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News

    A conservative speaker whose appearance at the University of California, Berkeley in the fall sparked protests is scheduled to speak this week at the University of Connecticut.Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire, is scheduled to appear Wednesday evening at an event hosted by UConn's College Republicans.The talk comes two months after a speech by another right-wing pundit, Lucian Wintrich, led to the arrests of him and a protester who took his notes from the podium at UConn. Charges against Wintrich were dropped. The protester was charged with misdemeanor larceny and disorderly conduct.A UConn spokeswoman says students and employees with a valid school ID will be issued tickets or wristbands in advance for entry.
  • A North Carolina man who made headlines when he was caught for break-ins after winning a doughnut-eating contest has been arrested again. And this time he's accused of stealing from a doughnut shop.The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reports 27-year-old Bradley Hardison of Elizabeth City was charged Thursday with stealing from a Dunkin' Donuts in November.An Elizabeth City Police Department statement says he's charged with felonies including breaking and entering and larceny. It wasn't clear if he helped himself to any doughnuts.A phone listing for Hardison rang disconnected.The Virginian-Pilot reported that in 2014, Hardison won a doughnut-eating contest put on by Elizabeth City police while he was wanted on suspicion of several break-ins. Investigators said they arrested Hardison after his win prompted further scrutiny, and he was convicted, according to the paper.
  • A coastal California highway swamped by deadly mudslides reopened Sunday after a nearly two-week closure that caused traffic headaches across the region, state officials said.Traffic began moving again on U.S. 101 in Santa Barbara County shortly after noon, according to Jim Shivers, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. Officials had promised a day earlier that the highway would be open again in time for the Monday morning commute.All lanes were inundated Jan. 9 when a powerful storm brought down boulders and trees from hillsides in Montecito made bare by last month's wildfires. At least 21 people were killed and hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged. A 17-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl remain missing.Crews worked around the clock clearing drainage areas, stabilizing embankments and repairing guardrails and signs. They also cleaned and swept the highway.During the U.S. 101 shut down, Amtrak added additional cars to its route between Santa Barbara and points east as travelers increasingly relied on rail service to get around the closure.With many surface streets also impassable, for a time the only other ground route into the Los Angeles area — located 90 miles (145 kilometers) down the coast — was a series of smaller mountain highways that added more than three hours to the trip.
  • A 14-year-old boy who recently underwent surgery to remove a 10-pound tumor from his face has died, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news Emanuel Zayas developed the benign tumor while suffering from polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a genetic disorder in which fibrous tissue begins to replace bone in the body. “Our condolences and prayers for Emanuel's family and the loss of a very brave young man,” Dr. Robert E. Marx, a surgeon at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, told NBC 6. 'Another angel has arrived in heaven.'  For years, Zayas’ family, who live in Cuba, tried to get him help, but to no avail. In January, doctors were able to acquire a visa, which allowed them all to be flown from Cuba to Miami for the Jan. 19 surgery, NBC 6 reported.
  • The Latest on the NFL conference championships. (all times local): 4:45 p.m. The Patriots say tight end Rob Gronkowski is questionable to return to the AFC championship because of a head injury. Gronk was left wobbly on a hit from Jaguars safety Barry Church on a downfield pattern late in the first half. Gronkowski headed to the locker room and sat out the remainder of the first half. He did not appear to be on the New England sideline when the second half began. Earlier in the second quarter, Gronkowski caught a 21-yard pass that moved him past Dallas Clark for first on the NFL's all-time list for postseason receiving yards by a tight end, 848. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 4:28 p.m. Jacksonville has taken a 14-10 lead at halftime of the AFC championship. The Jaguars were up 14-3 after an early touchdown pass from Blake Bortles to Marcedes Lewis and a run by Leonard Fournette. Just before the half, Tom Brady led the Patriots on a six-play, 85-yard drive that included two Jacksonville penalties. The drive ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by James White . Bortles completed 13 of 15 passes for 155 yards in the half. Brady was 12 of 17 for 124 yards. The last three times the Patriots have trailed by double digits in a playoff game, they came back to win. — Kyle Hightower, reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts ___ 4:25 p.m. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is being looked at after a hard hit from Barry Church left him wobbly. Gronkowski was running downfield on a passing route, looking back for the ball, when Church put a shoulder into him late in the second quarter. The 6-foot-6, 265-pound All-Pro tight end seemed shaken, and he left the field. He did not return for the remainder of the drive, which was New England's last in the first half. There was no immediate announcement from the team about his condition. Church was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave the Patriots the ball at their own 40. A pass interference penalty on the next play put New England on the 13. Two plays later, James White ran it in to make it 14-10. Jacksonville was also called for a delay of game that negated a first-down completion on their previous possession. In all, the Jaguars the Jaguars had five penalties for 62 yards in the first half; the Patriots had one for 10 yards. