The Daily Astorian | The Daily Astorian Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:15:51 -0400 en The Daily Astorian | Teen sisters charged in bus pepper spray incident Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:10:57 -0400 COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Officials in South Carolina say two teenage sisters are facing charges after pepper spray was used during a fight on a school bus.

The Richland County Sheriff's Department tells local news outlets that the 16-year-old and 15-year-old siblings were charged with third-degree assault and interfering with the operation of a school bus.

The girls were on the bus going to Westwood High School when an argument started Tuesday.

Officials say the 15-year-old pulled out pepper spray, spraying at another teen, who got off the bus. That's when deputies say the two sisters began fighting a second teenager.

Twenty-one students were taken to hospitals to be checked out. No one was injured.

The 15-year-old also is charged with carrying a weapon on school property.

The Latest: At least 8 tornadoes touched down in Indiana Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:10:13 -0400 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Latest on recovery efforts from tornadoes touching down in central Indiana (all times local):

7:05 a.m.

The National Weather Service says a single, long supercell thunderstorm that moved through Indiana produced six tornadoes.

Forecasters say those six were among at least eight tornadoes that touched down in central Indiana on Wednesday. Authorities say about a dozen people were injured, but none seriously. Damage includes roofs torn off buildings, smashed vehicles and power loss to thousands.

The weather service says one tornado was an EF3 with 165 mph winds. GOP vice presidential candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence plans to leave the campaign trail Thursday to assess storm damage.

The weather service says two other thunderstorms produced separate tornadoes, one in Avon west of Indianapolis and one northwest of Lafayette, which is southwest of Indianapolis.


9:20 p.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he'll tour Howard and Montgomery counties and possibly other areas Thursday to assess the storm damage.

The Republican vice presidential candidate returned to Indiana from the campaign trail Wednesday evening after the National Weather Service said several tornadoes struck the state. One that hit Kokomo has been determined to be an EF3 with 165 mph winds.

Pence says he'll remain in the state as long as necessary to ensure people affected by the storms have the support they need. He says 200 people have checked in to a Red Cross shelter in Kokomo.

Indiana State Police spokesman Capt. David Bursten says about a dozen people were injured, but none seriously.

AP Top Entertainment News at 7:06 a.m. EDT Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:10:38 -0400 Appeal seeks to overturn 'Blurred Lines' copyright verdictPaisley Park, home of Prince, opens for public tours Oct. 6Belarusian leader treats action hero Seagal to local melonsBob Odenkirk to write a book of essays about his lifeAisha Hinds cast as Harriet Tubman in 'Underground' drama]]> Austria coach Koller makes 5 changes for World Cup qualifier Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:10:15 -0400 VIENNA (AP) Austria coach Marcel Koller has made five changes to his Euro 2016 squad for the team's World Cup qualifier in Georgia next month.

Salzburg midfielder Valentino Lazaro, who was dropped ahead of the European Championship, has returned while four new names have been included in the 23-man squad, which Koller announced Thursday.

Striker Rubin Okotie, who has joined second-tier Beijing Enterprises Group in China, is the most notable absentee alongside Leicester captain Christian Fuchs, who has retired from the team. Koller says he will announce a new captain next week.

Austria plays Georgia in Tbilisi on Sept. 5 in Group D, which also includes Wales, Serbia, Ireland and Moldova.

The Latest: Romanian death toll in Italy earthquake up to 5 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:01:15 -0400 AMATRICE, Italy (AP) The Latest on the earthquake in central Italy (all times local):

1 p.m.

Romania's foreign ministry says that five Romanians have died, and 11 are missing in the earthquake in Italy, updating earlier figures.

Ionut Valcu, foreign ministry spokesman, said Thursday that four Romanians were being treated for injuries in hospitals He did not provide details on the identity of those who died or were injured.

Romania consular officials have traveled to the area, are visiting the hospitals and are in touch with the families of those affected. Earlier, officials said two Romanians had died and eight were missing.

Media reports say some 8,000 Romanians live in the area in central Italy where the quake struck early Wednesday.


11:35 a.m.

