Witnesses describe gunman’s rampage in Colorado Springs
Russian aviation official: Jetliner that crashed after leaving Egypt broke up at high altitude
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — The Russian jetliner that crashed shortly after takeoff from an Egyptian resort city broke up at high altitude, scattering fragments of wreckage over a wide area in the Sinai Peninsula, Russia’s top aviation official said Sunday as search teams raced to recover the bodies of the 224 people who died.
Meanwhile in Russia, an outpouring of grief gripped the historic city of St. Petersburg, home of many of the victims. President Vladimir Putin declared a nationwide day of mourning, and flags flew at half-staff.
Aviation experts joined the searchers in a remote part of the Sinai, seeking any clues to what caused the Metrojet Airbus A321-200 to plummet abruptly from 31,000 feet just 23 minutes after it departed from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh bound for St. Petersburg.
Aviation experts and the search teams were combing an area of 16 square kilometers (more than 6 square miles) to find bodies and pieces of the jet.
By midday, 163 bodies had been recovered, according to the Egyptian government. Some of the dead were expected to be flown to Russia later Sunday.
Cruz seeks to build on debate momentum in Iowa after months in the middle of the GOP field
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For months, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has flown under the radar in the Republican presidential race, an unusual position for a politician who has been in the spotlight since arriving in Washington nearly three years ago.
Now, Cruz is trying to ride a standout performance in last week’s GOP debate into new momentum for his campaign. He’s casting himself as the conservative the party’s right flank has been waiting for — someone who’s both uncompromising and electable.
“How about this time we nominate as Republicans a candidate as committed to conservative principles as Barack Obama is to liberal principles?” Cruz said Saturday during a Republican forum in Des Moines.
Cruz is running an operation with important advantages.
He ended the last fundraising period with more campaign cash on hand than any other candidate. He has a well-funded super political action committee that has been spending money to on television advertising. His fights with Republican leaders in Washington have made him a well-known figure among conservatives frustrated with the party establishment.
Family statement: Former Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, who had TV and film roles, dies at 73
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, a folksy Tennessee lawyer whose career led him from politics to Hollywood and back again, died Sunday. He was 73.
At 6-foot-6 with a booming voice, Thompson appeared in at least 20 motion pictures and in the TV series “Law & Order.” His film credits include “In the Line of Fire,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “Die Hard II” and “Cape Fear.” By the early ‘90s, Thompson said he had become bored with his 10-year stint in Hollywood and wanted to enter public service. He then headed back to Nashville and launched his Senate campaign.
A man of varied roles on and off the screen, he was a lawyer by training and once served as a committee counsel during the Senate Watergate hearings.
The family statement said Thompson died in Nashville following a recurrence of lymphoma.
“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, father and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville,” it said. “Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of … his home.”
Leaders of South Korea, Japan put aside spat, hold 1st bilateral meeting in 3½ years
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — After a 3 ½ year freeze, the leaders of South Korea and Japan resumed formal talks Monday that were expected to focus on North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear bombs, trade ties and a long-running dispute over Japan’s wartime atrocities.
The closely watched meeting between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — leaders of democratic U.S. allies with strong cultural, security and economic links — came a day after they held a three-way summit with China’s premier and agreed to improve ties.
Relations between Japan and its two Asian neighbors have been shaky since Abe, who takes a more hawkish, nationalistic stance than many of his predecessors, took office in late 2012. Seoul and Beijing believe that Abe seeks to obscure Japan’s wartime brutality against Asia.
No breakthrough was expected after Monday’s meeting, and nothing major came from Sunday’s three-way summit in Seoul. But just sitting down together is a step forward after the gap in such meetings, which used to be an annual affair. A joint statement said the three agreed Sunday to try to resolve history-related issues by “facing history squarely and advancing toward the future” and boost exchanges and cooperation on economic, cultural and other sectors.
Since taking office in early 2013, Park had resisted formal talks with Abe until Monday’s meeting at her presidential Blue House in Seoul, though U.S. President Barack Obama brought them together in an informal meeting in The Hague, Netherlands, last November.
Higher prices, political divisions challenge Obama health law’s 3rd sign-up season
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government’s insurance website is faster and easier to use, but as a third sign-up season gets underway, President Barack Obama’s health care law is approaching limits.
