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Alabama woman who joined IS hopes to return from Syria camp

ROJ CAMP, Syria (AP) — A woman who ran away from home in Alabama at the age of 20 to join the Islamic State group in Syria says she is a victim of the militant organization and hopes to return to the U.S. even if it means serving prison time. U.S.-born Hoda Muthana said in a rare interview she was brainwashed by online traffickers into joining the group in 2014 and regrets everything except her young son. She was speaking in a rare interview with The News Movement from the Roj detention camp in Syria, where thousands of suspected Islamic State members and their families are being held. The U.S. has revoked Muthana's citizenship and largely ignored calls to repatriate foreign members of the IS group detained in Syria.

Prince Harry says explosive book is a bid to 'own my story'

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry has defended his memoir that lays bare rifts inside Britain’s royal family. He says in TV interviews broadcast Sunday that he wanted to “own my story” after 38 years of “spin and distortion” by others. Harry's soul-baring new memoir, “Spare,” has generated incendiary headlines even before its release. Harry tells Britain’s ITV that members of the royal family got “in bed with the devil” to gain favorable coverage in the tabloid press. He also repeated the claim that there was “concern” in the royal family about his unborn child’s skin color, and said the British monarchy needed to address its attitudes to race.

Musk says he can't get fair trial in California, wants Texas

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elon Musk doesn't think he can get a fair trial in San Francisco. Instead, the billionaire wants a federal judge to shift a shareholder lawsuit trial to Texas. In a filing submitted late Friday, Musk's attorneys argue that negative local media coverage has biased potential jurors against him. They say news stories have personally blamed Musk for recent Bay Area layoffs at Twitter. Musk relocated his electric car company, Tesla, to Austin in late 2021. If a move isn’t possible, Musk’s lawyers urged that the trial be postponed until negative publicity around his purchase of Twitter has died down. The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 17.

California hit by more storms, braces for potential floods

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California was hit with more turbulent weather as thunderstorms, snow and damaging winds swept into the northern part the state. Sunday's system preceded another series of incoming storms this week that raised the potential for flooding, rising rivers and mudslides on soils already saturated after days of rain. In the state capital, more than 60,000 customers — down from more than 350,000 — were without electricity after gusts topping 60 mph knocked down power lines. A major highway in the eastern Sierra was closed because of whiteout conditions. The storms won’t be enough to officially end California’s ongoing drought, but they have helped.

France's Macron opens up about love to autistic interviewers

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LE PECQ, France (AP) — A group of “atypical journalists” on the autism spectrum got France’s 45-year-old president to talk about himself with unusual and illuminating candor in a televised interview this weekend. The interviewers peppered Emmanuel Macron with frank but fair no-filter questions that professional journalists mostly don’t dare ask of the French leader. The interviewers were from Le Papotin. It's a journal founded in 1990 in a Paris-region day care center for young people with autism. They grilled Macron about his marriage, his friends, his wealth, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other matters in his heart and thoughts.

40 people killed, dozens injured in bus crash in Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Senegal's president says two buses have collided head-on in the center of the country and that at least 40 people were killed and dozens of others were injured. President Macky Sall tweeted that the buses collided in Gniby village in the Kaffrine region. The president declared three days of mourning starting Monday and will hold an inter-ministerial council to discuss road safety measures. The crash happened at 3:30am Sunday on the National Road No. 1 when a public bus punctured a tire and veered across the road. It collided with another bus coming from the opposite direction. At least 78 people are injured including some serious cases.

Talks continue to avoid nurse strike at 2 NYC hospitals

NEW YORK (AP) — With a Monday strike deadline looming, contract negotiations are continuing between two large New York City hospitals and the nurses' union. Still unsettled Sunday are contract terms for more than 7,000 nurses at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.  Nurses at Mount Sinai Morningside and West reached a tentative agreement on Sunday. New York State Nurses Association President Nancy Hagans says staffing levels are the primary issue.  The nurses say in the absence of an agreement, they are prepared to walk out at 6 a.m. Monday.  The hospitals have taken steps to prepare for a strike through patient transfers and directing ambulances elsewhere.

Mayor: Teacher shot by 6-year-old 'red flag for the country'

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia teacher who was critically injured when she was was shot by a 6-year-old student in Newport News is showing signs of improvement. Newport News Mayor Phillip Jones said Saturday that the teacher's condition is “trending in a positive direction” as she remains hospitalized. Authorities say the boy shot and wounded the teacher with a handgun in a first-grade classroom on Friday at Richneck Elementary School. Police Chief Steve Drew said the shooting was not accidental and was part of an altercation. No students were injured. Jones declined to release additional details about what led to the altercation. He also would not comment on how the boy got access to the gun or who owns the weapon.

