• 'Cadaver dog' work more accepted by cops, courts

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    BENTON, Calif. (AP) — Increasingly, police investigators and courts are putting their faith in four-legged tools — canines that can detect even small particles of human remains. But proving what these dogs know isn't easy. "If only Buster could talk," quips Paul Dostie, as he works his black Labrador through a wide patch of scraggly brush, about 50 miles east of Yosemite National Park. In his younger days, Buster would lie down on a spot like this to indicate an "alert," and bark. But having lost a leg to cancer, the 12-year-old canine now prefers to poke his nose in the direction of a particular spot in the dirt, or at a rock, or whatever has set off his nose. In all, Dostie says that Buster's alerts have aided in

  • 'Blade Runner' Pistorius gets 5 years in prison

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, completing a transformation from an acclaimed sprinter at the 2012 Olympics to a convicted criminal led away in a police van with barred windows. Wearing a dark suit, the double-amputee athlete was subdued when Judge Thokozile Masipa announced the punishment in a Pretoria courtroom, ending a televised trial that was closely followed at home and abroad by those who once admired him. The man known as the "Blade Runner" because of his carbon-fiber running blades will have to serve 10 months, or one-sixth of his sentence, in prison before he is eligible to be moved to house arrest, legal analysts s

  • 'Cadaver dog' work more accepted by cops, courts

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    BENTON, Calif. (AP) — The burly Labrador retriever sticks out his wide snout to sniff the dirt and dusty air. He's clearly excited as he runs, yelping, through the high desert of California's Eastern Sierra region. "Buster, go find!" Paul Dostie commands. They are a team, the black Lab and the retired police officer. For years, they have worked together to unlock mysteries — to find the bodies of fighting men who fell long ago on foreign battlefields, or of victims of unsolved crimes or disappearances. In all, Dostie says that Buster's alerts have aided in the recovery of the remains of about 200 people. "He's a one-in-a-million dog," Dostie says. Maybe, but he's far from the only dog doing this kind of work.

  • Iran president pledges to back Iraq amid attacks

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Shiite powerhouse Iran has pledged enduring support for the Shiite-led government of Iraq in its battle against an ascendant Sunni insurgency spearheaded by the Islamic State group. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Tuesday that Iran has supported Baghdad "from the first day and will remain on that path until the last day," according to a report by the official IRNA news agency. Later, the state news agency reported that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, told al-Abadi that he considered the security of Iraq and Iran "inseparable." It was Abadi's first foreign visit since taking office in September.

  • Ancient Greek well yields rare wooden statue

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Archeologists in Greece have uncovered a rare wooden statue preserved in the muddy depths of an ancient well in Piraeus, the port of Athens. A Culture Ministry statement said Tuesday that the roughly half-meter (20-inch) high dressed male figure was found without its head, hands and feet, together with broken pottery dating to about 100-86 B.C. It was unclear who the statue might depict. The piece was found during an excavation of ancient wells in central Piraeus, where a new subway line will be built. Ancient wooden artefacts are uncommon discoveries in Greece as climate conditions do not favor their preservation. The ministry statement said the well also contained part of an ancient marbl

  • Submarine hunt exposes Swedish readiness gap

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — The search for a foreign underwater craft in waters off Stockholm has brought back memories of Sweden's submarine hunts during the Cold War — and exposed a key difference. Back then Sweden actually had a robust anti-submarine force. Sweden, which is not a NATO member, has downsized its military significantly since the Iron Curtain fell and has scrapped some of the resources it used to hunt for Soviet submarines, including helicopters equipped with sonar and anti-submarine weapons. "It's been a while since we conducted this type of operation. ... We are a bit rusty," Rear Adm. Anders Grenstad, chief of operations, told The Associated Press.

  • NATO intercepts Russian jets over Baltic Sea

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    HELSINKI (AP) — NATO scrambled fighter jets twice in two days to intercept Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea, it said Tuesday amid reports that Russian military activity in the region is increasing. Lt. Col. Robert Gericke said the Russian aircraft were flying in international airspace and had not violated the territory of alliance members. Two Canadian F-18 Hornet jets were scrambled from the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania on Monday to intercept a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft, which they shadowed for some 15 minutes, NATO said. "Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base," a NATO statement said.