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 4 p.m. Leonard Fournette has given the Jacksonville Jaguars a 14-3 lead over the heavily favored New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. Fournette bulled his way into the end zone from 4 yards out midway through the second quarter . He carried the ball five times for 23 yards on the 10-play, 77-yard drive. Fournette ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns in last week's divisional round playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is the first NFL rookie to surpass 100 yards rushing with three scores in a postseason game. Fournette was limited in practice all week with a sore ankle. He was also involved in a fender-bender back in Jacksonville, but was not injured. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 3:45 p.m. The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken the lead early in the second quarter of the AFC title game. Blake Bortles found Marcedes Lewis wide open in the end zone from 4 yards out to give the Jags a 7-3 lead. Bortles was 5 for 5 for 66 yards on the drive. Running back Corey Grant caught two passes for 44 yards on the 76-yard drive. He had only 41 total receiving yards during the season. Tom Brady's only comeback wins in an AFC championship were from a four-point deficit against Baltimore after the 2011 season and a three-point deficit against San Diego after the '07 season. The Patriots also rallied from a four-point hole against Miami en route to the 1986 Super Bowl. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 3:20 p.m. Tom Brady's injured right hand looked fine on the Patriots' opening drive in the AFC title game. Brady was 6-for-6 for 57 yards on New England's first possession against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed a 20-yarder to Danny Amendola on a fourth-and-1 to keep the drive going. But the Patriots settled for Stephen Gostkowski's 31-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Brady reportedly injured his right hand and needed stitches when it was hit by a teammate's helmet in practice. The five-time Super Bowl champion took the field on Sunday with a piece of black tape on the back of his hand. The Patriots are in the conference championship game for the seventh straight year. They are hoping to go to their eighth Super Bowl of the Brady era. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 2:45 p.m. New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft says the team needs to guard against 'jealousy and envy' from people who are trying to tear apart one of the most successful dynasties in NFL history. Speaking on the pregame show before the Patriots played the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC championship game, Kraft said it's only natural there would be some tension between him and coach Bill Belichick after 18 years together. Kraft says, 'But when you've got something good going, everyone's got to get their egos checked in and try to hold it together.' ESPN reported this month that Kraft essentially vetoed Belichick's plan to set backup Jimmy Garoppolo up as the successor to five-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Instead, the Patriots traded Garoppolo to San Francisco for a second-round draft pick. — Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts. ___ 2:35 p.m. The Super Bowl matchup will be set after conference title games featuring three teams that have never won the big game. The other participant is a five-time Super Bowl winner, the New England Patriots. The Patriots and Tom Brady, nursing an injured right hand, start conference championship Sunday playing host to the Jacksonville Jaguars and quarterback Blake Bortles. The night game with Minnesota playing at Philadelphia features two 29-year-old quarterbacks, Nick Foles and Case Keenum, both of whom started the season as backups. Keenum played most of the season after Sam Bradford was injured, and Foles came in after star Carson Wentz was hurt in Week 14. ___ For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • Hundreds of ballet dancers between the ages of 9 and 19 have been auditioning in Chicago at the Youth America Grand Prix regional semifinals.Chicago is one of more than 20 North American cities selecting finalists to compete in the finals in April at Lincoln Center in New York City. Semi-finals have also been held in several other countries, including China, Japan, Korea, France and Mexico, among others.On Friday and Saturday in Chicago, the students attended workshops, competitions and dance classes. The organization awards more than $250,000 a year in scholarships to send young dancers to leading schools and dance companies to continue their training.
  • John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel and was the original meteorologist on ABC's 'Good Morning America' during a six-decade broadcasting career, has died, his wife said Sunday. He was 83.Linda Coleman told The Associated Press her husband died Saturday night at home in Las Vegas. She did not give a cause.The Texas native got his first TV job while still a student at the University of Illinois. Coleman worked at several local stations in Chicago and the Midwest before joining 'GMA' when it launched in 1975, staying with the program for seven years.He served as CEO of the Weather Channel for about a year after helping launch it in 1981.Two years later the American Meteorological Society named Coleman their Broadcast Meteorologist of the year.Coleman went on to join KUSI-TV in San Diego, where he spent 20 years as a weatherman before retiring in 2014. Jason Austell, an anchor for the station's 'Good Morning San Diego,' tweeted that Coleman was 'a beloved meteorologist.'This is a big loss for the weather community,' said Alex Tardy, a forecaster at the National Weather Service. 'He brought a lot of energy and color and enthusiasm to forecasting. My kids loved watching him on TV.'Tardy also said Coleman never tried to push his skepticism about climate change being man-made.'We had good talks,' Tardy told the San Diego Union-Tribune . 'I enjoyed it.'___This story corrects the name to John Coleman. A previous story referred to him as Joe Coleman.
