News: U.S. & World

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  • Draft UN resolution targets Israeli occupation

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Jordan has submitted a draft resolution on ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands captured in 1967 to the U.N. Security Council for a possible vote. The resolution wants Israeli security forces withdrawn no later than the end of 2017. Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour says the Arab-backed resolution does...

  • Man charged with killing wife stuffed in fridge

    HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police have charged a 38-year-old man with murder in the stabbing death of his estranged wife, whose body was found rotting in a disabled refrigerator. A police statement says Patrick Lambert was charged Wednesday in the death of 27-year-old Anastacia Oaikhena Lambert. Officers went to the woman's apartment on Dec. 8...

  • Doctor says Oklahoma inmate suffered in execution

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution told a federal judge Wednesday that he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious. Dr. Joseph Cohen, a pathologist hired by the inmate's lawyer, said that recently released witness statements corroborate his belief...

  • Teen admits killing 2 at Oregon hunting cabin

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A 15-year-old who shot and killed his foster father and another man at a remote Oregon cabin in 2012 never meant to kill anyone and never should have been around loaded guns due to his lack of maturity after years of abuse and other problems, a defense lawyer says. The boy made admissions Wednesday in Grant County...

  • Death toll in clash in western Mexico rises to 11

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican official says the death toll from a clash between two rural police groups has risen to 11. Federal commissioner Alfredo Castillo says the confrontation Tuesday was the result of the rivalry between two groups of former vigilantes that have been converted into the state's new Rural Forces. He said Wednesday that the...

  • Officers cleared in killing of FSU gunman

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Grand jurors called actions of police "heroic" and cleared five officers of wrongdoing in killing a gunman who had shot students at a Florida State University library. Early on Nov. 20, authorities say 31-year-old Myron May shot inside and just outside the library where hundreds of students were studying on the...

  • Guard convicted in NYC inmate's 2012 death

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jail guard was convicted of a civil rights charge Wednesday after a jury concluded he ignored the pleas of a dying Rikers Island inmate who had swallowed a toxic soap ball. Terrence Pendergrass, 50, shook his head repeatedly as the verdict was announced in Manhattan federal court after a one-week trial. A jury...

  • Lawyer: Christie won't be sued in bridge scandal

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two lawsuits filed by people stuck in traffic jams caused by apparently politically motivated lane closings of the George Washington Bridge will move forward without New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a defendant, a lawyer in the case said Wednesday. A federal judge this week consolidated the two cases, one of which named...

  • Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

    HAVANA (AP) — Colombia's largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren't targeted by the U.S.-backed military. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia made the announcement in Cuba at the end of another round of peace talks aimed at...

  • Biggs confirmed to central NC federal judgeship

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Senate has confirmed a Winston-Salem attorney to a federal judgeship in central North Carolina. President Barack Obama's nomination of Loretta Biggs was approved in a voice vote. The confirmation Tuesday evening means she'll be a U.S. District Court judge in the Middle District of North Carolina, and will fill the...

  • US backs off death penalty in Iowa slayings

    IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — In a surprising reversal, federal prosecutors on Wednesday abandoned their 12-year pursuit of the death penalty for a woman convicted of helping kill five people, including two children, in Iowa to protect her boyfriend's drug business. The reversal in the 1993 slayings comes ahead of a second sentencing hearing for...

  • Christie to discuss 2016 with family over holidays

    BROOKSIDE, N.J. (AP) — Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he'll discuss his potential 2016 presidential bid with his family over the holidays and make a decision soon after. Christie made the comments Wednesday to a group of students at Mendham Township Middle School, one of the state's 2014 National Blue Ribbon Award winners. He...

  • Charges: Stun gun, zip ties used on abducted teen

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man used death threats, a stun gun, zip ties and a shock collar to control a teenage girl he's accused of kidnapping at gunpoint, imprisoning and sexually assaulting over nine months, according to indictments released Wednesday. Nathaniel Kibby was arrested in July and initially charged with kidnapping the girl Oct. 9,...

  • Defense: Release for mom who drove into ocean

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A South Carolina mother who drove her three children into the ocean off Daytona Beach testified during a hearing to determine whether she should be forcibly confined that she recognizes she is mentally ill and wants to do whatever is necessary to get better. Ebony Wilkerson was the final witness called by defense...

  • Cops: Man killed and dismembered mom and stepdad

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man was charged Wednesday with killing and dismembering his mother and stepfather, whose body parts were found in trash bags and containers inside their home. Frederick C. Harris is facing two counts each of criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse in the deaths of 73-year-old Olivia and 76-year-old Lamar Gilbert. He is...

  • Judge: Boy, 14, shouldn't have been executed in SC

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — More than 70 years after South Carolina sent a 14-year-old black boy to the electric chair in the killings of two white girls in a segregated mill town, a judge threw out the conviction, saying the state committed a great injustice. George Stinney was arrested, convicted of murder in a one-day trial and executed in 1944 —...

  • Gov. Nixon ends state of emergency for Ferguson protests

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Wednesday ended the state of emergency that he declared for the St. Louis area ahead of unrest over the Ferguson grand jury decision, praising the work of police and the National Guard in preventing any protest-related deaths. He issued his executive order on Nov. 17. Protests, including some that...

  • Utah trucker challenges arrest in sex slave case

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A defense lawyer on Wednesday challenged the arrest of a Utah truck driver accused of keeping women as sex slaves in his semi-trailer as he drove across the country. Minnesota state troopers should not have taken Timothy Jay Vafeades into custody last year for violating a protective order because it was no longer valid,...

  • Indiana officer asked to stop selling 'divisive' shirts

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Some officials in the Indiana city of South Bend have called on a police officer to stop selling T-shirts that make light of the "I can't breathe" refrain used in recent protests of the police killing of a New York City man. Mishawaka police officer Jason Barthel this week began selling T-shirts with the message...

  • Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The crucial role played by Pope Francis in bringing Cuba and the United States together signals that history's first Latin American pope has no qualms about putting the Holy See on the front lines of diplomacy, especially for a cause it has long championed. The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis wrote to President Barack...

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