Southwest Airlines to end practice of overbooking flights

Southwest Airlines says it plans to stop overbooking flights -- an industry practice implicated in an ugly incident on a United Airlines flight that has damaged United's reputation with the flying public. Last year Southwest bumped 15,000 passengers off flights, more than any other U.S. airline. Carriers say they sometimes sell more tickets than there are seats because often a few passengers don't show up.

Scientists to review large number of humpback whale deaths

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- Government scientists are launching an investigation into an unusually large number of humpback whale deaths from North Carolina to Maine. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries says 41 whales have been stranded in the region in 2016 and so far in 2017. Officials say 10 of the 20 whales that have been examined so far were killed by collisions with boats.

Train delays likely this summer over work at Penn Station

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rail travelers who have endured major disruptions recently at the nation's busiest rail station are likely to see more delays this summer because New York's Penn Station is in dire need of repair work, Amtrak officials said Thursday. Work on tracks and signals will begin in May and continue through the summer, Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman said.

Russian navy ship sinks in Black Sea, all 78 crew rescued

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian naval reconnaissance ship sank Thursday after colliding with a freighter off Istanbul, but all crew members were rescued, the Defense Ministry said. Turkey's coastal safety authority said all 78 personnel from the Russian frigate Liman were safe, as were all crew aboard the freighter, the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H. The freighter was carrying livestock.

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.

After Damascus blasts, Israel intercepts 'target' from Syria

BEIRUT (AP) -- An apparent Israeli missile attack on a Syrian military installation near Damascus International Airport shook the capital early on Thursday morning and raised tensions between the two hostile neighbors. After nightfall, the Israeli military deployed its Patriot missile defense system to intercept a projectile incoming from Syria above the Golan Heights.

Immunity sought for NC motorists who hit protesters in roads

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A motorist who strikes a protester blocking a public road in North Carolina would be immune from civil liability -- under a bill before lawmakers -- if the driver exercised "due care." Backers of the proposal advancing Wednesday in the North Carolina House said granting immunity would protect drivers traveling legally on a highway or street when a protester is injured. Republican sponsor Rep.

Family buy plane tickets for condemned inmate's daughter

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Family members of a man whose death was caused by Arkansas condemned killer Kenneth Williams said they've forgiven him -- and bought plane tickets so the condemned man's daughter and granddaughter could visit before his scheduled execution Thursday. Michael Greenwood was killed in a 1999 traffic wreck with Williams, who had escaped from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for killing a cheerleader.

BC-NC--North Carolina News Digest, NC

Hello! The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The supervisor is Jack Jones. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with updates.

5 hurt when pickup truck, South Carolina school bus collide

GREER, S.C. (AP) -- Five people were hurt when a pickup truck and a South Carolina school bus collided. The wreck happened shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday near Greer. Four students were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening. Greer police spokesman Jim Holcombe says the driver of the pickup truck was trapped for more than an hour before he could be taken to a hospital.

Old car, new tricks: Adding safety tech to an older car

DETROIT (AP) -- Old cars can learn new tricks. For a few hundred dollars, drivers can add new safety technology -- like forward collision warning systems or backup cameras -- to older cars. Cars are lasting longer than ever thanks to improving quality. The average U.S. vehicle is now 11.6 years old, according to the consulting firm IHS Markit.

Accident scatters chicken parts across highway

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Chicken parts were scattered across a section of Interstate 77 in North Carolina after an accident. WSOC-TV reports (http://on.wsoctv.com/2p2K2c4) that a truck carrying the chicken parts rear-ended a vehicle about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, spreading the truck's contents onto a quarter-mile stretch of the highway. Officials periodically closed northbound lanes of the highway as they cleaned up the spill. The road reopened before daybreak Wednesday.

Strike forces South African Airways to cancel some flights

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South African Airways says it is experiencing some domestic flight delays and cancellations because of a strike by some cabin crew. The airline said Wednesday that it doesn't have enough crewmembers to operate all its flights and that it is considering options for passengers affected by cancellations. Striking members of a labor union, the South African Cabin Crew Association, say they should get more money for meals when working outside South Africa.

The Latest: Explosion, fire reported near Damascus airport

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 7 a.m. Syrian opposition activists and a monitor say a large explosion has rocked the Syrian capital, followed by a fire near Damascus airport. The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdurrahman says the explosion early Thursday has been heard across the capital, jolting residents awake.

Little Big Man: Celtics' Thomas finding stride after tragedy

BOSTON (AP) -- There's a cloud trailing Isaiah Thomas these days. In his basketball world, though, there's also been light. And, on occasion, even some levity. Minutes after Thomas posted a 33-point, seven-assist effort to lead Boston to a Game 4 road win over Chicago, the Celtics guard was asked what he thought about Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg's contention that he was getting away with dribbling the ball illegally. The question made Thomas chuckle.

Passengers in viral airline videos have same lawyer

DALLAS (AP) -- The woman seen sobbing in a viral video after an American Airlines flight attendant took away her stroller now has a lawyer -- the same attorney representing a man dragged off a United Express flight earlier this month. The Chicago lawyer, Thomas Demetrio, says the American flight attendant was "out of control" and nearly hit one of the woman's two young children with the stroller.