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  • Crews work to keep Yosemite fire from sequoias

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Fire crews strengthened old containment lines on Wednesday to keep a blaze in Yosemite National Park from reaching a grove of treasured giant sequoia trees. The fire was about 10 miles from Merced Grove, the site of the trees, but flames could reach the grove if the fire becomes extremely active, park...

  • Hearing set for Hollywood sex abuse lawyer change

    HONOLULU (AP) — A court hearing in Honolulu has been scheduled for lawyers who want out of a case accusing 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of sex abuse. The Aug. 6 hearing will discuss a request by attorneys Jeff Herman and Mark Gallagher to withdraw as counsel for Michael Egan III. They say they no longer talk to Egan except through a new...

  • Deadly Israeli strikes hit UN school, market area

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel's stepped up campaign against Gaza's Hamas rulers claimed at least 116 Palestinian lives. After the strikes near the shopping area...

  • Bolt upset over report he criticized Glasgow Games

    GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Even before stepping on the track, Usain Bolt caused a stir at the Commonwealth Games. A day after mingling with British royalty at the Glasgow athletes' village, Bolt scrambled Wednesday to deny that he made derogatory comments about the so-called "Friendly Games." The Jamaican sprint star, who is only competing in...

  • Mexico prosecutors to question ex-governor's son

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican prosecutors plan to question the son of a former governor after a video surfaced that purportedly shows him talking with the leader of a drug cartel, a federal official said Wednesday. The official said federal prosecutors plan to question Rodrigo Vallejo, whose father was governor of the trafficking-plagued state of...

  • Researchers: World Trade Center ship dates to 1773

    NEW YORK (AP) — It's a ship tied to two critical points in American history: Sept. 11, 2001, and the eve of the Revolutionary War. Researchers said this week that a vessel unearthed four years ago at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan was made from wood cut around the year 1773 — two years before the start of the war and three...

  • Minnesota archbishop won't resign amid criticism

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Despite criticism over how the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has handled sex abuse claims involving priests, as well as an investigation into his own conduct, the archbishop says he will not resign. Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in a column released Wednesday that will appear in...

  • Foster parent charged with murder in hot car death

    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man accused of leaving his 10-month-old foster child in a hot car where she died was charged Wednesday with murder. Seth M. Jackson, 29, of Wichita, made his first court appearance on a charge of with first-degree murder. An alternative count of second-degree murder was also filed. The girl died Thursday after...

  • Kidnapping defendant: Dad asked her to take child

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning him in Iowa testified Wednesday that she took the boy at the father's request, knowing the parents were planning to move in with her in the next few days. Kristen Smith also testified that when she left the boy in a plastic tote...

  • Pilot sentenced for groping teenage girl on flight

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former Utah airline pilot was sentenced Wednesday to more than two years in prison for groping a 14-year-old girl in the seat next to him during an off-duty flight. Michael James Pascal, 46, of Park City, appeared in federal court Wednesday in Salt Lake City. He wore a navy blue suit and had close-cropped hair....

  • El Salvador charges priest with helping gang

    SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Police arrested a Spanish priest Wednesday on allegations he tried to get favorable treatment for Salvadoran gang members and helped smuggled contraband into prisons. Roman Catholic priest Antonio Rodriguez Tercero was detained as part of a sweep that also arrested 12 police officers, two judges, three court...

  • Tribe: Remove 'halfbreed' from Montana place names

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The time has come to remove the words "halfbreed" and "breed" from the names of creeks, lakes and other places around Montana, according to leaders of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Nicholas Vrooman, who works with the tribe, presented a bill draft to that effect during a recent meeting with the State-Tribal...

  • Police union claims in stop-and-frisk are rejected

    NEW YORK (AP) — Police unions lost their bid Wednesday to challenge a ruling concluding that New York City's stop-and-frisk tactics are sometimes discriminatory, moving the city a step closer toward changing the program, which has drawn criticism for its effect on minorities but won praise for its role in reducing crime. In a written ruling,...

  • Japanese search US archives for WWII MIA info

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Racing against time, members of a Japanese organization are combing a New York military museum's World War II records for information they hope will lead to the graves of American servicemen still listed as missing in action on Saipan. The reason for the urgency: A developer plans to begin construction in the fall...

  • 32 nations back Judaism's Yom Kippur as UN holiday

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Thirty-two countries have written to a U.N. General Assembly committee asking the United Nations to recognize Judaism's holiest day, Yom Kippur, as an official holiday. The letter to the assembly's Committee on Conferences, circulated on Wednesday, says the U.N. "recognizes the major festivals of many of the world's main...

  • Key witness testifies in ex-governor's trial

    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Curing his wife's thyroid disease. Connections in the high-end fashion world. Learjet flights for politicians. Those were topics of testimony Wednesday from Jonnie Williams, the government's key witness who took center stage under the cloak of immunity in the corruption trial for former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his...

  • Justice Dept. files in Ohio, Wisconsin voter cases

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Wednesday sided with challengers of voting laws in Wisconsin and Ohio, saying in court filings that measures in those states unfairly affect minority voters. The department criticized a Wisconsin law that requires voters to present photo identification at the polls and an Ohio law that limits when...

  • Venezuela's opposition coordinator resigns post

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The head of Venezuela's opposition alliance resigned Wednesday, delivering a blow to anti-government forces bitterly divided over how best to challenge socialist President Nicolas Maduro as frustrations rise with his handling of the struggling economy. Ramon Guillermo Aveledo had held the perennially fractious...

  • Vatican taking action in divisive Paraguay diocese

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is taking action in a divisive diocese in Paraguay where an Argentine priest, accused by a former superior of being a "serious threat to young people," has been removed as the No. 2. The Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity is still an active priest in the Ciudad del Este diocese, however, in a sign that he remains in good...

  • George W. Bush writes book about father

    NEW YORK (AP) — His paintings made news worldwide, but it turns out that former President George W. Bush has been working on another, highly personal project since leaving the White House: He has quietly completed a biography of his father, former President George H.W. Bush. Crown Publishers told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the...

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