The Associated Press

Updated September 27, 2021 at 8:18 AM ET

JOPLIN, Mont. — Federal investigators are seeking the cause of an Amtrak train derailment near a switch on tracks in the middle of vast farmland in far northern Montana that killed three people and left seven hospitalized over the weekend.

Updated September 26, 2021 at 11:14 AM ET

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland voted by a wide margin to allow same-sex couples to marry in a referendum on Sunday, bringing the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe.

Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of voters in favor and won a majority in all of Switzerland's 26 cantons, or states.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Five Palestinian gunmen were killed in shootouts with Israeli security forces during a sweeping West Bank arrest operation cracking down on the Islamic militant group Hamas on Sunday.

It was the deadliest violence between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks and came amid heightened tensions following this year's 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Updated September 26, 2021 at 1:51 PM ET

JOPLIN, Mont. — At least three people were killed Saturday afternoon when an Amtrak train that runs between Seattle and Chicago derailed in north-central Montana, toppling several cars onto their sides, authorities said.

A 6-year-old Colorado girl fell to her death at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs earlier this month after ride operators failed to properly check her seatbelts, state officials said.

Wongel Estifanos of Colorado Springs, Colo., died from her injuries on Sept. 5 after investigators said she fell 110 feet from the Haunted Mine Drop ride.

Updated September 23, 2021 at 3:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON — In what officials call a key step to combat climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is sharply limiting domestic production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears said in a court filing Wednesday that she agrees with her father that the conservatorship that has controlled her life and money since 2008 should be terminated.

The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court from Spears' attorney Mathew Rosengart says she "fully consents" to "expeditiously" ending the conservatorship, which her father James Spears, who has controlled it for most of its 13 years, asked for in a Sept. 7 petition.

HELSINKI, Finland — The top U.S. military officer met with his Russian counterpart Wednesday, against the backdrop of U.S. struggles to get military basing rights and other counterterrorism support in countries bordering Afghanistan — a move Moscow has flatly opposed.

The meeting in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, between Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov comes at a crucial time in the wake of the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

LOS ANGELES — Willie Garson, who played Stanford Blatch, Carrie Bradshaw's friend on TV's "Sex and the City" and its movie sequels, has died, his son announced Tuesday. He was 57.

"I love you so much papa. Rest In Peace and I'm so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much," Nathen Garson wrote on Instagram. "I'm so proud of you."

"You always were the toughest and funniest and smartest person I've known," his son added.

Canadian voters have narrowly awarded Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a third term in a snap parliamentary election, but he fell short of his goal of winning an outright majority for his Liberal Party.

Early Tuesday, ballots were still being counted across the country, but the broad outlines of the next government were already evident. Trudeau, who had hoped that voters would reward Liberals for his government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, instead came up with much the same result as in 2019: another minority government dependent on the help of partners to govern.

COVID-19 has now killed about as many Americans as the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic did — approximately 675,000.

The U.S. population a century ago was just one-third of what it is today, meaning the flu cut a much bigger, more lethal swath through the country. But the COVID-19 crisis is by any measure a colossal tragedy in its own right, especially given the incredible advances in scientific knowledge since then and the failure to take maximum advantage of the vaccines available this time.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 3:43 PM ET

Two students were wounded in a shooting at a Virginia high school Monday afternoon, police said.

A 17-year-old boy was shot in the face at Heritage High School and a 17-year-old girl was shot in the leg, Newport News police Chief Steve Drew said at a news conference. Both were taken to the hospital and neither injury was thought to be life-threatening, he said.

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao says he will run for president in the 2022 elections.

Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his PDP-Laban party at its national convention on Sunday, saying that the Filipino people have been waiting for a change of government.

"I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring," Pacquiao, 42, said in his speech.

"We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency," he added.

THREE RIVERS, Calif. — Flames on Sunday reached a grove of sequoia trees in California as firefighters battled to keep fire from driving further into another grove, where the base of the world's largest tree has been wrapped in protective foil.

Fire officials warned that hot, dry weather and stronger winds were contributing to "critical fire conditions" in the area of the KNP Complex, two lightning-sparked blazes that merged on the western side of Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 6:08 AM ET

MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) — Authorities said a body discovered in northern Wyoming was believed to be that of a 22-year-old woman who disappeared while on a cross-country trek with a boyfriend now the subject of an intense search in a Florida nature preserve.

