• Former US Rep. Rick Renzi reports to prison for 3-year term

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    PHOENIX (AP) — Former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi reported to a federal prison in West Virginia on Friday to begin serving a three-year sentence for corruption, money laundering and other convictions. Renzi previously succeeded in postponing the start of his sentence. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that he must report to the minimum security Federal Correctional Institution by Friday. Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross confirmed Renzi had arrived at the Morgantown, West Virginia, facility. Meanwhile Friday, attorneys for Renzi filed paperwork asking for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appeals court ruling.

  • Bill Cosby asks judge to dismiss 3 accusers' defamation suit

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — Bill Cosby's lawyers asked a federal judge on Friday to throw out a defamation lawsuit filed by three women accusing the comedian of decades-old sexual offenses. The women, all of whom have stepped forward in recent years, say Cosby's representatives publicly branded them as liars while trying to defend his innocence. But Cosby's lawyers say the actor was merely acting in self-defense as his character was under attack. "The law does not require that one stand idly by while he is publicly attacked," the lawyers argue in their 38-page filing. "Instead the law entitles an individual who is accused of serious wrongdoing to rebut the allegations without facing defamation claims.

  • UFC champion Ronda Rousey leads big surge in women's MMA

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ronda Rousey spent a year as a bartender after she turned 21, partying every night and wondering what to do with her Olympic bronze medal in judo. When she first saw mixed martial arts on television, her friends warned her away. This complicated new cage-fighting sport was too violent, too primitive, too unregulated. "That just made me really want to try it," Rousey said with a laugh. Six years later, Rousey is nothing less than the face of the UFC, the young sport's dominant promotional company. She has never lost a fight, reigning as the bantamweight champion ever since the UFC finally began promoting women's bouts two years ago.

  • Gas prices soar in California as supply shrinks

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Gas prices are soaring in California in a classic example of supply and demand after an explosion stopped gasoline production at an Exxon Mobil refinery while another remains offline due to labor unrest. Average retail gas prices in the state have surged 25 cents a gallon in less than a week, from $2.98 per gallon for regular on Monday to $3.23 per gallon on Friday. That caps a run that saw the price of regular unleaded go up 60 cents per gallon since Jan. 30 as refineries prepare to shift to a summer blend of fuels. In some areas of Southern California, gas station owners were forced to pass price hikes of 24 cents per gallon along to consumers on Thursday after seeing wholesale prices shoot up.

  • Gunman kills 7, commits suicide, in house-to-house rampage

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    TYRONE, Mo. (AP) — A man who authorities say may have been unhinged by the death of his ailing mother killed seven people and then took his own life in a house-to-house shooting rampage that wiped out a swath of this tiny town in the Missouri Ozarks. Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, carried out the killings with a .45-caliber handgun Thursday night or early Friday at four homes in Tyrone, the no-stoplight community of about 50 people where he lived with his mother, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said. Aldridge was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound before dawn in a running pickup truck on the middle of a highway 15 or 20 miles away. The patrol said four of the dead — two couples — were cousins of Aldridge's

  • Leonard Nimoy leaves legacy beyond science-fiction

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leonard Nimoy didn't just leave a lasting impression on the science-fiction world, he also left his mark on science itself. Seth Shostak, who researches the possibility of real-world extraterrestrial life as the senior astronomer at SETI Research, recalled that Nimoy was regularly willing to lend the organization a helping hand. When he was asked to narrate a planetarium introduction or appear as a guest at an event, Nimoy did so graciously and never charged. "That struck me then, and it strikes me now," said Shostak. "If you play a famous alien, you might have little interest in how science is searching for real aliens, but Nimoy was actually interested in the science — and he was always willing to hel

  • Seattle sending elephants to Oklahoma City Zoo

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    SEATTLE (AP) — Like the Supersonics, Seattle's two remaining elephants are relocating to Oklahoma City. The Woodland Park Zoo announced Friday that it will send its two endangered Asian elephants, Bamboo and Chai, to the Oklahoma City Zoo on a long-term loan so they can be part of a larger, multigenerational herd. "We are delighted to be able to provide Bamboo and Chai a great new home with a family," Laurie Stewart, chair of the zoo's board, said in a statement. Critics of the zoo's elephant exhibit have argued for years that the exhibit should be closed and the elephants sent to a sanctuary in California, not another zoo.

