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AP Top News at 2:46 p.m. EST

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. Restive Democrats had their own act of anti-establishment defiance, lining up behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders while delivering a New Hampshire rejection of Hillary Clinton's second bid for the White House.


The Latest: Everybody got some delegates in NH primary
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: 2:07 p.m. Tuesday's winners in the New Hampshire primary might have gained momentum but they didn't pick up many delegates. That's because there weren't many delegates at stake, and both parties awarded them proportionally, meaning even the losers got some. Bernie Sanders picked up a total of 15 Democratic delegates and Hillary Clinton won nine. Clinton holds a sizable lead in the overall race for delegates because of strong support from superdelegates, the party officials who can back the candidate of their choice.


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 some 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.


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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.


Pope on Ash Wednesday: charity's not to please ourselves
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis rubbed ashes on the bowed heads of prelates, nuns and ordinary Catholics Wednesday, and had them smudged on his own head, too, to usher in the Lenten season of prayer and sacrifice he said must be done out of authentic love, not to satisfy one's conscience. The ritual, during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, symbolizes mortality. Catholics in churches worldwide were also marking Ash Wednesday with similar ceremonies. Lent is the annual period of penitence, prayers and sacrifice as faithful prepare for Easter. "True love, indeed, is not an exterior act, it's not to give something in a paternalistic way to satisfy the conscience, but it is accepting those who need our time, our friendship, our help," Francis said in his homily.


AP Exclusive: Iran's drone first over US carrier since 2014
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The unarmed Iranian drone that flew over a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf last month is similar to those that can carry missiles and was the first to conduct an overflight of an American carrier since 2014, U.S. Navy records obtained Wednesday showed. The Jan. 12 reconnaissance flight by Iran's Shahed drone over the USS Harry S. Truman while a French aircraft carrier sailed nearby marked the latest tense naval encounter between the U.S. and Iran since Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers. It also suggests that incidents like it, as well as another that saw Iranian speedboats fire rockets near U.S.


2 deputies wounded, suspect dead in shopping center shootout
ABINGDON, Md. (AP) - A man opened fire inside a crowded shopping center restaurant during lunchtime Wednesday and wounded a sheriff's deputy, then exchanged gunfire with another deputy outside, authorities said. The second deputy was also wounded and the suspect was killed in the shootout, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said. The first shooting took place inside a Panera restaurant in Abingdon in northeastern Maryland after a deputy responded to a call at 11:46 a.m. Wednesday about someone causing a problem inside, the sheriff said. The responding deputy was wounded, and the shooter left. Witnesses gave officers a good description of the man and the direction he was headed.


Elephant rampages in east Indian town, smashing homes
KOLKATA, India (AP) - A wild elephant rampaged through an east Indian town on Wednesday, smashing cars and homes and sending panicked people running before the animal was tranquilized to be returned to the forest. As the frightened elephant ran amok, trampling parked cars and motorbikes, crowds of people gathered to watch from balconies and roof tops. Some followed from a distance as the elephant moved through the streets. "The elephant was scared and was trying to go back to the jungle," said Papaiya Sarkar, a 40-year-old homemaker who watched the elephant amble down a street near her home. The elephant had wandered from the Baikunthapur forest, crossing roads and a small river before entering the town of Siliguri in West Bengal state.


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.