• Records paint bleak picture of suspect in serial killings

    PHOENIX (AP) - A man accused of killing nine people in metro Phoenix grew up in a household plagued by domestic violence, left home at 16 to live with his girlfriend and was in prison three years later for manslaughter after participating in a robbery at a strip club where an accomplice was fatally shot, court records show.

  • US flu season gets worse, has 'lot more steam' than expected

    NEW YORK (AP) - The flu season in the U.S. is getting worse.

    Health officials last week said flu was blanketing the country but they thought there was a good chance the season was already peaking. But the newest numbers out Friday show it grew even more intense.

    "This is a season that has a lot more steam than we thought," said Dr. Dan Jernigan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Los Angeles Times gets union, loses publisher

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Times journalists have voted to unionize for the first time in the newspaper's 136-year history while its chief executive is taking an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations of improper behavior, it was reported Friday.

    A National Labor Relations Board tally found that newsroom workers voted 248 to 44 for representation by NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. The vote was taken on Jan. 4.

  • Judge orders sweeping changes to Texas foster care system

    DALLAS (AP) - A judge ordered Texas to make sweeping changes to its foster care system on Friday, two years after she found it unconstitutionally broken.

  • Women will march again with aim to become a political force

    A year after more than 1 million people rallied at women's marches worldwide with a message of female empowerment and protest against President Donald Trump, activists will return to the streets this weekend in hopes of converting anger and enthusiasm into political force.

  • Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him.

    Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic senator, whose 11-week corruption trial ended in a hung jury in November. The filing to the judge seeks a retrial "at the earliest possible date."

    The announcement immediately raised several legal issues.

  • Andrew Landry tops crowded CareerBuilder leaderboard

    LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) - Andrew Landry topped the crowded CareerBuilder Challenge leaderboard after another low-scoring day in the sunny Coachella Valley.

    Landry shot a 7-under 65 on Thursday on PGA West's Jack Nicklaus Tournament Course to reach 16 under. He opened with a 63 on Thursday at La Quinta Country Club.

    "Wind was down again," Landry said. "It's like a dome out here."

  • Dakar: Al-Attiyah wins 13th stage, Sainz near 2nd rally win

    CORDOBA, Argentina (AP) - Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah won the penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally on Friday, while Carlos Sainz took advantage of a crash by defending champion Stephane Peterhansel to increase his overall lead and boost his chances of winning the world's toughest rally.

  • Power Five conferences approve medical benefits extension

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA's five largest conferences approved sweeping changes in everything from medical care to basketball during the holidays on Friday, dashing through the agenda with little opposition and virtually no debate.

  • Dortmund held again after dropping Aubameyang for 2nd game

    BERLIN (AP) - Borussia Dortmund was held to another Bundesliga draw on Friday as the club dropped star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the second match in a row.

    Shinji Kagawa salvaged a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin when he capitalized on a rare defensive lapse from the otherwise well-organized home side with 20 minutes remaining.

    Hertha frustrated the visitors for long periods and Dortmund clearly missed Aubameyang's pace to create goalscoring opportunities.

  • Dortmund drops Aubameyang again for Hertha Berlin game

    BERLIN (AP) - Borussia Dortmund left star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of its squad for the second Bundesliga match in a row on Friday.

    The Gabon player, who was dropped from the squad for Dortmund's 0-0 draw with Wolfsburg last Sunday, was again omitted from the side that drew 1-1 at Hertha Berlin.

    "It's not a suspension but a sporting decision," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc told Eurosport before the game.

  • Getafe salvages 2-2 draw against Athletic in Spanish league

    MADRID (AP) - Angel Rodriguez came off the bench to help Getafe salvage a 2-2 draw after twice trailing Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Friday.

    Rodriguez entered the match shortly after his team missed a penalty kick early in the second half, scoring the equalizer with a shot from close range in the 74th minute.

    The result extended Getafe's unbeaten streak at home to seven matches in all competitions.

  • Family: Tom Petty died of accidental drug overdose

    NEW YORK (AP) - Tom Petty's family says his death last year was due to an accidental drug overdose.

