• New Afghan Taliban leader promises to continue insurgency

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Political uncertainty inside the Taliban has cast doubt on the prospects for an end to the war in Afghanistan. On Saturday the Taliban's controversial new leader vowed to continue fighting while urging unity among his followers in a message aimed at preventing a split in the group between those who want peace and those who still believe they can win. An audio message purportedly from newly elected Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor came as cracks in the Taliban's previously united front widened, two days after the group confirmed an Afghan government report that reclusive longtime leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, had died. The 30-minute speech attributed to Mansoor was emailed to The Associated P

  • 'Downton Abbey' to get a float in the 2016 Rose Bowl parade

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Maggie Smith's character on "Downton Abbey" might find the pomp and circumstance uncomfortable, but the PBS show is getting its own float in the Rose Parade, two days before the premiere of its sixth and final season on Jan. 3. PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger made the announcement Saturday at a bi-annual panel for TV critics. "It's just a beautiful send off to the series and I think it's fun," said Kerger. She said that PBS has been accused at times of not having a sense of humor and whimsy, and the float plan does have those qualities. As for specifics: "It will have a lot of flowers on it and it will be a 'Downton Abbey' theme.

  • Bobby Brown, family mourn the late Bobbi Kristina at funeral


    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) — R&B singer Bobby Brown emerged from the funeral of his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, staring toward the ground before lifting his head up and briefly gazing at the sky. Sporting a black dress shirt, the grieving Brown was one of the first to exit the tension-filled private service for Bobbi Kristina on Saturday at the St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta. Twenty-two-year-old Bobbi Kristina was the only child between Brown and the late megastar singer Whitney Houston. Bobbi Kristina died in hospice care July 26, about six months after she was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub at her townhome.

  • Subway sandwich artists set world record in Las Vegas


    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Subway's "sandwich artists" cranked out a record number of their lunchmeat masterpieces in Las Vegas on Saturday. Franchisees and employees from around the world set a Guinness World Record for the "most people making sandwiches simultaneously" when 1,481 people built subs at the same time during the brand's annual convention in Las Vegas. All of the sandwiches were donated to the Salvation Army. The previous record was set in February 2014, when 1,363 people sponsored by the dining discount company TangoTab made sandwiches at the same time in Dallas.

  • NAACP's 'Journey for Justice' protest march begins in Selma


    SELMA, Ala. (AP) — Protest marches have been part of Selma's civil rights fabric since 1965, but an 860-mile trek to Washington had a minister leaning on the Bible for heavenly support Saturday. The Rev. Theresa Dear noted the magnitude of what lies ahead, but never doubted that the "40-day-and-40-night" march will be successful. Dear told the Montgomery Advertiser (http://on.mgmadv.com/1KI1EQp ) just before the march began at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, "We are doing something of biblical proportions." Sponsored by the NAACP, "America's Journey for Justice" is scheduled to extend through eastern seaboard states before ending in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 15.

  • Dr. Dre announces release of first album in 15 years


    PHOENIX (AP) — Hip hop super-producer Dr. Dre says the wait is finally over — he's going to release his first album in 15 years. Dre said on his radio show, Dr. Dre's The Pharmacy, that "Compton a Soundtrack by Dr. Dre" will be available Aug. 7. He said Saturday that the album was inspired by the N.W.A. biopic "Straight Outta Compton," a Hollywood film that details his rise in the music industry along with members of one of the genre's most well-known hardcore groups. Dre said the album includes features from Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Snoop Dogg. It's his first album since "2001," which was released in 1999. He says it's going to be his grand finale, "and the record is bananas.

