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Agency plans to award Mexico border wall contracts by April

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, signaling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border. The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies ... Read More »

AP Explains: Why does Democratic Party chair race matter?

Tom Perez

ATLANTA (AP) — National Democrats will elect a new chair whose task is to steady a reeling party and capitalize on the widespread opposition to Republican President Donald Trump. Leading contenders in the Saturday vote are former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, is a longshot hoping he can rise ... Read More »

Nigerian kidnappers demand $200,000 for German scientists

KADUNA, Nigeria (AP) — Kidnappers are demanding a ransom of 60 million naira (about $200,000) for a German archaeologist and his associate abducted this week from a northern Nigerian village, a worker at the excavation site said. Two villagers were shot and killed in the kidnapping, police confirmed Friday. The worker said he heard a man make the demand in ... Read More »

Kansas star Jackson charged with criminal damage

Josh Jackson, Karviar Shepherd

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas star freshman Josh Jackson has been charged with misdemeanor criminal damage after allegedly vandalizing a woman’s car outside a Lawrence bar. A press release from the district attorney’s office says police responded to a report Dec. 9. The case against Jackson was filed in Douglas County District Court on Friday. The release says witnesses told ... Read More »

1 killed as bandits raid livestock in drought-plagued Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyan police say an official has been killed by livestock bandits in the volatile Rift Valley county of Baringo, where a drought has increased cattle rustling. A police report says about 30 bandits on Friday killed the government-appointed administration chief in the western region when they raided Chepkew village and stole an unknown number of goats. ... Read More »

Ryan Palmer takes early lead at Honda Classic with 65

Ryan Palmer

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Palmer has reason to believe that better days are ahead, with his golf game and at home. Palmer made seven birdies Friday on another day of ideal scoring conditions at PGA National for a 5-under 65 that gave him a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler midway through the second round of the Honda ... Read More »

Ukrainian lawmaker visits rebel east, urges prisoner release

MOSCOW (AP) — A Ukrainian lawmaker has visited the rebel east to meet with Ukrainian prisoners held by the rebels. Nadiya Savchenko, a pilot who spent two years in a Russian prison before her release last year, arrived Friday at a prison in rebel-held Makiivka, according to the rebels’ Donetsk News Agency. Savchenko said on Facebook that her goal is ... Read More »

Richie recovering from procedure, postpones tour with Carey

Lionel Richie

NEW YORK (AP) — Lionel Richie says he won’t recover from a knee procedure in time to launch his tour with Mariah Carey next month. The 67-year-old singer said in a statement Friday that their All The Hits Tour will be postponed until the summer. The 35-date trek was supposed to launch March 15 and wrap on May 27. Richie ... Read More »

Transgender boy wins in first round of girls tournament

CYPRESS, Texas (AP) — Mack Beggs, a 17-year-old transgender boy, has defeated his female opponent in the first round of match in the Texas state wrestling tournament. Controversially, Beggs is competing against girls because the state’s governing policy for athletics requires students to wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates. Beggs reached the tournament after two opponents forfeited ... Read More »