  • The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island will be open for visitors Monday, with New York state picking up the tab for the federal workers.Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Sunday afternoon.The two sites have been closed due to the federal government shutdown.The Democratic Cuomo says the sites are vital to the state's tourism industry, so the state will spend about $65,000 per day for the federal employees who operate the sites. He says the revenue gained more than offsets the costs.He says the state will pay for the duration of the shutdown, and the sites will be open every day.New York had the same arrangement in 2013, during the last government shutdown.
  • Bob Meyers doesn't want partial justice for his brother. He wants full justice. And to him, that means leaving D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo's sentence just the way it is: life in prison, with no chance of ever getting out.A federal judge has given a glimmer of hope to Malvo, who was 17 when he was arrested in the random shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three in and around the nation's capital.The judge ruled that Malvo is entitled to new sentencing hearings, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has made its ban on mandatory life-without-parole for juvenile offenders retroactive, extending it to people who were already sentenced before it ruled that such punishments are unconstitutional.Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's appeal is scheduled for Tuesday before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond.The possibility of something less than a life sentence does not sit well with Meyers.His brother, Dean, was fatally gunned down as he put gas in his car at a service station in northern Virginia.'Nothing's changed,' Meyers said. 'The crime hasn't become diminished ... and if the sentence was appropriate initially and that was viewed as justice for Dean, is it three-quarters justice for Dean if they modify it?'The shootings in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia paralyzed the region with fear in 2002. People were shot doing everyday things — mowing the lawn, pumping gas, loading purchases into their cars. Schools canceled outdoor activities, gas stations put up tarps to hide their customers and government buildings in D.C. were given increased security.Malvo's accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, widely viewed as the mastermind of the deadly rampage. He was executed in Virginia in 2009.A Virginia jury convicted Malvo of capital murder for killing FBI analyst Linda Franklin, who was shot in the head outside a Home Depot store, but spared him the death penalty. Malvo later struck plea deals in other cases in Virginia and Maryland. He ultimately received four life sentences in Virginia and six in Maryland.Malvo's attorney, Craig Cooley, argues that he is entitled to a new sentencing under the Supreme Court ruling because jurors were told to choose between the death penalty and life without parole, with no lesser option. The jury unanimously rejected the death penalty and sentenced him to life.Cooley also argues that Malvo, now 32, should get new hearings to assess what sentence would be appropriate after taking into account his youth at the time and other factors. Cooley said that since his arrest, Malvo has 'separated from his psychological domination by John Muhammad' and become an accomplished poet and sketch artist.'Mr. Malvo as a person has returned to the kind, thoughtful, articulate, and compassionate being he was in his youth,' Cooley wrote in a legal brief.Other former teen offenders are still waiting for a chance at resentencing in states and counties slow to address the court ruling, an Associated Press investigation found. In Michigan, for example, prosecutors are seeking new no-parole sentences for nearly two-thirds of 363 juvenile lifers. Those cases are on hold until the Michigan Supreme Court, which heard arguments in October, determines whether judges or juries should decide their fates.Some courts are applying the 2016 ruling to inmates whose life-without-parole sentences weren't mandatory, like Malvo's, or were negotiated as part of a plea deal.If the 4th Circuit rules against the state, Malvo may still not get a reduced sentence. The court could, for example, order a different sentencing procedure that could result in a re-imposition of a life sentence.Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, said the chances of Malvo getting a lower sentence are slim.'Malvo pleaded guilty to horrendous offenses,' Turley said. 'There are many juveniles who can make strong claims under this new precedent for lower sentences. Malvo just doesn't happen to be one of them.'For Malvo, it's like defusing nine out of 10 bombs. In the end, unless you can defuse all 10, the result is pretty much the same.
  • Pope Francis drew appreciative laughter Sunday when he addressed cloistered nuns in a Peruvian church, Reuters reported. The nuns were given special permission to leave their convents to see the pontiff speak in Lima. >> Read more trending news Francis spoke to the 500 nuns, known as “contemplatives” because they rarely venture away from their convents, on his final day in Peru. “Seeing you all here an unkind thought comes to my mind, that you took advantage (of me) to get out of the convent a bit to take a stroll,” he said at the Cathedral San Juan Apostol y Evangelista in Lima, drawing roars of laughter from the nuns, Reuters reported. Francis also urged the nuns to avoid gossiping in their convents, likening it to “terrorism.” “You know what a gossiping nun is?” he asked. “A terrorist.” The nuns laughed again, Reuters reported. “Because gossip is like a bomb. One throws it, it causes destruction and you walk away tranquilly.” Francis said. “No terrorist nuns! No gossip, and know that the best remedy against gossip is to bite your tongue.”