Top Stories

  • New date for first lady's Kansas graduation speech

    Updated: 33 min ago

    TOKYO (AP) — Michelle Obama is rearranging plans for a speech before graduating high school seniors in Kansas in the face of protests that her appearance at a combined graduation ceremony for five schools would limit seating for families and friends. She had accepted the Topeka public school district's invitation to speak May 17 at the combined ceremony to mark that day's 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing school segregation. The case originated in Topeka. But a furor over what the district considered an honor erupted after plans for Mrs. Obama's address were announced.

  • 2 GOP Senate candidates say rival evading stands

    Updated: 34 min ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Republicans competing for Minnesota's U.S. Senate nomination are accusing a leading GOP contender in the race of ducking tough questions. St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg says investment banker Mike McFadden is insulting voters with evasive answers on health care, immigration, guns and other topics. State Sen. Julianne Ortman says McFadden hasn't given straight answers. The three candidates are vying to face Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November. Dahlberg criticized McFadden at a news conference Thursday. Ortman weighed in later. McFadden spokesman Tom Erickson says the campaign is focused on Franken and says Republicans should avoid "beating each other up.

  • Senate votes to study regulating drones in NH

    Updated: 34 min ago

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's Senate has voted without debate to study whether to limit government and public use of drones to protect citizens' privacy. The Senate Judiciary Committee had voted 5-0 to recommend more study of the issue, saying regulations proposed by a House bill were premature. The Senate agreed Thursday. The House measure would require police to get a warrant if they want to use evidence obtained by using drones as surveillance. It also sets other limits while allowing some commercial and institutional use. The military and some law enforcement agencies already use the devices, but the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't allow commercial use of drones. More than a dozen states curre

  • Rebels kill 7 after voting in Indian elections

    Updated: 34 min ago

    SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A major day of voting in the world's biggest elections was marred by violence Thursday as suspected rebels killed four paramilitary soldiers and three polling officials who were traveling on buses after conducting balloting in two Indian states. Maoist insurgents ambushed one of the buses near Shikaripada, a village in eastern Jharkhand state, and fatally shot four paramilitary soldiers and two polling officials carrying voting machines, said Anurag Gupta, a state police spokesman. Other details were not immediately available. Suspected rebels also fatally shot an Indian poll official and wounded four other people in an attack on another bus in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir in the north.

  • Old Duvalier party plans to run in Haiti election

    Updated: 35 min ago

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A member of an old political party founded under the Duvalier dictatorship says that it plans to enter candidates in Haiti's upcoming elections. Friteau Marc of the National Unity Party told The Associated Press Thursday that the candidates will run "at all levels" in the legislative and local vote, which has not yet been scheduled. The political party inaugurated an office on Tuesday in a town along the country's southeastern coast. The ceremony was attended by Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier and his longtime partner Veronique Roy. Duvalier ruled Haiti from 1971 to 1986 as the country's president for life. He made a surprise return to Haiti in 2011 following 25 years in exile.

  • Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments

    Updated: 35 min ago

    MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Governor candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) isn't attending a Republican dinner in Moline because he says he disagrees with past statements of a pastor asked to speak at the event. The (Moline) Dispatch ( ) reports Rauner was to attend Thursday's Rock Island County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner where the Rev. Donald Johnson of Rock Island's Destiny Baptist Church was to speak. Rauner told The Associated Press Thursday he "strongly strongly" disagrees with Johnson's comments. He wouldn't elaborate. The Dispatch reports Johnson's books accuse President Barack Obama of "anti-Biblical" actions and that he "homosexualized the military." Johnson declined comment to the news

