News: U.S. & World

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  • Oldest living ex-MLB player dies in Cuba at 102

    HAVANA (AP) — Conrado Marrero, the diminutive Cuban right-hander who pitched for the Washington Senators in the 1950s and in 2011 became the oldest living former Major League Baseball player, died in Havana on Wednesday. He was 102, just two days short of his 103rd birthday. Marrero's grandson said he died in the early afternoon. "He woke...

  • David Pedersen pleads guilty in NW killing rampage

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A white supremacist whose Pacific Northwest crime rampage claimed four lives in 2011 pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday as part of a plea agreement that netted lighter punishments for two accomplices. David "Joey" Pedersen, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of carjacking resulting in death — one for the death...

  • Lawyer: US man held in Cuba seeks to go home soon

    HAVANA (AP) — The lawyer for U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned for more than four years in Cuba, said Wednesday his client is certain he will go home in the next year, be it alive or dead. Speaking to reporters in Havana after visiting Gross, attorney Scott Gilbert said the American has lost most vision in his...

  • Miss. governor signs mid-pregnancy abortion ban

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on Wednesday signed a bill to ban abortion starting at the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy. Supporters say it's designed to protect women's health, while abortion-rights advocates say it's unconstitutional. House Bill 1400, which becomes law July 1, will ban abortion starting at 20 weeks'...

  • Car bomb outside Nairobi police station kills 4

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Police in Kenya's capital intercepted a suspicious car at a traffic light Wednesday and were taking the occupants in for questioning when the car exploded, killing four people, including two police officers, officials said. The car exploded just outside a police station's main gate in central Nairobi, turning the car...

  • Chief has few answers on latest police shooting

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A news conference called to address the latest shooting by the troubled Albuquerque Police Department raised more questions than answers Wednesday about the killing of a suspected car thief during a foot chase. Chief Gorden Eden said police were unable to recover video from the body camera worn by the officer who...

  • Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name

    LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — An Army private convicted of providing classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday toward living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The decision clears the way for official changes to Manning's military records, but does not compel...

  • Convicted murderer arraigned in prison escape

    IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A convicted murderer accused of breaking out of a Michigan prison in February was arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges Wednesday. Michael Elliot appeared in Ionia District Court, where Judge Raymond Voet entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf. Voet scheduled a court conference for May 5 and a probable...

  • High court nixes $3.4M award to child porn victim

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect money from people who view their images online, throwing out a nearly $3.4 million judgment in favor of a woman whose childhood rape has been widely seen on the Internet. Two dissenting justices said Congress should...

  • Homeowner: 2 teens shot were 'vermin,' not human

    LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — Jurors listened Wednesday as a man called two teenagers who broke into his central Minnesota home "vermin" on an audio recording shortly after fatally shooting them. Byron Smith also could be heard saying he was doing his "civic duty" on the recording, which was played during his trial. He is charged with...

  • Oceanographer Ballard elected to American Academy

    SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — The University of Rhode Island oceanography professor best known for discovering the wreck of the Titanic has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. URI announced Wednesday that famed ocean explorer Robert Ballard is among the 204 members of the new class. He is also founder of the...

  • Some notable social media gaffes, missteps

    A feel-good Twitter request by the New York Police Department asking for pictures of people posing with officers quickly turned ugly when hundreds instead posted shots of baton-wielding cops battling protesters and taking down suspects. Other recent examples of Twitter gaffes: — JP MORGAN CHASE: Fresh off a multibillion-dollar settlement...

  • Syrian activists accuse Assad of new gas attacks

    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces have attacked rebel-held areas with poisonous chlorine gas in recent weeks and months, leaving men, women and children coughing, choking and gasping for breath, according to Associated Press interviews with more than a dozen activists, medics and residents on the opposition side. Syria flatly denied the...

  • UN says it sheltered thousands from Sudan killings

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United Nations mission in South Sudan accused the government Wednesday of spreading false claims that the U.N. camp near the scene of a massacre refused to shelter victims. In statement, the United Nations said South Sudan Minister of Information Michael Lueth was wrong to tell a news conference earlier Wednesday...

  • As peace deadline nears, Abbas says he has options

    RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to show that he has alternatives if U.S.-mediated talks with Israel break off Tuesday, the deadline for agreeing on a possible extension. In recent days, Abbas has revived attempts to reconcile with Hamas, the Islamic militant group that seized Gaza from him in 2007. He...

  • Mexico steps back from telecom, Internet limits

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's governing party appeared to step away on Wednesday from a proposal that would authorize officials to block Internet and telecom signals, pulling back a day after anti-censorship protests that ended in clashes in Mexico City. Sen. Emilio Gamboa, leader of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in the Senate,...

  • Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man has been charged with making a call during the Thanksgiving holidays in which he falsely claimed an armed man was on the way to shoot up Yale University, police said Wednesday. Jeffrey Jones, 50, of Westbrook, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, threatening, reckless endangerment,...

  • Oscar-nominated director of sled dog film dies

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Oscar-nominated filmmaker who directed and produced a documentary detailing a 1925 sled dog run in Alaska to deliver life-saving serum has died. Daniel Anker died Monday at age 50. His wife, Donna Santman, says her husband died of pneumonia, a complication of his lymphoma. Anker's film, "Icebound," details the...

  • NC fines state fair ride operators over injuries

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have fined thrill ride operators more than $114,000 after a mishap at the 2013 state fair that left five people injured, three of them critically. The state Department of Labor announced the civil fines Wednesday after a lengthy investigation into the Oct. 24 accident with the Vortex ride....

  • Judge dismisses case against Blackwater defendant

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed criminal charges against a former Blackwater security guard whose actions allegedly triggered the shootings of dozens of Iraqi citizens at a traffic circle in Baghdad nearly seven years ago. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth dismissed the indictment against Nicholas Slatten after a...

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