Winston-Salem Journal: Ap

AP Top News at 5:08 p.m. EST

The Latest: Spokeswoman: Christie quits presidential race
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Here's the latest on the 2016 presidential race as Republican and Democratic candidates head from New Hampshire to South Carolina and beyond. All times local: 4:59 p.m. A spokeswoman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's campaign for president says he is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination. Christie's decision to exit the race comes a day after his disappointing sixth-place finish in New Hampshire. Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith says Christie broke the news of his decision to staff at his campaign headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, late Wednesday afternoon. Christie is also calling donors and supporters to give them the news.


Christie expected to drop out; Trump faces fresh test in SC
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Now officially a winner after clinching New Hampshire, Donald Trump faces a fresh test for his once-improbable campaign as the Republican presidential race careens into more conservative territory in South Carolina. The billionaire political novice posted a decisive victory in the nation's first primary, leaving in his wake a field of Republicans struggling to show staying power after trailing so far behind. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, bruised from a demoralizing sixth-place finish, was expected to bow out of the race, and Carly Fiorina, who finished a distant seventh, did depart. Restive Democrats had their own act of anti-establishment defiance, lining up behind Vermont Sen.


But is she honest? Caring? Clinton grapples with questions
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hillary Clinton's campaign has spent months fighting the perception that she has a shaky relationship with the truth and is disconnected from the problems facing Americans. So far, the campaign's effort hasn't worked. Less than half the voters in New Hampshire's Democratic primary found Clinton to be honest and trustworthy, while about 90 percent believed those qualities fit her rival, Bernie Sanders. Equally concerning for Clinton as she grapples with her double-digit loss to Sanders in New Hampshire: Voters who wanted a presidential candidate who cares about people like them sided overwhelmingly with the Vermont senator, an empathy gap that has proved devastating for previous presidential candidates.


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Ferguson is defiant again in deal with Justice Department
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Defiance has often defined Ferguson in the 18 months since a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown and provoked an examination of how poor people and minorities are treated in the St. Louis suburb. The latest defiant act - rejecting parts of a Justice Department agreement to reform the city's police and courts - could result in an expensive court battle. Justice Department and Ferguson officials spent seven months negotiating before reaching a deal announced in January. But after a detailed financial analysis pegged the potential cost at up to $3.7 million in the first year alone, the Ferguson City Council had second thoughts.


2 female bombers kill 58 in northeast Nigerian refugee camp
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in a northeastern Nigerian refugee camp, killing at least 58 people, health and rescue officials said Wednesday. A third woman bomber was arrested and gave officials information about other planned bombings that helped them increase security at the camp, said an official of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency. Some 78 people are being treated for wounds from the twin explosions that occurred Tuesday morning in a camp of some 50,000 people driven from their homes by the Boko Haram Islamic uprising, according to health workers in Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria and birthplace of Boko Haram.


Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now
MUNICH (AP) - Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, U.S. officials said Wednesday, but Washington believes Moscow is giving itself and the Syrian government three weeks to try to crush moderate rebel groups. The United States has countered with demands for the fighting to stop immediately, the officials said. Peace talks are supposed to resume by Feb. 25. The talk of new ceasefire plans comes as the U.S., Russia and more than a dozen other countries meet in Munich to try to halt five years of civil war in the Arab country. The conflict has killed more than a quarter-million people, created Europe's biggest refugee crisis since World War II and allowed the Islamic State to carve out its own territory across parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.


APNewsBreak: Kenya athletes allege doping bribery
EMBU, Kenya (AP) - Two Kenyan athletes serving four-year bans for doping at the 2015 world championships say the chief executive of Athletics Kenya, the country's governing body for track and field, asked them each for a $24,000 bribe to reduce their suspensions. Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga told The Associated Press that CEO Isaac Mwangi asked for the payment in an Oct. 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. They were informed of their four-year bans in a Nov. 27 email, but never filed a criminal complaint because, they say, they had no proof to back up their bribery accusation and also feared repercussions.


Yellen: Persistent economic weakness could slow rate hikes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen cautioned Wednesday that global weakness and falling financial markets could depress the U.S. economy's growth and slow the pace of Fed interest rate hikes. But Yellen made clear that the Fed won't likely find it necessary to cut rates after having raised them from record lows in December. She did concede, though, that negative rates, which central banks in Japan and Europe have recently imposed, are a tool the Fed has at least studied. In her semiannual report to Congress, Yellen offered no major surprises. And she reiterated the Fed's confidence that the U.S.


Twitter tweaks its timeline in pursuit of more users
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Twitter is tweaking the way that tweets appear in its users' timelines in its latest attempt to broaden the appeal of its messaging service. The change announced Wednesday moves Twitter closer to a formula that Facebook uses to determine the order of posts appearing in its users' news feeds. It's a risky move for Twitter because it threatens to infuriate many of its 320 million users who like things the way they are. But the company can't afford to stand pat with its user growth slowing dramatically and its stock price plummeting by more than 50 percent since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as CEO last summer.


Rare weather event produces spontaneous snowballs in Idaho
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Thousands of snowballs rolled in a flat central Idaho field look like the work of hundreds of ambitious kids - except there are no human tracks. A rare weather event caused the spontaneous snowballs at the Nature Conservancy's Silver Creek Preserve and surrounding fields near the tiny town of Picabo. Preserve manager Sunny Healey spotted the cylindrical shapes up to 18 inches high on Jan. 30 following an overnight windstorm. They created long lines in the snow as they moved. "You could see the tracks that they made, and I thought that was really curious," Healey said.