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Party time! Outlaw, Smoke, Gronk turn Daytona 500 into bash

Kurt Busch, Rob Gronkowski

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Outlaw, Smoke and Gronk turned the Daytona 500 into party central. The good times were just getting started in victory lane Sunday night. Flanked by sexy models, the triumphant trio chugged drinks and gave NASCAR the buzz it craved in the season opener. Might as well go wild for their first celebration on NASCAR’s ... Read More »

UConn still No. 1 in AP women’s poll; rest of top 5 shuffles

Geno Auriemma

NEW YORK (AP) — UConn remains the No. 1 team in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll while the rest of the top five were shuffled Monday. The Huskies improved their winning streak to 103 games, cruising to wins over Temple and Memphis. UConn closes out its regular season Monday at South Florida. Baylor, Notre Dame, Maryland and South Carolina ... Read More »

Buffett’s bite of Apple even bigger than thought

Warren Buffett

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett, famously leery of technology companies, has loaded up on Apple shares after noticing how inseparable iPhone users are from the gadget once they get one in their pocket. Buffett said on CNBC Monday that Berkshire Hathaway now holds about 133 million shares of Apple after buying yet more of the company’s stock this ... Read More »

911 call: Bar shooting suspect said he’d killed ‘Iranians’

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A bartender at the restaurant where a man was arrested last week for an apparently racially motivated bar shooting in Kansas told a 911 dispatcher that the man admitted shooting two Iranians and needed a place to stay for a couple of days. A recording from Henry County, Missouri, 911 reveals that the bartender warned police ... Read More »

Jets pound northwest Syria as Geneva meetings continue

BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes on Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province killed at least 11 people on Monday, opposition activists said, in the latest spasm of violence to mar U.N.-brokered talks in Geneva between the government and the opposition. Separately, there were unconfirmed reports that a top al-Qaeda official was killed in an airstrike, also in Idlib. Also on Monday, pro-government forces ... Read More »

Germany sees “alarmingly high” number of anti-migrant crimes

BERLIN (AP) — Migrants and their homes in Germany faced more than 3,500 attacks in 2016, a number that is “alarmingly high and cause for concern,” a German official said Monday, while adding that the crimes are being aggressively prosecuted and the numbers of such attacks are now falling. Most of the attacks were crimes like vandalism to asylum-seeker homes ... Read More »

Plaintiffs: 5 automakers knew Takata air bags were dangerous

DETROIT (AP) — Plaintiffs in dozens of lawsuits against air bag maker Takata and five automakers allege the car companies knew that Takata’s products were dangerous yet continued to use them for years in order to save money. The allegations against Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and BMW were made in a filing Monday with a federal court in Miami, which ... Read More »

Ursula K. Le Guin, Ann Patchett voted into arts academy

NEW YORK (AP) — Authors Ursula K. Le Guin, Junot Diaz and Ann Patchett are among this year’s 14 inductees into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Artist Stanley Whitney, poets Kay Ryan and Henri Cole, and composers Melinda Wagner and Julia Wolfe also were among the 14 voted in, the academy told The Associated Press on Monday. In ... Read More »

Iraqi forces battling Islamic State reach Mosul bridge

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi forces reached one of Mosul’s five destroyed bridges on Monday as they pushed deeper into the western half of Iraq’s second largest city, driving Islamic State militants back with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes. Maj. Gen Thamir al-Hussaini said the militarized Federal Police advanced in the face of snipers, anti-tank missiles and suicide car bombs, describing ... Read More »

Trump budget will hike defense spending by $54 billion

Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump’s upcoming budget will propose a whopping $54 billion increase in defense spending and impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid. The result is that Trump’s initial budget wouldn’t dent budget deficits projected to run about $500 billion. White House budget officials outlined the information during a telephone call ... Read More »