Friday, July 31
MISSING MALAYSIAN PLANE
Searching for more plane debris
SAINT-ANDRE, Reunion (AP) — A French law enforcement helicopter is scouring the waters around the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, in hopes of spotting more debris that could have come from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The plane disappeared last year in March while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The part of a plane's wing washed up on shore, and investigators say it comes from a Boeing 777, the same type of plane Flight 370 was.
Australia officials say they don't believe a piece of luggage found nearby is connected.
Authorities: Jewish settlers attack Palestinian village
DUMA, West Bank (AP) — A Palestinian official says Jewish settlers have firebombed two homes in a Palestinian village in the West Bank today, killing a Palestinian toddler and wounding at least three people.
Israel's prime minister calls it a "terror attack."
Israeli and Palestinian officials say the attackers entered a village near the city of Nablus, where they set homes on fire with Molotov cocktails and scrawled graffiti, including the words, "Long live the Messiah."
Suicide bomber strikes at Maiduguri market in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Witnesses say a female suicide bomber has killed many people at a taxi rank at a crowded market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri.
There was no exact death toll from the explosion early today at Gamboru wholesale vegetable market, where rescuers are still recovering bodies.
Trader Bukar Shettima says he saw "nauseating corpses and battered bodies littering the ground" before he ran away.
It's the latest in a string of suicide bombings and village assaults that have killed hundreds in recent weeks.
It comes a day after the Defense Ministry appointed a military official to command an 8,700-strong regional army to curb the Islamic uprising that has spilled across Nigeria's borders. It has killed some 20,000 people in six years and driven 2 million from their homes.
Afghan Taliban release statement praising new leader
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Taliban are praising their new leader, saying he was one of the most "trusted" associates of the late Mullah Mohammad Omar.
Friday's statement, sent to The Associated Press, says the new leader, Mullah Mohammad Akhtar Mansoor, has also been given the title of "Commander of the Faithful," conferring on him the supreme status held by Mullah Omar.
It describes Mansoor as an "active director" of the jihad, or holy war, for some years.
The Taliban on Thursday confirmed that Mullah Omar died of an illness some time ago and said they elected Mansoor as his successor. The Afghan government announced Wednesday that the reclusive mullah had been dead since 2013.
The Taliban reacted by pulling out of peace talks that were scheduled to take place today.
Police officer pleads not guilty in shooting, freed on bail
CINCINNATI (AP) — A University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a motorist during a traffic stop has been released on bail after pleading not guilty to murder.
Fired UC officer Ray Tensing appeared in court yesterday, and bail was set at $1 million. The judge became angry when some in the courtroom audience cheered.
Tensing later posted 10 percent of bail and was released.
He's accused of shooting motorist Samuel DuBose on July 19, after stopping him for not having a front license plate.
Almaty, Beijing make final pitches for 2022 Winter Olympics
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The International Olympic Committee is voting today on who'll host the 2022 Winter Games, Almaty (ahl-MAH'-tee) Kazakhstan or Beijing.
At the IOC meeting in Malaysia, the prime minister of Kazakhstan has challenged the IOC to make a "historic decision" by awarding the Olympics to Almaty, saying the city could offer the Games real snow and mountain conditions unlike Beijing.
Beijing also will be making its final presentation to the IOC ahead of a vote later in the day.
Hillary Clinton pushes for lifting of embargo w/Cuba
MIAMI (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected today to urge Congress to lift the trade embargo on Cuba.
Ahead of her Miami speech, Clinton said yesterday in Maryland that it's in the best interest of Americans and Cubans that the two nations have normal relations.
That puts Clinton in line with President Barack Obama, who moved to normalize Cuban relations last year.
Jury awards $47.8 million in NYC crane collapse civil case
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City jury has awarded $47.8 million to the families of two men killed in 2008 when a construction crane collapsed.
The jury has ordered James Lomma, the owner of the crane, and his companies, to pay $32 million to the family of Ramadan Kurtaj and $15.8 million to the family of Donald Leo.
Leo was operating the crane when it collapsed and he fell to his death. Kurtaj was underneath and was crushed.
Surfer seriously injured in Australian shark attack
SYDNEY (AP) — A surfer has been seriously injured by a shark off the Australia east coast.
Police say 52-year-old Craig Ison sustained significant wounds to his left leg and hand today.
Authorities say while surfing with a friend, Ison spotted the shark and raised the alarm.
The shark attacked Ison as he and the friend tried to paddle to shore, and Ison was able to repeatedly punch the shark and get out of the water with the help of his friend and passers-by.
OCEAN OIL SLICK
Scientist: Oil slick likely from natural seafloor seepage
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Beaches along California's Santa Barbara County coast remain open to swimmers, surfers and sunbathers as the Coast Guard works to determine the origin of an oil slick just offshore.
Jordan Clark, professor of earth science and environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, believes the oil slick is the result of natural ocean-floor seepage.
Clark says the region is known for releasing methane and also about 100 barrels of liquid petroleum per day.
Lab analysis of the slick should come back in a few days.
Montana shooting suspect awaits extradition
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An 18-year-old Wyoming man is in a jail cell, waiting to be extradited to Montana for the shootings of a husband and wife and their adult daughter.
The parents were killed. Relatives of the victims say Jesus Deniz posed as a stranded motorist Wednesday to convince the family to help him on a roadside of a Montana Indian reservation.
Family members say the man claimed he had run out of gas, then pulled a gun and demanded money.
They say the mother told her 26-year-old daughter to run. The daughter is in the hospital after being shot in the spine.
Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant
SEATTLE (AP) — A restaurant in Seattle has decided to institute the city's $15-an-hour minimum wage two years ahead of schedule.
Menu prices are up 21 percent and you no longer have to tip at Ivar's Salmon House.
Wages for employees are as much as 60 percent higher than before.
One waitress is saving for accounting classes, and another server is using the added pay to cover increased rent.
Seattle's law bumped the city's minimum wage to $11 beginning April 1. Scheduled increases will bring it to $15 within four years for large businesses and seven for smaller ones.
Millions download Windows 10
PALO ALTO, California (AP) — Microsoft says its new Windows 10 operating system is now running on more than 14 million computers, two days after the software was released as a free download.
That's a far cry from the company's goal of getting Windows 10 onto a billion devices within three years.
Microsoft says it's releasing the software in waves to make sure downloads go smoothly.