Italy's culture ministry has decreed that proceeds from public museums across Italy this Sunday will be dedicated to helping restore damaged buildings in the quake zone.

Several churches and other medieval-era buildings were damaged or destroyed in the 6-magnitude quake that struck central Italy.

In a statement Thursday, Culture Minister Dario Franceschini urged Italians to go out in force on Sunday to visit museums and Italy's numerous archaeological sites "in a concrete sign of solidarity" with quake victims.


11:30 a.m.

Spain's foreign ministry says at least one Spaniard has died in the earthquake in central Italy.

The ministry said that it could give no further details regarding the victim.

Italian rescue crews were racing against time looking for survivors from the earthquake that leveled three towns in central Italy on Wednesday. The death toll has risen to 247.


11 a.m.

Romania's foreign ministry says two Romanians have died, and eight are missing after the earthquake in Italy.

Ministry spokesman Ionut Valcu said Thursday that four Romanians were being treated for injuries in hospitals He did not provide details on the identity of those who died or were injured.

Romania consular officials have traveled to the area, are visiting hospitals and are in touch with the families of those affected.

Media reports say about 8,000 Romanians live in the area in central Italy where the quake struck early Wednesday.


6:30 a.m.

Italian authorities say that the death toll from Wednesday's earthquake in the central part of the country has risen to 247.

The civil protection agency gave the updated figure early Thursday, about 27 hours after the earthquake struck. The tremors reduced three towns to rubble and sparked urgent search efforts.


5:40 a.m.

Residents in a central Italian region devastated by an earthquake have been jolted awake by a strong aftershock.

The U.S. Geological Survey put its magnitude at 4.7 with the epicenter about 7 kilometers east of Norcia, with a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles). The latest temblor struck at about 5:40 am Thursday.

Norcia, which is about 170 kilometers (105 miles) northwest of Rome, was the epicenter of Wednesday morning's 6.2 earthquake that leveled the central Italian towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto, and killed at least 159 people.


2:30 a.m.

Italian rescue workers are expecting fewer casualties than initially feared at the site of a hotel that was badly damaged in Wednesday's earthquake.

Officials initially said about 70 people had been staying at the Hotel Roma in the central Italian town of Amatrice when the quake struck.

But an official with Italy's civil protection agency, Luigi d'Angelo, told Sky TG24 that about 35 people had been staying at the hotel, and most had managed to get out. Carlo Cardinali, a local fire official taking part in the search efforts at the hotel, estimated that about 10 guests were missing.

Five bodies have been pulled from the rubble.

Workers had been forced to suspend their search at the hotel, though overnight searches for earthquake survivors were continuing elsewhere.


12:30 a.m.

Among the victims of an earthquake in Italy was an 18-month-old girl whose mother survived the deadly earthquake of 2009 in nearby L'Aquila and moved away from there after that terrible experience.

The news agency ANSA reported that the toddler, Marisol Piermarini, was sleeping in her bed in the family's vacation home in Arquata del Tronto when the quake struck early Wednesday.

Her mother, Martina Turco, survived the earthquake that struck L'Aquila, killing more than 300 people. Now she is being treated in a hospital after being pulled from the rubble as the family mourns the death of the little girl.

NTSB: Plane lost fuel pumps before Alabama crash, killing 6 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:00:15 -0400 ATLANTA (AP) Federal aviation investigators say a pilot told air traffic controllers that fuel pumps aboard the plane were failing before it plunged to the ground and caught fire near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, killing six people from Mississippi.

In a preliminary report on the crash released Thursday morning, the National Transportation Safety Board said the pilot reported one fuel pump failure and then, when he was a few miles from Tuscaloosa's airport, reported that the plane lost "the other fuel pump."

The twin-engine Piper struck trees near the Tuscaloosa suburb of Northport as it attempted to land at Tuscaloosa's airport Aug. 14.

Authorities say the six people killed were flying to Oxford, Mississippi, where they were from, before trying to land in Alabama because of the emergency.

The NTSB is continuing to investigate.

