AP Top News at 11:48 p.m. EDT

AP Top News at 11:48 p.m. EDT
Published May 22

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) John Walker Lindh, the young Californian who became known as the American Taliban after he was captured by U.S. forces in the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, is set to go free after nearly two decades in prison. But conditions imposed recently on Lindh's release, slated for Thursday, make clear that authorities remain concerned about the threat he could pose once free. Lindh, now 38, converted to Islam as a teenager after seeing the film "Malcolm X" and went overseas to study Arabic and the Quran. In November 2000, he went to Pakistan and from there made his way to Afghanistan.WASHINGTON (AP) The curtains in the Cabinet Room were drawn. The Democrats were waiting. And President Donald Trump came and went in three minutes, never stopping to sit down or shake hands. Trump's angry walkout on Wednesday left behind a shattered bipartisan infrastructure effort and an escalation of tension between the president and the congressional Democrats investigating him. He barked at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for earlier suggesting he was involved in a "cover-up" and headed to the Rose Garden for an impromptu news conference in which he declared that he would not work with Democrats if they continue with their probes.OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Two barges broke loose Wednesday night on the flooded Arkansas River in eastern Oklahoma, spreading alarm downstream as they threatened to ram into a dam. The emergency was the latest consequence of storms and torrential rains in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma that caused at least three deaths. Authorities urged residents of several small towns in Oklahoma and Kansas to leave their homes as rivers and streams rose. The Arkansas River town of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, was one such town. Town officials ordered a mandatory evacuation Wednesday afternoon because of the river's rising level. But Wednesday evening, a posting on the town's official Facebook page sounded the alarm for its 600 residents: "Evacuate Webbers Falls immediately.ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York lawmakers gave final passage to legislation Wednesday that would allow President Donald Trump's state tax returns to be released to congressional committees that have, so far, been barred from getting the president's federal filings. The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly both approved the measures Wednesday, sending them to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. A spokesman has said the governor supports the principle behind the legislation but will review the bill carefully before deciding whether to sign it. The legislation doesn't target Trump by name, but it would allow the leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation to get access to any New York state tax returns filed by elected officials and top appointed officials.NEW YORK (AP) Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rocketed to fame through his representation of porn star Stormy Daniels in her battles with President Donald Trump, was charged Wednesday with ripping her off. Federal prosecutors in New York City say Avenatti used a doctored document to divert about $300,000 that Daniels was supposed to get from a book deal, then used the money for personal and business expenses. Only half of that money was paid back, prosecutors said. Daniels isn't named in the court filing, but the details of the case, including the date her book was released, make it clear that she is the client involved.LOS ANGELES (AP) Some of Lionsgate's most popular film franchises from "Hunger Games" to "Twilight" will be brought to life when the studio opens what it calls the world's first vertical theme park in China this summer. Lionsgate Entertainment World will offer several adventures including a virtual reality motorcycle ride based on "Twilight," a maximum-security prison breakout like in "Escape Plan" and a replica of The Capitol lobby from "Hunger Games," complete with shops where guests can fashion themselves in the film's distinctive couture. More than 25 rides and virtual reality experiences will pack a sleek, futuristic looking bean-shaped building that stands 10 stories high.BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Researchers working in the murky waters of the northern Gulf Coast have located the wreck of the last ship known to bring enslaved people from Africa to the United States, historical officials said Wednesday. Remains of the Gulf schooner Clotilda were identified and verified near Mobile after months of assessment, a statement by the Alabama Historical Commission said. The wooden vessel was scuttled the year before the Civil War to hide evidence of its illegal trip and hasn't been seen since. "The discovery of the Clotilda is an extraordinary archaeological find," said Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director of the commission.BOSTON (AP) Celebrity chef Mario Batali is facing a criminal charge on allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped a woman at a Boston restaurant in 2017. Batali, who recently gave up financial stakes in all his restaurants, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a charge of indecent assault and battery, a spokeswoman for Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said. It's the first criminal charge against Batali resulting from several sexual harassment and assault allegations that crippled his career amid the #MeToo movement. A criminal complaint filed last month says the woman told police that Batali noticed her taking a picture of him at the restaurant and offered to take a selfie with her, The Boston Globe reported .

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