  • Anti-government cleric ends protest in Islamabad

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — A fiery anti-government cleric has ended his 65-day long sit-in protest in Pakistan's capital Islamabad Tuesday. Tahirul Qadri announced he will now tour major Pakistani cities holding sit-ins and agitating for the launch of a "revolution of the poor." "This sit-in has achieved its purpose, it has awakened the nation and played its role in the path of revolution," Qadri told thousands of his supporters - many were women and some were in tears. Soon after Qadri's announcement, his supporters started packing up their camps and hugging one another goodbye. "We have spent a difficult time here and have established good relationships with each other," said Fauzia Habib.

  • Wozniacki beats Sharapova at WTA Finals

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Caroline Wozniacki credited her training for next month's New York Marathon as a key factor in her victory over Maria Sharapova in a grueling three-set match in the WTA Finals on Tuesday. Wozniacki won 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-2 to beat Sharapova for the second-straight time, having also won in the fourth round of the U.S. Open. Tuesday's result in the round-robin match dealt a major blow to Sharapova's hopes of claiming the year-end No. 1 ranking. Wozniacki, who has always been regarded as one of the fittest players on tour, said her additional running work in preparation for the marathon had taken her stamina to a new level and also given her added belief in Tuesday's 3 hour, 15-minute match.

  • North Dakota reaches deal to keep dinosaur mummy

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dakota the duckbilled dinosaur might have found permanent digs in Bismarck. State Historical Society Director Merl Paaverud said officials have reached a $3 million deal to keep the rare mummified fossil on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center, where it will serve as a cornerstone for the facility's $51 million expansion. The deal means the state can pursue fundraising from private sources, Paaverud said. While the $3 million must be raised within four years "or the deal is off," Paaverud said he's optimistic. "There is a lot of interest," Paaverud said. "People feel strongly about keeping it here.

  • N. America treated to partial solar eclipse Thurs.

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — North Americans, get set for the fourth and final eclipse of the year. On Thursday, most of North America will have prime viewing of a partial solar eclipse. The new moon will hide part of the sun from view. The eclipse will unfold slowly following its start near the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia. The best views will be in the U.S. Northwest and northern Canada, especially Prince of Wales Island. New England and the Canadian Maritime provinces will miss out. In the eastern half of the U.S., the eclipse will occur near sunset. Sky gazers are urged to protect their eyes with special filtered glasses. Regular sunglasses are not good enough. This makes for two solar and

  • Spanish woman free of Ebola, final tests show

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — Conclusive tests show a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola is cured of the virus, doctors said Tuesday, signaling a huge step forward in her 15-day battle for survival. Four blood tests over the past four days indicated Teresa Romero's system had eliminated the virus, said Dr. Jose Ramon Arribas of Madrid's Carlos III hospital. He added that Romeo will no longer have to be kept in isolation but will be closely monitored for after effects of the virus. The family spokeswoman for Romero, Teresa Mesa, said the nursing assistant could remain hospitalized for about two more weeks. Romero, 44, tested positive Oct. 6. She received plasma from a recovered Ebola patient, but health authorities ha

  • Total CEO killed in Moscow runway crash

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Christophe de Margerie, the charismatic CEO of Total SA who helped establish the multinational oil company as one of the world's biggest, was killed at a Moscow airport when his private jet collided with a snowplow whose driver was reportedly drunk. As well as questioning the driver, Russian investigators said Tuesday they were also assessing whether any mistakes were made by air traffic controllers in the crash which also killed three French crew members. The crash occurred at 11.57 p.m. Monday local time when the French-made Dassault Falcon 50 burst into flames after hitting the snowplow during takeoff from Vnukovo airport, which is used by Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, an