  • Prosecutor: Texas AG indicted for felony securities fraud


    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A grand jury has indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on felony securities fraud charges that accuse the Republican of misleading investors before he took over as the state's top law enforcement officer, a special prosecutor said Saturday. Kent Schaffer, a Houston defense attorney appointed by a judge to the case, told The New York Times that a Texas grand jury indicted Paxton on two counts of first-degree securities fraud and a lesser charge of not registering. The most serious allegation is that he encouraged investment in McKinney-based tech startup company Servergy Inc., which is now under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Woman gets probation in boyfriend's death by neglect


    ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina woman has been sentenced to five years of probation for fatally neglecting her boyfriend, who died several months after being taken to the hospital with bedsores, mold in his catheter and bug bites. Multiple media outlets report Crystal Perdue, of Rock Hill, pleaded guilty Friday to neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death. Perdue cried as she told the judge she loved Jonathan Earle but failed him. Earle had multiple health problems, including multiple sclerosis and diabetes. He died on his 41st birthday in September 2012. Investigators say Perdue accepted the responsibility for Earle's care, but when detectives went to their home, they had to wade through knee-deep tras

  • NYC health official expects more Legionnaires' disease cases


    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City health official says it is likely doctors will diagnose more cases of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx in the coming days, amid an outbreak that has killed four and sickened dozens. Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control in the city's health department, told The Associated Press on Saturday that people who live or work in the South Bronx, where the disease-causing bacteria have been found, could be at risk. "It's certainly possible and likely that there will be more cases of this disease identified over the next few days," he said. "And those will be due to people who were exposed to this infection before the cleaning process began.

  • Conservative donor Koch urges end to 'corporate cronyism'


    DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is challenging a group of roughly 450 like-minded conservative political donors to advocate for ending "corporate cronyism" - policies that in many cases help their businesses. Along with his brother David, Koch has long pressed for a federal government that collects fewer taxes and issues fewer regulations. He told a group of donors at a conference Saturday south of Los Angeles that cutting back special treatment for business is the first step to ending a "two-tiered society" and encouraging "principled entrepreneurship" The Koch brothers and their network of donors are preparing to spend $890 million to influence elections next year.

  • Firefighter dies in wind-fueled Northern California wildfire


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A firefighter evaluating a Northern California wildfire was killed by the erratic, wind-stoked blaze while he was surveying an area to decide the best way for crews to handle the flames, a U.S. Forest Service official said Saturday. Forest Service firefighter David Ruhl, 38, was in a vehicle in the Modoc National Forest and would have been scouting for ways to suppress the fire when crews lost contact with him Thursday evening, Forest Service spokesman Ken Sandusky said. Officials said they couldn't immediately say whether Ruhl had time to let others know by radio that he was in trouble, or whether flames overtook him too fast to call for help. His body was recovered Friday.

  • Company, FAA working on Gulfstream IV jet fail-safe problem


    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The manufacturer of the jet that crashed on takeoff in Massachusetts last year, killing the co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer and six other people, has reported a problem with a fail-safe system that can allow the planes to reach high speeds on the runway even if they are prevented from taking off. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. said in a document released by the National Transportation Safety Board that the Gulfstream IV has an interlock system that is supposed to keep the plane's throttle from being moved past 6 degrees, thereby limiting acceleration, while hinged tail sections, called elevators, are immobilized.

  • Verizon strike possible as contract deadline looms


    NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon workers in nine states could walk off the job as soon as early Sunday if union negotiators don't reach an agreement over benefits with the wireless carrier. A contract covering 39,000 Verizon workers represented by two unions expires at the end of Saturday. Last week, the Communications Workers of America announced that 86 percent of Verizon workers covered by the contract voted to strike in a recent poll, if a new agreement isn't reached. The contract covers employees in nine states from Massachusetts to Virginia who work for Verizon's wireline business, which provides fixed-line phone services and FiOS Internet service.

  • Graham says he can win New Hampshire - and McCain agrees


    MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says he's confident he can win presidential primaries in New Hampshire and his home state of South Carolina, two of the first voting states in the nomination contest. His friend and Senate colleague, two-time New Hampshire primary winner John McCain, agrees. McCain is joining Graham for a full day of campaign events, including a town hall meeting Saturday in Manchester. Considered an underdog, the Arizona Republican won the 2000 New Hampshire primary after hosting more than 100 town halls. He turned to the same strategy in 2008 and went on to win the GOP nomination. Graham likely won't be on the stage Thursday when Fox News hosts the first GOP primary debate.

