Death toll from Fiji cyclone hits 18 as aid sent to islands

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The death toll from a ferocious cyclone which tore through Fiji over the weekend has risen to 18 as authorities on Monday began to get a grasp on the scale of the disaster and deploy aid to hard-hit outer islands.

  • Written by NICK PERRY, Associated Press

IS frees Syrian Christians held since 2015 for ransom

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group on Monday released the last of some 230 Assyrian Christians kidnapped a year ago in Syria after the receiving millions of dollars in ransom, Christian officials said.

  • Written by BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press

Damning study finds a 'whitewashed' Hollywood

NEW YORK (AP) — In one of the most exhaustive and damning reports on diversity in Hollywood, a newstudy finds that the films and television produced by major media companies are "whitewashed," and that an "epidemic of invisibility" runs top to bottom through the industry for women, minorities and LGBT people.

  • Written by JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

Coming battle over Scalia vacancy departs from historic norm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The history of Supreme Court nominations is dominated by tales of picks the Senate debated and approved with little angst. President Barack Obama's upcoming effort to fill the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia's death doesn't seem to be one of those stories.

  • Written by ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

Texas private colleges are saying no to guns on campus

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — When Texas' conservative Legislature passed a law requiring public universities to allow concealed guns on campus, it also gave the state's private institutions of higher learning the chance to follow suit. None has so far.

  • Written by JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press