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    Kansas City-area businessman Greg Orman's name will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as an independent candidate for Kansas governor, presenting a new obstacle to Democratic efforts to defeat conservative Kris Kobach in November. The state Secretary of State's office on Friday posted a short statement saying Orman had presented enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot along with his running mate, John Doll. Orman, 49, will face Democratic State Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka and Kobach, whose nomination was only settled this week after Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded in a primary with a razor-thin margin of some 350 votes out of more than 316,000 cast. Orman says he's in the race to win and rejects suggestions that his role will be as a spoiler who complicates Democrats' efforts to recapture the governor's office after eight years of Republicnas. Democrats were gearing up for a potential legal challenge to Orman's filing. Many Democrats have worried that Orman will pull votes away from Kelly, 68, making it far easier for Kobach, who is the secretary of state. The GOP began a clean sweep of statewide and congressional races in 2010. But the state also has a solid bloc of moderate GOP and independent voters and a history over the past 50 years of alternating between electing Republican and Democratic governors. Orman says he can build a coalition starting with voters upset with both parties, and he cites the value of having an independent governor who will lack 'natural political enemies.' Kobach, 52, is a favorite of President Donald Trump and has a national conservative following thanks to his strong stance against illegal immigration and his fervent defense of voter ID laws. Orman ran as an independent against U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in 2014 and did so well in initial polling that the Democratic candidate dropped out to create a better chance of toppling the veteran Republican. Orman lost by 10.5 percentage points after Roberts got campaign help from several GOP stalwarts, including Sarah Palin, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul. Orman made the ballot by submitting more than 10,000 signatures in early August. He needed 5,000 valid signatures to qualify. On Orman's website, he says he supports stronger background checks for gun buyers, ending the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines, setting a minimum age of 21 to buy an AR-15 or other semi-automatic weapon and requiring training and licensing for a concealed-carry permit. Orman said he supports the Second Amendment but would like to revisit which types of arms Americans have a right to own, During the 2014 Senate race, Orman described himself as 'pro-choice' and said abortion policy was a matter of settled law and the nation should move on. Orman's running mate Doll is from Garden City and left the Republican Party to run for lieutenant governor. An independent candidate for governor last came close to winning in 1932. Orman graduated from Princeton in 1991 and founded Environmental Light Concepts, a firm that designed and installed energy-efficient lighting systems for commercial and industrial use. The company had more than 120 employees when a majority of it was sold to Kansas City Power and Light in 1996. After a stint with KCP&L, Orman co-founded Denali Partners, a private equity firm, and later became managing member of Exemplar Holdings LLC, which oversees several innovation companies.
  • Stan Lee's restraining order against a former business manager has been extended for three years. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge approved the move Friday, ordering Keya Morgan to stay away from the Marvel Comics mogul and his family. The order makes permanent a previous temporary restraining order Lee's lawyers had received. It's another step toward restoring stability for the 95-year-old Lee, who has been the subject of a power struggle involving his daughter, Morgan, and others who sought roles in his life and business. Lee's lawyer Jonathan Freund says Lee's family is pleased he can move forward without being bothered or harassed, and that his previously deteriorating health is improving. Morgan's attorney, Alex Kessel, says Morgan has never done anything harmful to Lee, and never will.