  • Chief insists officer fatally shot teen in self-defense


    SENECA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina police chief says he will not release the name of an officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old man in a Hardee's parking lot, insisting the officer acted in self-defense. While the attorney for the teen's parents disputed the officer's account, Seneca Chief John Covington reiterated Friday the department considers the officer a victim of attempted murder. "We feel that releasing his name may possibly subject the officer and family to harassment, intimidation or abuse," Covington said in a written statement released to the media. Zachary Hammond was shot twice about 8:20 p.m. on July 26. According to a police report, he had driven a 23-year-old woman to the parking lot after an underco

  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich says family worth between $9M and $22M


    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of more than a dozen Republicans seeking the party's presidential nomination, reports that he and his family are worth between $9 million and $22 million. A personal financial disclosure report filed Friday offered the first detailed account of Kasich's personal wealth. It included assets owned by Kasich, his wife, Karen Waldbillig Kasich, and trusts set up for his wife and their twin daughters, Emma and Reese. The Federal Election Commission requires federal officeholders and candidates to indicate the value of assets, such as stocks or savings accounts, in broad dollar-figure categories. Kasich, 63, entered the race July 21.

  • Dixon wins pole, eyes another IndyCar victory at Mid-Ohio


    LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Needing a strong final push to challenge for the IndyCar championship, Scott Dixon can't ask for a much better opportunity than this. In third place in the standings with three races remaining, Dixon will start from the front Sunday at Mid-Ohio, the track where he has won five times in 10 starts and looks as dominant as ever this weekend. Dixon set a track record with his pole-winning time Saturday and understands this may the best chance he'll get to close the gap on points leader Juan Pablo Montoya. "It's pretty tight around second, third, fourth, fifth, even going down to sixth I think at this point," Dixon said. "All of us have got to have a good run, and hopefully (Montoya) doesn't have one.

  • False alarm: Recycled device has Air Patrol scrambling


    YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Volunteers at the Michigan Civil Air Patrol are standing down after a distress signal that bounced off a satellite took them to an Ypsilanti house — and a false alarm. Maj. Robert Bowden says an emergency beacon was detected in the area, meaning a possible boater in distress. Instead, four Air Patrol members followed the signal to a house Saturday. A man who lives there had found the beacon at a recycling center and took it home. He didn't know it was sending a signal. It's about the size of a water bottle. Bowden says Air Patrol volunteers arrived by van or SUV, but a flight crew was standing by if needed. He suggests people disconnect the batteries if they're getting rid of old emergency lo

  • Christie, others turn to McCain's town hall playbook in 2016


    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — In the summer of 1999, John McCain didn't have many big names backing his campaign for president. He didn't have much money, either, and even resorted at one point to giving away ice cream to drum up a decent-size crowd. Enter the town hall. Driven to "desperation," McCain decided to meet as many people as possible at as many of the Q&A events as he could. It took months for the strategy to pay dividends, but when it did, McCain was packing 'em in. "It was just jammed," McCain said of one town hall, held at a fire house at 8 a.m. "That people would get up real early in the morning to go to a town hall with me — that was the first real indication that we had some momentum.

  • Researcher in Zimbabwe doubts report of 2nd lion killing


    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A lion researcher in Zimbabwe on Saturday cast doubt on a report of the shooting death of a male lion who was a companion of Cecil, a famous lion killed by an American hunter in early July. The satellite collar on a second lion named Jericho has been sending normal signals, indicating the lion is alive and moving around, researcher Brent Stapelkamp told The Associated Press. A report on the Facebook page of an advocacy group called the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Jericho was killed Saturday and that it would provide more details when they were available. The killing of Cecil earlier this month sparked an international outcry. Zimbabwean authorities called it an illegal hunt. Cecil h