W.Va. journalist let go after reporting on abuse allegations

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia journalist lost her job after she reported about alleged abuse of people with disabilities in state care. Amelia Ferrell Knisely, a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, said she was told to stop reporting on the Department of Health and Human Resources after agency leaders “threatened to discredit” the publicly-funded television and radio network. She later learned her part-time position was being eliminated. Knisely said her news director told her the order came from WVPB Executive Director Butch Antolini, former communications director for Republican Gov. Jim Justice. Antolini declined to comment, but other officials denied any effort to influence coverage.

Woman gets 3 years in bogus good Samaritan online fundraiser

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman who pleaded guilty to helping her boyfriend spread a feel-good story that garnered more than $400,000 in online donations has been sentenced to three years in prison on state theft charges. Burlington County prosecutors say 32-year-old Katelyn McClure wasn’t present in the Mount Holly courtroom Friday because she is serving a one-year federal term in the case. Prosecutors said McClure and Mark D’Amico concocted the feel-good tale in 2017 about Johnny Bobbitt Jr. giving $20 when her car ran out of gas in Philadelphia. Prosecutors said the couple spent much of the money on vehicles and casino trips.

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Authorities in Memphis have released video showing Black motorist Tyre Nichols being beaten by five police officers who held him down and repeatedly struck him with fists, batons and boots. The footage released Friday also shows the Black officers pummeling the 29-year-old and leaving him propped against a squad car as they fist-bump and celebrate their actions. The officers have been charged with murder in the assault that the Nichols family legal team likened to the infamous 1991 police beating of Los Angeles motorist Rodney King. The chilling images of another Black man dying at the hands of police provoked tough questions about the nation’s policing culture.

A timeline of events in the Tyre Nichols case, which sparked state and federal investigations into police brutality and led to murder and other charges against the five officers involved in his arrest this month.

Federal authorities have charged 25 people accused of participating in a wire fraud scheme in Florida that they say created an illegal shortcut for aspiring nurses to get licensed and find employment. Recently unsealed federal grand jury indictments allege the defendants took part in a scam that sold more than 7,600 fraudulent nursing degree diplomas from three Florida-based nursing schools. Prosecutors said Wednesday that the scheme also involved transcripts from the nursing schools for people seeking licenses and jobs as registered nurses and licensed practical/vocational nurses. The schools have now closed. Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.

Five women killed in a weekend crash on a Wyoming highway were Arkansas high school students and graduates. School officials said Wednesday the five were headed home from visiting Jackson Hole Bible College in northwestern Wyoming when they crashed Sunday evening on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming. Two were students and three were recent graduates of Sylvan Hills High School in the Little Rock suburb of Sherwood, Arkansas. Authorities have arrested a man they accuse of being under the influence when he drove the wrong way on I-80, causing crashes including the one that killed the five.

Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh is about to put his fate before a small-town jury. Murdaugh's trial on two counts of murder in the June 2021 deaths of his wife and son started Monday with jury selection. The 54-year-old's life has unraveled over the past two years. He faces about 100 other criminal counts as prosecutors say he stole millions of dollars from clients, committed insurance fraud trying to stage his own death and ran a drug and money laundering ring. But Murdaugh has adamantly denied killing his wife and son, saying he found them shot to death at their home after visiting his ailing father.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Wednesday the federal investigation into the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man who died after a violent arrest by Memphis police, “may take some time.” Speaking during a news conference, U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz said his office is working with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in Washington as it investigates the case of Nichols, who died three days after his Jan. 7 arrest. Nichols’ death has led to three separate law enforcement investigations — and the five Black officers were fired last week after an internal police probe determined they used excessive force and failed their duties to intervene and render aid.

An abortion ban is once more beginning to move through the South Carolina General Assembly. A House subcommittee on Thursday approved the first such ban to get a public hearing in the state this year. Sponsored by 43 House Republicans, the bill indicates that proponents of a ban have been undeterred by recent setbacks. A long special session last year failed to produce a new abortion restriction. In early January, the highest court in South Carolina had ruled a 2021 law violated the state’s right to privacy. The effort comes as other state lawmakers across the country debate the issue for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion protections.

A Hawaii man who spent more than 20 years in prison for the killing and rape of a tourist has been released because of new evidence. Back home on the Big Island, Ian Schweitzer says he considers himself the victim of a flawed system. And he also wants to find justice for Dana Ireland, who was slain in 1991. It’s unclear if prosecutors will seek to try him again. Two other men were convicted in the case, including Schweitzer's younger brother Shawn. Shawn accepted a guilty plea deal to get a break on sentencing, and it's not clear what happens next for him. An attorney for the family of the third man says he will seek to have him posthumously exonerated.

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