National & World News

AP Top News at 4:14 a.m. EST

'Moonlight' wins best picture at botched Academy Awards
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Oscar winner, take two. Barry Jenkins' "Moonlight" - not, as it turned out, "La La Land" - won best picture at the Academy Awards in a historic Oscar upset and an unprecedented fiasco that saw one winner swapped for another while the "La La Land" producers were in mid-speech. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway apparently took the wrong envelope - the one for best actress winner Emma Stone - onto the stage for the final prize. When they read "La La Land" as the winner, representatives for ballot tabulators PwC - formerly Price Waterhouse Coopers - realized the mistake and raced onstage to try to stop the acceptance speeches.


Oops, our bad: 'Moonlight' really won in major mess-up
LOS ANGELES (AP) - It was one of the most awkward moments in the history of the Oscars, of television, in entertainment, heck maybe in American history. And somehow Warren Beatty, Hollywood's ultimate smooth leading man, was at the center of it, and the accounting firm that is responsible for the integrity of Oscar voting apologized and was vowing a full investigation. The producers of "La La Land" were nearly done with their acceptance speeches for Best Picture, the Oscar broadcast's credits sequence about to roll, when a stir of whispers began on stage. Moments later "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz returned to the microphone and said "Moonlight won Best Picture" and insisting that "this is not a joke." The collective jaw of the crowd at the Dolby Theatre - and of America - remained dropped long after they became convinced it was no joke, but what academy historians later called an apparently unprecedented Oscar error.


Here's what happened onstage during the Oscars' mistake
If it were in the screenplay of a Hollywood drama - or maybe farce - directors would surely reject it. But let's set the scene anyway for the Academy Awards drama over what film did, and didn't, win the Oscar for best picture on Sunday night. We pan in on the stage of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, where actors Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway are about to announce best picture, the culmination of entertainment's biggest awards show. Beatty opens a red envelope and looks at the card inside, giving a double-take. He looks inside the envelope to see if there's anything else there.


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Iranians welcome Farhadi's Oscar for best foreign film
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranians on Monday cheered the choice of one of their own for best foreign film Oscar, lauding director Asghar Farhadi's boycott of the Hollywood ceremony for his film "The Salesman" as an act of defiance against the Trump administration's executive order. Farhadi refused to attend the Academy Awards, announcing after the temporary U.S. travel ban was initially imposed last month for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries that he would not attend the ceremony - even if an exception was made for him. Iran was one of the seven countries affected by the measure, which has since been blocked from being carried out by a federal court ruling.


New anti-IS strategy may mean deeper US involvement in Syria
WASHINGTON (AP) - A new military strategy to meet President Donald Trump's demand to "obliterate" the Islamic State group is likely to deepen U.S. military involvement in Syria, possibly with more ground troops, even as the current U.S. approach in Iraq appears to be working and will require fewer changes. Details are sketchy. But recommendations due at the White House on Monday are likely to increase emphasis on nonmilitary elements of the campaign already underway, such as efforts to squeeze IS finances, limit the group's recruiting and counter IS propaganda that is credited with inspiring recent violence in the U.S. and Europe.


AP: VA data show low rate of discipline for drug loss, theft
WASHINGTON (AP) - Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs' hospitals were fired or reprimanded in only a small fraction of thousands of reported cases of opioid theft and missing prescriptions since 2010, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. About 372 VA employees were disciplined for a drug or alcohol-related issue across a network of 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics over the last six years, according to internal figures kept by the facilities that were reported to VA's headquarters. During that time, there were more than 11,000 reported incidents of drug loss or theft at federal hospitals - the vast majority within the VA, according to law enforcement data.


Health care, Supreme Court on agenda as Congress returns
WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress returns to Washington this week to confront dramatic decisions on health care and the Supreme Court that may help determine the course of Donald Trump's presidency. First, the president will have his say, in his maiden speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. Majority Republicans in the House and Senate will be closely watching the prime-time address for guidance, marching orders or any specifics Trump might embrace on health care or taxes, areas where some of his preferences remain a mystery. Congressional Republicans insist they are working closely with the new administration as they prepare to start taking votes on health legislation, with the moment finally upon them to make good on seven years of promises to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.


AP Exclusive: Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse
SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) - From all over the world, they flocked to this tiny town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lured by promises of inner peace and eternal life. What many found instead: years of terror - waged in the name of the Lord. Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to "purify" sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews. Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers - even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons.


Former disciples describe storage annex for 'worst sinners'
SPINDALE, N.C. (AP) - It was the most dreaded place on the Word of Faith Fellowship grounds - a one-story, four-room structure that former members of the sect say was reserved for the most brutal physical and emotional punishment. Called the Lower Building, the former storage facility was used to house those deemed to be the worst sinners, according to Associated Press interviews with 43 former members of the evangelical church. And it was there, tucked away in a wooded area behind the sect's sanctuary, that the beatings were especially prolonged, violent and often focused on sexual behavior, according to many of those speaking out.


Trump toasts nation's governors ahead of health care talks
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump toasted the nation's governors Sunday night, welcoming state leaders to a black-tie ball at the White House ahead of discussions about his plans to repeal and replace the so-called Obamacare law. Trump welcomed 46 governors and their spouses to the annual Governors' Ball at the White House, the first major social event of his administration. The president congratulated first lady Melania Trump on the elegant candle-lit event in the State Dining Room, telling the audience, "The room, they say, has never looked better, but who knows." During his toast, the president noted his Monday meeting with the governors at the White House, saying, "Perhaps health care will come up," a nod to the effort in Congress to repeal and replace the sweeping health care law installed under President Barack Obama.

 

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