AP Top International News at 6:55 a.m. EDT Thu, 25 Aug 2016 04:00:16 -0400 Turkey: US says Syria Kurds are pulling back in north SyriaThe Latest: Syria top diplomat in Iraq amid Turkey incursionSyria's Kurds: An embattled US ally in a complex civil warFrench burkini bans face legal challenge as tension mountsN. Korea missile test adds to 'Military First' celebrationUN rights chief seeks international probe of Yemen violenceSouth African Archbishop Desmond Tutu back in hospital]]> AP Top News at 6:49 a.m. EDT Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:51:09 -0400 AP-NORC Poll: Gender matters, but does it hurt or help?10 Things to Know for TodayTurkey: US says Syria Kurds are pulling back in north SyriaUS pursues Syria cooperation with Russia amid new volatilityN. Korea missile test adds to 'Military First' celebrationColombia's president rushing plebiscite on deal with rebelsFrench burkini bans face legal challenge as tension mounts]]> French burkini bans face legal challenge as tension mounts Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:50:25 -0400 PARIS (AP) France's highest administrative authority is studying whether local bans on full-body burkini swimsuits are legal, amid growing concerns in the country and abroad about police forcing Muslim women to disrobe.

Images of uniformed police appearing to require a woman to take off her tunic, and media accounts of similar incidents, have elicited shock and anger online this week.

Some fear that burkini bans in several French towns are worsening religious tensions. The bans, based on a strict application of secularism policies, have exposed division within the government.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM television Thursday that burkinis represent "the enslavement of women" and reiterated his support for mayors who have banned them.

But Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a feminist with North African roots, said that while she doesn't like the burkini swimsuit, bans of the garment are politically driven and unleashing racist sentiment.

"My dream of society is a society where women are free and proud of their bodies," she said on Europe-1 radio. But with tensions in France high after a series of deadly Islamic extremist attacks, she said, "We shouldn't add oil to the fire" by banning burkinis.

Critics of the local decrees have said the orders are too vague, prompting local police officials to fine even women wearing the traditional Islamic headscarf and the hijab, but not burkinis.

The prime minister, while stressing his opposition to the burkini, urged police to implement the bans fairly and respectfully.

Two human rights groups, arguing the bans are discriminatory, have appealed to the Council of State to overturn the measures.

The council is holding a hearing in the case Thursday and is expected to rule within 48 hours. The ruling specifically concerns a ban in the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet, but the decision will be binding and set legal precedent on the increasingly heated question of whether cities can tell Muslim women what to wear to the beach.

The Human Rights League and the Collective Against Islamophobia in France say the mayor's decree violates basic freedoms of dress, religious expression and movement.

The Villeneuve-Loubet order bars from local beaches any people whose garments don't respect the principles of secularism, health and safety rules and good moral standards. Like other local decrees, the Villeneuve-Loubet ban doesn't explicitly mention the word "burkini."

The conservative mayor in Villeneuve-Loubet, Lionnel Luca, has said he wanted to foresee any disruption to the public order in a region badly hurt by the deadly Bastille Day truck attack in nearby Nice last month. The two towns are only 15 kilometers (9 miles) apart.

On Monday, a lower court in Nice ruled that the Villeneuve-Loubet ban was "necessary, appropriate and proportionate." The administrative court added that wearing "conspicuous" religious clothing on the beaches may be seen as a "provocation" by some people and increase local tensions.

The Nice court also said that burkinis can be viewed as an "expression of an erasing" of women and of "a lowering of their place which is not consistent with their status in a democratic society."

Religious clothing is particularly sensitive in France, where an unusually large part of the population has no religious affiliation, and where the first provision in the constitution says France is a "secular Republic."


Angela Charlton contributed to this report.

AP Top Sports News at 6:45 a.m. EDT Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:50:30 -0400 Ledecky hands medals to Harper, throws out first pitchHill solid, Turner homers and Dodgers beat Giants 1-0Blatter says he will accept verdict as CAS appeal beginsPutin calls ban on Russia's Paralympic team inhumaneWith no deal, Chargers withdraw offer to first-rounder BosaSydney rain forces changes in Cal, Hawaii training schedulesHull confounding grim preseason forecasts in Premier LeaguePGA Tour playoffs get start at The Barclays]]> Putin calls ban on Russia's Paralympic team inhumane Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:50:39 -0400 MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin has attacked the ban on his country from the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics as immoral and inhumane.

