PINE BLUFF, ARK.
Several people hurt
during tornado damage
Several people were injured when a tornado damaged two apartment complexes in Arkansas, part of a powerful line of thunderstorms that was dumping more rain Thursday on waterlogged areas throughout the nation's midsection.
The severe weather moved eastward after forcing people from their homes in Kansas, soaking Houston once again, and straining levees along the surging Mississippi River on Wednesday.
Man faces 109 charges
in synagogue shooting
A gunman who killed a woman and wounded three during services at a Southern California synagogue later told a 911 dispatcher he had done it because "the Jewish people are destroying the white race," prosecutors said Thursday in announcing 109 hate crime and other charges against the man.
U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer Jr. said it's possible the suspect, John T. Earnest, could face the death penalty following last month's shooting at Chabad of Poway, in a suburb north of San Diego. A decision on that will be made at a later date, Brewer said.
German con artist
sentenced to prison
Anna Sorokin, the German con artist who passed herself off as a wealthy heiress to swindle banks, hotels and even close friends as she lived out a high-society, Instagram-ready fantasy in New York, was sentenced Thursday to four to 12 years in prison.
The 28-year-old, who had played with her own tabloid image during the trial by wearing stylish dresses to court, looked despondent as the verdict was announced. She pressed her hand to her face and squeezed her eyes shut, appearing to hold back tears.
Source: Security guard
fired weapon in school
A security guard credited with capturing one of the two suspects in this week's suburban Denver school shooting fired his weapon inside the school, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The security guard has not been identified but is a former Marine who has stayed out of the public eye since Tuesday, when two suspects opened fire at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, killing one student and injuring eight.
Two news organizations citing anonymous sources reported that authorities are investigating whether the guard mistakenly fired at a responding sheriff's deputy and may have wounded a student.
Trump wants to keep
Shanahan at Pentagon
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense, putting an end to months of speculation about the former Boeing executive's standing in the administration.
Shanahan has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, a highly unusual arrangement for arguably the most sensitive Cabinet position. He took over after Jim Mattis resigned.
Tweet about royal baby
gets broadcaster fired
A BBC radio broadcaster was fired Thursday for using a picture of a chimpanzee in a tweet about the royal baby born to Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry.
Danny Baker, who had a weekly show on BBC Radio 5 Live, tweeted Thursday that he has been fired after posting an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes and the caption: "Royal baby leaves hospital." The tweet was seen as a racist reference to baby Archie's heritage. His grandmother Doria Ragland is African American.
School district reverses
lunch debt policy
A Rhode Island school district reversed its decision to start serving cold sandwiches instead of hot lunches next week to students whose families owe lunch money.
Warwick Public Schools had said it would serve sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches to students whose families are in arrears beginning Monday, sparking a public backlash and upsetting the mayor, who asked the school committee to reconsider. The district said it was owed about $77,000 for lunches and couldn't absorb more debt.
Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires