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AP Top News at 3:24 a.m. EDT

US general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. special forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty political brawl. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that the American people and the fallen soldiers' families deserve answers about the deadly ambush in the west African nation. But he said he still lacks many of the details about how the attack unfolded, and he asked for patience as the military investigation continues.


Angry soldier's widow says Trump didn't know husband's name
WASHINGTON (AP) - A fallen soldier's angry widow joined the stormy dispute with President Donald Trump on Monday over his response to her husband's death, declaring that his failure to remember the soldier's name in last week's condolence call "made me cry." He retorted that the call was "very respectful" and her accusation about her husband's name simply wasn't true. Though Trump refused to let the new round of complaints go unanswered, he steered clear of the insults he exchanged last week with a congresswoman who had overhead the sympathy call. The president spoke in public at two events during the day - including his awarding of the military Medal of Honor to a Vietnam-era Army medic - and made no mention of the case of Sgt.


China lifts Xi's status to most powerful leader in decades
BEIJING (AP) - The ruling Communist Party on Tuesday formally lifted Xi Jinping's status to China's most powerful ruler in decades, setting the stage for the authoritarian leader to tighten his grip over the country while pursuing an increasingly muscular foreign policy and military expansion. The move to insert Xi's name and dogma into the party's constitution alongside the party's founders came at the close of a twice-a-decade congress that gathered the country's ruling elite alongside rank-and-file party members. It not only places him in the first rank with past leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, but also effectively makes any act of opposing him tantamount to an attack on the party itself.


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Women on trial visit scene of attack on North Korean scion
SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) - The two women accused of killing the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were taken back to the scene of the crime on Tuesday as their murder trial moved from the courtroom to the Malaysian airport for a three-hour inspection tour under heavy police guard. The judge, prosecutors, defense lawyers and representatives of the women's home countries were escorted inside the Kuala Lumpur airport by heavily armed police on a tour meant to give the court a better perspective of events as they unfolded. Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam appeared subdued at the start of the tour, which took a break about an hour later when Aisyah became emotional.


Trump comments concern judge, loom over Bergdahl sentencing
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - President Donald Trump's criticism of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has become a factor in the soldier's sentencing as a military judge weighs the president's impact on public perception of military justice. The judge deciding Bergdahl's punishment for walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 heard defense arguments Monday that Trump recently reaffirmed his scathing criticism and is preventing a fair sentencing hearing. Bergdahl faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleading guilty last week to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The judge, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance, allowed the attorneys to question him about whether he was swayed by Trump's comments, and responded that he would be fair.


GAO: Climate change already costing US billions in losses
WASHINGTON (AP) - A non-partisan federal watchdog says climate change is already costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year, with those costs expected to rise as devastating storms, floods, wildfires and droughts become more frequent in the coming decades. A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year's three major hurricanes and wildfires, expected to be among the most costly in the nation's history. The report predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget busting $35 billion a year by 2050.


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong freed on bail pending appeal
HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong's highest court freed pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law on bail Tuesday pending an appeal of their prison sentences after they were convicted of sparking massive protests in 2014. The pair were imprisoned after the justice secretary succeeded in getting an earlier, more lenient sentence overturned, raising concerns about political interference in the courts and dealing a setback to the movement for full democracy in the Chinese-controlled city. The decision to release Wong, the city's most famous activist, and Law, a disqualified lawmaker, coincidentally came the same day China's Communist Party was ending a twice-a-decade congress in Beijing that expanded President Xi Jinping's power.


New York attorney general launches probe of Weinstein Co.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a civil rights investigation on Monday into The Weinstein Co. following sexual harassment and assault allegations against its co-founder, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. As part of the investigation, the prosecutor's office issued a subpoena seeking company records on harassment complaints and legal settlements to determine whether any civil rights and anti-discrimination laws were broken. "No New Yorker should be forced to walk into a workplace ruled by sexual intimidation, harassment or fear," said Schneiderman, a Democrat. "If sexual harassment or discrimination is pervasive at a company, we want to know." The New York City-based company fired Weinstein on Oct.


Wentz tosses 4 TDs, Eagles beat Redskins 34-24
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Philadelphia Eagles keep losing key players and are still winning games thanks to No. 11. Carson Wentz tossed four touchdown passes and ran for a career-best 63 yards, helping the Eagles overcome losing nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters in a 34-24 win over the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Linebacker Jordan Hicks also went down with an ankle injury. Peters was carted off the field and Hicks left the stadium on crutches. Coach Doug Pederson didn't have any updates on their status after the game. "This is a resilient group and we've seen it over the first two months of the season," Pederson said.


Study: NYC could see bad flooding every 5 years
NEW YORK (AP) - Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study released just days before the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. The study, performed by researchers at several universities and published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, primarily blames the predicted change on sea-level rise caused by global warming. "This is kind of a warning," said Andra Garner, a Rutgers University scientist and study co-author. "How are we going to protect our coastal infrastructure?" The researchers based their analysis on multiple models that factored in predictions for sea level rise and possible changes in the path of future hurricanes.