• Sunnis pull out of Iraq talks after mosque attack

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Sunni lawmakers pulled out of talks on forming a new Iraqi government after militants attacked a Sunni mosque in a volatile province outside Baghdad during Friday prayers, killing at least 64 people. It was not immediately clear if the attack was carried out by Shiite militiamen or the Islamic State extremist group, which has been advancing into the ethnically and communally mixed Diyala province and has been known to kill fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to submit to its leadership.

  • Coalition sues over immigrants' access to lawyers

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of lawyers filed a lawsuit Friday to halt the quick deportation of Central American women and children, saying immigrants at a New Mexico detention center don't have proper access to lawyers and are being forced to clean restrooms and retell stories of violence and rape in front of children. The American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of immigrants being held at an isolated detention center in Artesia. The groups say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials should be more accommodating to the volunteer lawyers who have traveled to the remote site to aid the recent surge of Central Amer

  • Former Ala. band director arrested on sex charges

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    BREWTON, Ala. (AP) — A former high school band director charged with having sex with students in Alabama says "there's always more than one side to the story." Jeffrey Lance Gainous said that, and nothing else, to reporters gathered Friday as he was led in a jailhouse jumpsuit into the courthouse in Brewton, Georgia. WKRG-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1BLdNNL ) a judge set Gainous' bond at $350,000. Authorities say Gainous has sexual encounters with at least eight girls attending T.R. Miller High school. He's been charged with counts of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and six counts involving a teacher having sex with students.

  • Trooper who arrested NFL's Sam Montgomery fired

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina state trooper who arrested NFL defensive lineman Sam Montgomery at a traffic stop last June has been fired, state officials said Friday. The Department of Public Safety said in a news release that Lance Cpl. R.S. Salter was terminated for violating agency policies including conduct unbecoming a state employee. Salter stopped Montgomery in June when the Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman was returning to his home in Greenwood. Montgomery was arrested and spent a night in jail after Salter clocked him going 89 mph in a 55 mph zone.

  • 3 indicted in case of missing Massachusetts boy

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Three people accused of misleading police officers investigating the disappearance of a 5-year-old boy who later was found dead were indicted by a grand jury on Friday. The indictments against Cailey Thibault, Ashley Cormier and Christian Sierra move their case to Superior Court, the Worcester district attorney's office said. Thibault, Cormier and Sierra face charges of intimidation of a witness and perjury. They previously pleaded not guilty in District Court. The boy, Jeremiah Oliver, was last seen alive in September 2013, but he wasn't reported missing from his home in Fitchburg, 45 miles northwest of Boston, until December.

  • Trooper who arrested NFL's Montgomery fired

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina state trooper who arrested NFL defensive lineman Sam Montgomery at a traffic stop last June has been fired. The state Department of Public Safety said Friday that Lance Cpl. R.S. Salter was terminated for violating agency policies including conduct unbecoming a state employee. Salter stopped Montgomery in June when the Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman was returning to his Greenwood home. Montgomery was arrested and spent a night in jail after Salter clocked him going 89 mph in a 55 mph zone. But the trooper's dashboard camera also captured the officer threatening to use a Taser because the 6-foot-3, 262-pound lineman was struggling to understand his commands.

  • At Jackson Hole, central bankers eye varying goals

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The central bankers meeting this week at their annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, aren't exactly in sync. Many are taking steps that clash with the policies of others. The Federal Reserve is preparing to reduce its economic support. By contrast, the European Central Bank is considering more stimulus. So is the Bank of Japan. The Bank of England seems to be moving toward raising interest rates. It isn't just the biggest economies whose central banks are pulling in different directions. This year, central banks in Mexico, Sweden and South Korea, among others, have lowered rates. Others — in Russia and South Africa, for example — have raised them.

  • Reid apologizes for jokes at Asian business event

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized Friday for jokes he made about Asians during a luncheon of business leaders in Las Vegas earlier this week. Reid was addressing the city's Asian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday when he told the audience, "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are." When another man was summoned to the podium, he grabbed the microphone and quipped, "One problem I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight." Both comments were met with laughter from the crowd of about 150 people. The incident was captured on video by a tracker, posted on YouTube and distributed to reporters by America Rising, a Republican opposition research

  • Correction: Oil Spill-Land Conservation story

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — In a story Aug. 21 about a new state park planned for southeast Texas, The Associated Press erroneously reported the amount of money from a BP and Transocean fund that was used to buy the land. It was $34.5 million, not $32 million. The AP also misidentified the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's executive director, Carter Smith, as the head of its nonprofit fundraising partner, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. Lastly, it was the state agency, not the foundation, that estimated that as much as 99 percent of Texas' coastal plain has been lost to agriculture or animal grazing.

  • Fitbit: We don't sell personal data

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Fitbit, the maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices, said Friday that it does not sell personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. The San Francisco-based company spelled out its privacy policy on its website after Schumer warned of a potential "privacy nightmare" relating to concerns that the makers of fitness monitoring devices could sell users' data to advertisers. Schumer has called for a federal regulation to require companies like Fitbit to let customers prevent their data from being sold. On Friday he praised the company for "revising" its policy, even though Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park said there's been no change in the com

  • Oregon gunman planned to kill 'bunch' of people

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A gunman who fatally shot his father and then a man camping at an Oregon beach earlier this week left behind notes that said he was mentally ill and planned to "kill a bunch of other people" and then himself. Zachary Brimhall's first note says he had been mentally ill his entire life, and he had reached the point of deciding to kill himself or to kill others and then himself. He wrote: "I chose the latter." Brimhall, 32, drove to a beach where he shot five cars in a parking lot, killing a Michigan camper who was asleep. Later Tuesday, his father was found dead on a remote logging road in southwest Oregon. He had been shot at least eight times the night before.

