Police: Patriots owner Robert Kraft solicited prostitute
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.
Judge dismisses charges over boy's death on water slide
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A judge has dismissed criminal charges against a Kansas water park owner and the designer of a 17-story slide on which a 10-year-old boy was decapitated in 2016.
California GOP gathers to chart a course after 2018 defeats
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The 2018 election left California Republicans in dismal shape, with no statewide officeholders, just seven of 53 U.S.
Avenatti says R Kelly paid witnesses to 'rig' 2008 trial
CHICAGO (AP) — Attorney Michael Avenatti says he has evidence R. Kelly and his "enablers" paid witnesses and others to "rig" the outcome of the R&B star's 2008 trial, when he was acquitted on child pornography charges.
Round 2 of teacher strikes looks beyond pay and funding
Teachers in Oakland, California, hit the picket lines just as West Virginia teachers went back to class in a kind of coast-to-coast tag-team display of the national teacher unrest that in many places has moved beyond pay to politics, tackling issues like charter schools and vouchers.
'Empire' producers cut Smollett from season's last episodes
CHICAGO (AP) — Actor Jussie Smollett's character on "Empire" will be removed from the final two episodes of this season in the wake of his arrest on charges that he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself last month in downtown Chicago, producers of the Fox TV show announced Friday.
If proven, Smollett allegations could be a 'career killer'
LOS ANGELES (AP) — For five years, Jussie Smollett has been enmeshed in weekly drama on the set of "Empire," the Fox TV series that gave the actor a breakout role and the fame to advance his social activism.
Records: 75 percent of revoked Illinois gun licenses ignored
CHICAGO (AP) — More than 75 percent of the people who received gun license revocations last year in Illinois ignored the notices, Illinois State Police said.
Virginia Gov. Northam meets with civil rights leaders
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has met with civil rights leaders at the Executive Mansion a day after forgoing a racial reconciliation event at a historically black school that student leaders asked him not to attend.
Winter storm brings record snowfall to parts of Arizona
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A winter storm that swept through the Southwest and brought a rare snowfall to the Las Vegas Strip and the mountains above Malibu in California pounded north-central Arizona with record amounts.
Democrats try to make gains with governors in 2019 elections
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Though the national political focus has largely turned to the 2020 presidential campaign, three Southern states will see hard-fought governors' races this year, with Democrats trying to show they can compete in Donald Trump territory.
Claims in El Chapo case highlight perils of 'Googling juror'
NEW YORK (AP) — Claims of jury misconduct in the trial of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman have drawn new attention to the digital-age challenge courts face in preventing jurors from scouring media accounts or conducting their own research before rendering a verdict.
Smollett reactions epitomize polarized state of US politics
Democratic politicians and celebrities called it a shocking instance of Trump-era racism and hate. Republicans now depict it as yet another example of liberals and mainstream media rushing to judgment while disparaging the president's supporters as bigots.
Judge grants citizenship to twin son of gay couple
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge in California ruled Thursday that a twin son of a gay married couple has been an American citizen since birth, handing a defeat to the U.S.
The Latest: Lawyer call Smollett man of character, integrity
CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on the attack reported by Jussie Smollett (all times local): 8:15 p.m. Lawyers for Jussie Smollett say the Chicago Police Department put on an "organized law enforcement spectacle" when its superintendent detailed investigators' findings about the alleged attack on the "Empire" actor.
Case against Jussie Smollett resembles detailed movie script
CHICAGO (AP) — As authorities laid out their case against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, the narrative that emerged Thursday sounded like that of a filmmaker who wrote, cast, directed and starred in a short movie.
Rare snow dusts Vegas strip, sticks to LA-area foothills
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Winter storms in the U.S. Southwest brought snow to places it rarely falls, dusting casino marquees on the Las Vegas Strip and sticking at very low elevations on the foothills around Southern California.
White House ends California talks on mileage dispute
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Thursday broke off talks on vehicle mileage standards with California, increasing the chances of a court battle that threatens to unsettle the auto industry.
Prosecutors: Smollett paid brothers $3,500 for staged attack
CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers who told police that Jussie Smollett paid them $3,500 to help stage an attack on himself were linked to the actor through the "Empire" television series, and court documents filed Thursday allege one of the men provided Smollett with designer drugs.
Oregon housing squeeze sets stage for statewide rent control
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Faced with a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents, Oregon is poised to become the first state to impose mandatory rent controls, with a measure establishing tenant protections moving swiftly through the Legislature.
A look at why brothers in alleged hoax appear off the hook
CHICAGO (AP) — Two brothers who played central roles in what Chicago police say was a staged racist and homophobic attack on Jussie Smollett are, compared to the "Empire" actor, so far walking away legally unscathed.
Tennessee gov. says he regrets wearing Confederate uniform
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was 17 when he joined the Kappa Alpha fraternity at Auburn University, which every spring held an "Old South" party where he and other members dressed in Confederate uniforms.
New election ordered in disputed North Carolina House race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's elections board Thursday ordered a new election in the nation's last undecided congressional race after the Republican candidate conceded his lead was tainted by evidence of ballot-tampering by political operatives working for him.
US citizen charged in kidnapping of journalist in Somalia
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A U.S. citizen has been charged with kidnapping and other counts for his alleged role in the abduction of a freelance journalist who was held hostage in Somalia for nearly three years, according to federal charging documents unsealed Thursday in New York.