Russia was suspended on Aug. 7 over what International Paralympic Committee president Philip Craven called a "medals over morals" culture with evidence of state-sponsored doping. The ban was confirmed Tuesday when the Court of Arbitration of Sport rejected a Russian appeal.

Speaking to Olympic athletes at the Kremlin on Thursday, Putin says the "decision to disqualify our Paralympians is outside the bounds of law, morality and humanity."

Special competitions will be organized in Russia for banned Paralympic athletes with winners getting the same prizes they would have had from success in Rio.

The Russian government awards cash prizes to Olympic and Paralympic medalists.

The Paralympics start Sept. 7.

The Latest: Syria top diplomat in Iraq amid Turkey incursion Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:50:18 -0400 ANKARA, Turkey (AP) The Latest developments in the Syrian civil war, following Turkish ground forces' incursion (all times local):

1:35 p.m.

Iraq says Syria's foreign minister has arrived in Baghdad for a visit at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart, Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The foreign ministry provided no further details on Thursday's visit or topics that Walid al-Moallem would discuss in meetings with Iraqi officials.

Al-Moallem's visit comes a day after Turkey sent ground forces across the border into Syria to take a key Islamic State stronghold, a development that Damascus denounced as a "blatant violation" of Syrian sovereignty.

While Iraq has made significant territorial gains in the fight against the Islamic State group, key border crossings between Iraq and Syria remain in the militant group's control and continue to be used to ferry supplies and fighters between the two countries.

The last time Syria's foreign minister visited Baghdad was in 2013, before the Islamic State group pushed into Iraq from neighboring Syria overrunning large swaths of territory in the country's north and west.


12:40 p.m.

Turkey's defense minister says Turkish forces are securing the area around the town of Jarablus in northern Syria, a day after helping Western-backed Syrian rebels take the town from Islamic State militants.

Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday that the Turkish-backed operation has two main goals to secure the Turkish border area and to make sure the Kurdish Syrian forces "are not there."

Isik says "it's our right to remain there until" the Syrian opposition forces take control of the area.

Turkey is concerned about the advances of the Kurdish Syrian forces, fearing they aim to set up a Kurdish entity along Turkey's border with Syria. Ankara maintains that the Syrian Kurdish militia is linked to Kurdish rebels waging an insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

Isik says Ankara and the United States have agreed the Kurdish Syrian forces would pull out of the northern area around Jarablus "within two weeks." He spoke to the private NTV television.

He says that "for now, the withdrawal hasn't fully taken place. We are waiting for it and following it."


10 a.m.

Turkish Foreign Ministry says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Turkish counterpart that Syrian Kurdish forces have started withdrawing east of the Euphrates River.

The pullback was a major demand by Ankara after Turkey sent in forces across the border to take a key Islamic State stronghold the previous day.

Turkish ministry officials say Kerry and Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke by telephone on Thursday. Turkey's incursion into northern Syria was also meant to contain an expansion by Syria's Kurds.

Battling IS militants in Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds have been able to seize nearly the entire stretch of the border with Turkey in northern Syria.

Vice President Joe Biden warned on Wednesday that the Syrian Kurdish forces will lose U.S. support unless they retreat east of the Euphrates.

Man accused of firing gun at officer during traffic stop Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:41:13 -0400 DECATUR, Ga. (AP) Authorities say a Georgia man has been arrested after he fired at gun at a suburban Atlanta police officer during a traffic stop.

DeKalb County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cynthia Williams says in a news release that authorities arrested 24-year-old Tamarcus Gresham of Lithonia on an aggravated assault charge in connection with Wednesday's incident.

Officials say an officer saw a car with a loose license plate and initiated the stop. Gresham was a passenger in the vehicle.

Deputies say as the officer turned on a light to read the license plate number, the suspect began firing a gun into the air and at the officer.

Gresham was later taken into custody. It's unclear if he has an attorney.