  • Martin Truex Jr. says his return to his championship-winning race team is dependent on sponsorship. Truex is locked in a fierce battle with former NASCAR champions Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick in his push to defend last year's Cup Series title. His Furniture Row Racing team is in the mix even though the future of the No. 78 team is in flux. Furniture Row is seeking a primary sponsor for next year, and does not have contracts with Truex or manufacturer Toyota. Truex said Friday he hopes to have a better idea on what his future holds in the next few weeks. But he stressed his situation with Colorado-based Furniture Row is heavily dependent on owner Barney Visser finding a primary sponsor. ___ More AP Auto Racing: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Environmentalists have lost their latest legal bid to block a major redevelopment project at a Lake Tahoe-area ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Placer County Superior Court Judge Michael W. Jones rejected Sierra Watch's claims this week that the expansion of the Village at Squaw Valley would violate the California Environmental Quality Act. He ruled in favor of Squaw Valley Real Estate and Placer County's approval in November 2016 of the project's Environmental Impact Report that the opponents said was inadequate. The project would add about 1,500 lodging units, an indoor recreation area and commercial space on about 93 acres (38 hectares) of mostly developed land in Olympic Valley between Truckee and Tahoe City, California. It also would add thousands of additional vehicles to the roads in and around the valley. 'The court's unequivocal ruling in favor of Placer County demonstrates that Sierra Watch's claims were false, there was no CEQA violation as it relates to the Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment plan,' said Whit Manley, a lawyer for Squaw Valley Real Estate and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. 'Sierra Watch employed false and inflated claims to divide and damage the broader Squaw Alpine community,' added Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Judge Jones ruled Aug. 13 the project is outside the Tahoe Basin, rejecting Sierra Watch's claims that it must be evaluated against development standards inside the basin. He concluded that the environmental assessment adequately assessed traffic, emergency evacuation, climate change and noise impacts. Sierra Watch leaders say they intend to appeal. 'This setback in our Squaw CEQA case is temporary; our commitment to the Sierra is timeless,' the group said on its web site.
  • Al-Qaida's chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, who was behind the 2009 Christmas Day plot to down an airliner over Detroit and other foiled aviation-related terror attacks, was killed in a U.S. drone strike, Yemeni officials and a tribal leader said Friday. The killing of al-Asiri deals a heavy blow to the group's capabilities in striking western targets and piles pressure on the group that already lost some of its top cadres over the past years in similar drone strikes. A Yemeni security official said that al-Asiri is dead; a tribal leader and an al-Qaida-linked source also said that he was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the eastern Yemeni governorate of Marib. The tribal leader said that al-Asiri was struck, along with two or four of his associates, as he stood beside his car. He added that al-Asiri's wife, who hails from the well-known al-Awaleq tribe in the southern governorate of Shabwa, was briefly held months ago by the UAE-backed forces and later released. Al-Qaida itself has remained silent about its top bomb maker. Instead of the typical 'eulogies' on militant websites, the Yemeni source said the group is trying to hunt down suspected 'spies' who might have tipped off the U.S. on his whereabouts leading up to the strike. The security official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to brief reporters. The tribal leader and al-Qaida-linked source requested anonymity fearing for their safety. The confirmation of al-Asiri's death follows a U.N. report this week saying that the 36-year-old Saudi national, who is among U.S.'s top most wanted militants, may have been killed in the second half of 2017. Al-Asiri is believed to have built the underwear bomb that a Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, tried to detonate on a passenger jet over Detroit in December 2009. He is also behind bombs hidden in printer cartridges placed on U.S.-bound cargo jets in 2010. U.S. intelligence over the past years believed that al-Asiri and his confederates were constantly working to improve their bomb designs so that they could get past airport security. In July 2014, the Transportation Security Administration banned uncharged mobile phones and laptops from flights to the United States that originated from Europe and the Middle East. Al-Asiri, who studied chemistry in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, even once placed explosives inside his younger brother's clothes in a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's interior minister, Mohammed bin Nayef, in 2009. The brother, Abdullah, died in the explosion while the top U.S. counterterrorism ally was slightly wounded. The U.S. has long viewed the al-Qaida's Yemeni branch as its most dangerous affiliate, in part because of al-Asiri's expertise in explosives. Since 2014, the U.S. has offered $5 million for information leading to his capture. He is thought to have escaped death many times in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen. Al-Asiri's