• Ex-employee of Israeli PM wins abuse case

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli court ruled Wednesday in favor of a former member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's housekeeping staff who had complained he was mistreated by Netanyahu's wife, Sara. The Jerusalem labor court awarded Meni Naftali NIS 170,000 (about $42,000) in damages and court costs. Naftali has claimed he was subjected to abusive language and insults by Sara Netanyahu. In one instance, Naftali alleged she had called him at 3 a.m. to complain that he had bought milk in a plastic storage bag instead of a carton. In another case, he says she threw a vase of day-old flowers on the floor, scolding him that they were not fresh enough. Netanyahu's office had no immediate comment. It has rejected past

  • Kurds attack Syrian air base held by insurgents

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Kurdish fighters backed by Russian airstrikes launched an attack in northern Syria on Wednesday in an attempt to capture a military air base held by Syrian insurgents, while an international aid group warned that the health system is close to collapse in parts of northern Syria. Syria's Kurds have been among the most effective forces battling the Islamic State group, but have remained largely neutral in the conflict between President Bashar Assad and the rebels fighting to overthrow him. But with Syrian troops backed by Russian warplanes waging a major offensive between the northern city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, the Kurds appeared to be exploiting the chaos to expand their nearby enclave, known as Afr

  • French foreign minister leaving to head Constitutional Court

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — France's top diplomat is leaving his post to become chief of the Constitutional Council, France's top court which makes sure that legislation complies with the constitution. French President Francois Hollande formally proposed the nomination of Laurent Fabius to the Constitutional Council in a statement Wednesday. Fabius, 69, had been in office since 2012. "I led the French diplomacy with pride and I served it with pleasure", Fabius told lawmakers at France's lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, getting loud applause. His successor was not named immediately, but a government reshuffle is expected in the coming days.

  • President: Czechs paid $6.2M ransom to Pakistan kidnappers

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PRAGUE (AP) — President Milos Zeman says the Czech Republic paid a ransom for the release of two Czech women who were kidnapped in Pakistan in 2013. Hana Humpalova and Antonie Chrastecka were on the road from Iran to Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, when they were seized in March 2013. They returned home last year in March and the government said their release was negotiated by a Turkish non-governmental humanitarian organization. Zeman confirmed Wednesday information about the ransom first released in the latest edition of the weekly magazine Respekt. Zeman said during a visit to a western Czech region that 150 million koruna ($6.2 million) was paid, adding it was a tough decision.

  • Corps of Engineers to study Souris River flood protection

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Long-term flood protection for Minot and the Souris River Basin is among a select group of projects the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to study this year. The agency's 2016 work plan includes $200,000 to begin the study, and President Barack Obama's proposed 2017 budget includes $500,000 to continue it, according to U.S. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp. "This gets us over an important hurdle to secure comprehensive flood protection for the Minot region," Hoeven said. The Souris River swelled with excessive rain and snowmelt in June 2011 and damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes and other structures in Minot, causing nearly $700 million in damage in the city and additional damage in rur

  • Man who won new trial on flawed hair evidence seeking bail

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A man who spent three decades in prison based in part on a single strand of hair will ask a Massachusetts judge to free him on bail while he awaits a new trial. A bail hearing for George Perrot is scheduled Wednesday in New Bedford Superior Court. Perrot was convicted of raping a 78-year-old woman in 1985. Last month, a judge granted Perrot a new trial after finding fault with an FBI agent's testimony that a hair found in the woman's home matched Perrot. The U.S. Justice Department flagged Perrot's case in 2014 as one of hundreds that involved erroneous statements from FBI agents about hair analysis. Microscopic hair analysis has since been found to be far from precise. Perrot was arres

  • Inadequate oversight blamed in deadly Illinois highway crash

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — A federal accident investigations board says inadequate safety oversight was partly to blame for a fatal crash near Chicago in which a truck driver fell asleep and plowed into stopped emergency vehicles. The January 2014 crash on Interstate 88 near Naperville, Illinois, killed a tollway worker and seriously injured a state trooper whose patrol car was engulfed in flames. The trucker had slept less than 4 ½ hours in the 37 hours before the crash, in violation of regulations. Investigators found he routinely falsified logbook entries to hide hours-of-service violations. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that even though regulators had classified the company as high-risk, it failed to ge

  • Proposed Navy solar project on Guam put on hold

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The U.S. Navy's proposal to lease Guam property for a solar power project has been put on hold. Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo announced Wednesday that she had halted the proposal. She cited concerns over how the project would impact a Navy plan to reduce its overall footprint on the island, The Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1QUZwFl). The Navy is looking to lease property in south Finegayan and the former Tumon Tank Farm to build a solar power system. The project is not directly related to the military buildup.

  • The Latest: Witness hopes judge has enough info for decision

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on Adnan Syed's retrial request in a murder case explored by the popular "Serial" podcast (all times local): 9:45 a.m. An alibi witness for a convicted murderer profiled in the public radio podcast "Serial" says the decision on a new trial is in the judge's hands, but she hopes enough information was presented "for him to be able to make a rational decision." Appearing Wednesday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America" program, Asia McClain, now Asia Chapman, said she "just happened to be at a specific place at a specific time." Chapman testified that Adnan Syed was with her at a public library during the time Hae Min Lee was killed.

  • Unruly passenger diverts Boston-San Diego flight to Denver

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — A plane bound for San Diego was diverted to Denver after a passenger allegedly became agitated and started yelling threats. Passengers told KMGH-TV (http://bit.ly/20Lfb1P) that a man brought his own alcohol on the plane Tuesday night. When he wasn't allowed to drink it he started yelling "I'm not a terrorist" and later started shouting "We're all going to die. You're all going to die." A spokesman for Denver International Airport, Heath Montgomery, says Alaska Airlines Flight 769, which originated in Boston, landed at the airport because of a "possible passenger disturbance." He said the Transportation Security Administration and Denver police responded to the plane and allowed it to continue to San Diego.