Springsteen performs for nearly 4 hours at MetLife Stadium Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:40:13 -0400 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Bruce and the boys are back in the swamps of Jersey, and they're in no rush to get off the stage.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform their second show at MetLife Stadium on Thursday. It comes after they performed a 35-song set for 3 hours and 52 minutes on Tuesday.

A Springsteen fan website,, says that was Springsteen's longest U.S. show.

The Boss' longest show was 4 hours and 6 minutes in Helsinki, Finland, in 2012.

The New Jersey shows mark a return to the U.S. after Springsteen and the band spent three months performing in Europe on their River Tour 2016, which kicked off in January.

They are performing in seven U.S. cities, including East Rutherford, before ending the tour on Sept. 14.

Springsteen performs for nearly 4 hours at MetLife Stadium Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:40:55 -0400 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Bruce and the boys are back in the swamps of Jersey, and they're in no rush to get off the stage.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform their second show at MetLife Stadium on Thursday. It comes after they performed a 35-song set for 3 hours and 52 minutes on Tuesday.

A Springsteen fan website,, says that was Springsteen's longest U.S. show.

The Boss' longest show was 4 hours and 6 minutes in Helsinki, Finland, in 2012.

The New Jersey shows mark a return to the U.S. after Springsteen and the band spent three months performing in Europe on their River Tour 2016, which kicked off in January.

They are performing in seven U.S. cities, including East Rutherford, before ending the tour on Sept. 14.

Philippine leader orders extremists crushed after beheading Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:40:14 -0400 MANILA, Philippines (AP) Abu Sayyaf extremists have beheaded a kidnapped Filipino villager after a ransom deadline lapsed in their first such brutal act under President Rodrigo Duterte, who pressed an order for troops to crush the militants.

Regional military spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan says the militants killed Patrick James Aldovar on Wednesday near southern Sulu province's Indanan town then later abandoned his head in a neighborhood.

Tan said Thursday that Aldovar, who was seized by the militants July 16 in Sulu's main Jolo town, was decapitated after his family failed to pay ransom.

After learning about the beheading, Duterte ordered his troops: "Drug dealers, destroy them. Abu Sayyaf, destroy them. Period."

The Abu Sayyaf has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the Philippines for deadly bombings, kidnappings and beheadings.

New case of Zika through a local mosquito in Florida county Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:40:14 -0400 LAKE WORTH, Fla. (AP) Officials say a second person in Palm Beach County, Florida, has contracted the Zika virus through a local mosquito.

Florida's Department of Health said in a statement Wednesday that a 24-year-old Lake Worth woman has been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Officials say the woman was hospitalized last week with classic Zika symptoms that included fever, rash, eye redness and joint pain, but a final diagnosis did not come until Tuesday. The woman says she hasn't traveled outside of the county in months.

The number of non-travel related cases in Florida now stands at 43, with the majority having occurred in Miami-Dade County. Palm Beach County is north of Miami.

Zika causes a mild illness in most people but can lead to severe brain-related birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu back in hospital Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:40:32 -0400 JOHANNESBURG (AP) South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has admitted himself to a Cape Town hospital for treatment of a recurring infection, according to his family foundation.

The 84-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to remain in the hospital for a week or two, said the statement issued by the foundation late Wednesday.

Tutu underwent similar treatment last year, when he was hospitalized several times.

Updated information will be released when it is available, said the archbishop's daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe.

Tutu became the first black archbishop of Cape Town where he was an outspoken opponent of South Africa's apartheid regime, which enforced a harsh system of racial discrimination. Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, Tutu has campaigned for human rights, to fight HIV/AIDS, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. He also chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated atrocities during the apartheid regime and granted amnesty to some accused perpetrators.

5 men drown off British beach without lifeguard Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:30:31 -0400 LONDON (AP) British police say five men have drowned off a beach in southern England that had no lifeguard.

Authorities are trying to piece together what happened to the group who traveled together from London to Camber Sands beach on Wednesday.

Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly says this "has been an incredibly tragic incident." Authorities say that rip-tides take place off the beach and that swimmers can get into trouble easily if they are not familiar with the sea and the dangers it can pose.

Last month, 19-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Silva Da Cruz died after getting into difficulty while swimming at Camber Sands, known for its sand dunes. The beach is around 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of London.

