Category Duck Dynasty

Fire causes power outage delays at Birmingham airport

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A small fire in a utility closet knocked out power and caused flight delays at Alabama’s busiest airport.

Spokeswoman Toni Herrera-Bast says the blaze occurred before dawn Friday at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham.

The fire was inside the airport’s secured area, but the spokeswoman says it didn’t affect security screening or other operations by the Transportation Security Administration.

Power went out on one side of the terminal, and Herrera-Bast says a total of nine flights operated by Delta and American Airlines were delayed because of problems processing passengers during the outage.

No one was hurt and the power was back on by mid-morning...

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Some moving, others staying after latest Texas flooding

SIMONTON, Texas (AP) — In 18 years, Southeast Texas resident Art Myrick says he’s been ordered or asked to evacuate his home near the Brazos River about 20 times, but he didn’t always do so and the house never flooded — until now.

Flooding comes with living in Simonton, a small town west of Houston. But this latest round has convinced the 66-year-old Myrick, who retired four years ago, that he should move. He has land to build a new home in San Antonio.

“We’re gone. Getting too old to live with this,” Myrick said of him and his wife Wednesday, while sitting on a cot inside a Red Cross shelter in Brookshire. “For us, the Lord is in charge of everything and maybe this is his final message to us — a sign it’s time to move on. I hate it because I love that house.”

Simonton, which has abo...

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Russia highlights ties with China ahead of Putin’s trip

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister says President Vladimir Putin’s planned trip to China will give powerful new impulse to ties between the two nations.

Speaking Tuesday at a Moscow conference, Sergey Lavrov described expanding ties with China as Russia’s top foreign policy priority.

Lavrov said the two nations share opposition to a unipolar world, a veiled reference to perceived U.S. global domination.

He added that Moscow and Beijing oppose “double standards” as well as attempts at “diktat and blackmail” in global affairs.

Amid a bitter strain in Russia-West relations over the Ukrainian crisis, the Kremlin has sought to bolster ties with Beijing to soften the impact of Western sanctions.

Putin is set to visit China in June on a trip intended to further boost cooperation in the ene...

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The Latest: Union: 2 officers shot in Houston should be OK

HOUSTON (AP) — The Latest on shootings Sunday in a Houston neighborhood (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

Houston Police Union President Ray Hunt says an officer who was hit several times in the chest during a shooting was wearing both a metal breastplate and a bulletproof vest.

Hunt says both officers hurt during the neighborhood shootings Sunday should be OK. The second officer was shot in the hand.

Police have said there were two armed suspects involved, one of whom was killed. The other was wounded and taken to a hospital. Authorities say another person who was not a suspect or an officer was killed, and three other people were wounded.

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3 p.m.

Neighbors near the scene of a Houston shooting Sunday that left two dead say they heard several shots and knew something was wrong.

Stephen Dit...

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Congress’ grade so far? Incomplete at best

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is racing toward its summer break, but like a procrastinating college kid it has tons of work to catch up on to avoid a report card laden with grades of incomplete or even worse.

An abbreviated work period this month produced mixed results at best — Congress exited Washington without acting on funding the battle against the Zika virus, for starters — and a full plate awaits when lawmakers return next month from a weeklong Memorial Day recess for a six-week sprint to political convention season and the traditional August vacation.

Some signs are promising; others, not so much:

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ZIKA

President Barack Obama’s $ 1...

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Iraq honors policeman who stopped would-be suicide bomber

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has honored a police officer who stopped a would-be suicide bomber at a checkpoint in a northern Baghdad neighborhood this week.

Saad Ali Thabit’s brave act was caught on a closed-circuit camera on Wednesday in the Kadhimiyah neighborhood and has since gone viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views on Thursday.

The footage shows Thabit discovering and then disarming the would-be bomber during a routine search at the checkpoint where he was working. It shows other people lined up at the checkpoint quickly running away as the bomber’s explosive belt was discovered.

Thabit is seen pinning the attacker against the checkpoint’s wall and disarming the explosives. Later Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi commended Thabit for his heroism and courage.

Baghd...

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Crosby helps Penguins beat Lightning to force Game 7

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins are headed home for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.

Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, and Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino also scored Tuesday night in a 5-2 victory that evened the best-of-seven series at three games.

Game 7 is Thursday night, with the Penguins hoping to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009 and the Lightning looking to advance to the Cup Final for the second straight year.

Crosby assisted on Kessel’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the opening period and skated around Tampa Bay defenseman Anton Stralman into the clear before sending a wrist shot between goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s legs for a 3-0 lead in the final minute of the second period.

Rookie goaltender Matt Murray returned...

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Iraqi forces battle IS militants outside Fallujah

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi government forces on Monday pushed Islamic State militants out of some agricultural areas outside Fallujah as they launched a military offensive to recapture the city from the extremists, officials said.

Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and paramilitary troops, Iraqi government forces launched the long-awaited military offensive late Sunday. The city, located about 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, has been under the militants’ control since January 2014.

The commander of the Fallujah operation, Lt. General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, could not say how long the offensive would take, citing the terrain, the number of civilians in the city and bombs planted by the militants. Al-Saadi added that the first phase aims to surround and bomb IS positions.

Federal po...

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Hinchcliffe takes top seed in Indy qualifying with late push

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — James Hinchcliffe posted the fastest four-lap average in Indianapolis 500 qualifying Saturday to take the top seed into the pole shootout Sunday.

The Canadian driver for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports hung on after moving past three-time race winner Helio Castroneves in the final 40 minutes. Hinchcliffe finished at 230.946 mph.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indy winner, moved into second on the second-to-last run of the day at 230.805. Team Penske’s Will Power was third at 230.736, and Castroneves fourth at 230.500.

All 33 starting positions will be set Sunday. The nine fastest from Saturday advanced to the shootout.

Weather changes made for a wild day on the 2...

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FIFA judges want 2-year ban for Niersbach in 2006 bid case

GENEVA (AP) — FIFA ethics prosecutors have asked for a two-year ban for FIFA Council member Wolfgang Niersbach in an investigation of Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid, a probe that threatens to end Franz Beckenbauer’s career in soccer.

The judging chamber of the FIFA ethics committee said Friday it has received the final investigation file and opened formal proceedings against Niersbach.

“The investigatory chamber recommends a sanction of a two-year ban from all football-related activity and a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs ($ 30,300),” the judging chamber said.

An investigation was opened in March against six German officials including Niersbach, who was elected to the FIFA and UEFA executive committees last year.

Niersbach is being investigated for “possible failure to report” unethical cond...

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