U.S. & World News

Feds Order Correction To Plan To North Dakota Pipeline Owner

BILLINGS – Federal regulators have outlined corrective steps that must take place before a company may restart a pipeline that leaked 176,000 gallons of oil into and along a creek in western North Dakota. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued the order Tuesday to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. Company spokeswoman Wendy Owen says the order is under review…

Berlin Attack Prompts High Security In US Cities For Holiday

NEW YORK – Police in U.S. cities have stepped up security at places where Christmas shoppers gather following a deadly truck attack in Berlin. In Manhattan, police dispatched heavily armed counterterrorism officers to stand guard at crowded Christmas markets in Union Square, Bryant Park and Columbus Circle only an hour after news broke on Monday about the Berlin attack. Mayor…

Trump Adviser Says He Is Ditching ‘Drain The Swamp’

WASHINGTON – One of Donald Trump’s advisers says the president-elect is no longer interested in his rallying cry “drain the swamp.” “I’m told he now just disclaims that. He now says it was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in an interview that aired Wednesday on NPR. Gingrich, a vice chairman…

Obama Oil Pipeline Rules Face Uncertain Future Under Trump

BILLINGS – President Barack Obama’s administration is expected to push through long-delayed safety measures for the nation’s sprawling network of oil pipelines in its final days in power. The proposal calls for more stringent inspections in rural areas and immediate repairs when pipe defects are found. But the timing has raised concerns that incoming president Donald Trump or a Republican-controlled…

Stephen Curry Auctions Shoes For Oakland Fire Victims

OAKLAND – Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry is auctioning off two special pairs of shoes to raise money for victims of the Oakland warehouse fire. KCBS reports that Curry teamed up with a local artist and had two distinctive pairs designed. As of Wednesday morning on EBay, Curry’s shoes had received 157 bids and were at a combined $20,000…

Mark Zuckerberg Unveils Morgan Freeman-Voiced AI Assistant

PALO ALTO – Mark Zuckerberg has enlisted the help of Morgan Freeman and taken a shot at Nickelback while unveiling his new artificial intelligence assistant. The Facebook founder and CEO showed off “Jarvis” with a post on the project and videos on his Facebook page. The voice interactive assistant takes its name from a similar AI device in the “Iron…

AMC Can Buy Smaller Movie-Theater Chain Carmike

KANSAS CITY – Federal regulators say movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. can buy smaller rival Carmike Cinemas Inc. for $1.2 billion if it sells some theaters. The deal will make AMC the biggest U.S. movie theater operator. The U.S. Department of Justice says its approval hinges on AMC selling theaters in 15 markets where it competes with Carmike. The…

Families Of Pulse Nightclub Victims Sue Social Media, Alleging Aid For IS

ORLANDO – Families of three patrons killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre are suing Facebook, Google and Twitter, claiming the gunman who killed their loved ones was radicalized through propaganda found through social media. The families of Tevin Crosby, Juan Ramon Guerrero Jr. and Javier Jorge-Reyes filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court in Michigan. The complaint says the companies…

Trump University Settlement Filed In Court

SAN DIEGO – Lawyers for Donald Trump and former students of his now-defunct Trump University have filed an agreement in court to settle lawsuits alleging that the president-elect defrauded them. The move signals that a deal announced last month remains on track for a judge’s approval next year. Trump agreed last month to pay $25 million to settle two class-action…

Trump Wins Electoral College Vote, Presidency

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump has cruised to victory in the Electoral College despite thousands of anti-Trump protesters who converged on state capitols across the country. Monday’s vote ensures that the billionaire will become America’s 45th president. Texas put the Republican president-elect over the 270-vote threshold. Electors had been deluged with emails, phone calls and letters urging them not to support…

Obama Pardons 78, Shortens Sentence For 153 Others

HONOLULU – The White House says President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes. It’s the most number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president. Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences…

S.D. Airbnb Hosts Earned $1.7 Million, Welcomed 17,000 People In 2016

SOUTH DAKOTA – Airbnb, the world’s leading community driven hospitality company, announced today that its South Dakota host community earned a combined $1.7 million in supplemental income while welcoming 17,000 people to the state in 2016. The most popular cities included Rapid City (5,000 guest arrivals, $582,000 in host income) and Sioux Falls (3,400 visitors, $206,000 in host income). This…

US Women Increasingly Use Pot During Pregnancy, Study Finds

CHICAGO  – U.S. women are increasingly using pot during pregnancy, sometimes for morning sickness. That’s according to an analysis of annual U.S. government drug surveys. Though the actual numbers are small, researchers and others say the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems. In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women…

NY Hedge Fund Founder Indicted In $1 Billion Fraud Case

NEW YORK  – A founding partner of a hedge fund at the center of a scandal involving the head of the nation’s largest jail guard union was charged on Monday in a $1 billion fraud case. Mark Nordlicht, chief investment officer of Platinum Partners, was to appear in federal court in Brooklyn to face securities fraud conspiracy and other charges….

Incoming Governor Says North Carolina Will Repeal LGBT Law

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina’s incoming governor says that legislators are planning to hold a special session to repeal a law limiting protections for LGBT people. Gov.-elect Roy Cooper issued a statement Monday. Cooper says legislators plan to hold the session on the law known as HB2 on Tuesday because Charlotte repealed a local nondiscrimination ordinance that Republicans blamed for…

Electoral College Meets To Formally Elect Trump

WASHINGTON – Electors are gathering Monday in every state to formally elect Donald Trump president even as anti-Trump forces try one last time to deny him the White House. Protests are planned Monday in state capitals, but they’re unlikely to persuade the Electoral College to dump Trump. An Associated Press survey of electors found very little appetite to vote for…

N.C. Driver Charged After School Bus Carrying 19 Overturns

MACCLESFIELD, N.C. – Authorities in North Carolina say the driver of a school bus that overturned with 19 children on board will face charges. State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mike Baker said 40-year-old Julianne Bridgers of Pinetops is charged with careless and reckless driving. The patrol says Bridgers told officers she swerved Friday to avoid a deer that ran in…

Official: FBI Backs CIA Conclusion On Russian Hacking Motive

WASHINGTON – The FBI is supporting the CIA’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump. In a message sent to employees, CIA Director John Brennan said he had spoken with FBI Director James Comey and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. Brennan said in the message that “there is…

Obama, At Year-End News Conference, Cites Gains

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is using his year-end news conference to boast about his administration’s achievements. Obama is citing a number of positive economic indicators such as a declining unemployment rate and higher rates of insured people under his health overhaul. And he’s highlighting diplomatic achievements – among them, the reopening of relations with Cuba. Obama says he’s leaving…

Judge Postpones Volkswagen Hearing By Hours

SAN FRANSISCO – A federal judge has postponed for several hours a hearing on a potential deal for the remaining 80,000 diesel vehicles caught up in Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal. In an indication the parties may be close to a settlement, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said Friday in San Francisco that he wanted to give the company, U.S. regulators…