  • New Yorker who faked drowning gets 7-year sentence

    Updated: 35 min ago

    MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man will spend up to seven years in prison for faking his own drowning in an insurance fraud scheme and other crimes. Raymond Roth of Massapequa, Long Island, was sentenced to 2 1/3 to seven years in prison in Nassau County Court. He admitted to faking his own drowning at Jones Beach in the summer of 2012. He was later convicted on unrelated charges of posing as a police officer and trying to accost a woman on a Freeport street. Thursday's sentencing covers both crimes. Roth's son, Jonathan Roth, is serving a year in the county jail for helping his father with the drowning scheme. Roth also must pay $36,555.37 in restitution to cover the costs emergency workers incurred in s

  • New Kansas gun law deals with drunken possession

    Updated: 35 min ago

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Backers of a new Kansas gun-rights law taking effect in July are describing provisions dealing with the drunken possession of firearms as a significant improvement for public safety. But an official with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence sees the language as problematic because it contains a self-defense exception. The new law strips cities and counties of their power to regulate guns and ensures that the open carrying of firearms is legal across the state. It also makes it clear that carrying a loaded firearm while drunk or under the influence of drugs is a misdemeanor.

  • Arizona Legislature adjourns after 101 days

    Updated: 35 min ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — It took 101 days, one week of national outrage and countless battles. But the Arizona Legislature did it. It officially wrapped up its 2014 session around 1:45 a.m. on Thursday, following hours of debates that began Wednesday and a last-minute threat by House legislators over a bill that extends the life of several state boards. The many actions taken by the Republican-controlled Legislature included House Bill 1062, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays and others based on religious beliefs. The legislation thrust the Arizona Legislature once again into the national spotlight. After a week of protests, calls for vetoes by the business community and appearances by legislators

  • Wyoming tribes start getting federal payments

    Updated: 38 min ago

    LANDER, Wyo. (AP) — The first installment in a $157 million federal settlement began to pour into the Wind River Indian Reservation this week, as members of the Northern Arapaho Tribe started receiving $6,300 checks in the mail. The impact of the cash infusion was almost immediately evident on the reservation and in surrounding communities, where many tribal members went to deposit their checks. Riverton and Lander, both straddling the reservation border, were bustling. Banks saw long lines. Car dealerships and auto parts stores reported brisk business. And law enforcement in both communities was highly visible, posting cruisers at banks in what authorities said was an effort to protect tribal members cashing checks from wo

  • St. Bernard president surrenders after indictment

    Updated: 39 min ago

    CHALMETTE, La. (AP) — St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta surrendered Thursday at the parish jail in Chalmette, a day after he was indicted on a charge of sexual battery of his wife. He was released around midday after posting bond. The Times-Picayune reports ( ) his attorney, Stephen London, called the charge against Peralta "baseless." Various news organizations reported Wednesday that the case deals with an accusation by Sharon Peralta that David Peralta sexually assaulted her in October 2013. The Associated Press doesn't generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault. However, Sharon Peralta has spoken publicly about the case and her lawyer issued a public statement identifyi

  • Mexico closes clinic in hyperbaric chamber death

    Updated: 39 min ago

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities have suspended medical services at a private clinic after a patient was found dead inside a hyperbaric chamber. The federal oversight agency in charge of medicines and health care said late Wednesday that work at the Hyperbaric Medicine of Toluca clinic was being halted while authorities investigated whether it followed appropriate procedures. The agency said 70-year-old Filemon Consuelo Loria died in the chamber in Toluca, a city just west of the capital in Mexico state. State prosecutor Miguel Contreras earlier gave the man's age as 60. Prosecutors detained a doctor and three workers at the clinic after Consuelo Loria was left inside the chamber overnight. He suffered from diab

  • Giffords to speak at Yuma courthouse dedication

    Updated: 40 min ago

    YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is among those who will help dedicate a new federal courthouse named after the judge who was killed in the 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson. Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group Giffords founded with her husband, announced she will speak about John Roll at Thursday afternoon's ceremony in Yuma. U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake as well as three of Arizona's congressional representatives are also expected to attend. Roll was one of six people killed in the January 2011 mass shooting. Giffords and 12 others were wounded. Roll, who served as chief federal judge in Arizona, signed off on the design of the new courthouse days before his death.