last known statement was a 2016 audio message threatening Saudi Arabia and the U.S. after the kingdom killed 47 al-Qaida suspects in one of its largest mass executions since 1980. Vowing to continue battling America, he said at the time that the Saudis would be dealt with in a 'different way,' without elaborating. Wanted by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Interpol, al-Asiri fled his native Saudi Arabia — home of 15 of the 19 suspected hijackers in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — for Yemen, along with other militants escaping a crackdown in the kingdom. Once in Yemen, they merged with local al-Qaida militants who escaped from a Yemeni prison in 2006 to form Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Since 2015, al-Qaida has exploited the turmoil in Yemen as a Saudi-led coalition imposed an air, land, and sea blockade and waged war on Yemen's Iranian-aligned rebels, known as Houthis, who gained control of the capital, Sanaa, forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee the country. Amid the chaos, AQAP has expanded its territory, occupied entire cities, looted security camps, banks, and collected taxes from locals. The Saudi-led coalition, and in particular its key member the United Arab Emiratis, later claimed to have defeated al-Qaida and forced it to pull out of the territories under its control. An Associated Press investigation however revealed that the coalition struck a series of deals with al-Qaida, offering tribal leaders cash to pay off militants to give up territory without fighting, something both the U.S., the UAE, and al-Qaida have denied. The U.N. report on Monday, which first raised allegations that al-Asiri may have been killed, also said that al-Qaida's global network 'continues to show resilience,' with its affiliates and allies much stronger than the Islamic State group in some places, including Somalia, Yemen, South Asia and Africa's Sahel region. It added that Yemen's lack of a strong central government 'has provided a fertile environment for' AQAP's expansion and estimated its strength inside Yemen at between 6,000 and 7,000 fighters — compared to IS militants who only number between 250 to 500 fighters. Al-Qaida's top havens in Yemen are in the central Bayda and eastern Marib provinces. But since 2015, it has suffered heavy losses in leadership as U.S. drone strikes killed off top cadres, including co-founder Nasser al-Wahishi, who was Osama bin Laden top aide. Veteran al-Qaida leader, Qassim al-Rimi, succeeded al-Wahishi. ___ Al-Haj reported from Sanaa, Yemen.
  • An appeals court on Friday told a judge to take another look at whether a Montana fish should be protected, saying that U.S. wildlife officials did not consider all environmental factors when it decided against designating the Arctic grayling as a threatened or endangered species. The three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon's 2016 ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision not to list Montana's Arctic grayling as threatened or endangered was based on the best available science. Wildlife officials' conclusion that the grayling population was increasing was wrong because they did not take into account data that showed the fish's population in the Big Hole River was declining, the judges said in their decision. The federal agency also acted arbitrarily and capriciously in dismissing the threats of high stream temperatures, low stream flows and climate change to the grayling population, the judges ruled. Those factors put grayling in Montana in danger of extinction, said Jenny Harbine, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued force federal protections for the fish. 'The service had blown off the threat to grayling from warmer water temperatures, but the court found they had no legitimate reason to do so,' Harbine said. 'Arctic grayling are a cold water fish but as we know increasing summer temperatures, earlier spring runoff and reduced snow pack have impacted the water temperatures in almost all of Montana's rivers.' The wildlife advocacy group says in its lawsuit that climate change will only make conditions worse without federal protections in place. Those protections would restrict land and water use in and around the grayling's habitat. Fish and wildlife service spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland said her agency is reviewing the ruling and has no comment. Arctic grayling, a relative of trout known for their sail-like dorsal fin, are also found in Alaska and Canada, but the court case only affects the fish's Montana population. In Montana, grayling now occupy just 10 percent of the 1,250 miles (2,011 kilometers) of streams in the upper Missouri River basin that they historically inhabited. In 2010, the fish and wildlife service determined that that Arctic grayling in Montana warranted federal protection, but other species took precedence. Four years later, they said the fish did not warrant listing as threatened or endangered because additional populations had been found and nearly all were stable or improving. The 2014 decision also factored in a state program that worked with landowners to improve water flows and fish habitat along the Big Hole River, where irrigation had threatened one of the grayling's last refuges in the state. Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, then touted the program and keeping the grayling off the endangered species list as a success story. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on the court ruling. ___ AP writer Matthew Brown in Billings, Montana, contributed to this report.
