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2 dead, 17 injured in Kentucky school shooting; suspect held
BENTON, Ky. (AP) - A 15-year-old student killed two classmates and hit a dozen others with gunfire Tuesday, methodically firing a handgun inside a crowded atrium at his rural Kentucky high school. "He was determined. He knew what he was doing," said Alexandria Caporali, who grabbed her stunned friend and ran into a classroom as their classmates hit the floor. "It was one right after another -- bang bang bang bang bang," she added. "You could see his arm jerking as he was pulling the trigger." He kept firing, she said, until he ran out of ammunition and took off running, trying to get away.


Undersea quake sends Alaskans fleeing from feared tsunami
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A powerful undersea earthquake sent Alaskans fumbling for suitcases and racing to evacuation centers in the middle of the night after a cellphone alert warned a tsunami could hit communities along the state's southern coast and parts of British Columbia. The monster waves never materialized, but people who fled endured hours of tense waiting at shelters before they were cleared to return home. "This was a win as far as I could tell," said Marjie Veeder, clerk for the city of Unalaska, which is home to the international fishing port of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands.


US pulled multiple ways in Syria as Islamic State recedes
WASHINGTON (AP) - For the last years, the United States could neatly sum its objective in Syria in a single, uncontroversial bullet point: fighting the Islamic State group. Now that the extremists have been squeezed from all but the last bits of their former territory, the Trump administration is struggling to define the boundaries of its mission, and how and when America's lengthy engagement will end. A crisis between the U.S. and Turkey, triggered by the latter's new military offensive in Syria, has laid bare how a dizzying array of alliances in Syria is growing even more convoluted in the absence of IS as a major force.


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Senate approves Powell to follow Yellen as Fed chair in Feb.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump's selection of Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve beginning next month. Senators voted 84-13 to confirm Powell to lead the nation's central bank, a post that is considered the most powerful economic position in government. Powell will succeed Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the Fed, when her term ends Feb. 3. Trump decided against offering Yellen a second four-year term as chair despite widespread praise for her performance since succeeding Ben Bernanke. Powell, 64, has served for 5 years on the Fed's board.


Ursula K. Le Guin, best-selling science fiction author, dies
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, has died at 88. Le Guin died peacefully on Monday in Portland, Oregon, according to a brief family statement posted to her verified Twitter account. Her son, Theo Downes Le Guin, did not immediately return a call Tuesday. Le Guin won an honorary National Book Award in 2014 and warned in her acceptance speech against letting profit define what is considered good literature. She often criticized the "commercial machinery of bestsellerdom and prizedom" despite being a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 - a rare achievement for a science fiction-fantasy writer.


Ex-gymnast tells disgraced doctor: 'You only hurt me'
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A former elite gymnast said Tuesday that a sports doctor who treated Olympic athletes overlooked what turned out to be a broken leg while he molested her in the basement of his home, one of the latest victims to testify at a Michigan sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar. Isabell Hutchins practiced for weeks at a Lansing-area gymnastics club and even competed at national events despite acute leg pain as a teen in 2011. She said Nassar did nothing to encourage her to get help and instead molested her during late-night appointments at his home. "You were never a real doctor.


'We have a voice.' Victims confront ex-gymnastics doctor
Almost 160 women and girls are coming forward in a Michigan courtroom to confront Larry Nassar, the former sports doctor who molested them under the guise of medical treatment. Their victim statements are coming during an extraordinary sentencing hearing for Nassar, who has admitted sexually assaulting athletes while employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. Here are excerpts of some victims' statements over the last week. ---- The first victim to speak was Kyle Stephens, who said Nassar repeatedly abused her from age 6 until age 12 during family visits to his home in Holt, Michigan. "I testified to let the world know that you are a repulsive liar and those 'treatments' were pathetically veiled sexual abuse," she said.


Pence visits Western Wall amid tensions with Palestinians
JERUSALEM (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand on the hallowed Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday as he wrapped up a four-day trip to the Mideast that ended with Palestinians still fuming over the Trump administration's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital. On a solemn visit to the holiest site where Jews can pray, Pence tucked a small white note of prayer in the wall's cracks after touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During his first trip to the region as vice president, Pence sought to enlist the help of Arab leaders in Egypt and Jordan on the Mideast peace process and used a high-profile speech to the Knesset to reaffirm President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and accelerate plans to open a U.S.


Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counsel's Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he took steps to obstruct an FBI probe into contacts between Russia and his 2016 campaign. The Sessions interview last week makes him the highest-ranking Trump administration official, and first Cabinet member, known to have submitted to questioning. It came as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates whether Trump's actions in office, including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, constitute improper efforts to stymie the FBI investigation.


Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategy
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bill Cosby is suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts say appears to be an effort by the comedian to rebuild his good-guy image ahead of his retrial on sexual assault charges in the spring. In the past two weeks, the 80-year-old Cosby emerged from a long period of near-seclusion to have dinner with friends at a restaurant and gave his first comedy performance in more than two years. Cosby's publicists turned both nights into media spectacles, letting reporters tag along as he enjoyed penne and sausage earlier this month and inviting cameras in as he told jokes Monday at a jazz club.

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