  • Jury: Billionaire looted mining firm; trial eyed huge home

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Billionaire Ira Rennert plundered a now-bankrupt mining company to pay for personal luxuries, jurors found Friday after a trial that spotlighted one of the world's biggest private homes. A Manhattan federal jury levied $118 million in damages against Rennert and his Renco Group Inc. The lawsuit stemmed from the 2001 bankruptcy of the Magnesium Corp. of America, or MagCorp, a Salt Lake City-based producer of magnesium. But the trial also showcased Rennert's 100,000-square-foot, 29-bedroom, 40-bathroom beachfront complex in the Hamptons. MagCorp's bankruptcy trustee argued the billionaire built the mansion with money improperly milked from the company. Lawyers for the trustee applauded the verdict as a s

  • Argentina prosecutor Julio Cesar Strassera dies at 81

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Julio Cesar Strassera, the prosecutor who won conviction against leaders of Argentina's dictatorship and coined the term "Nunca mas," or "Never again," to describe the repressive period, has died at age 81. Strassera died Friday in the San Camilo Clinic in Buenos Aires after being admitted several days ago for grave respiratory problems, Mario Kenar, the clinic's chief therapist, told the television station Todo Noticias. Strassera is remembered for his role in the 1985 trial and convictions of several military leaders responsible for the repression and disappearance of several thousand people on their watch.

  • Russian soccer stadiums a throwback to 1980s England

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    Watching a football match in Russia often carries echoes of the grim era of hooliganism in 1980s Britain. There are crumbling stadiums, sparse crowds, clashes between hardcore fans and police, and despite a recent ban, often a pervasive smell of cigarette smoke. Also, as shown Friday in a report by an anti-discrimination groupers, pervasive racism is directed against players and fans from ethnic minorities. Of the 12 glittering new and refurbished arenas which will host the 2018 World Cup, many will replace dilapidated Soviet-era bowls which often lack basic facilities such as sufficient toilets, with little effort made to accommodate female fans and families.

  • Md. Senate president apologizes for Hitler comment

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has apologized for citing Adolf Hitler while disputing a statement by the state's governor about the number of tax increases in recent years. Miller, a Democrat, was responding Friday to statements made by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that Maryland lawmakers approved more than 40 tax increases in the last eight years. Miller told reporters Friday, "Hitler said that the bigger lie you tell, the more easily it's believed. I'm certainly not equating anyone with Adolf Hitler, but this 48 tax increases over the past eight years is total horse s---.

  • Biopic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee springs into action

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Legendary martial arts star Bruce Lee is getting the official biopic treatment, daughter Shannon Lee announced Friday. Despite his untimely death in 1973 at age 32, Bruce Lee helped to create and popularize a genre that still endures and influences today with roles in films including "Fist of Fury," ''Way of the Dragon," and "Enter the Dragon." Bruce Lee Entertainment will produce the project in collaboration with Lawrence Grey ("Hope Springs") and Janet Yang ("The Joy Luck Club"). In the statement, Shannon Lee said the film will explore her father's writings, art and philosophies in addition to his martial arts stardom. Neither a star nor a director has been set for the film.

  • Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek,' dies

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — In 1975, Leonard Nimoy published an autobiography with the defiant title, "I Am Not Spock" — an attempt to show the world he had many more facets than the pointy-eared character that had come to define him. Yet two decades later, after proving that with a career that became a rich blend of roles beyond "Star Trek" along with directing, writing and photography, he bowed to fate with "I Am Spock," a revisionist sequel. Nimoy had come to appreciate Mr. Spock's enduring legacy and the inspiration the man of logic provided the actor and his fans alike. "He's a part of me," he wrote in his second memoir. "Not a day passes that I don't hear that cool, rational voice commenting on some irrational aspect o

  • Court: Colorado crime suspects can search victims' homes

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — An appeals court added Colorado to the list of states that can allow criminal suspects to search victims' homes to bolster their defense — a move that raised concerns among prosecutors and victims' advocates. The Colorado judges wrote in their Thursday decision that courts in California, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Massachusetts have determined a defendant's right to a fair trial sometimes outweighs privacy interests. Victims' rights advocates strongly objected to the decision. "It's going to have a re-victimizing effect in a criminal justice process that is already very re-victimizing," said Boulder-based victims' rights attorney John Clune.

