California wire crews make progress ahead of wind increase
LOS ANGELES (AP) — As containment inched up on one of the largest wildfires in California history, officials warned Thursday that the battle was far from over as hot, gusty winds were expected to fan flames again. The blaze northwest of Los Angeles was about a third contained and authorities said the risk to the inland agricultural city of Fillmore was diminishing. But coastal enclaves to the west remained under threat as crews protected hillside homes in Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.
Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal
NEW YORK (AP) — Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business. The deal gives Disney film businesses including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool. On the television side, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, with shows including "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family."
Ample tax cuts for business, wealthy in new GOP tax accord
WASHINGTON (AP) — Generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans would be delivered in a sweeping overhaul of the tax laws, under a new agreement crafted by Republicans in Congress. Middle- and low-income families would receive smaller tax cuts, though President Donald Trump and Republican leaders have billed the package as a huge benefit for the middle class. The agreement reached Wednesday by House and Senate GOP leaders also calls for scrapping a major tax requirement of the "Obamacare" health law, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law.
STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, ANDREW TAYLOR and MARCY GORDON
Former 'Apprentice' star Omarosa denies White House firing
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former "Apprentice" star Omarosa denies she was fired from her job at the White House — and she's teasing that she has stories to tell about what she's seen and heard there. In an interview Thursday with ABC's "Good Morning America, Manigault Newman also said reports that she made a scene while being escorted from the White House grounds this week are "100 percent false," and questioned why no photos or video of the alleged ruckus had surfaced.
As 'net neutrality' vote nears, some brace for a long fight
NEW YORK (AP) — As the federal government prepares to unravel sweeping net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet, advocates of the regulations are bracing for a long fight. The Thursday vote scheduled at the Federal Communications Commission could usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight. The proposal would not only roll back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don't like, it would bar states from imposing their own rules.
AP Explains: What is net neutrality and why does it matter?
NEW YORK (AP) — "Net neutrality" regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on a proposal that would not only undo the Obama-era rules that have been in place since 2015, but will forbid states to put anything similar in place. Here's a look at what the developments mean for consumers and companies. ___ WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?
The Associated Press
Bannon, undeterred, under siege from GOP after Alabama loss
NEW YORK (AP) — Former White House strategist Steve Bannon is catching blame from fellow Republicans for coughing up a safe Senate seat in deep-red Alabama and foisting damaging political advice on President Donald Trump. But in the aftermath of this week's stinging Alabama defeat, Bannon is showing no signs of abandoning his guerrilla war against the GOP establishment. Bannon wholeheartedly backed Roy Moore, the insurgent conservative who faltered in Tuesday's special election amid allegations that he had preyed on underage girls decades ago. The accusations prompted the national party to withdraw support for its nominee for a while, but Bannon stuck with Moore, headlining rallies for the candidate and convincing Trump to extend a full-throated endorsement.
Putin: US hurts itself with "invented" Trump collusion case
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday scoffed at allegations of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, saying they have been "invented" by Trump's foes and have hurt the U.S. political system. He also mocked his critic, Alexei Navalny, who is barred from challenging Putin in the March 18 vote by an embezzlement conviction, saying those like him want to plunge Russia into a destabilized quagmire. He vowed not to let that happen. Speaking at his annual marathon news conference, Putin reaffirmed his firm denial of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV and KATE DE PURY
Ohio high court shields full autopsy reports in slaying of 8
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A divided Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday rejected requests for unredacted autopsy reports from the unsolved slayings of eight family members. The court ruled 4-3 that the Pike County coroner in southern Ohio does not have to release the reports with complete information. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, writing for the majority, said Ohio law regarding coroner records clearly exempts the redacted material as "confidential law enforcement investigatory records."
Fertility doctor faces judge for lying about using own sperm
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A retired Indianapolis fertility doctor accused of inseminating patients with his own sperm is set to plead guilty to charges that he lied to investigators. Dr. Donald Cline, 79, is scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon in a Marion County court, when a judge is expected to sentence him on two counts of obstruction of justice. The charge carries a sentence of six months to three years in prison. Some of the now-adult children of Cline's former patients filed a complaint with the Indiana attorney general's office in 2014 after they became suspicious that Cline had inseminated some of his patients with his own sperm.