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State Department tells embassies to ramp up visa screening

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department has ordered American embassies and consulates around the world to draw up criteria for “population sets” needing extra scrutiny before receiving visas to travel to the United States, according to a recent diplomatic cable. The message also instructed U.S. posts overseas to review the social media accounts of visa applicants who are suspected of ... Read More »

Former Boston drummer Sib Hashian dies at age 67 on cruise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — John “Sib” Hashian, former drummer for the arena rock band Boston, died on board a cruise ship Wednesday. He was 67. His son, Adam Hashian, said Thursday a cause of death had not yet been determined. Hashian was listed as one of the featured performers on the Legends of Rock Cruise, which departed from Miami on ... Read More »

Police: 3 dead, officer wounded in Louisiana shooting

CROWLEY, La. (AP) — Authorities say three people and a police dog are dead and a police officer is wounded after a shooting in south Louisiana. State Police Trooper Brooks David says a Crowley Police Department officer was shot late Wednesday night while responding to reports of shots fired at a residence. Crowley Police Chief Jimmy Broussard says police shot ... Read More »

Virgin America will be the latest airline brand to disappear

DALLAS (AP) — After months of teasing, Alaska Airlines has bad news for loyal customers of Virgin America — their airline’s name is being dumped. Alaska says it will retire the Virgin brand, probably in 2019. Virgin America joins Northwest, US Airways, Continental and many others on the scrap heap of airline brands. With its hip vibe including mood lighting, ... Read More »

British actress Emma Thompson turns down Trump offer

HELSINKI (AP) — British actress Emma Thompson says she once turned down an offer by Donald Trump to stay at the Trump Towers, years before he became the U.S. president. Speaking on a Scandinavian TV show, Thompson said that while filming the 1998 film “Primary Colors,” the phone in her trailer rang and the voice on the other end said, ... Read More »

Poland’s top politician: We want Britain close to EU

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s most powerful politician says he will tell British Prime Minister Theresa May that Warsaw would like Britain to keep close ties with the European Union after it leaves the bloc. Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski spoke Thursday on his way to meet May in London. The meeting was planned for Wednesday, but was put ... Read More »

Ex-postal worker admits scamming $1.2M in federal benefits

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A former U.S. Postal Service worker in western New York has pleaded guilty to scamming the federal government out of more than $1.2 million in benefits. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 59-year-old Richard Klaffka, of Holland, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud. Prosecutors say his 62-year-old wife, Cathleen, admitted to playing a role in the scheme. ... Read More »

Cardinal William Keeler dies at age 86

CATONSVILLE, Md. (AP) — Cardinal William Keeler, who helped ease tensions between Catholics and Jews and headed the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the U.S. for 18 years, has died. He was 86. Archbishop William Lori announced in a statement that Keeler died early Thursday at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged in Catonsville, Maryland. No cause of death was ... Read More »