National News

In unusual step, victims told of destroyed rape kits

MARTHA WAGGONER, Associated Press FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — When Veronica was raped more than 13 years ago, she says neither the police nor the hospital staff believed her story that a longtime friend attacked her while his mother was in the next room. "I was treated like a female crying ...

Roberts promises review of judiciary’s misconduct policies

By JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Chief Justice John Roberts is promising a careful evaluation of the federal judiciary's sexual misconduct policies and an effort to highlight the work of court employees following the year's destructive hurricanes. Writing in his annual ...

California pot shops ring in 2018, ring up first legal sales

By BRIAN MELLEY and TERENCE CHEA, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Customers lined up early to purchase recreational marijuana legally for the first time in California as the new year brought broad legalization some two decades after the state was the first to allow pot for medical ...

Christmas storm brings record snow to Erie, Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A Christmas storm has dumped a record amount of snow on Erie, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas. The National Weather Service office in Cleveland says Monday's storm brought 34 inches of snow, an all-time daily snowfall record for Erie. Another 19 inches fell before dawn ...

Ex-trooper charged had other Taser misconduct

By ED WHITE, Associated Press DETROIT (AP) — Michigan State Police tried but failed to suspend a trooper for his use of a stun gun months before he fired a Taser at a teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died, according to records obtained by The Associated Press. Mark Bessner is ...

Starfish making comeback after syndrome killed millions

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Starfish are making a comeback on the West Coast, four years after a mysterious syndrome killed millions of them. From 2013 to 2014, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome hit sea stars from British Columbia to Mexico. The starfish would develop lesions and then disintegrate, ...

Construction temporarily stopped at church destroyed on 9/11

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Construction on a Greek Orthodox church to replace one that was crushed in the Sept. 11 attacks has been temporarily suspended amid rising costs and questions over how donations have been managed. The St. Nicholas National Shrine next to the ...

Trump predicts GOP and Dems will agree on health care plan

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump is predicting that Democrats and Republicans will "eventually come together "on a new health care plan for the country. Sending a Twitter post early Tuesday from his Florida resort, Trump said "the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate  ...

Cities sue Defense Dept. over gun-check system failures

By COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Three large U.S. cities filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Department of Defense, arguing that many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership weren't reported to the national background check system. New York City, San ...

Singer files sex assault complaint against former Trump aide

WASHINGTON (AP) — A singer and potential congressional candidate says she has filed a sexual assault complaint against President Donald Trump's former campaign manager for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a Washington gathering in November. Joy Villa, a Trump backer who wore a "Make ...

Trump signs, lauds tax overhaul, off to Florida for holidays

By LAURIE KELLMAN and JONATHAN LEMIRE, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law Friday, using his last moments in the White House before flying to Florida for the holidays to celebrate a much-needed political win. He also ...

Sen. McConnell mocks Steve Bannon’s ‘political genius’

By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used a holiday season press conference Friday to deliver a lump of coal to Steve Bannon, mocking the former White House adviser's "political genius" for costing Republicans an Alabama Senate ...

Pelosi tells Ryan to thwart any GOP move to curtail probe

By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats are scrambling in the final days of 2017 to establish their own narratives on multiple Russia investigations and the integrity of the investigators, a partisan messaging battle that has intensified as ...

Girl gets 25 years in mental hospital in Slender Man case

By SCOTT BAUER, Associated Press MADISON, Wis. (AP) — One of two Wisconsin girls who tried to kill a classmate to win favor with a fictional horror character named Slender Man has been sentenced to 25 years in a mental hospital, the maximum punishment possible. Anissa Weier, 16, pleaded ...

Poll: Most say sex misconduct victims are underprotected

By LAURIE KELLMAN and EMILY SWANSON, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Most Americans say sexual misconduct is a major problem and that too little is being done to protect victims, according to a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. But some — ...

Dutoit out at 7 symphonies amid sexual assault accusations

By JOCELYN GECKER and JANIE HAR, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The stellar career of world-renowned conductor Charles Dutoit has come crashing down in the wake of sexual assault accusations by three singers and a musician. Symphonies from Boston to Sydney have severed ties with the ...

Train was speeding 50 mph over the limit before deadly wreck

By RACHEL LA CORTE, GILLIAN FLACCUS and MICHAEL SISAK, Associated Press DUPONT, Wash. (AP) — The Amtrak train that plunged off an overpass south of Seattle, killing at least three people, was hurtling 50 mph over the speed limit when it jumped the track, federal investigators say. Bella ...

Scientists tune into brain to uncover music’s healing power

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — Like a friendly Pied Piper, the violinist keeps up a toe-tapping beat as dancers weave through busy hospital hallways and into the chemotherapy unit, patients looking up in surprised delight. Upstairs, a cellist strums an Irish folk ...

FBI involved with airport blackout probe; no sign of terror

By JEFF MARTIN, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — The FBI is part of the probe into what caused a fire that knocked out power to the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, but an agency spokesman said Tuesday there was no sign of anything connected to terrorism. "There's no indication at this ...

Massive Southern California wildfire now halfway contained

By CHRISTOPHER WEBER and ANDREW DALTON, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters took advantage of calm winds in Southern California to reach 50 percent containment of a massive wildfire, officials said. "We've had a very productive day," said Deputy Chief Mark Brown of the ...