Political mainstay heads home to Utah, questions in his wake

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Since arriving in Washington in 2009, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz has been a political mainstay, doggedly investigating Democrats, frequently appearing on cable TV and regularly updating his legions of social media followers with photos of himself, his family and even his dog, Ruby. His Twitter handle reminds people that of the 435 members, he's @jasoninthehouse. Not for the next few weeks though.

The Latest: Trump keeps mum about ousted adviser Flynn

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn (all times local): 2:50 p.m. President Donald Trump won't answer new questions about ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump ignored questions throughout the day Thursday on news that the Pentagon's acting inspector general has launched a probe of Flynn's work on behalf of foreign interests. That includes work for RT, the state-supported Russian television network, and a company linked to Turkey's government.

News outlets including AP sue state House GOP Caucus

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A coalition of news outlets including The Associated Press has sued the state House Republican Caucus in South Carolina to gain access to information about an investigation into possible Statehouse corruption. The lawsuit filed Thursday asks a judge to declare that the caucus is a public body subject to the state's Freedom of Information Act, and as such, should make its records and meetings public.

Life sentences sought for 30 with ties to Turkish newspaper

ISTANBUL (AP) -- A Turkish court accepted a criminal indictment demanding life imprisonment for 30 people with ties to a newspaper linked to a Muslim cleric whom the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt. Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said the defendants, including former managers and columnists for the Zaman newspaper, were charged with "membership in an armed terror organization" and "attempting to overthrow" the country's government, Parliament and constitutional order.

The Latest: Senators battle diplomacy spending cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on efforts in Congress to repeal the health care law and agree on a spending bill to keep the government open (all times local): 1:50 p.m. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have joined forces against the deep cuts President Donald Trump has planned for American diplomacy and foreign aid.

Pentagon joins intensifying probe of former Trump aide Flynn

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Investigations intensified into President Donald Trump's ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Thursday as the Pentagon watchdog joined lawmakers in probing payments he accepted from foreign sources including a Russian state-sponsored TV network.

Ivanka Trump microphone quip draws criticism for Fox host

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fox News host Jesse Watters says he enjoys Ivanka Trump's voice and wasn't making a joke "about anything else" when he mentioned that he liked the way she held a microphone. Watters made the comment while hosting "The Five" on Fox News Channel on Tuesday. He criticized people booing her as she defended her father's attitude toward women while holding a microphone on stage at an event in Germany.

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.

Surprise! Johnny Depp appears as Jack Sparrow on Disney ride

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Some visitors to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at California's Disneyland got a surprise: Captain Jack Sparrow himself. Johnny Depp donned the getup of his swashbuckling alter ego and interacted with riders on Wednesday. Videos taken by park goers and shared on social media show Depp chatting with fans as they passed by on the ride's boats. He also spoke to a crowd outside.

The Latest: Minor damage to freighter that hit Russian ship

ISTANBUL (AP) -- The Latest on Russia navy ship damaged near Istanbul (all times local): 5:40 p.m. Turkey's transportation minister says that the Togo-flagged freighter involved in the collision with a Russian navy vessel has sustained very minor damage and is able to continue sailing. Ahmet Arslan also told Turkey's A Haber news channel that the collision in the Black Sea off Istanbul occurred in heavy fog.

James Patterson plans true crime book on Aaron Hernandez

NEW YORK (AP) -- Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player and convicted murderer found hanging by a bedsheet in prison last week, will be the subject of an upcoming true crime book by best-selling author James Patterson. Little, Brown and Co. told The Associated Press on Thursday that Patterson's book, not yet titled, is scheduled for early 2018.

Top official's son calls out his dad as Venezuela quits OAS

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- The son of Venezuela's top human rights official has called on his father to prevent further deadly bloodshed tied to anti-government street clashes even as officials defied international criticism by withdrawing from the Organization of American States. Yibram Saab said in an online video that he attended an opposition march Wednesday that was planned to reach the offices of his father, national ombudsman Tarek William Saab.

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.

Jefferson Muzzle 'awards' take aim at free-speech offenders

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Tennessee sheriff accused of deleting atheists' comments on a county Facebook page, a school chief who dismissed a teacher who stepped on the American flag in class, and the U.S. Senate for a bill targeting speech on college campuses are among the winners of the Jefferson Muzzles -- satiric awards bestowed annually by a free-speech group.

Mayor calls ghostly face seen in Salem streetlamp 'eerie'

SALEM, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts city known for celebrating the occult is drawing attention after its mayor snapped a photo that appears to show a scowling face trapped in a streetlamp. Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll shared the photo on Twitter on Wednesday. The Democrat asks if other people can see the face, which she calls "eerie." Many on social media say it looks like a man's face, with a furrowed brow and parted lips.

Oh, brother! Faux Pelini picks 'Carl' as name of baby bison

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- Carl Pelini got buffaloed. @FauxPelini, the parody Twitter account that took off when Bo Pelini was coach at Nebraska and continues with him at Youngstown State, was given the honor of naming a bison born April 11 at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown. Faux Pelini, according to the Grand Forks Herald , chose "Carl.

Fox anchor says network does little about racial diversity

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Fox News Channel anchor who is black has joined a racial discrimination lawsuit against his company, saying Wednesday that the network marginalized him and has little interest in promoting diversity. Kelly Wright, who primarily works an overnight shift at Fox, said at an emotional news conference that his efforts at promoting diversity at Fox have largely failed.

'So sad he's gone' _ fans react to death of Jonathan Demme

Some reaction to the death of filmmaker Jonathan Demme. ___ "Jonathan taught us how big a heart a person can have, and how it will guide how we live and what we do for a living. He was the grandest of men." -- actor Tom Hanks in a statement. ___ "Jonathan Demme was a great artist, humanitarian, activist & a warm encouraging colleague. I've known very few like him. He will be missed.