North Carolina passes bill preventing local governments from setting anti-discrimination rules

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators decided to rein in local governments by approving a bill that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination rules. Gov. Pat McCrory later signed the legislation, which dealt a blow to the LGBT movement after success with protections in cities across the country.

  • Written by GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated Press EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press

Alleged sex abuse victim may testify at Hastert sentencing

CHICAGO (AP) — An alleged sex abuse victim of Dennis Hastert could testify about his emotional trauma next month at the former U.S. speaker's sentencing in his hush-money case, according to a transcript of an unannounced court hearing this week during which the court linked sex-abuse allegations to the Illinois Republican for the first time.

  • Written by MICHAEL TARM, Associated Press

Prosecutor: No jail for NYC officer in stairwell shooting

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor will ask a judge not to give jail time to a New York City police officer convicted of accidentally firing a stray shot into a dark public housing stairwell that killed an unarmed man, a recommendation that the victim's family said "diminishes" his death.

  • Written by MICHAEL BALSAMO, Associated Press

Syrian forces enter IS-held Palmyra; intense clashes with IS

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Backed by Russian airstrikes, Syrian government forces on Thursday pushed into the ancient town of Palmyra that has been held by the Islamic State group since May, state TV reported, as an Iraqi military spokesman announced the start of a long-awaited military operation to recapture the northern city of Mosul from IS militants.

  • Written by ALBERT AJI, Associated Press SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press

Australia: Mozambique debris "highly likely" from Flight 370

SYDNEY (AP) — Two pieces of debris recently discovered along the coast of Mozambique are "highly likely" to have come from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Australian and Malaysian officials said Thursday.

  • Written by KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press