantly since Obama approved that troop-

  • New auto safety technologies leave some drivers bewildered

    Updated: 35 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Americans buying new cars these days are baffled by a torrent of new safety technology. Some features will automatically turn a car back into its lane if it begins to drift, or hit the brakes if sensors detect that it's about to rear-end someone else. There are lane-change and blind-spot monitors, drowsiness alerts and cars that can park themselves. Technologies once limited to high-end models like adaptive cruise control, tire-pressure indicators and rear-view cameras have become more common. The features hold tremendous potential to reduce deaths and injuries by eliminating collisions or mitigating their severity, safety advocates say. But there's one problem: Education on how to use them does

  • Personal assistant charged with stealing MLB pitcher's yacht

    Updated: 36 min ago

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a former personal assistant for Major League pitcher Bronson Arroyo fraudulently sold Arroyo's yacht in Florida. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports 38-year-old Anthony Acosta was arrested Monday in Tampa and charged with grand theft and forgery. Authorities say Acosta sold Arroyo's vessel — valued at approximately $167,000 — for $22,000 in July 2013. He had been fired in 2012. Authorities say the new owners attempted to get their money back after discovering a lien on the boat. Officials say Arroyo learned about the sale when the new owners contacted him following their dispute with Acosta. Acosta was jailed with bond set at $50,000. Jail records didn't list

  • UAW threatens strike in contract talks with Fiat Chrysler

    Updated: 38 min ago

    DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union is threatening to go on strike against Fiat Chrysler after its membership rejected a tentative contract deal with the company. In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said Tuesday that it received a strike notice from the union, and that it continues to work toward reaching an agreement. A letter to Fiat Chrysler that was posted on the UAW website Tuesday says the union is ending its contract with FCA at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. Union members overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement with the company last week, with members calling for an end to a two-tier pay structure, more specific guarantees of new vehicles for U.S. factories and a return of cost-of-living pay raises that the un

  • Disaster plan developed in case fire reaches nuclear waste

    Updated: 40 min ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Beneath the surface of a St. Louis-area landfill lurk two things that should never meet: a slow-burning fire and a cache of nuclear waste, separated by no more than 1,200 feet. Authorities have quietly adopted an emergency plan in case the smoldering embers ever reach the waste, a potentially "catastrophic event" that could release radioactive fallout in a plume of smoke. The fire at Bridgeton Landfill has been burning since at least 2010. But the plan for a worst-case scenario was developed only a year ago and never publicized until this week, when St. Louis radio station KMOX first obtained a copy. It calls for evacuations and shelters and help from private and volunteer groups, along with perhaps t

  • Patrick Kennedy memoir creates rift among his family

    Updated: 41 min ago

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A memoir by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy has created a rift with family members upset over his portrayal of family secrecy, substance abuse and mental illness, including of his father, late Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kennedy on Tuesday defended his book, "A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey Through the Past And Future of Mental Illness and Addiction." He said he loves his family but that he feels it is important for him to talk openly about the mental illness and addiction he and relatives have suffered. "My family does not want to be identified with a medical illness. That should tell you something about the shame and stigma that still surrounds these issues," he said on MSNBC Tuesda

  • At a glance: Winter heating costs expected to fall

    Updated: 44 min ago

    A winter that is expected to be warmer for most of the United States will combine with lower energy prices to create savings for residents, according to the U.S. Energy Department's annual outlook. Heating oil and propane customers, followed by natural gas, will see the biggest savings compared to last year. Electricity prices are expected to remain flat, but costs should be lower thanks to warmer weather. Here are the Energy Department's predictions for average heating costs for the winter by fuel between Oct. 1 and March 31. Natural Gas Number of U.S. households: 58.9 million This winter's projection: $578 Savings from last year: $64 Electricity Number of U.S. households: 46.

  • Korean energy economist to head UN climate science panel

    Updated: 44 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A South Korean professor of climate change economics will lead the Nobel Prize-winning group of climate scientists that keeps track of global warming. The United Nations-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced Tuesday it had elected Hoesung Lee, one of its vice chairmen, to its top post. Lee is president of the government affiliated Korea Energy Economics Institute and past dean of the College of Environment at Keimyung University. Each country is allowed one vote for climate panel leader. Lee pledged to work more closely with business and industry and pay special attention to job creation, health, poverty reduction and technology development.

  • California governor OKs expansive new equal pay protections

    Updated: 44 min ago

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Female workers in California will get new tools to challenge gender-based wage gaps under legislation signed into law Tuesday that supporters say offers the strongest equal-pay protection in the nation. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the measure while surrounded by women and girls at an event at Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park in Richmond, northeast of San Francisco. "The stratification and the pay disparities in California and in America, probably in the world, are something that really eats away at our whole society," Brown said. He called the legislation a "milestone." The bill by Sen.

  • Search for answers begins in sinking of US cargo ship

    Updated: 46 min ago

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — On board the 790-foot El Faro when it set out on its doomed voyage into the path of Hurricane Joaquin were five Polish workers whose job was to prepare the engine room for a retrofitting. Could that work have caused the loss of power that led to the U.S. container ship's sinking? The vessel's owners say they don't believe so, but the question — along with the captain's decision to plot a course near the storm — will almost certainly be part of an investigation launched Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board into the disaster near the Bahamas that may have claimed 33 lives. "We don't have all the answers, I'm sorry for that. I wish we did," Anthony Chiarello, president and CEO