A dozen people have died in water-related accidents off British coastlines in recent days.

Blatter says he will accept verdict as CAS appeal begins Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:30:40 -0400 LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter arrived for his appeal hearing against a six-year ban from football on Thursday, pledging to accept the verdict of the Court of Arbitration for Sport

"I do hope it will be positive for me," Blatter, sporting a light gray beard, told reporters at around 8 a.m. (0600 GMT) ahead of a hearing expected to last several hours.

The court's verdict is expected within several weeks, and could be challenged in a further appeal to Switzerland's supreme court.

The 80-year-old Blatter denies wrongdoing in authorizing a $2 million payment to former FIFA vice president Michel Platini in 2011. They claimed it was for backdated and uncontracted salary for work Platini did in advising Blatter from 1999 to 2002.

The so-called "disloyal payment" led Blatter to be put under investigation for criminal mismanagement by Swiss federal prosecutors last September. That investigation is ongoing.

FIFA's ethics committee judged the $2 million deal was a conflict of interest and initially banned Blatter and Platini for eight years last December. FIFA's appeal committee cut both bans to six years.

Platini's appeal to CAS was already judged in May, when Blatter appeared in person as a witness. Platini promised a further appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal after his ban was only cut from six to four years.

Platini arrived at the hearing around midday local time to be a witness. Both men have denied any wrongdoing.

Blatter's comments Thursday suggest he would not pursue a federal case. Federal judges can intervene only if legal process is abused.

"We are football players, we learned to win but also we learned to lose and it will not be the end of the world," Blatter said outside CAS.

The three-member panel for Blatter's case is expected to respect the verdict of a separate panel which judged Platini.

A failure to overturn the ban for Blatter would likely end his hope to one day be named FIFA honorary president by its 211 member federations.

The case already ended Platini's chance to replace Blatter as FIFA president, and also forced him out of European governing body UEFA.

On Sept. 14, UEFA members will elect a successor to replace Platini who had a mandate through March 2019. By imposing a four-year ban, the CAS panel ensured UEFA had to replace Platini, rather than wait for him to return.

The "disloyal payment" emerged last year when Platini was strongly favored to win the election to replace Blatter, who had announced his departure plans after 17 years as president amid pressure from American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption implicating senior FIFA officials.

Both men were questioned at FIFA headquarters last September by Swiss investigators who were waiting for them outside an executive committee meeting.

During the turmoil in world football, Platini's right-hand man at UEFA, Gianni Infantino, submitted an election candidacy on the entry deadline day and won the vote in February.

Arriving at the hearing with his Zurich-based lawyer Lorenz Erni, Blatter said he hoped the CAS panel "will understand that the payment made to Platini was really a debt that we had against him."

"This is a principle, if you have debts you pay them," Blatter said.

Rundgren to be artist-in-residence at Notre Dame for 10 days Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:22:07 -0400 SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Musician and music producer Todd Rundgren will serve as an artist-in-residence for 10 days at the University of Notre Dame.

The university says he will teach several classes in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre from Sept. 22 to Oct. 1. He also will work with students and teachers in the South Bend and Mishawaka area, perform with student bands in a concert Oct. 1 and organize an on-campus collection of used musical instruments for national redistribution to music students in need.

Rundgren says he is looking forward to his first visit to Notre Dame. He also will attend Notre Dame's football game against Duke on Sept. 24.

He is best known for his songs "Hello It's Me" and "Bang The Drum All Day."

Judge to rule if Illinois terrorism suspect's mentally fit Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:21:25 -0400 CHICAGO (AP) A federal judge is scheduled to rule on whether a suburban Chicago man who's said aliens and Freemasons are after him is mentally fit for trial on terrorism charges.

The question for Thursday's Chicago hearing isn't whether 22-year-old Adel Daoud has mental issues. It's whether any are severe enough to prevent him from understanding and participating in trial proceedings.

Agents arrested Daoud in a 2012 sting after he allegedly placed a bomb outside a bar. Other charges he faces include attacking an inmate who allegedly taunted him with a Prophet Muhammad drawing.