  • UK relaxing alcohol ban on campus

    Updated: 40 min ago

    The University of Kentucky says it will relax its ban on alcohol to allow legal drinking at some places on the Lexington campus. The school said Thursday it will revise the longstanding campus policy to allow alcohol consumption under guidelines and conditions that weren't specified. The school didn't immediately say where alcohol would be permitted. UK President Eli Capilouto also says the school will extend its code of student conduct to places off campus. Rowdy fans have swarmed streets near the UK campus after Final Four appearances by the Kentucky men's basketball team. Some fans set couches on fire in incidents that have been embarrassing for the university.

  • Corbett ramps up pitch to education, women voters

    Updated: 41 min ago

    MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Corbett is attacking two of his weakest polling points, his job approval by women voters and his efforts on education. On Thursday, he attended the kickoff of a women's committee that'll help lead efforts to attract women supporters to the Republican's re-election campaign. He attended with his wife, Susan, who told a crowd of about 60 gathered in a suburban Philadelphia restaurant that her husband has a strong record on funding education. The appearance comes a few days after the campaign released a TV ad in which Susan Corbett does the talking and stresses her husband's commitment to education.

  • Nevada rancher Bundy condemned for racist remarks

    Updated: 42 min ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada rancher at the center of a national feud with the federal government over cattle grazing is facing sharp criticism for racist comments he made that were published in a New York Times article. Cliven Bundy was quoted in the Times story making disparaging remarks about blacks and asking whether they were better off as slaves. The article published Wednesday says Bundy's comments came during a long speech at a sparsely attended news conference Saturday. Politicians including Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller issued statements condemning the remarks. Heller last week called Bundy defenders "patriots" for their stand against the government. Bundy has become a conservative folk hero fo

  • LA sheriff tested camera plane to watch Compton

    Updated: 42 min ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department used a camera-laden surveillance plane to observe the city of Compton during a test program two years ago. The Los Angeles Times reports ( esidents have mixed feelings about the monitoring. Some say it would help ensure public safety and others decried an invasion of privacy. For nine days in early 2012, the small Cessna outfitted with a dozen cameras beamed images to a sheriff's station, where deputies observed fender benders, necklace snatchings and a shooting. The plane, owned by Ohio-based Persistent Surveillance Systems, flew at 10,000 feet in a loop about four miles wide. Officials said only images tied to known crime scenes rec

  • A look at Oklahoma's execution drug secrecy case

    Updated: 43 min ago

    The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that death row inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them. The court, which is the highest in the state for civil cases, had previously halted their executions, even though critics said only the Oklahoma Court of Appeals can issue stays. The Court of Appeals is the highest in the state for criminal cases. Here is a look at the inmates' legal challenge: ___ Feb. 26: The inmates, whose executions are scheduled for March, file a civil lawsuit against the state seeking details about the drugs that will be used to execute them, including their source.

  • Martyrs, miracles and the stuff of making saints

    Updated: 44 min ago

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Catholic Church makes saints to give the faithful role models. The process is cloaked in secrecy and open to criticism, given that it deals with science-defying miracles and notoriously politicized choices. In Sunday's dual papal canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII, it also involves rule-breaking, fast-track procedures. But saints aren't going away anytime soon. "Saintliness is part of the church's DNA," the Vatican's current chief saint-maker, Cardinal Angelo Amato, wrote in his 2012 tome on canonization. "Through the centuries, saints have been the spiritual doorway through which humanity is directed toward God.

  • Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians

    Updated: 45 min ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brink of collapse Thursday, protesting a reconciliation agreement between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas, the Jewish state's sworn enemy. Israel's Security Cabinet made the decision during a marathon emergency meeting convened to discuss the new Palestinian deal. The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah announced the reconciliation plan Wednesday, meant to end a seven-year rift. Israel objects to any participation in Palestinian politics by Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks over the past two decades.