• Senior falls 4 stories to death at Massachusetts university

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Authorities say a student has fallen to his death from a fourth-floor window at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. WMUR-TV reports (bit.ly/1Q1KhHp) that senior James Tilley fell at about 2 a.m. Friday. He was from Windham, New Hampshire, and was majoring in physics and math. Massachusetts State Police and the district attorney's office are investigating the death.

  • Spanish police arrest 7 on suspicion of jihadi links to IS

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    MADRID (AP) — Spanish police arrested seven suspected members of a jihadi cell linked to the Islamic State group and Jabhat al-Nusra militants during raids Sunday in the eastern provinces of Valencia and Alicante, and in Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta. Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the cell had sent arms, bomb-making materials and electronic equipment to Syria and Iraq in shipments disguised as humanitarian aid. In a statement, police said the cell was well-organized and coordinated by a ringleader who ran a business that enabled him to ship containers with technological supplies, weapons and military equipment from Spanish ports to armed groups in operating in Syria and Iraq.

  • A look at restoring wild salmon runs on the Columbia River

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The hope of restoring wild salmon runs above the giant Grant Coulee Dam would take a step closer to reality if the decision is made to proceed with an initial study on the issue. Salmon runs on the upper Columbia River and its tributaries were blocked by Grand Coulee Dam, which was built in the 1930s, and by Chief Joseph Dam, which was built downstream in the 1950s. Both were built without fish ladders and killed a 10,000-year-old Native American fishery. A look at the issue and considerations: ___ FISH LADDERS It's too soon to determine if fish ladders, the traditional method by which fish swim up and through dams, will be the solution, John Sirois, of Upper Columbia United Tribes,

  • Federal judge asked to revoke bond of Ohio terrorism suspect

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Ohio want a judge to revoke the bond for one of four men accused of raising money for a former al-Qaida leader. Court officials say Sultane Room Salim has twice violated terms of his release. They say he once briefly left a Columbus mosque while attending prayer services while out on bond. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Tuesday in Toledo. U.S. marshals took Salim into custody Friday. A federal judge in November released Salim from prison on a $500,000 property bond. He was ordered to live with his mother in eastern Ohio while he waited for a potential trial. His attorneys have denied his involvement in what prosecutors say was an effort to raise money fo

  • More than 20 Texas town repeal sex offender residency law

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    DALLAS (AP) — A broad legal challenge has led more than 20 Texas towns to ease restrictions over the last few months on where sex offenders can live. About 45 Texas towns received letters in November from the nonprofit group Texas Voices for Reason and Justice, demanding they repeal residency restrictions. It also has sued 14 towns and has a powerful ally — the state attorney general's office. At issue is how Texas' small towns are differentiated from larger ones. Communities with fewer than 5,000 people are "general law" towns, which can't adopt an ordinance that the Legislature hasn't permitted. Communities have recently learned their sex-offender laws have run afoul of state rules.

  • Airstrike hits college in eastern Libyan city, killing 4

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan parliamentarian says an airstrike hit a medical technology college in a populated area of the eastern city of Darna, killing four people, including a woman and her son. Hamid Albandag, a member of the internationally recognized parliament, says the early Sunday airstrike hit near a hospital. It was not immediately clear who carried out the strike. Darna is controlled by an alliance of Islamic militant groups which have been defending the town from Islamic State militants. Albandag says the IS group is 6-7 kilometers (4 miles) outside the city. Libya has fallen into chaos since the 2011 toppling of longtime dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. Since 2014, an internationally recognized govern

  • Low pay forces South Dakota teachers to hold 2nd, 3rd jobs

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Teachers are paid less in South Dakota than in any other state, and many have had to take on second and even third jobs to make ends meet. South Dakota's average teacher salary of $40,023 for 2013-14 was $11,888 lower than the combined average paid to teachers in the six bordering states and more than $8,000 less than its next lowest-paying neighbor, North Dakota. Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proposed a half-cent sales tax increase to help raise teacher pay, but it would require two-thirds approval in both chambers of the conservative Legislature, which has a decidedly anti-tax lean. Steve Bayer heads the school board in Brookings.

  • License plate readers a double-edged sword for NY village

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    FREEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — A New York village that installed a ring of license plate scanners to track every car driving into town has found the new system to be a double-edged sword. The data helped police in Freeport, Long Island, catch a fugitive murder suspect. But police say they also are spending a lot of time chasing motorists for minor offenses like driving with an expired registration. Since November, the ring of 27 cameras has scanned more than 15.4 million license plates, leading to 25 arrests, 500 cars impounded and more than 2,000 summonses issued. Mayor Robert Kennedy says officers have tried to scale back their responses to the 700 alarms a day triggered by the system.

  • Driven by power outages and savings, towns look to microgrid

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step — pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid. Nassau's decision to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020 puts it on the leading edge of a national campaign to develop "microgrids" designed to make communities more energy independent and the grid more resilient. While only a few communities have become early adopters, proponents say there is also growing interest across the country from places looking to save money by selling excess power to utilities and to help the environment. But development of microgrids has been slowed

  • Study explores how black men find success in college

    Updated: 14 hr ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A new study from the University of Pennsylvania is highlighting how some black male college students are thriving on mainstream campuses while pushing back against racial stereotypes. The study is written by Shaun Harper at the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. He surveyed more than 140 students at 30 predominantly white colleges. Among its findings are that black male students gain confidence by taking on campus leadership roles to help change perceptions of them among their white peers and faculty. Studies show that everyday racial slights can be a factor in black male graduation rates. The study challenges white students and faculty to confront their biases to share the burde