  • Yemen's al-Qaida branch denied on Friday an Associated Press report saying it struck secret deals over territories it controls with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in the country. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula — considered the terror group's most dangerous branch after failed attacks on U.S. soil — said in a statement posted on its Telegram channel that the report 'lacks evidence, reality, or credibility.' It added that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cooperated with the U.S. using 'the dirtiest means,' which the group said it would uncover soon. The statement comes after the AP outlined how Emirati forces have integrated al-Qaida members into the ranks of newly formed militias that currently control most of southern Yemen. The Associated Press stands by its reporting, a spokesman said.
  • The Latest on the trial of Paul Manafort (all times local): 2:55 p.m. The jury in former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's fraud trial has submitted a note to the court asking to stop deliberations half an hour early Friday. Normally they leave at 5:30 p.m., but the note asked to leave at 5 p.m. The judge read the note aloud in court. The jury deliberated for a second day Friday. On Thursday, the jury ended its first day of deliberations with a series of questions to the judge, including a request to 'redefine' reasonable doubt. Manafort is accused of hiding from the IRS millions that he made advising Russia-backed politicians in Ukraine, and then lying to banks to get loans when the money dried up. He faces 18 felony counts on tax evasion and bank fraud. ___ 2:25 p.m. The judge presiding over the fraud trial of former Trump campaign Paul Manafort says he won't release the names of jurors at the trial's conclusion because he fears for their safety and because he himself has received threats. A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a motion requesting the names of jurors after the trial, as well as access to sealed transcripts of bench conferences that have occurred during the three-week trial. Jury lists are presumed to be public unless a judge articulates a reason for keeping them secret. Judge T.S. Eliis III said during a hearing Friday afternoon he is concerned for the 'peace and safety of the jurors.' He said that he personally has received threats and is currently under the protection of U.S. marshals. He declined to delve into specifics, but said he's been taken aback by the level of interest in the trial. __ 11:15 a.m. President Donald Trump is calling Paul Manafort a 'very good person' as a jury deliberates in the tax and bank fraud trial of the former Trump campaign chairman. Trump said Friday at the White House that it was 'a very sad day for our country.' He said Manafort 'worked for me for a very short period of time,' but added 'I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort.' The jury began its second day of deliberations Friday. Prosecutors say Manafort hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS, money he made advising politicians in Ukraine. When the Ukrainian money dried up, they say he lied on loan applications to maintain his cash flow. Defense lawyers say the government failed to prove its case. ___ 10:15 a.m. The Associated Press and five other media organizations are asking the trial judge in the financial fraud trial of Paul Manafort to unseal the closed documents being used in the case. The media coalition asked U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III to allow them to intervene in the case to make the request. After empaneling the jury Friday morning, Ellis said he was inclined to allow the media group to intervene and scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Friday. In addition to The AP, the other media outlets are the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC and BuzzFeed, Inc. Ellis said he had already planned to unseal all materials 'save one exception' after the trial ended. ___ 9:30 a.m. The jury has begun its second day of deliberations in the tax and bank fraud trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Judge T.S. Ellis III sent the jury of six men and six women back to resume deliberations Friday shortly after 9:30 a.m. The jury concluded its first day of deliberations Thursday with a series of questions to the judge. Among other items, the jury requested details on the definition of reasonable doubt. Ellis basically reiterated the instructions the jury had already received. Prosecutors say he hid tens of millions of dollars in foreign income from the IRS by advising politicians in Ukraine. Then, when they Ukrainian money dried up, they say he lied on loan applications to maintain his cash flow. Defense lawyers say the government failed to prove its case and that Manafort relied on underlings to handle his finances.
  • Federal regulators have served Facebook with a complaint alleging the company's advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination. Justice Department lawyers disclosed the complaint by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday in a court filing made in a lawsuit brought against Facebook by advocacy groups last spring. The lawsuit says Facebook's systems allow people placing real estate ads to exclude certain audiences from seeing them, like families with young children or disabled people. In its filing Friday, the Justice Department took the side of the advocates, saying the company was enabling advertisers to violate housing laws. It said HUD served its administrative complaint Tuesday. A Facebook spokesman says the company doesn't allow discrimination and has strengthened its systems to prevent misuse.
