Lawmaker in Russia fights Olympic doping case at CAS

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- A lawmaker representing Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in parliament has appealed to sport's highest court against losing his 2008 Olympic title for doping with steroids. Artur Taymazov filed an appeal that "seeks the annulment of the IOC decision" disqualifying him from the freestyle wrestling 120-kilogram event, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Thursday.

2 US troops killed, 1 injured in eastern Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two American service members were killed and another received a minor injury during a ground assault against Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan Wednesday, according to the U.S. military. The U.S. forces were accompanying Afghan troops on the raid when they came under attack by the Islamic State Khorasan group in Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan, according to Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, the U.S. military spokesman in Kabul.

US admiral says N. Korea crisis is at worst point he's seen

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The senior U.S. Navy officer overseeing military operations in the Pacific said Thursday that the crisis with North Korea is at the worst point he's ever seen, but he declined to compare the situation to the Cuban missile crisis decades ago. "It's real," Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

US stock indexes flitter in mixed day for markets

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock indexes flittered up and down Thursday, as a slump in energy stocks partly offset advances made by Under Armour, PayPal and other companies reporting stronger-than-expected profits. It's the second straight day where indexes have made modest, meandering moves, following two big gains at the start of the week. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,389, as of 1:51 p.m.

Theme parks: Comcast's under-the-radar growth driver

NEW YORK (AP) -- One of Comcast's fastest-growing businesses hasn't been selling cable or internet subscriptions -- or making movies and TV shows, or selling TV ads. It's been theme parks. Since 2011, when Comcast first took over NBCUniversal's film and TV studios, cable and broadcast networks, TV stations and theme parks, the parks have been one of its biggest revenue drivers.

Pakistani Taliban say detained militant used for propaganda

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- The Pakistani Taliban say the country's top intelligence service is using a captured senior militant to spread propaganda that the militant group is beholden to spy agencies in India and Afghanistan. Pakistan's army released a video late Wednesday showing Ahsanullah Ahsan, a longtime media spokesman for the Taliban and another extremist group, saying he surrendered to Pakistani forces after he saw militant leaders receiving aid from the two neighboring countries.

A look at North Korea's evolving brinkmanship

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea observers have long marveled at the ability of a small, impoverished, autocratic nation to go toe-to-toe with the world's superpowers. Part of the secret to North Korean success has always been the ruling Kim family's mastery of the art of brinkmanship.

Thai prosecutors to seek arrest warrant for Red Bull heir

BANGKOK (AP) -- An heir to the Red Bull fortune failed to show up Thursday to face charges over an alleged hit-and-run that killed a Thai police officer almost five years ago, as prosecutors declared they would now seek a warrant for his arrest. Prayuth Petchkhun, a deputy spokesman for the attorney general's office, told The Associated Press that Vorayuth "Boss" Yoovidhya failed to meet a 4 p.m. deadline.

Hot Switch sales boost Nintendo sales, trim quarterly loss

TOKYO (AP) -- Nintendo Co.'s Switch, a new hybrid game machine that works as both a console and a tablet, is selling well, helping the Kyoto-based company behind the Super Mario and Pokemon franchises trim its quarterly losses. Nintendo said Thursday it has sold 2.74 million Switch machines and 5.46 million units of Switch software since sales began in March. It had expected to sell 2 million Switch machines by the end of March.

Kia to invest $1.1 billion to build its first India factory

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Kia Motors Co. plans to invest $1.1 billion in India to build its first plant in the world's fifth-largest auto market. Kia's new factory in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India's southeast will be completed by late 2019 and produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year, the company said Thursday in a statement. The maker of Optima sedan is considering making small cars and SUVs for the Indian market.

China bans list of Islamic names in restive Xinjiang region

BEIJING (AP) -- Authorities in China's Xinjiang region are prohibiting parents from giving children some Islamic names in the latest effort to dilute the influence of religion on life in the ethnic Uighur minority heartland. "Muhammad," ''Jihad" and "Islam" are among at least 29 names now banned in the heavily Muslim region, according to a list distributed by overseas Uighur activists.

BOJ keeps monetary policy unchanged, says 2020 Games to help

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain slow but steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. Most analysts were expecting the Bank of Japan to stand pat. In a statement, the BOJ said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two.

Trump to order aluminum imports investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump will direct his administration Thursday to expedite a new investigation into whether aluminum imports are jeopardizing U.S. national security. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president will sign a memo ordering him to determine the impact of rising aluminum imports. High-purity aluminum is used in a number of defense applications, including military planes and the armor-plating of military vehicles.

Teams in name, but not uniforms, in New Orleans

The Zurich Classic in New Orleans is bringing team competition to golf, minus the uniforms. This will be the first official team competition on the PGA Tour since 1981 at the Walt Disney World National Team Championship. It was won by Vance Heafner and Mike Holland, which turned out to be their only PGA Tour victory. They each earned $36,000. The winners of the Zurich Classic each get $1,022,400.

India bans social media sites to quell unrest in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India (AP) -- Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have banned 22 social media sites in an effort to calm tensions in the disputed region after videos depicting the alleged abuse of Kashmiris by Indian forces fueled protests. But the sites remained online Thursday as the local telecom company struggled to block them.

As Trump calls for wall, a look at the world's barriers

As President Donald Trump marks 100 days in office, he is vowing to keep his campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Despite widespread skepticism and Mexico's refusal to pay for the wall, as Trump has demanded, the U.S. government has been soliciting bids and test sections could be built as soon as this summer.

Markets subdued in the wake of Trump's tax plans

LONDON (AP) -- Global stocks were subdued Thursday as investors assessed the scant details of President Donald Trump's U.S. tax overhaul. The Bank of Japan and European Central Bank kept their policies on hold as expected, though the euro took a modest hit when ECB President Mario Draghi said he wasn't confident that inflation across the 19-country eurozone was heading toward target. KEEPING SCORE: European shares fell with France's CAC 40 down 0.

BOJ keeps lax monetary policy, forecasts steady growth

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. The Bank of Japan said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two. But the central bank's statement warned of risks to that scenario from global trends, including U.S.