AP Top U.S. News At 6:42 p.m. EDT

9th suspect in NC kidnapping turns self in to FBI
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- As the kidnappers pulled into a quiet, upscale golf course community, they thought they were about to abduct an assistant district attorney who sent a high-ranking gang member to prison for life, authorities said....

Small Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion
OPAL, Wyo. (AP) -- A small town in southwest Wyoming has been evacuated after an explosion and fire at a natural gas pipeline hub....

Man charged with murder in nursing home deaths
HOUSTON (AP) -- A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death is facing a capital murder charge, police said Wednesday....

US weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release - and expecting thousands to take up the offer. It's an effort to deal with high costs and overcrowding in prisons, and also a matter of fairness, the government says....

Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Long flights can leave anyone a little unsteady, but a teenager who defied the odds, surviving a flight from California to Hawaii tucked in a jetliner's wheel well, was disoriented, thirsty and could barely walk after the freezing, low-pressure ordeal, airport officials who reviewed video of his arrival said Wednesday....

Bashtag: NYPD Twitter campaign backfires
NEW YORK (AP) -- To put it in social media terms, the New York Police Department got trolled....

Some notable social media gaffes, missteps
A feel-good Twitter request by the New York Police Department asking for pictures of people posing with officers quickly turned ugly when hundreds instead posted shots of baton-wielding cops battling protesters and taking down suspects. Other recent examples of Twitter gaffes:...

Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law
ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) -- Criticized by one group as the "guns everywhere" bill, Georgia took a big step Wednesday toward expanding where licensed carriers can take their weapons, with the governor signing a law that allows them in bars without restriction and in some churches, schools and government buildings under certain circumstances....

Rail safety effort marred by squabbling
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spurred by a series of fiery train crashes, a push by government and industry to make safer tank cars used for shipping crude oil and ethanol has bogged down in squabbling and finger-pointing over whether they're needed and if so, who should pay....

Soldier convicted in WikiLeaks case gets new name
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) -- An Army private convicted of providing classified documents to WikiLeaks won an initial victory Wednesday toward living as a woman when a Kansas judge granted a petition to change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning....

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Up to the Minute
Gacy probe helps solve unrelated Chicago-area case

Photos explore dynamics of youths' sexual identity

Soldier accused of killing teens in Iraq

Florida executes man convicted of murdering 2

Small Wyoming town evacuated after gas explosion

Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

6 fired for closing Arizona child abuse reports

Records: Man shot in court had vowed to behave

Former AP reporter Robert Heard dies at age 84

Airport official: Teen had no clue he was in Maui

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