  • Lane Kiffin knew very little about Conference USA before he became Florida Atlantic's head coach. Same for Butch Davis at Florida International. The high-profile coaches made immediate impacts in their new league, and at their new schools not all that far apart. FAU is the preseason favorite to repeat as league champs after a school-record 11 wins and its first C-USA title. The Owls, coming off three consecutive 3-9 seasons, overcame a 1-3 start last season and now and carry a 10-game winning streak into their 2018 opener at Oklahoma. FIU went 8-5, doubling its win total from the previous season for the team's first winning record since joining the conference in 2013. 'Way better than people think that it is,' Davis said about C-USA. 'The level of the coaches in this conference, there's some damn good football coaches in just about every place. ... There's a lot more talent, there's a lot of really good athletes in this conference.' Kiffin, who spent the previous three seasons with Nick Saban at Alabama, had a similar impression about a league that had 10 bowl-eligible teams and sent nine to postseason games (only the SEC and ACC has more). 'Especially (when) you've got some games where they're basically assuming that you're going to lose early in the year, to be able to still have that many teams bowl-eligible again speaks to the players, but to the coaches, too,' Kiffin said. Rick Stockstill is the longest-tenured C-USA coach, going into his 13th season at Middle Tennessee. This is Doc Holliday's ninth season at Marshall. Louisiana Tech has won bowl games each of the past four seasons under coach Skip Holtz, while North Texas has played in bowls both seasons since former North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell became its coach. Mike Sanford Jr. was Notre Dame's offensive coordinator before going to Western Kentucky last year. The whole league will be watching when FAU opens at Oklahoma, the preseason favorite to win its fourth consecutive Big 12 title after being in the College Football Playoff last season. So what if the Owls could pull off an upset Sept. 1? 'That would do a ton for the program, and for the conference, and Group of Five,' Kiffin said. 'We've got a very tough schedule, we're not putting everything into that game. Then all of a sudden you don't win that game and ... you start losing games that you should win.' FATHER-SON FINALE Middle Tennessee quarterback Brent Stockstill remembers being a little standoffish with the head coach when he first got to school there 'just to try to prove that I was there was a football player and not because of (being) his son.' Stockstill goes into his senior season already as the Blue Raiders career leader in touchdown passes (77) and 300-yard passing games (14). 'It's everything that I wanted it to be, and more,' said the younger Stockstill, who plans to be a coach like his dad. 'We've grown closer and closer and really tried to just do it the right way and show people that it's a special opportunity.' Rick Stockstill said it's hard to put into words how much he's enjoyed the time coaching his son. THE FAVORITES East Division: Florida Atlantic returns 15 starters, including running back Devin Singletary and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, the preseason C-USA offense and defensive players of the year. Singletary led the nation with 32 rushing touchdowns while running for 1,920 yards, and Al-Shaair had 147 tackles. The Owls will have a new starting quarterback — former Oklahoma player Chris Robison or DeAndre Johnson, by way of Florida State and East Mississippi Community College. West Division: Two of the losses by North Texas last season were to FAU, and both were lopsided — first in the regular season and then in the C-USA championship game. But the Mean Green were 7-0 against other C-USA opponents. Quarterback Mason Fine (school records of 4,052 yards passing and 31 TDs), last year's C-USA offensive player of the year, is among 17 returning starters. Top tackler E.J. Ejiya is also back. FAU visits Denton on Nov. 15, about two weeks before the league championship game. NEW COACHES Mike Bloomgren takes over at Rice as a first-time head coach after the past seven seasons as a Stanford assistant. The 41-year-old Bloomgren replaced two-time C-USA coach of the year David Baliff, fired after Rice finished 1-11 in his 11th season. New UTEP coach Dana Dimel was previously head coach at Wyoming (1997-99) and Houston (2000-02), and was an assistant at Kansas State, his alma mater, the past nine years. The Miners were the only Division I team that didn't win a game last season. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25