Enrollment on the federal and state exchanges began Sunday. While the law’s expanded coverage has reduced the uninsured rate to a historic low of about 9 percent, the gains will be harder in 2016.
Supporters may feel they’re running to stay in place, rather than taking a victory lap during the president’s last full year in office.
The reasons have to do with the structure of the complicated law, the effects of a major change introduced by the Supreme Court and political divisions likely to be magnified in an election year.
The fate of the Affordable Care Act — known as “Obamacare” to its detractors — is very much in the hands of the next president. A weak sign-up season could embolden opponents who are so far unwilling to relent.
AP Investigation: Hundreds of law enforcement officers lose licenses over sex misconduct
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Flashing lights pierced the black of night, and the big white letters made clear it was the police. The woman pulled over was a daycare worker in her 50s headed home after playing dominoes with friends. She felt she had nothing to hide, so when the Oklahoma City officer accused her of erratic driving, she did as directed.
She would later tell a judge she was splayed outside the patrol car for a pat-down, made to lift her shirt to prove she wasn’t hiding anything, then to pull down her pants when the officer still wasn’t convinced. He shined his flashlight between her legs, she said, then ordered her to sit in the squad car and face him as he towered above. His gun in sight, she said she pleaded “No, sir” as he unzipped his fly and exposed himself with a hurried directive.
“Come on,” the woman, identified in police reports as J.L., said she was told before she began giving him oral sex. “I don’t have all night.”
The accusations are undoubtedly jolting, and yet they reflect a betrayal of the badge that has been repeated time and again across the country.
In a yearlong investigation of sexual misconduct by U.S. law enforcement, The Associated Press uncovered about 1,000 officers who lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sodomy and other sexual assault; sex crimes that included possession of child pornography; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens or having consensual but prohibited on-duty intercourse.
APNewsBreak: South Korea pulls plug on government-mandated child surveillance app
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The most widely used child surveillance app in South Korea has been pulled from the market after security specialists raised serious concerns about the program’s safety.
Moon Hyun-seok, a senior official at the Korea Communications Commission, told The Associated Press that “Smart Sheriff” has been removed from the Play store, Google’s software marketplace, and that existing users are being asked to switch to other programs.
The government plans to shut down the service to existing users “as soon as possible,” he said.
Smart Sheriff’s maker, an association of South Korean mobile operators called MOIBA, declined comment.
Smart Sheriff’s disappearance is a blow to South Korea’s contentious effort to keep closer tabs on the online lives of its youngest citizens. Less than a year ago, the government and schools sent letters to students and parents to encourage them to download Smart Sheriff.
US Episcopal Church installs first black leader, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, installed Sunday as the first black leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church, urged Episcopalians to evangelize by crossing divides of race, education and wealth.
Curry used the example of his own mother being given Communion at a white Episcopal parish before desegregation, and how that act persuaded his father to join the denomination, and eventually become a priest.
“God has not given up on the world and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet,” Curry said, during a joyous ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral.
Curry, 62, succeeds Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first woman in the job and is ending her nine-year term. He served about 15 years as leader of the Diocese of North Carolina before he was overwhelmingly elected last summer to the top church post. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and earned degrees from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and Yale Divinity School.
The New York-based denomination was the church of many Founding Fathers and now has about 1.9 million members. Episcopalians now are struggling with shrinking membership and ongoing tensions with fellow Anglicans around the world over the Episcopal support for gay marriage. Curry will represent the U.S. church in January, at a meeting of national Anglican leaders addressing the splits in their fellowship.
The Latest: Harvey dominant, Volquez settles after Granderson homer in 1st; Mets lead Royals
NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on the World Series, where the Kansas City Royals lead the New York Mets three games to one and try Sunday night to win their first title since 1985 (all times EST):
Matt Harvey finished off the top of the fourth with a shout and fist pump as he bounded off the mound after throwing a 98 mph fastball past Mike Moustakas for strike three. Harvey struck out the side to keep the Mets ahead 1-0.
Endinson Volquez singled in the third but was erased on a double play. He then pitched a perfect bottom half. Volquez has not allowed a hit since Curtis Granderson led off the first with a home run. Mets 1, Royals 0 after four innings.
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Messaging from CDOT changes, but Independence Pass is noted as closed on its website; though not for mudslides
Independence Pass east of Aspen is listed as closed according to the state’s transportation department, but the road was not shut down Wednesday because of mudslides but rather to lessen traffic.