  • CDC director to visit Ebola outbreak countries

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A top U.S. health official plans to travel to West Africa to see firsthand how the Ebola outbreak is unfolding. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is scheduled to visit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea next week. A CDC spokesman Friday said Frieden wants to meet the African and international health leaders trying to control the outbreak, and to hear what help they need. He also plans to visit hospitals treating Ebola patients. The Atlanta-based CDC has sent nearly 70 scientists and staff to help in those three countries, as well as Nigeria. More than 1,400 people have died so far in the largest Ebola outbreak on record.

  • Passenger charged in pre-flight cellphone dispute

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland authorities say a traveler who refused to turn off his cellphone and fought with flight attendants as a plane taxied for takeoff has been jailed and charged with aggravated disorderly conduct. Federal regulations allow passengers to use cellphones in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled but not for voice communications. The Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1qxiaTS ) says Bowie, Maryland, resident Jay Peck was charged Friday. No attorney and no scheduled court appearance are listed for him. Police say Peck argued with attendants and passengers on a Baltimore-bound Southwest Airlines flight from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport late Thursday.

  • EPA environmental crimes office opens in ND

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency's law enforcement arm has opened an office in Bismarck so that it will have a bigger presence in the North Dakota's booming oil patch. Jeffrey Martinez, the special agent in charge of the EPA's Criminal Investigation Division office in Denver, said the Bismarck office opened at the end of July but isn't permanently staffed yet. "This is a first step and I'm hopeful that it will lead over time to a fulltime presence," said U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon. The Criminal Investigation Division is made up of 200 federal agents who are tasked with upholding environmental law. "Environmental crimes involve lying, cheating and stealing like any other crime," said Marit

  • Lawsuits challenge FAA drone, model aircraft rules

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone interests filed lawsuits Friday challenging a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens the agency's ban on commercial drone flights. The three lawsuits asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the validity of the directive, which the Federal Aviation Administration issued in June. The agency said the directive is an attempt to clarify what is a model aircraft and the limitations on their operation. The FAA has been working on regulations that would permit commercial drone flights in U.S.

  • Safety concerns addressed for fracking hearing

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State officials say they have addressed concerns about security so that a public meeting on fracking in Sanford can proceed as planned. State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer says two officers from the legislative police force will provide security at the site of the hearing Friday night and that highway patrol troopers and Sanford police officers will be nearby in case backup is needed. The state environmental department had said earlier in the day that troopers were the ones providing security. Hundreds are expected at the public hearing on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing.

  • Owner gets stolen life-size statue of Obama back

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — Police have returned a life-size statue of President Barack Obama that went missing from its owner's northeastern Pennsylvania porch and was found a few days later reclining on a nearby park bench with a six-pack of Twisted Tea. The owner, Tiffany Bruce, says she was relieved to get it back Thursday. The statue, purchased at a furniture store last year, depicts Obama smiling and sitting casually, his legs crossed and his right arm flung out. Bruce decorated the statue as Santa Claus on Christmas and arranged pumpkins around him on Thanksgiving. She says her five children love the statue, and she was startled enough by the theft to be hospitalized for a panic attack.

  • Days Obama, predecessors spent on vacation

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    President Barack Obama as of Friday has spent all or part of 138 days on vacation, less time away from the White House than his predecessors. Here's a look at how they compare. The totals exclude trips to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland mountains. —GEORGE W. BUSH: During eight years in the White House, spent all or part of 490 days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. —BILL CLINTON: During two terms in office, used all or part of 174 days for vacation. Of those, 100 days were summers either in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, or Jackson Hole, Wyoming. —RONALD REAGAN: During two terms, spent all or part of 349 days at his ranch in Santa Barbara, California. ___ Source: CBS News reporter Mar

  • Guilty plea entered in Cuban ballplayer smuggling

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — A man accused of leading a human trafficking ring has pleaded guilty to U.S. extortion charges involving the smuggling of more than 1,000 Cubans, including baseball players such as Texas Rangers outfielder Leonys Martin. Eliezer Lazo entered the plea Friday in Miami federal court. Lazo is already serving a five-year prison sentence for money laundering in a Medicare fraud case and now faces up to 20 years more. Prosecutors say Lazo and others smuggled Cubans into Mexico, where they were held until ransom payments were made. Authorities are seeking forfeiture of bank accounts controlled by Lazo, including one traced to a purported Mexican baseball academy used to showcase players for Major League Baseball scouts

  • McDonnell says he was angry about investigation

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he was "darn angry" when he found out state police asked his wife about the couple's relationship to a vitamin entrepreneur. McDonnell testified Friday he was told his wife Maureen had been asked to an interview with police in February of last year. Police wanted to talk about an investigation into the chef at the governor's mansion for taking food out of the residence. However, when McDonnell spoke to his wife after the interview, she was "very upset" and said police asked her about former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams. McDonnell says she told him they asked her about stock ownership in the company, loans and the governor's financial disclosure s