  • Costs of closing, cleaning toxic coal ash pits grows clearer

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    EDEN, N.C. (AP) — Two years after one of the worst coal ash spills in U.S. history, the country's largest electricity company is digging up and hauling away the residue. The 2014 disaster polluted a river that runs through North Carolina and Virginia and led legislators to order Duke Energy Corp. to close all 32 of its coal ash pits in North Carolina by 2029. It's also closing its South Carolina pits. The bill for a long-delayed cost of burning coal for power could burden consumers for years. Duke Energy faces about $4 billion in cleanup liabilities in the two states. If it's all passed along to ratepayers, accountants at the state agency that represents consumers calculate North Carolina households could see rates ri

  • Return of Purple Heart from WWII turns up missing family

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Purple Heart awarded to a soldier from New Hampshire killed in World War II's Battle of the Bulge has brought together two branches of a family that never knew of the other's existence. Eugene Victor Call was a 32-year-old U.S. Army technician when he was killed on March 2, 1945, near Kapellen, Germany. Recently, the Vermont group Purple Hearts Reunited got a call from Rick Daigle in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Daigle's wife had died, and among her possessions were Call's Purple Heart and other medals. Her mother was once married to Call. Daigle wanted the medals returned to family. The search led to a namesake great-nephew in Newport, New Hampshire, and to grandchildren in California.

  • Afghanistan hopes for talks with Taliban this month

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan expects to hold direct talks with the Taliban by the end of this month, an official said Sunday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mostaghani told reporters that Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States agreed on a roadmap toward peace talks at a meeting in Islamabad the day before. He said the government hopes to "put an end to the futile violence which is imposed on our people." The last direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban broke down after just one session last summer when Kabul announced that the Taliban's reclusive, longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years earlier. The next four-country meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23 in Kabul.

  • Massachusetts plan could spur hydro imports to New England

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Tapping into Canadian hydropower is hardly a new concept in energy-starved New England. But Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's proposal to authorize long-term contracts between utilities and hydropower producers is being viewed in some quarters as a potential game-changer for the region. The move is not without doubters, and the question of how to deliver Canadian hydro on a large scale remains unanswered. Among several plans yet to secure final approval are the $1.4 billion Northern Pass project, designed to bring 1,090 megawatts of Hydro-Quebec power through New Hampshire into southern New England and a 1,000-megawatt transmission line beneath Lake Champlain in Vermont. A single megawatt can power up to 1,000 home

  • Algeria's parliament OKs new constitution with term limits

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new constitution aimed at reforming the country by limiting presidents to two terms and recognizing the language used by its Berber minority as official. The text was presented Sunday to the assembly and the senate — with 499 lawmakers voting for it, two against and 16 abstentions. The reforms were promised by 79-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his government following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in neighboring countries. Trumpeting the victory, Algeria's Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said "history will remember that you all have contributed to a renewed republic, to which the people can aspire.

  • Museum puts on free planetarium event for supporting towns

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    ST. JOHNSURY, Vt. (AP) — The Fairbanks Museum in St. Johnsbury is offering a free planetarium presentation next weekend to residents of the more than a dozen communities that support it. The presentation and special programing takes place Saturday, Feb. 13. The towns are St. Johnsbury, Barnet, Burke, Danville, East Haven, Granby, Kirby, Lyndonville, Newark, Peacham, Sheffield, Stannard, Sutton, Walden, and Waterford. Residents of those towns also can visit the museum any day at no charge.

  • Iraqi Kurds protest against Turkey, 3 police wounded

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Protests against Turkey in Iraq's northern Kurdish region have turned violent, with three police officers wounded. Hundreds of protesters gathered Sunday outside the United Nations compound in the northern city of Irbil calling for an end to Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish militants. Local media reported that three police were wounded. Turkey began launching airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in July 2015 as part of the U.S.-led coalition's fight against the Islamic State group. In Syria it has targeted the IS group, while in Iraq it has taken aim at the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against Ankara.

  • Afghanistan hopes to meet with Taliban this month

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan expects to hold direct talks with the Taliban by the end of this month, an official said Sunday. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mostaghani told reporters that Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the United States had agreed on a roadmap toward peace talks at a meeting in Islamabad the day before. He said the government hopes to "put an end to the futile violence which is imposed on our people." The last direct talks between Kabul and the Taliban broke down after just one session last summer when Kabul announced that the Taliban's reclusive, longtime leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died two years ago. The next four-country meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23 in Kabul.

  • Pope pleas for help for Syrians fleeing war so they survive

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has made a public plea for help for Syrians fleeing civil war so that their survival and dignity are assured. Francis told a crowd in St. Peter's Square on Sunday that "I am following with strong worry the dramatic fate of the civilian population caught up in the violent combat in Syria and forced to abandon everything to flee the horrors of the war." He said he hoped that thanks to the world's "generous solidarity" the necessary aid would be given so these refugees' "'survival and dignity" are guaranteed. The pope also called upon the international community to spare no efforts to revive negotiations to end the war that began in 2011. The latest round of Syrian peace talks recently s

  • Israeli leader calls on world to condemn arson of synagogue

    Updated: 17 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on the world to condemn a suspected arson attack against a makeshift synagogue in the West Bank where Jewish Torah scrolls were burned. The scrolls were stored inside a tent that was used as a synagogue near a West Bank outpost that overlooked the site where the bodies of three Jewish teenagers were found in June 2014. Their abduction and murder was carried out by Palestinians said by Israel to be members of the militant group Hamas and set off a series of events that ultimately led to that summer's 50-day war in Gaza.




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