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AP Top News at 5:44 a.m. EDT

Swiss open criminal proceedings in 2018, '22 World Cup votes
ZURICH (AP) - Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, throwing FIFA deeper into crisis only hours after six soccer officials were arrested Wednesday in a separate U.S. corruption probe. The Swiss prosecutors' office said in a statement they seized "electronic data and documents" at FIFA's headquarters on Wednesday as part of their probe. And Swiss police said they will question 10 FIFA executive committee members who took part in the World Cup votes in December 2010.


Soccer world shocked by FIFA raids
ZURICH (AP) - Latest developments following the launching of criminal proceedings against FIFA officials in separate U.S. and Swiss corruption probes. ----


Punishing storms in Texas test government emergency response
WIMBERLEY, Texas (AP) - Deadly severe weather over the long holiday weekend tested government alert and evacuation procedures, as officials scrambled to deal with storms and historic flooding that left more than a dozen people dead and a similar number missing. Crews will resume searches Wednesday for the 11 people who have now been missing for three days in the small tourist town of Wimberley, where the usually calm Blanco River swelled to an ocean-like squall that crested three times above flood stage. In Houston, where nearly a foot of rain submerged roads and stranded hundreds of motorists, Mayor Annise Parker said two people who capsized in a boat that was helping with rescue efforts Tuesday have not been found.


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Multiple IS suicide attacks in Iraq's Anbar kill 17 troops
BAGHDAD (AP) - Islamic State extremists unleashed a wave of suicide attacks targeting the Iraqi army in western Anbar province, killing at least 17 troops in a major blow to government efforts to dislodge the militants from the sprawling Sunni heartland, an Iraqi military spokesman said Wednesday. The attacks came just hours after the Iraqi government announced the start of a wide-scale operation to recapture areas under the control of the IS group in Anbar.


AP Interview: Afghanistan's first lady breaks taboos
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghanistan's first lady has broken numerous conventions in a society that traditionally sequesters women behind closed doors - speaking out on issues such as violence against women, the rule of law and the power of religion. But perhaps Rula Ghani's biggest taboo breaker is simply being the country's first presidential spouse in decades to be seen and heard in public. When her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, took the helm of the nation eight months ago, he did something unprecedented - he introduced his wife in his inaugural speech.


Travel ban ends for Guantanamo inmates swapped for Bergdahl
WASHINGTON (AP) - A one-year travel ban is expiring for five senior Taliban leaders held in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until they were released last year in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, raising the possibility that the five can move freely around the world as early as Monday. Under terms of the exchange in May 2014, the five detainees were sent to Qatar where officials there agreed to monitor their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country. In return, Bergdahl was released to the U.S. military after being held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after he walked away from his Army post in Afghanistan.


Fleeing poverty, Bangladeshis caught in Asian boat crisis
UKHIYA, Bangladesh (AP) - The traffickers spun stories that were unimaginable to their listeners, many who hailed from tiny Bangladeshi villages where almost no one earns more than a few dollars a day. First, there would be the boat: A huge boat where people could spread out comfortably, where the food would be plentiful and delicious. They would be treated with decency while on board and at the end of a week or so they would be quietly dropped off in Malaysia and given high-paying jobs.


Colorado theater shooting victims relive terror in courtroom
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - From the witness stand, Christina Blache could finally do what she had most wanted and most feared: She looked for the first time at the man who shot her, who killed her friend, who ravaged so many lives. Her muscles tensed. Her nerves tingled. She fought back tears.


Rick Santorum faces steep climb in second White House run
WASHINGTON (AP) - He exceeded the political world's expectations by scoring a second-place finish in the race for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago. Yet as he readies a second White House run, Rick Santorum may struggle even to qualify for the debate stage in 2016. An aggressive advocate for conservative family values, the 57-year-old Republican is announcing his presidential intentions on Wednesday. He is all but certain to enter the contest - one that would test his clout in a dramatically different presidential field.


4 Taliban militants die in attack in Afghan capital
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - An all-night siege in an upscale neighborhood of Afghanistan's capital ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning with the deaths of four heavily armed Taliban attackers, though no civilians or security personnel were injured or killed, an Afghan official said. Deputy Interior Minister Mohammad Ayub Salangi said that weapons had been seized, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, three automatic rifles and a hand grenade.