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Koreas break ground on railways but sanctions block project

SEOUL, South Korea — North and South Korea broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to modernize North Korean railways and roads and connect them with the South, but without progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won’t be crossing the border anytime soon. The ceremony at ...

Queen riffs on wisdom, busy year

SANDRINGHAM, England — Queen Elizabeth II wove personal reflections into the latest edition of her annual Christmas message, saying she hoped her long life brought a measure of wisdom and noting her grandchildren’s contributions to Britain’s royal family. The 92-year-old queen, the ...

Post-holiday, partial government shutdown to gain impact

WASHINGTON (AP) — Christmas has come and gone but the partial government shutdown is just getting started. Wednesday brings the first full business day after several government departments and agencies closed up over the weekend due to a budgetary stalemate between President Donald Trump ...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump confuses, misleads on border wall

HOUSTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s claims over Christmas that he had awarded 115 miles of new border wall construction in Texas appear to confuse work that’s already funded and underway. Trump tweeted on Monday, “I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long ...

Donors refunded in GoFundMe scam

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) — GoFundMe says it has refunded everyone who contributed to a campaign involving a homeless veteran from Philadelphia who prosecutors allege schemed with a New Jersey couple to scam donors out of more than $400,000. GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne said Tuesday that ...

Soldier spends extra to get home

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan family of a U.S. soldier stationed in Germany says he spent thousands of dollars more than expected to travel home for the holidays after his United Airlines round-trip flight was cancelled. A United Airlines spokesman says the airline’s partner, ...

Volunteer effort provides gifts

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of Michigan foster children have gifts to open this holiday season through the efforts of 2,000 volunteers. The Lansing State Journal reportsOperation Good Cheer collects roughly 20,000 gifts for 7,000 foster children. The effort started nearly 50 ...

Mattis leaving Pentagon sooner than planned, Shanahan tapped

WASHINGTON — The sooner-than-expected departure of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis shifts the focus to President Donald Trump’s appointment of an acting Pentagon chief and plans for a permanent replacement. It also signals an acrimonious end to a tense relationship between Trump and Mattis ...

White House: Trump would accept less money for wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Both sides in the long-running fight over funding President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall appear to have moved toward each other, but a shutdown of one-fourth of the federal government entered Christmas without a clear resolution in sight. In fact, a top White ...

Pakistan’s former PM imprisoned

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An anti-graft tribunal sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption on Monday, drawing criticism from his party, which said the decision was a “black spot” on the justice system. The verdict came after Sharif was removed from ...

Ginsburg up, working after surgery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is up and working as she recuperates from cancer surgery. A spokeswoman for the court, Kathy Arberg, also says that Ginsburg remained in New York at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Sunday. No information has been released ...

Man enters plea in fatal crash

BEDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 50-year-old man has pleaded no contest in a crash that killed two teenage siblings as they walked near a roadway in southeastern Michigan. The Monroe News reports that a judge accepted Raymond Reyome‘s plea on Dec. 14. He is charged with two counts of ...

Veto could harm transparency

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s auditor general is criticizing Gov. Rick Snyder’s veto of a bill that would have guaranteed access to certain information held by state agencies, especially information held in electronic form. Snyder called the bill an “unconstitutional overreach” ...

Michigan Legislature races clock to finish lame-duck session

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's Republican-led Legislature raced Wednesday to pass bills in the final days of a contentious lame-duck session, as the fate of several key bills hung in the balance before newly elected Democrats take over top offices in January. The GOP will continue to control ...

Michigan students de-stress by spending time with cows

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The therapy dogs have competition. With finals this month, Michigan State University students can unwind by spending quality time with the school’s dairy cows at the Dairy Cattle Teaching and Research Center. Ten dollars gets 30 minutes of cow brushing time. The ...

Kidnapping conviction stands

DETROIT (AP) — An appeals court has affirmed the conviction and long prison sentence of a Wisconsin woman who lived under an alias for 16 years while trying to dodge a kidnapping case in Michigan. Kim Johns was accused of kidnapping her former lover at gunpoint in 2000 and taking her on an ...

Wetlands, lakes would lose under bill

LANSING — Michigan legislators were poised Tuesday to remove legal protections from many of the state’s wetlands and other inland waterways, which provide wildlife habitat and perform vital tasks such as preventing floods. A bill approved by a House committee would eliminate a requirement ...

Priest travels US spreading Gospel, 1 good deed at a time

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Father Jim Sichko has a 50-state congregation and a simple mandate from the pope: Go forth and do good deeds. That’s why the Roman Catholic priest found himself standing by the drive-thru of a popular Hollywood fast-food joint on a recent windy, rain-swept afternoon ...

Turkey train crash leaves 9 dead

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A high-speed train hit a railway engine and crashed into a pedestrian overpass at a station in the Turkish capital Ankara today, killing nine people and injuring 47 others, officials said. The 6:30 a.m. (0330 GMT) train from Ankara to the central Turkish city of Konya ...

Michigan Legislature OKs bill to limit tougher regulations

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer and other future governors would have a tougher time adopting stricter environmental and other state regulations under a Republican-backed bill sent to Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday. He vetoed similar legislation in 2011, but this ...