• Drew Peterson's lawyers appealing murder conviction

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) — Drew Peterson's murder conviction in his third wife's 2004 death should be overturned because of improper use of hearsay evidence and mistakes by his former attorney, lawyers for the former suburban Chicago police sergeant told a state appeals court Thursday. The ex-Bolingbrook officer was sentenced in 2012 to 38 years in prison for killing Kathleen Savio. He remains a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, whose case prompted officials to re-open their inquiry into Savio's bathtub drowning. Peterson's lawyers claim that Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila should not have allowed jurors to hear secondhand testimony from a pastor about conversations he had with Stacy Pe

  • South Carolina police kill man suspected of wounding deputy

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A man suspected of wounding a South Carolina sheriff's deputy was shot and killed by police when he emerged from an apartment Thursday shooting at officers, Charleston's police chief said. The dead man, identified as 32-year-old Jerome Thomas Caldwell of Mount Pleasant, had earlier holed up for 10 hours in apartments in a public housing complex in Charleston's historic district. He was in phone contact with police and "during negotiations he made several statements that would indicate to us that he was intent on either harming someone else or himself," Police Chief Greg Mullen told reporters during a news conference near the scene. Mullen said the standoff began when a State Law Enforcement Div

  • PayPal's new chief promises new services for a mobile world

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — As PayPal prepares to split from its corporate parent, its new chief executive is promising to expand the popular online payment system, adding a variety of services for consumers to use when shopping on their phones or in traditional stores. PayPal will be spinning off from parent company eBay later this year at a time when it's facing new competitive challenges. Alibaba, Amazon and even Facebook are promoting online payment systems, while Apple Pay and Google Wallet are competing to handle transactions in stores and on mobile devices.

  • The latest things to know about the Takata air bag recall

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — Out of concern for the safety of drivers, the U.S. government may step in to manage a giant recall of air bags made by Takata Corp. On Thursday, the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started the process to take control of the recall of 33.8 million air bags that can spew shrapnel into drivers or passengers. The recall covers roughly one in seven vehicles on U.S. roads. Many questions about the problem remain unanswered as an investigation continues, but here's what you need to know about the largest automotive recall in U.S. history: THE DANGER In a crash, the air bag can deploy with too much force and pelt unsuspecting drivers or passengers with fragments from a me

  • Boy Scouts' leader says ban on gay adults not sustainable

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The president of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates, said Thursday that the organization's longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults is no longer sustainable and called for change in order to prevent "the end of us as a national movement." In a speech in Atlanta to the Scouts' national annual meeting, Gates referred to recent moves by Scout councils in New York City and elsewhere to defy the ban. "The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," he said. Gates said no change in the policy would be made at the national meeting.

  • New Mexico ranchers, farmers sue over jaguar border habitat

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The setting aside of critical habitat for the endangered jaguar in New Mexico was an "unlawful, arbitrary and capricious" action by federal authorities and needs to be overturned, a new lawsuit says. In court papers filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association and New Mexico Federal Lands Council said the decision by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to set aside public and private land for the cat would place unnecessary regulations on landowners.

  • Days after Waco, South Carolina braces for bikers

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Tens of thousands of bikers are expected to descend on South Carolina's Myrtle Beach area this Memorial Day weekend — and when they do, they'll be met with heavy security. Locals say there are rarely problems during the Bikefest in Atlantic Beach, a predominantly black enclave of just 350 year-round residents outside the popular resort town of Myrtle Beach. But the deadly violence that erupted on the fringe of last year's Atlantic Beach Bikefest and the shootout in Waco, Texas, between rival motorcycle gangs that resulted in nine deaths have given authorities extra reason for caution.

  • A look at how California spill compares with 1969 disaster

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — An oil slick stretched across 9 miles of coastal waters Thursday after a pipeline rupture spilled thousands of gallons of sticky, stinking crude just north of Santa Barbara. Crews are working around the clock to rake, skim and vacuum it up. The coastline was the scene of a much larger spill in 1969 — the largest in U.S. waters at the time. Here are some things to know about the two spills: ___ VOLUME OF CRUDE The 1969 blowout at a Union Oil Co. offshore platform dumped more than 3 million gallons of crude oil over a span of a month. Up to 30 miles of beaches were fouled. Tuesday's pipeline break lasted about three hours.

  • Fears mount over Palmyra as IS expands territory in Syria

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Fears mounted over the fate of one of the Mideast's most prominent archaeological sites after Islamic State militants overran the historic Syrian town of Palmyra, seizing control Thursday of its temples, tombs and colonnades within hours. The takeover also expanded the extremists' hold, making them the single group controlling the most territory in Syria. "The Syrian regime appears to be in terminal decline, and the Islamic State group in its timing is capitalizing on recent losses by government forces in the north and south," said Amr Al-Azm, an antiquities expert and professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio.

  • A look at Palmyra, the historic Syrian town captured by IS

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — A look at Palmyra, the Syrian archaeological gem captured by Islamic State fighters. LOCATION: A desert oasis surrounded by palm trees in central Syria, Palmyra is also a strategic crossroads linking the Syrian capital Damascus with the country's east and neighboring Iraq. Home to 65,000 people before the latest fighting, the town is located 155 miles (215 kilometers) east of Damascus. HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE: A UNESCO world heritage site, Palymra boasts 2,000-year-old towering Roman-era colonnades, temples and priceless artifacts that have earned it the affectionate name among Syrians of the "Bride of the Desert.