  • Head injury to suspect as child could be used by defense

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 19-year-old man charged with murder in the killing of a Las Vegas mother in a neighborhood gunbattle suffered a fractured skull as an infant — an injury that lawyers said could become a factor in the case. Erich Milton Nowsch Jr.'s father pleaded guilty in 1996 to child abuse for the injury, according to archived Clark County District Court documents reviewed by The Associated Press. The father killed himself in 2010 at 39 when his son was 14. Attorney Augustus Claus said he wants to investigate the extent and effect of the injury on Nowsch before deciding whether to use it in his client's murder defense. "Obviously, an injury like that has potential for long-term consequences," Claus said.

  • Governor: Oil, gas rules must protect mineral owners' rights

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — Any attempt to give local governments more control over oil and gas drilling in Colorado must protect the rights of people who own underground mineral rights, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Friday. Some people have owned or leased those rights for decades, long before Colorado's growing cities spread onto land above rich oil and gas deposits, Hickenlooper said in an interview with The Associated Press. "What right does government have to take that person's lease away from them?" he said. "Through no fault of their own, the march of suburbanization, suddenly their lease is worth less than it was." Surface owners' property rights should also be protected, Hickenlooper said, adding that energy companies are re

  • Obama pitches privacy bill, Democrats say it falls short

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid "rapid growth" in the collection of data on Americans, the White House on Friday proposed legislation that calls on businesses to do more to help consumers protect their personal information. The draft bill, first obtained by The Associated Press, gives a nod to consumers fed up with how much of their private lives wind up in the hands of marketers. But the proposal frustrated many privacy advocates, including Democrats on Capitol Hill, who say the bill won't change much for consumers. They cite several loopholes that would give companies a way to opt out without consequence.

  • Dude, where's my car: NASCAR machine stolen before race

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — When Travis Kvapil got the call Friday, he figured someone on his race team was playing a joke. "They said there was trouble with the car," Kvapil said. "I thought we could figure it out when we got in the garage area. They're like, 'No, the car is gone.'" The No. 44 NASCAR Sprint Cup car owned by small-budget Team XTREME was stolen from a hotel parking lot near Atlanta Motor Speedway, police said, forcing Kvapil to withdraw from this weekend's race before he even got a chance to qualify. The $250,000 race car was still missing late in the afternoon, and police were hoping the public could assist in the search.

  • Uber says database containing driver info was breached

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Uber says a database containing the names and drivers' license numbers of 50,000 of its drivers was breached in May. The ride-sharing service says it has notified the drivers and hasn't received any reports of the information being misused. Uber says it will offer a one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert identity theft protection service to the drivers involved. The company said Friday the breach affects drivers in multiple states, but involves only a "small percentage" of its current and former drivers. Uber says it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events in a statement posted on its blog and described them as a one-time occurrence.

  • Documents: Arizona woman killed in home had head injury

    Updated: Fri, Feb 27, 2015

    PHOENIX (AP) — A 31-year-old woman found slain in her suburban Phoenix home suffered serious head trauma, and her body was lying in a pool of blood, according to court documents released Friday. The records revealed new details about the killing of Allison Feldman, a saleswoman for a medical-device company who was found dead Feb. 18 at her house near bustling Old Town Scottsdale. Police previously withheld many details of the case, including the woman's cause of death and whether any belongings were missing from her home. According to the search-warrant affidavit, Feldman's boyfriend found her nude with a cloth wrapped around her head. He then went outside and called 911. First responders found Feldman had "cran




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