    His wife and daughter released the results of Petty's autopsy via a statement on his Facebook page Friday night. Dana and Adria Petty say they got the results from the coroner's office earlier in the day that the overdose was caused due to a variety of medications.

  • Oscar winner Dorothy Malone, mom on 'Peyton Place,' has died

    DALLAS (AP) - Actress Dorothy Malone, who won hearts of 1960s television viewers as the long-suffering mother in the nighttime soap "Peyton Place," died Friday in her hometown of Dallas at age 93.

    Malone died in an assisted living center from natural causes days before her 94th birthday, said her daughter, Mimi Vanderstraaten.

  • Tabloid held porn star's 2011 interview after Trump threat

    NEW YORK (AP) - A tabloid magazine held back from publishing an adult film star's 2011 account of an alleged affair with Donald Trump after the future president's personal lawyer threatened to sue, four former employees of the tabloid's publisher told The Associated Press.

  • Los Angeles Times gets union, loses publisher

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Los Angeles Times journalists have voted to unionize for the first time in the newspaper's 136-year history while its chief executive is taking an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations of improper behavior, it was reported Friday.

    A National Labor Relations Board tally found that newsroom workers voted 248 to 44 for representation by NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America. The vote was taken on Jan. 4.

  • Rapper Kodak Black arrested in Florida on multiple charges

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say rapper Kodak Black was arrested several days after a guest at his Florida home live-streamed people handling marijuana and a handgun around an infant.

    A Broward Sheriff's Office report says deputies arrested the 20-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dieuson Octave, after executing a search warrant at his Pembroke Pines home on Thursday. Octave was ordered held without bail during a Friday hearing because he was already on probation.

  • Winter is here: "Game of Thrones" ice hotel opens in Finland

    HELSINKI (AP) - A "Game of Thrones"-themed ice hotel complete with a bar and a chapel for weddings has opened in northern Finland in a joint effort by a local hotel chain and the U.S. producers of the hit TV series.

    Lapland Hotels said Friday they chose "Game of Thrones" to be the theme for this season's Snow Village, an annual ice-and-snow construction project covering 20,000 square meters (24,000 sq. yards) in Kittila, 150 kilometers (93 miles) above the Arctic Circle.

  • The Latest: VP Pence takes off on trip to Middle East

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on Vice President Mike Pence's trip to the Middle East (all times local):

    7:55 p.m.

    Vice President Mike Pence has departed for the Middle East, despite the looming threat of a government shutdown.

    Pence took off Friday night on a trip that will take him to Egypt, Jordan and Israel. He's scheduled to refuel in Ireland after midnight before proceeding to Cairo.

  • Official: Plan to exclude Florida from drilling isn't final

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration's promise to exempt Florida from an offshore drilling plan is not a formal action, an Interior Department official said Friday in a statement that Democrats said contradicted a high-profile announcement by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

    Zinke has proposed opening nearly all U.S. coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling, but said soon after announcing the plan that he will keep Florida "off the table" when it comes to offshore drilling.

  • US likely to designate embassy in Jerusalem as early as 2019

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration is expected to approve a plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year, rather than waiting for several years, Trump administration officials said Friday.

  • AP Explains: Why is the government close to a shutdown?

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A standoff between Democrats and Republicans has the federal government on the brink of shutting down. Here's a look at what the dispute is about and what will happen if it isn't resolved by midnight Friday.

    ___

    WHAT ARE LAWMAKERS FIGHTING ABOUT?

  • Facebook to emphasize 'trustworthy' news via user surveys

    Facebook is taking another step to try to make itself more socially beneficial, saying it will boost news sources that its users rate as trustworthy in surveys.

    In a blog post and a Facebook post from CEO Mark Zuckerberg Friday, the company said it is surveying users about their familiarity with and trust in news sources. That data will influence what others see in their news feeds.

  • Tabloid held porn star's 2011 interview after Trump threat

    NEW YORK (AP) - A tabloid magazine held back from publishing an adult film star's 2011 account of an alleged affair with Donald Trump after the future president's personal lawyer threatened to sue, four former employees of the tabloid's publisher told The Associated Press.

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