AP WIRE: NEWS

AP Top News at 4:45 p.m. EDT

Iraqi protesters pour into Green Zone, storm parliament
BAGHDAD (AP) - Anti-government protesters tore down walls and poured into the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone on Saturday, where they stormed parliament in a major escalation of a political crisis that has simmered for months. Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr have been holding demonstrations and sit-ins for months to demand an overhaul of Iraq's corrupt and ineffective political system, but Saturday was the first time they broke into the Green Zone, home to most government ministries and foreign embassies. Iraqi security forces fired tear gas at one entrance of the zone but appeared to be largely standing down as protesters marched through the area, chanting and waving Iraqi flags.


Kenya burns huge pile of ivory tusks to protest poaching
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Kenya's president set fire Saturday to 105 tons of elephant ivory and more than 1 ton of rhino horn, believed to be the largest stockpile ever destroyed, in a dramatic statement by this East African country against the trade in ivory and products from endangered species. Uhuru Kenyatta put a flame to the biggest of 11 pyres of ivory tusks and one of rhino horn in a chilly afternoon. Overnight torrential rains had threated to ruin the event but stopped midday leaving a mud field around the piles inside Nairobi National Park. "A time has come when we must take a stand and the stand is clear ...


Trump, Clinton angle for advantage in politics of gender
WASHINGTON (AP) - She has no stamina. She shouts. She's got nothing going for her but being a woman. Donald Trump, after toying with gender politics off and on during the campaign, is all in on a mission to undercut Hillary Clinton's credentials by syncing up his say-anything campaign strategy with his alpha-male persona. The same Republican presidential candidate who mocked "little" Marco Rubio, dismissed "low-energy" Jeb Bush and promises to "cherish" and "protect" women as president is dismissing the former senator, secretary of state and first lady as little more than a token female who's playing the "woman's card." "Frankly, all I'm doing is stating the obvious," Trump insisted, when pressed about whether his latest Clinton take-downs were sexist.


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Supreme Court trying to find its way after Scalia
WASHINGTON (AP) - Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight? The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don't. There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign.


Officials: Collapsed Kenyan building had no occupancy permit
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - A building that collapsed amid heavy rains in Nairobi, killing at least 12 people and injuring at least 134, did not have an occupancy permit, officials said Saturday as they ordered its owner to turn himself in. Details about the residential building emerged a day after its collapse on Friday, after which crowds of onlookers gathered to try to help pry victims from the rubble. Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet ordered the owner of the building to surrender himself to the police for questioning. The building did not have an occupancy permit, which is a government requirement for all buildings, said Stephen Oundo, chairman of the National Construction Authority.


Fighting rages in Aleppo amid calm in other parts of Syria
BEIRUT (AP) - The Syrian government launched new airstrikes Saturday on insurgent-held neighborhoods in Aleppo while rebels shelled government-held parts of the northern city, as a truce in other parts of the country appeared to be holding on its first day. Contested Aleppo, Syria's largest city and former commercial center, has been the scene of intense shelling and air raids, killing nearly 250 civilians over the past nine days, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The surge in fighting has caused the collapse of a two-month cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia. It also has raised fears of an all-out government assault on Aleppo.


Iran's moderates get most parliament seats after runoff
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian moderates and reformists who support last year's landmark nuclear deal have won the largest number of seats in parliament following runoff elections, marking a shift away from hard-liners and boosting moderate President Hassan Rouhani as he looks to secure a second term in office. The results released Saturday on state television failed to give the moderate-reformist camp an outright majority in the 290-seat chamber, however. They will now likely try to attract support from dozens of independent lawmakers whose political leanings vary depending on the issue at hand. There were 68 seats being contested in runoff elections held Friday in 55 constituencies around the country.


33 rescued lions arrive in South Africa in airlift
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The roars of lions filled the cargo section of Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport Saturday evening as 33 lions rescued from South American circuses landed in South Africa where they will be released into a bush sanctuary for big cats. It was the largest airlift of lions in history, said Jan Creamer, president of Animal Defenders International, which carried out the operation. "These lion have suffered tremendously," Creamer said as the lions in crates were loaded onto trucks. "They lived in small cages on the backs of trucks for their entire lives. Some of them had their teeth bashed in with steel pipes in circuses in Colombia and Peru.


Leicester soccer team was 5,000-1 longshot, now eyes title
LONDON (AP) - Bettors looking for a wager with a fancifully high payoff last summer could have gone into their local betting shop in England and risked a bit of cash on the proposition that Elvis Presley would be found alive and well. Or they could have placed their money on a true longshot: The laughable idea that the lowly Leicester City soccer club would somehow surge to the top of the world-class English Premier League. Elvis surfacing in good health was a 2,000-1 shot; the Foxes taking the top spot was rated even more unlikely, at 5,000-1. The King of Rock and Roll is still buried on the grounds of his beloved Graceland, but the Foxes are on the verge of one of the greatest upsets in the history of modern sports.

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