  • McDonald's CEO 'proud' of pay hike; protesters want more

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said Thursday he was "incredibly proud" of a decision to bump pay for some workers, even after protesters called on the company to do more outside its annual shareholder meeting. Easterbrook, who stepped into his role in March, is fighting to revive sluggish sales and convince people that McDonald's is a "modern, progressive burger company." But the push comes at a time when protests for pay of $15 an hour and a union have been spreading around the country. Hundreds of protesters turned out in Oak Brook, Illinois on Wednesday and Thursday before the company's meeting.

  • Former Boko Haram captives still held _ by Nigerian military

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — The accusations against a woman who was rescued from Boko Haram abductors came from fellow former captives during a group counseling session. Why had she received preferential treatment and better food while they were held? Wasn't she married to a fighter from the Islamic extremist group? As scores of young Nigerian women and children are rescued from the clutches of Boko Haram, they face suspicions that they may still be in contact with their former captors. These fears apparently have led to an entire group of 275 women and girls rescued from the extremists last month being forced to remain in custody — held this time by the Nigerian military. The Defense Ministry spokesman, Maj. Gen.

  • Indy 500 veteran Ryan Briscoe replaces injured Hinchcliffe

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Briscoe was home in Connecticut, getting ready to leave for France next week for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when he received a call he had been anticipating. Ever since the devastating wreck that sent James Hinchcliffe to the hospital during Monday's practice for the Indianapolis 500, the natural assumption had been that Briscoe would step into the No. 5 car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for the 99th running of the race. It became official when team co-owner Sam Schmidt dialed his number Tuesday morning. "Obviously coming into the Indy 500, the day before Carb Day, is not ideal," Briscoe said Thursday, shortly before taking his first few laps in a special familiarization session.

  • Indiana approves 1st needle-exchange program under new law

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana approved a yearlong needle-exchange program Thursday for a rural county at the center of an HIV outbreak that spurred a new state law allowing such programs to curb the spread of diseases among intravenous drug users. State health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams' approval for Scott County includes a public health emergency declaration that will allow it to operate a needle-exchange through May 24, 2016. The southeastern Indiana county has operated a temporary needle-exchange since early April under executive orders Gov. Mike Pence signed in response to the largest HIV outbreak in state history.

  • Lumber Liquidators CEO quits, catching company off guard

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Lumber Liquidators CEO Robert Lynch has abruptly quit the company that is embroiled in an investigation over products imported from China. Shares tumbled more than 16 percent in trading on Thursday. The company said Lynch resigned "unexpectedly" and declined to provide more details on the resignation when asked by The Associated Press. The company earlier this month said that it had suspended the sale of all laminate flooring made in China after disclosing that the Justice Department is seeking criminal charges against it. At the time Lumber Liquidators said that it decided to suspend the sales while a board committee completes a review of its sourcing compliance program.

  • Huckabee is latest straw poll no-show. Is event in jeopardy?

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The people running Iowa's Republican presidential straw poll want less money and glitz involved as they try to take this summer's event back to basics. But now they are facing a different kind of downsizing — fewer candidates. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is the latest 2016 prospect to opt out of the Iowa tradition, announcing Thursday that he won't participate in this year's poll. Eight years ago he placed second. In an opinion piece published Thursday in The Des Moines Register, Huckabee said the straw poll is likely to draw only the more conservative candidates and the competition could weaken them.

  • Army sergeant sentenced in 2013 Afghan fuel bribery scheme

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Georgia say an Army sergeant has been sentenced in a bribery scheme that involved Afghan truckers reselling military fuel on the black market. Prosecutors say 41-year-old James Edward Norris of Fort Irwin, California, was sentenced Thursday to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $176,000 in restitution. Prosecutors say Norris conspired with other soldiers at Forward Operating Base Gardez to solicit and accept $2,000 daily from Afghan truck drivers in early 2013 if the truckers were allowed to take thousands of gallons of fuel from the base. Norris said he was paid roughly $100,000 in the scheme. Sgt. Seneca Hampton also pleaded guilty in the scheme and faces sentencing Ju

  • Hewlett-Packard sells stake in Chinese unit for $2.3B

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Hewlett-Packard is selling a controlling stake in its China sever and storage unit, a move that comes as the Chinese government, apparently worried about U.S. cyberspying, has encouraged the use of local companies. HP said Thursday it will sell the 51 percent stake in the business for about $2.3 billion to Tsinghua Holdings, part of state-owned Tsinghua University. The sale will create a partnership to be called H3C. HP said the move will accelerate growth in the country. "HP is making a bold move to win in today's China," said CEO Meg Whitman. "Partnering with Tsinghua, one of China's most respected institutions, the new H3C will be able to drive even greater innovation for China, in China.

  • US stock market notches tiny gains; oil price rises sharply

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are closing slightly higher, led by an advance in energy stocks as the price of oil climbs. Salesforce.com was among the big gainers Thursday after reporting results that beat analysts' forecasts. Best Buy was also up after reporting strong earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up a fraction of point to 18,285. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose five points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,130. The Nasdaq composite climbed 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,090. Oil rose $1.74, or 3 percent, to $60.72 a barrel following reports that U.S. storage levels are falling. That sent energy stocks higher. Rig operator Transocean gained 4 percent. Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year

  • AP PHOTOS: Crews rake, vacuum up oil after California spill

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Cleanup is underway after an oil spill spanning 9 miles of California coastline, with crews in protective suits working hard to rake, shovel and vacuum up the sticky black goo. Up to 105,000 gallons leaked from the ruptured pipeline Tuesday, and up to 21,000 gallons reached the sea just northwest of Santa Barbara, according to early estimates. The environmental impact still is being assessed. The spill occurred along a long, rustic coast that forms the northern boundary of the Santa Barbara Channel, home to a rich array of sea life. ___ Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo .




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