Daoud spoke against defense lawyer Thomas Durkin's advice during competency hearings, giggling and doing impersonations. Durkin says it's impossible to defend someone who believes his own attorneys are in on Illuminati conspiracies.

Prosecutors say Daoud's sufficiently mentally fit.

Woman dies after falling from zip line ride at Delaware park Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:20:15 -0400 BEAR, Del. (AP) Delaware State Police are investigating the death of a woman who fell from a zip line ride at Lums Pond State Park in Bear.

Authorities say the 59-year-old woman fell about 40 feet from the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure attraction Wednesday afternoon.

The woman was treated at the scene by New Castle County paramedics before being taken by ambulance to the Christiana Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The victim's name was being withheld pending the notification of her next of kin.

Authorities say no one else was injured.

Designer Sonia Rykiel, known for a relaxed style, dies at 86 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:21:11 -0400 PARIS (AP) Sonia Rykiel, a French designer dubbed the "queen of knitwear" whose relaxed sweaters in berry-colored stripes and eye-popping motifs helped liberate women from stuffy suits, has died at 86.

President Francois Hollande's office announced her death in a statement Thursday, praising her as "a pioneer" who "offered women freedom of movement." His office didn't provide further details, and the Sonia Rykiel fashion house in Paris wouldn't immediately comment.

For the generation of women who came of age in the heady 1960s and '70s, Rykiel, with her hallmark bright orange hair, came to symbolize the new era of freedom.

She also penned several novels including one about a dress and its various incarnations and figured in director Robert Altman's satirical 1994 look at the fashion industry, "Pret-a-Porter."

Rykiel got her start by designing knit maternity dresses for herself. She became a fixture of Paris' fashion scene starting in 1968 when she opened her first ready-to-wear shop on the Left Bank at a time when student riots were challenging France's bourgeoisie establishment. The designer's empire grew to include menswear and children's lines as well as accessories, perfumes and home goods, sold in the label's stores on four continents.

Her daughter, Nathalie Rykiel, who as a young woman used to model her mother's garments on the catwalk, has long helped manage the fashion house. The business was among France's last major family-owned labels until it was sold to a Hong Kong investment fund in 2012.

Rykiel's star pieces include the "poor boy" sweater often in black with jewel tone stripes or emblazoned with messages or graphic motifs like oversized red lips knit tops with embroidered roses and funky, rhinestone-studded berets. She developed new techniques like inside-out stitching and no-hem finishings that embodied the freewheeling spirit of the times.

Rykiel, whose maiden name was Flis, was born in Paris on May 25, 1930. She married Sam Rykiel, the owner of a Paris boutique, and had Nathalie at 25.

It was motherhood that put her path of fashion design. After designing maternity outfits, she went on to create knit garments for her husband's boutique, called Laura. By 1970, the fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily had dubbed Rykiel the "queen of knitwear."

Still, early on in her career, Rykiel was wracked by doubts.

"When I started in fashion, for the first 10 years, I said to myself every day, 'I'm going to quit tomorrow. People are going to figure out that I don't know anything,'" she told the Le Nouvel Observateur in a 2005 interview. "I always thought I'd be discredited in the end."

Rykiel is survived by Nathalie and son Jean-Philippe. No information about a memorial ceremony was immediately available.

Belarusian leader treats action hero Seagal to local melons Thu, 25 Aug 2016 03:21:05 -0400 MINSK, Belarus (AP) Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has treated American action hero Steven Seagal to a harvest of carrots and watermelons at his country residence.

Seagal, 64, is not new to Eastern Europe. He often visits Russia to socialize with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lukashenko on Wednesday hosted Segal at his residence north of Minsk, the capital, and treated him in front of television cameras to traditional Belarusian food like lard. The footage from the visit showed Lukashenko peel a carrot and hand it to Seagal to try.

Presidential spokeswoman Natalya Eismont said that Seagal "had long wanted to meet Lukashenko."

During last year's harvest, Lukashenko, who has been described as Europe's last dictator, hosted French actor Gerard Depardieu and gave him a lesson in hand scything.

Seagal has a consultancy contract with a Belarusian online game developer.