Jury quickly finds Murdaugh guilty of murder of wife, son
WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of his wife and son. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty of two counts of murder Thursday. The tangled case chronicled the unraveling of a powerful Southern family with tales of privilege, greed and addiction. Murdaugh faces 30 years to life in prison without parole when he is sentenced. The once-prominent lawyer also faces about 100 other charges ranging from theft to insurance fraud. Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were killed near dog kennels on their sprawling rural property on June 7, 2021.
As Tennessee, others target drag shows, many wonder: Why?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s Republican governor has signed legislation that bans drag shows from taking place in public or in front of children. Other states are considering similar bills, but none has acted as fast as Tennessee. Across the country, conservative activists and politicians complain that drag shows contribute to the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children. The protestations have arisen fairly suddenly around a form of entertainment that has long had a place on the mainstream American stage. One academic who studies drag says that it “is not a threat to anyone” and that “it makes no sense to be criminalizing or vilifying drag in 2023.” Tennessee's Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill into law on Thursday.
California's snow-stranded residents need food, plows, help
LOS ANGELES (AP) — With Southern California’s mountain communities under a snow emergency, residents are grappling with power outages, roof collapses, storm-related fires and lack of baby formula and medicine. Many have been trapped in their homes for a week, their cars buried under snow. With fresh snowfall Wednesday, authorities closed roads up to Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains, and the state declared an emergency in 13 counties and is sending firefighters and National Guard troops to assist. Olivia Duke says she’s been trapped in her San Bernardino Mountain home so long the only food she has left is oatmeal.
Black Vietnam vet at last getting his due: Medal of Honor
WASHINGTON (AP) — An 83-year-old Vietnam veteran is at long last getting his due. President Joe Biden on Friday will award the Medal of Honor to retired Col. Paris Davis, one of the first Black officers to lead a Special Forces team in combat. Davis' recommendation for the medal had been lost, resubmitted — and then lost again. In an interview with The Associated Press, Davis says finally receiving the recognition is like getting a long-anticipated ice cream cone. He says: "You know what it looks like, what it smells like. You just haven’t licked it.”
Cambodian opposition leader gets 27 years on treason charge
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — A court in Cambodia has found Kem Sokha, leader of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, guilty of treason. He was sentenced on Friday to 27 years imprisonment, to be served under house arrest. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court said he had colluded with a foreign power from 2010 until his arrest in September 2017. It said he had one month to file an appeal against its ruling. The Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved shortly after his 2017 arrest on related charges. The ruling comes four months ahead of a general election. It's the latest blow against the opposition, which has faced years of legal harassment from the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Angry Ohio residents confront railroad over health fears
Residents are saying they’re still suffering from illnesses nearly a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in Ohio. They confronted the railroad’s operator Thursday at a town forum. Some demanded to know whether they’d be relocated from homes they’re afraid to live in. The railroad announced it was ready to begin moving more contaminated soil from underneath the tracks. But it says buying homes and moving people out of East Palestine hasn’t been discussed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is ordering Norfolk Southern to begin testing for dioxins. The toxic chemical compounds can stay in the environment for long periods of time.
Trump can be sued for Jan. 6 riot harm, Justice Dept. says
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says former President Donald Trump can be sued by injured Capitol Police officers and Democratic lawmakers over the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In court papers, the Justice Department told a federal appeals court in Washington on Thursday that it should reject Trump’s argument that he is absolutely immune from the claims and allow the lawsuits to move forward. A Trump spokesperson said that the president “repeatedly called for peace, patriotism, and respect for our men and women of law enforcement” on Jan. 6. The spokesperson said the courts “should rule in favor of President Trump in short order and dismiss these frivolous lawsuits.”
Firefighters battle blaze in Hong Kong shopping district
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong firefighters battled a huge blaze that broke out at a construction site in a popular shopping district. The fire forced around 170 people to evacuate nearby buildings. The fire erupted at the Mariners' Club redevelopment project at 11 p.m. Thursday in the densely populated Tsim Sha Tsui district in Kowloon. Multiple floors were still on fire as dawn broke, but the blaze was less serious compared to hours earlier. The government said the fire was largely put out at 8:30 a.m. after a nine-hour battle. No deaths or injuries have been reported. Authorities were still investigating the cause. Deputy chief fire officer Keung Sai-ming said his team faced various challenges, including a lack of equipment at the construction site.
Documents detail EMTs' failure to aid Tyre Nichols
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Documents provided to The Associated Press show that two Memphis Fire Department emergency medical technicians who were fired and had their licenses suspended for failing to give aid to Tyre Nichols for 19 minutes after he was brutally beaten by police did not perform basic examinations, including checking his vital signs. EMTs JaMichael Sandridge and Robert Long went to the location where five Memphis police officers had punched, kicked and hit Nichols with a baton during an arrest after Nichols fled a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Nichols died three days later at a hospital.
Gunmen threaten Messi, shoot up family-owned supermarket
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Police say gunmen have left a threatening message for Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi and opened fire at a supermarket owned by his in-laws in Argentina’s third-largest city. Nobody was injured in the early morning attack. It was unclear why assailants would target Messi or the Unico supermarket in Rosario, owned by the family of his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo. The city’s mayor, Pablo Javkin, lashed out at federal authorities over what he called their failure to curb a surge of drug-related violence in Rosario. The city is about 190 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of the capital of Buenos Aires.