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Preview: AP Top News at 1:14 a.m. EST

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Colleagues paint caustic portrait of artist colony founder

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 02:41:34 GMT2016-12-06T02:41:34Z

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The founder of a ramshackle Oakland artists' colony where dozens of people burned to death saw himself as a kind of guru and loved to surround himself with followers but showed chilling disregard for their well-being, according to relatives, neighbors and acquaintances. Derick Ion Almena, 46, leased and operated the cluttered warehouse where fire erupted Friday night during a dance party, leaving at least 36 people dead in the nation's most lethal buil...

Trump heads back out on road for 'thank you' tour

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:36:47 GMT2016-12-06T08:36:47Z

NEW YORK (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump is taking his show back on the road. Trump is slated to hold the second stop of this "thank you" tour Tuesday in North Carolina, less than a week after his bombastic return to rallies at an Ohio appearance that felt more like a raucous campaign stop than a traditional speech by a president-to-be. At that Cincinnati stop, Trump disparaged the media as "dishonest," inspired loud "Build the wall"...

Ransomed: The freeing of 226 Christians from Islamic State

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:01:09 GMT2016-12-06T08:01:09Z

SAARLOUIS, Germany (AP) - The millions in ransom money came in dollar by dollar, euro by euro from around the world. The donations, raised from church offerings, a Christmas concert, and the diaspora of Assyrian Christians on Facebook, landed in a bank account in Iraq. Its ultimate destination: the Islamic State group. Deep inside Syria, a bishop worked around the blurred edges of international law to save the lives of more than 200 people - one of the largest groups of hostages yet documen...

Cuba starts return to normal as mourning for Castro ends

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 05:00:55 GMT2016-12-06T05:00:55Z

HAVANA (AP) - Music is playing in the streets again. Tourists are sipping mojitos at sidewalk cafes. Flags are flapping at full staff. After nine days of national mourning for Fidel Castro, Cuba is slowly returning to noisy, boisterous normality. Cuba is a country where sidewalks serve as living rooms and social clubs, but during the mourning period people mostly stayed indoors, watching television and avoiding any appearance of joviality. With a government ban on selling alcohol and on pla...

French premier steps down to focus on presidential election

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:32:41 GMT2016-12-06T08:32:41Z

PARIS (AP) - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has stepped down to focus on running for president in next year's election and has been replaced by Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Valls resigned Tuesday, a day after announcing his candidacy after President Francois Hollande decided not to run for a second term last week. Valls hopes to unite Socialists and give the left a chance to stay at the Elysee Palace despite current opinion polls suggesting the second round of the elect...

Oil industry urges Trump to approve Dakota Access pipeline

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 06:22:53 GMT2016-12-06T06:22:53Z

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Industry leaders are urging President-elect Donald Trump to make approval of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline a priority when he takes office next month, but a spokesman for Trump isn't offering many clues about how the incoming president might act. Meanwhile, the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux is calling on pipeline opponents to leave a camp in southern North Dakota where they've been protesting for months, as dangerous winter weather sets ...

World leaders face risks in reconciling with past enemies

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 07:40:15 GMT2016-12-06T07:40:15Z

Reconciliation can be tricky. It took 70 years for an American president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and nearly 75 for a Japanese leader to announce he would visit Pearl Harbor, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did Monday. Abe is likely to receive a warm reception later this month at the memorial for more than 2,300 Americans who died in the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian naval base. That hasn't always been the case for other world leaders visiting simil...

Stopgap spending bill to be unveiled as Congress finishes up

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 08:40:29 GMT2016-12-06T08:40:29Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is quickening its pace toward adjourning late this week, marching toward a final vote on legislation boosting medical research and speeding drug approvals and readying a stopgap spending bill to prevent the government from shutting down this weekend. The temporary budget bill, scheduled to be unveiled late Tuesday, would keep federal agencies functioning into next spring, giving the new Congress and the incoming Trump administration time to approve more than $1 tr...

News guide: Prosecutors can use Cosby's deposition at trial

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 05:26:25 GMT2016-12-06T05:26:25Z

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A suburban Philadelphia judge settled one of two key pretrial issues in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial when he ruled on Monday that the jury could hear Cosby's damaging testimony from a decade-old civil deposition. The defense had argued that Cosby only gave the testimony after being assured he would never be charged in the case. But Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill concluded that Cosby had no such guarantee. O'Neill has vowed...

Indians look for solutions only when toxic pollution soars

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 04:47:54 GMT2016-12-06T04:47:54Z

NEW DELHI (AP) - The truth of New Delhi's toxic air finally hit home for Rakhi Singh when her 3-year-old son began to cough constantly early this year. She bought air purifiers for her home. When a thick, gray haze turned the view outside her home into a scene from a bad science fiction film last month, she bought pollution masks. "Having a kid made the reality of the city's pollution hit me harder," she said. The news that the Indian capital is one of th...