The FBI said the body of Gabrielle "Gabby" Petito was found Sunday by law enforcement agents who spent the weekend searching camp sites on the eastern border of Grand Teton National Park.

Updated September 19, 2021 at 9:11 PM ET

LOS LLANOS DE ARIDANE, Spain — A volcano on Spain's Atlantic Ocean island of La Palma erupted Sunday after a weeklong buildup of seismic activity, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands as lava flows destroyed isolated houses and threatened to reach the coast. New eruptions continued into the night.

Updated September 19, 2021 at 10:03 PM ET

DEL RIO, Texas — The U.S. flew Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland Sunday and tried blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signaled the beginning of what could be one of America's swiftest, large-scale expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

THREE RIVERS, Calif. — Two lightning-sparked wildfires in California merged and made a run to the edge of a grove of ancient sequoias, momentarily driving away firefighters as they try to protect the world's tallest tree by wrapping its base in protective foil.

BARAGA, Mich. — Fred Dakota, whose garage casino in Michigan's Upper Peninsula in 1983 was a milestone for Native American gambling, has died at age 84.

Dakota, a former leader of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, died Monday at his home in Baraga, according to Reid Funeral Service. The cause was not disclosed.

Tribal offices were closed Friday, the day of the funeral, along with Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College. Ojibwa Casino locations in Baraga and Marquette were closed for much of the afternoon.

Updated September 16, 2021 at 8:24 PM ET

Early Tuesday morning, Melissa Breyer set out to do her usual volunteer work — collecting the bodies of migratory birds who had died colliding with skyscrapers in downtown Manhattan.

Updated September 12, 2021 at 11:39 PM ET

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Nicholas headed toward the Texas coast Sunday night, threatening to bring heavy rain and floods to coastal areas of Texas, Mexico and storm-battered Louisiana.

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Pope Francis urged Hungary on Sunday to "extend its arms towards everyone," in a veiled critique of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's anti-migrant policies as the pontiff opened a four-day visit to Central Europe, his first big international outing since undergoing intestinal surgery in July.

LIMA, Peru — Abimael Guzmán, the leader of the brutal Shining Path insurgency in Peru who was captured in 1992, died on Saturday in a military hospital after an illness, the Peruvian government said.

Guzmán, 86, died at 6:40 a.m. after suffering from an infection, Justice Minister Aníbal Torres said.

Guzmán, a former philosophy professor, launched an insurgency against the state in 1980 and presided over numerous car bombings and assassinations in the years that followed. Guzmán was captured in 1992 and sentenced in life in prison for terrorism and other crimes.

MOSCOW — Smoke alarms went off at the Russian segment of the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday, and the crew reported noticing smoke and the smell of burnt plastic.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the incident took place in the Russian-built Zvezda module and occurred as the station's batteries were being recharged.

According to Roscosmos, the crew activated air filters and returned to their "night rest" once the air quality was back to normal. The crew will proceed with a space walk Thursday as planned, the agency noted.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida's new "anti-riot" law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as a way to quell violent protests is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The 90-page decision by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee found the recently-enacted law "vague and overbroad" and amounted to an assault on First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly as well as the Constitution's due process protections.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans in the Michigan House Oversight committee criticized the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency acting director on Thursday, asking her to address how the agency has failed residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mass unemployment spread nationally during the pandemic and in Michigan the state unemployment agency has paid out $38 billion dollars to 2.4 million Michigan workers since the beginning of the pandemic, according to acting director Liza Estlund Olson.

The University of Michigan is being sued by people who say they were sexually assaulted by a campus doctor.

The school is accused of violating Michigan law by limiting the number of people who can speak at public meetings held by its governing board. Victims of the late Dr. Robert Anderson say they were denied a chance to speak at a July meeting.

LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears' father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer's life and money for 13 years.

James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court.

"As Mr. Spears has said again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter," the document says. "If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance."

Updated September 6, 2021 at 8:03 PM ET

NEW YORK — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on "The Wire" created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday.

Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54.

His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death.

LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. — President Joe Biden approved major disaster declarations Monday greenlighting federal aid for people in six New Jersey counties and five New York counties affected by devastating flooding last week from the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

At least 50 people were killed in six Eastern states as record rainfall last Wednesday overwhelmed rivers and sewer systems. Some people were trapped in fast-filling basement apartments and cars, or swept away as they tried to escape. The storm also spawned several tornadoes.

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