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  • French town bans clown disguises after assaults

    PARIS (AP) — A small town outside Montpellier in southern France has banned people from disguising themselves as clowns from the streets — especially on Halloween. This week's decision by Mayor Pierre Dudieuzere of Vendargues follows a series of incidents around France in which people dressed as scary clowns spooked children and in several...

  • Alaska mayor vetoes law aimed at protecting moose

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The mayor of Anchorage has vetoed an ordinance passed by the municipal assembly intended to protect moose from impaling themselves on fences decorated with metal spikes. The ordinance would have banned new spiked fences and required homeowners to modify existing fences less than 7 feet tall within five years. The...

  • Justice Dept watchdog faults agency grenade probe

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal agents and prosecutors in Arizona made multiple errors in their investigation of a U.S. citizen who was suspected of smuggling grenade components to Mexico, including failing to arrest him when there was more than enough evidence to do so, the Justice Department watchdog said in a harshly critical report Thursday. The...

  • Oregon, Alaska are ground zero in pot fight

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — From slick video ads online to scrawled chalk messages on college campus sidewalks, intense get-out-the-vote drives are mobilizing in Oregon and Alaska to legalize retail sales of marijuana to anyone old enough to drink. But backers of the legal-pot ballot measures in both states have a challenge that their...

  • GOP senators urge Obama to hold off on immigration

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The three Republican senators responsible for comprehensive immigration legislation, which remains stalled in Congress, on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to hold off on any steps to shield millions of people from deportation. "Acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you...

  • Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor, dies at 71

    BOSTON (AP) — Thomas Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor whose mumbling and occasional bumbling belied his political ingenuity and endeared him to a scrappy city whose very skyline he helped reshape, died Thursday. He was 71. Menino died in the company of his family and friends, spokeswoman Dot Joyce said. He had been diagnosed with...

  • US, UN condemn renewed violence in South Sudan

    NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The United States and United Nations on Thursday condemned a recent outbreak of violence around an oil-rich town in South Sudan, as experts predicted a return to mass violence in the coming weeks. South Sudan has seen near civil war conditions since last December and violence has forced more than 1.7 million people from...

  • Police: Suspected NC court gunman turns himself in

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A man suspected of opening fire this week on two victims in front of a courthouse turned himself in hours after his brother was charged in the crime, authorities said Thursday. Brandon Tremaine Morris, whom investigators identified as the gunman in Tuesday's shooting, was being questioned by investigators, Nashville Police...

  • Severed arm grabs spotlight at Civil War museum

    FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A well-preserved human forearm purportedly found shortly after the 1862 Battle of Antietam is grabbing the Halloween spotlight at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. The naturally mummified relic went on display Thursday as the centerpiece of the Maryland museum's "Behind the Screams" Halloween tour. Museum...

  • 69 cats removed from dirty Rhode Island apartment

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Animal control officers have removed 69 cats from a Rhode Island apartment. Police say they were called to the house in Providence on Thursday morning. The animal control department had received a complaint about a tenant on the second floor hoarding cats. Animal control officers helped by the Rhode Island Society for...

  • Judge rejects Hernandez bid to move murder trial

    FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts judge on Thursday denied a request from former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez to move his trial in the fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player to a different county. Hernandez, a former tight end for the Patriots, is charged in the 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd, who was dating...

  • Small Iraqi peshmerga force enters Syrian town

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — A vanguard force of Iraqi peshmerga troops entered the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey on Thursday, part of a larger group of 150 fighters that the Kurds hope will turn back an offensive by militants of the Islamic State group. The deployment, accompanied by 50 members of the Free Syrian Army, was...

  • New UN envoy on Syria briefs Security Council

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The outspoken new U.N. envoy on Syria said Thursday he is pursuing an "action plan" that involves freezing conflict in certain areas, possibly starting with Aleppo, to allow for humanitarian aid and local steps of a political process toward wider peace. Staffan de Mistura, in his first briefing to the U.N. Security...

  • Vatican admits Sistine Chapel frescoes 'whitened'

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican revealed a closely kept secret Thursday: The Sistine Chapel's precious frescoes were starting to turn white from the air pollution caused by so many visitors passing through each day to marvel at Michelangelo's masterpiece. Officials first noticed the whitening patina in 2010 and immediately launched an...

  • Father pleads guilty in boy's gun death case

    TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — A man whose 4-year-old son shot a 6-year-old neighbor to death pleaded guilty Thursday to child endangerment for leaving his gun unlocked. Anthony Senatore, of Toms River, faces three years in prison under a plea deal. A year ago, the 35-year-old had rejected a plea bargain that would have carried a seven-year prison...

  • Israel closes Jerusalem holy site after shooting

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel closed all access to Jerusalem's most sensitive religious site on Thursday, a rare move that ratcheted up already heightened tensions following the attempted assassination of a prominent Jewish religious activist and the killing of his suspected Palestinian assailant by police. The Palestinians accused Israel of a...

  • Pilot identified in California jet crash

    PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a civilian pilot killed in a jet crash during a military training exercise near a California Navy base was a 45-year-old Utah resident. The Ventura County medical examiner's office said Thursday that an autopsy is planned for pilot Charles Rogers. The jet crashed Wednesday in a coastal agricultural...

  • New York City zoo welcomes 5 orphaned coyote pups

    NEW YORK (AP) — Five orphaned coyote pups that were rescued in Massachusetts have a new home at a New York City zoo. Queens Zoo officials say the one male and four female coyotes were born around the end of March. Three are siblings, and the other two are unrelated. The pups were orphaned at such a young age they would have died in the wild...

  • Sweden recognizes Palestinian state; Israel upset

    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden's new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel's nearly half-century control of...

  • Ex-UBS exec seeks acquittal in US tax trial

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former high-ranking executive at Swiss bank UBS AG is asking a U.S. judge to acquit him on charges of conspiring with wealthy Americans to hide billions of dollars in assets from the Internal Revenue Service. Attorneys for Raoul Weil said in a motion filed Thursday that federal prosecutors haven't proven their...

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