McConnell proposes national minimum age of 21 for tobacco
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he plans to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 nationally, rating the health initiative as one of his top priorities.
NASA's 1st female astronaut candidate, Jerrie Cobb, dies
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's first female astronaut candidate, pilot Jerrie Cobb, has died. Cobb died in Florida at age 88 last month.
Canadian sentenced to life in prison for US airport attack
FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A Canadian man convicted of terrorism for nearly killing a Michigan police officer while yelling "God is great" in Arabic was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday, after boldly declaring that he only regretted not having a machine gun during the knife attack.
Police: NYC cathedral suspect had booked a flight to Italy
NEW YORK (AP) — A college philosophy teacher arrested after entering St. Patrick's Cathedral carrying two cans of gasoline, lighter fluid and butane lighters had also been arrested at a New Jersey cathedral this week and had booked a Thursday flight to Rome, the New York Police Department said.
Colorado schools reopen as FBI examines teen suspect's past
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — The suicide of a Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the Columbine shooting and may have planned to carry out her own attack will not end an investigation to determine if she had any accomplices, officials said as Denver schools reopened Thursday and preparations to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragedy resumed.
Washington set to be 1st state with long-term care benefit
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington is poised to become the first state to establish an employee-paid program creating an insurance benefit to help offset the costs of long-term care, a step advocates say will help an aging population that is likely not prepared for the increasing costs needed for daily assistance.
Appeals court weighs Trump permit for Keystone XL pipeline
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. Justice Department attorneys want an appeals court to let construction proceed on the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
Columbine survivors helping others affected by massacres
PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — Alex Rozenblat can still hear the cries of a wounded boy calling for help as she hid from the gunfire that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year.
More charges for man accused of claiming to be missing child
CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal grand jury indictment that was filed Thursday accuses an Ohio man who claimed to be a missing child from Illinois of lying to federal agents and of identity theft.
Drones, supercomputers and sonar deployed against floods
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — An arsenal of new technology is being put to the test fighting floods this year as rivers inundate towns and farm fields across the central United States.
Poll: Church membership in US plummets over past 20 years
NEW YORK (AP) — The percentage of U.S. adults who belong to a church or other religious institution has plunged by 20 percentage points over the past two decades, hitting a low of 50% last year, according to a new Gallup poll.
Who owns aloha? Hawaii eyes protections for native culture
HONOLULU (AP) — Last year, much of Hawaii was shocked to learn a Chicago restaurant chain owner had trademarked the name "Aloha Poke" and wrote to cubed fish shops around the country demanding that they stop using the Hawaiian language moniker for their own eateries.
New data shows 4% drop in Puerto Rico population since Maria
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — New Census Bureau data shows Puerto Rico lost nearly 4% of its population after Hurricane Maria — the greatest population drop in the recorded history of the island, according to one demographer.
Florida teenager obsessed with Columbine takes her own life
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — A Florida teenager who authorities say was obsessed with the Columbine school shooting and may have been planning an attack in Colorado just ahead of the 20th anniversary was found dead Wednesday in an apparent suicide after a nearly 24-hour manhunt.
California dispute threatens plan to protect Colorado River
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A dispute between two major California water agencies is threatening to derail a hard-won agreement designed to protect a river that serves 40 million people in the U.S.
Some polls show parents' growing fears of dangers at school
The deadly attack at Columbine High School in 1999 seemed to usher in a new era of school shootings. Two decades later, polls consistently capture growing fears among American parents that their children face imminent danger whenever they go to school.
Court sets hearing on Trump administration's asylum policy
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday scheduled a hearing over whether to stop the Trump administration from forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their immigration court hearings.
Despite recusal, prosecutor told deputy Smollett overcharged
CHICAGO (AP) — Despite recusing herself from the case, Chicago's top prosecutor weighed in on the allegations against Jussie Smollett last month, telling a deputy that she believed her office had overcharged the "Empire" actor, according to newly released texts and emails.
Judge bars release of Kraft massage videos before hearing
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors can't release undercover video of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others allegedly receiving sex acts at a Florida massage parlor until a Florida judge rules later this month.
University freshman dead after suspected fraternity hazing
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A university student in upstate New York died Wednesday following suspected hazing that has led to an indefinite suspension of fraternity and sorority activities.
School shootings draw attention to officers' mental health
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — The first SWAT team members to see the horror in the Columbine High School library had to step around bodies and ignore a wounded student's plea for help as they searched for shooters they didn't know had already died by their own hands.
Scientists spur some activity in brains of slaughtered pigs
NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists restored some activity within the brains of pigs that had been slaughtered hours before, raising hopes for some medical advances and questions about the definition of death.
Doctors use HIV in gene therapy to fix 'bubble boy' disease
They were born without a working germ-fighting system, every infection a threat to their lives. Now eight babies with "bubble boy disease" have had it fixed by a gene therapy made from one of the immune system's worst enemies — HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
ICE arresting, deporting fewer people due to border surge
MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it's arresting and deporting fewer immigrants because the agency is devoting more resources to the surging numbers of migrant families crossing the southern border.
Former Michigan trooper convicted in teen's Taser death
DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan state trooper was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in his second trial in the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died when he was shot with a Taser.