  • US stocks open higher as Fed's Yellen signals caution

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Stocks are edging mostly higher, setting the market up for its first gain after three down days. Traders were encouraged early Wednesday by word from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that the central bank will be cautious about raising interest rates. Several big media companies were having a bad day. Disney dropped 4 percent after reporting that its ESPN network had hit a soft patch. Time Warner plunged 7 percent after its revenue fell short of forecasts. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,072. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,862. The Nasdaq composite climbed 36 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,304. Bond prices barely budged. The

  • Car strikes gas tanker in Pakistan, killing 10

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani police official says a car slammed into a gas tanker, causing a fireball that killed 10 people, including six children. Mohammad Kashif says another 17 people were wounded in the accident Wednesday in Pakistan's eastern Punjab province. He says the accident was caused by fog and negligent driving, and that people were killed and injured when the fireball engulfed surrounding cars and rickshaws. The dead included six schoolchildren and two female teachers.

  • Bill to strip Planned Parenthood funds nears Kasich's desk

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign a bill stripping government money from Planned Parenthood, a move that might help him with conservatives who dominate the upcoming Republican presidential primary in South Carolina. The legislation was poised to head to Kasich on Wednesday, a day after the primary in New Hampshire, where a tough stance against Planned Parenthood might have been received with less enthusiasm by its many moderate Republican voters. The Ohio governor finished second among a group of mainstream GOP candidates who vied for moderate support in the New Hampshire race won by Donald Trump. No one is acknowledging that the 2016 presidential calendar might have played a part in when Kasich wou

  • Judge deliberates on new trial for "Serial" defendant

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — A retired Baltimore judge who will determine whether a man convicted of a killing at the center of popular podcast "Serial" deserves a new trial said the five-day post-conviction hearing that concluded Tuesday garnered more attention than any other proceeding he'd seen in the state. That judge, Martin Welch, will decide whether Adnan Syed, who was convicted of killing his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison, will be retried. Syed's case became the focus of the first season of "Serial," a podcast that was streamed and downloaded millions of times and garnered a cult following that inspired armchair detectives all over the world to delve into the details of the case, unearthin

  • Cops: Arrested NY man admits role in nearly 100 theft cases

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    AUBURN, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a 24-year-old central New York man who admitted to being involved in about 100 thefts has been arrested again after robbing a woman. Auburn police say Kenneth Lafler was arrested after he jumped into a woman's car Monday night and stole her purse. Officers say the victim recognized Lafler because he had been charged with breaking into her car two months ago. He was released after posting bail on Feb. 3. Lafler is being held in the Cayuga County Jail on the latest charges, which include robbery and grand larceny. Police say after his arrest in December on burglary charges stemming from the car break-in, Lafler admitted to his involvement in nearly 100 open cases in which items were

  • Ferguson's proposed amendments to the DOJ consent decree

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The Ferguson City Council has voted unanimously to approve a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, but with seven amendments, or "conditions of acceptance." The consent decree is intended to correct problems identified in a DOJ investigation that followed the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer. The department found unconstitutional and discriminatory practices across the police force and municipal court system.

  • Citing security, Davos organizers postpone Egypt conference

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    GENEVA (AP) — Organizers of the World Economic Forum, which holds an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, have postponed a similar conference planned to take place in Egypt this spring over security concerns. The WEF Middle East and North Africa conference generally alternates between Jordan and Egypt from year to year and welcomes dignitaries and high-ranking business leaders to discuss political and economic matters, similar to the Davos conference. Spokesman Adrian Monck says the 2016 edition planned for May in Sharm-e-Sheikh, Egypt, was postponed but not cancelled following the November bombing of a Russian passenger plane that had taken off from that Red Sea resort.

  • Judge to decide trial of woman charged in son's death

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PULASKI, Va. (AP) — The trial of the mother of a Virginia boy found dead in a septic tank will be decided by a judge, rather than a jury. News outlets report that after struggling for two days to seat a jury for Ashley White's trial, lawyers agreed Tuesday night to proceed with the case later this week, but without a jury present. The change came after Pulaski County Circuit Judge Bradley Finch found that the jury pool had been too tainted by media coverage since 5-year-old Noah Thomas' body was found in a septic tank near his Dublin home in March 2015. White and 32-year-old Paul Thomas are accused of leaving the boy and their infant daughter, Abigail, home alone. Both parents are facing two felony counts of abuse and

  • AP Exclusive: Iranian drone first over US carrier since 2014

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian drone that flew over a U.S. aircraft carrier last month was the first to conduct an overflight of an American carrier since 2014, according to a U.S. Navy report obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Jan. 12 reconnaissance flight by the Iranian Shahed drone was the latest in a series of tense naval encounters between forces of the Islamic Republic and the U.S. Navy, including the brief detention of 10 American sailors who strayed into Iranian territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. All the incidents have come after Iran signed a nuclear deal with world powers including the U.S., and point to lingering tensions between the two playing out in key waterways used to tra

  • MADD to release first 50-state report on ignition interlocks

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The group Mothers Against Drunk Driving will release its first report on the number of times drunken drivers are stopped from using their vehicles by ignition interlock devices in all 50 states. The group will release the report Wednesday in Annapolis. MADD is releasing the report in a state where lawmakers are pushing to require all drunken drivers with blood alcohol content of .08 or greater to have the ignition interlock devices. Now, state law requires them for those with a BAC of 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit for driving. The group also is focusing on Maryland because of the December death of Officer Noah Leotta. He was killed while working on a driving-under-the-influence assignment.




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