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  • UN can't reach residents of Islamic State's de facto capital

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says it cannot deliver aid to 600,000 people in two Syrian cities controlled by the Islamic State group. Deputy humanitarian chief Kyung-wha Kang told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that residents of the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa and the city of Deir ez Zor received no food...

  • Guard hurt in fatal prison bus wreck released from hospital

    LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A Texas prison guard who was critically injured in a prison bus wreck that killed 10 people has been released from a Lubbock hospital and moved to a rehabilitation center to continue his recovery. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jason Clark said in a statement Wednesday that corrections officer Jason Self...

  • Supreme Court halts 3 upcoming executions in Oklahoma

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has ordered Oklahoma to postpone lethal injections executions using a controversial sedative until the court rules in a challenge involving the drug. The court's order Wednesday came as little surprise after both the state and the lawyers for three inmates who faced execution between now and March requested...

  • Irish police officer shot during visit to New Orleans

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Officials say an Irish police officer on vacation in New Orleans was shot by an armed robber, becoming one of the latest victims in a string of shootings putting the city on edge as it gets ready to kick off Carnival festivities. Authorities say Brian Hanrahan was shot early Tuesday morning. Hanrahan told officers he was...

  • Perry: Ongoing felony case won't delay 2016 preparations

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry vowed Wednesday that a judge's refusal to quash felony abuse of power charges won't derail — or even delay — his preparations for a possible 2016 presidential run, calling the case tantamount to the "criminalization of politics." "We're moving right along as we have intended," the Republican...

  • Egypt seeks to distance police from protester killing

    CAIRO (AP) — The Egyptian government on Wednesday sought to distance the police from last weekend's shooting death of a female protester, saying a forensic examination showed she was killed by a type of projectile that is "absolutely" not used by security forces. The case of 32-year-old Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, who died after birdshot fired by...

  • Petrobras releases profit drop in 3rd quarter 2014

    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's scandal-plagued state-run oil company Wednesday released its third quarter report for 2014, showing that profits dropped 9 percent compared to the same period in 2013. Petrobras' quarterly results were released two months late amid ongoing investigations into a massive corruption scandal. Third quarter profits...

  • Workers at Britain's National Gallery vote for 5-day strike

    LONDON (AP) — Workers at Britain's National Gallery will be staging a five-day strike beginning next week in a dispute over whether some of its services should be run by an outside contractor. Some 250 workers voted overwhelmingly to strike beginning Tuesday to protest the move. The museum expects to remain open throughout. Mark Serwotka, the...

  • Single mom who lost job jailed in bomb threat bank heist

    BELLEVUE, Pa. (AP) — A single mother who told police she recently lost her job has been jailed on charges she tried to rob $40,000 from a Pennsylvania bank by claiming to have a bomb in her car at a drive-thru window. Brandy Greulich, 33, of Pittsburgh, remained jailed Wednesday on charges stemming from the robbery attempt a day earlier at a...

  • Wisconsin governor finds gaps in 2016 GOP field encouraging

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he is seriously considering running for president because he sees gaps in the field of likely Republican candidates. Walker also said Wednesday that he doesn't have a problem with being branded as bland or uncharismatic. Walker says he's planning trips to important primary states including...

  • Arkansas panel rejects removing Lee from King holiday

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A bid to end Arkansas' practice of commemorating Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. on the same day has failed before a state House panel. The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday rejected the proposal, which would have removed Lee from the state...

  • Judge says Caesars bankruptcy case will be held in Illinois

    WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A federal judge in Delaware ruled Wednesday that the Chapter 11 case of casino giant Caesars Entertainment Corp. will proceed in Illinois, denying a motion by several creditor groups who wanted the case heard in Delaware. The ruling by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross was a victory for Caesars, whose operating unit...

  • Extremists rampage in northeast Nigeria, no troops fighting

    YOLA, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic extremists are rampaging through villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing, burning and looting with no troops protecting civilians, fleeing villagers said Wednesday. More than 40 people have been killed in seven villages in Adamawa state this week, according to resident Emmanuel Kwache. "They slaughtered people...

  • Iran names new UN envoy after earlier pick blocked

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's Foreign Ministry has named a new envoy to the United Nations after the U.S. declined to issue a visa to an earlier pick last year. The ministry's official website said Wednesday that Gholam Ali Khoshroo has been chosen to serve as Iran's permanent envoy to the U.N. Khoshroo is a seasoned diplomat who previously...

  • Amal Clooney on legal team in Armenian genocide case

    STRASBOURG, France (AP) — Lawyer Amal Clooney went before Europe's top human rights court Wednesday to argue against a man convicted of denying the 1915 Armenian genocide. Clooney is representing Armenia as part of an appeal before the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, which ruled in favor of the man, Dogu Perincek, in December...

  • More resignations at top of anti-Islam organization

    BERLIN (AP) — There's more trouble at the top for a German organization protesting the perceived "Islamization" of Europe. The PEGIDA organization said on its Facebook page Wednesday that spokeswoman Kathrin Oertel has resigned after receiving threats, while board member Thomas Tallacker has stepped down for work reasons. Organizer...

  • Firefighters rescue cows that took icy dip in Colorado pond

    FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) — Firefighters in Colorado have rescued two cows that plunged through the ice on a pond. Fountain Fire Chief Darin Anstine says someone driving by the pond south of Colorado Springs spotted the cows' heads sticking out of the water about 30 feet from shore Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters wearing protective suits used saws...

  • After killings by police, a debate over grand jury secrecy

    NEW YORK (AP) — For centuries, grand juries have held some of the criminal justice system's best-kept secrets. But their private process has come under extraordinary public scrutiny after recent decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed men. Calls for more transparency have sounded in Congress, statehouses and editorial...

  • Slain Georgia couple known for charity work across the South

    McRAE, Ga. (AP) — Elrey "Bud" Runion and his wife, June, took their charitable efforts all over the South: from storm-damaged Alabama towns and impoverished pockets of West Virginia to their hometown in suburban Atlanta. "He said, 'You can't take money with you when you're gone," said the couple's daughter, Brittany Patterson. "You might as...

  • Polish leaders seek relief for those with Swiss franc loans

    WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish authorities unveiled proposals Wednesday aimed at helping more than 500,000 Poles with Swiss franc loans, the payments of which are spiking after a surge in the franc. However, Economy Minister Janusz Piechocinski said Poland would not follow Hungary in making banks convert Swiss franc mortgages to the local...

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