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AP Top News at 1:57 a.m. EDT

Former FIFA member Blazer's plea seems key to investigation
NEW YORK (AP) - When Chuck Blazer answered the phone at his Trump Tower apartment, his pet macaw Max could often be heard squawking in the background. The former FIFA executive committee member and U.S. soccer power broker has been out of sight for more than two years, but he is suddenly making a lot of noise that is shaking up the sports world.


THE LATEST: Asian federation opposes change to FIFA election
ZURICH (AP) - The Latest on FIFA developments: ---


Latest on flooding: Officials: Threat remains across Texas
1 a.m. CDT While the barrage of deadly thunderstorms that hit Texas this week has tapered off, various cities aren't out of danger, as officials warn about possible flooding from rivers swollen by rainfall.


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Shocking ads ignite debate about abortion ban in Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - The video shows a woman climbing a stairwell, her belly visibly pregnant, as she offers suggestions: Make sure there are no security cameras. Be careful not to look down or you might regret it. She tumbles backward as the screen goes black. "When you reach the bottom everything will be OK," she says.


EPA plans temporary pesticide restrictions while bees feed
WASHINGTON (AP) - If honeybees are busy pollinating large, blooming croplands, farmers wanting to spray toxic pesticides will soon have to buzz off, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S. The pesticide halt would only happen during the time the flower is in bloom and the bees are there, and only on the property where the bees are working, not neighboring land.


Islamic State suicide attacks in Iraq's Anbar kill 17 troops
BAGHDAD (AP) - As Iraqi forces gathered for a major new offensive to try to take back the sprawling Sunni heartland of Anbar province, Islamic State militants struck first, unleashing a wave of suicide bombings that killed at least 17 soldiers. The attacks outside the extremist-held city of Fallujah came just hours after the Iraqi government announced the start of a wide-scale operation to recapture areas under Islamic State control in the vast desert province that stretches to the border with Jordan.


Nebraska abolishes death penalty in landmark override vote
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska abolished the death penalty on Wednesday over the governor's objections in a move pushed through the Legislature with unusual backing from conservatives who oppose capital punishment for religious, financial and practical reasons. Senators in the one-house Legislature voted 30-19 to override the veto of Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican who supports the death penalty. The vote makes Nebraska the first traditionally conservative state to eliminate the punishment since North Dakota in 1973.


Pentagon: Military mistakenly shipped live anthrax samples
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it is investigating what the Pentagon called an inadvertent shipment of live anthrax spores to government and commercial laboratories in as many as nine states, as well as one overseas, that expected to receive dead spores. "At this time we do not suspect any risk to the general public," CDC spokeswoman Kathy Harben said.


Warriors eliminate Rockets, end 40-year NBA Finals drought
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - After a generation of wishing and waiting, the Golden State Warriors have finally arrived on basketball's biggest stage again. Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.


FIFA's commercial partners urged to make their voices heard
LONDON (AP) - FIFA's sponsorship paymasters are facing mounting calls to put pressure on soccer's global governing body to clean up its act - and fast - following Wednesday's arrest of seven officials. Companies like Coca-Cola, Visa and Adidas have in recent months shown a growing willingness to voice their concerns publicly about FIFA's string of scandals, which have spanned from past allegations of corruption to the abuse of laborers building World Cup venues in Qatar.