  • Police in Macedonia arrest 9 in helicopter scam

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Police in Macedonia have arrested a former Defense Ministry official and eight others for allegedly embezzling $2.8 million from the government by filing fake expenses related to a helicopter maintenance program. Police on Tuesday said the suspects — all Macedonians — were arrested following an investigation into the maintenance of six helicopters bought by the Macedonian military from Ukraine. The helicopters were flown back to Ukraine for maintenance between 2004 and 2009. The money allegedly embezzled was forwarded to companies registered by the suspects in Cyprus, Britain, Bulgaria and Macedonia. The ministry official and other suspects are facing trial for various fraud-related charge

  • Jerusalem stone may answer Jewish revolt questions

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli archaeologists said Tuesday they have discovered a large stone with Latin engravings that lends credence to the theory that the reason Jews revolted against Roman rule nearly 2,000 ago was because of their harsh treatment. Israel's Antiquities Authority said the stone bears the name of the Roman emperor Hadrian and the year of his visit to Jerusalem, a few years before the failed Bar Kochba revolt in the second century A.D. The inscription backs up historical accounts that Rome's Tenth Legion was present in Jerusalem in the run-up to the revolt. The cause of the Jewish revolt, which resulted in their exile, is disputed.

  • Correction: Sage Grouse Meeting story

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — In a story Oct. 18 about a sage grouse workshop in Fort Collins, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the meeting is about sage grouse populations and that tribes, industry and local conservation organizations are participating. The meeting is about genetics issues involving sage grouse and includes experts in conservation genetics from federal and state agencies, the Smithsonian Institution and universities. A corrected version of the story is below: Access to federal sage-grouse workshop criticized Sage-grouse workshop criticized by western officials over lack of access GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A meeting this week in Fort Collins about the greater sage-grouse has be

  • Argentina demands 'Top Gear' apology from BBC

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    LONDON (AP) — Argentina's ambassador to Britain on Tuesday demanded an apology from the BBC over an ill-fated trip by car show "Top Gear" to the South American country. The program's crew had to leave Argentina hastily last month after they faced violent protests for driving a car with license plate H982 FKL — interpreted by some as a reference to the country's 1982 war with Britain over the disputed Falkland Islands. The BBC insists the license plate was a coincidence, and host Jeremy Clarkson has accused Argentine officials of whipping up anger for "political capital.

  • Poland's Sikorski under fire over Russia interview

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's former Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski came under fire Tuesday from the prime minister and political opponents over a U.S. magazine interview in which he allegedly said Russia's president offered Poland the opportunity to jointly carve up Ukraine in 2008. Sikorski, now the parliamentary speaker, was quoted as saying in Sunday's issue of Politico Magazine that Russian President Vladimir Putin "wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine." He said Putin made the offer to then Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Moscow in 2008. Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, described Sikorski's comments as false. "First, we don't know much about the work of this publication," Pe

  • Newborn Puget Sound killer whale presumed dead

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash. (AP) — A killer whale born to much hope in early September apparently died while its pod was in the open ocean off Washington or British Columbia, the Center for Whale Research said. The baby was the first known calf born since 2012 to a population of endangered orcas that frequent Puget Sound in Washington state. It has not been seen since its pod returned in recent days to the inland waters of western Washington, said the center's Ken Balcomb. "The baby is gone," he said Tuesday. The pod was offshore for a week to 10 days, and the orca designated L-120 might have been lost in a storm in the middle of last week, Balcomb said.

  • Fight for Brazil's battleground state heats up

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Brazil's deadlocked presidential race is the most heated since the nation returned to democracy, and nowhere is the battle more bare-knuckled than in the state where both candidates were born. Minas Gerais, which has produced more presidents than any other state in the globe's fifth-largest nation, is key to whether incumbent Dilma Rousseff gets another four years in office or if challenger Aecio Neves returns the presidency to the Brazil's main opposition party after more than a decade in the wilderness. Because Minas Gerais is also the country's second most populous state with about 20.5 million of Brazil's 203.3 people, the nation's vote for president on Sunday hinges in large part on its vo