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MICKY BEDELL Tasha Blanchard of South Hadley laughs during a cosplay "Jeopardy!" game at In-CON-Ceivable 2015 on Saturday at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton. Blanchard cosplayed as Midnight Ahri from League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena game.

Local Fantasy and Science Fiction convention welcomes all

Saturday, August 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Characters from anime, manga and comic books leapt out of fiction and into reality over the weekend to take over the Clarion Hotel during the In-CON-Ceivable fantasy and science fiction convention. Dozens of people dressed in elaborate costumes roamed the halls of the hotel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to enjoy panels, games, vendor booths and contests. The …

Europe’s migrant crisis brings new death by land and sea

Saturday, August 29, 2015

VIENNA — Death and desperation mounted in Europe’s migrant crisis Friday as Austrian police said 71 people appeared to have suffocated in the back of an abandoned truck, while an estimated 200 people were feared drowned off Libya when two overloaded boats capsized. More than 300,000 people have sought to cross the Mediterranean …

Gunman in TV killings remembered as ‘professional victim’

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ROANOKE, Va. — Vester Flanagan constantly saw himself as the target in his conflicts with WDBJ-TV colleagues, leading his former boss to describe him as a “professional victim.” When the station tried to persuade Flanagan to get along better with his co-workers, he accused them of discrimination. “He was victimized by everything and …

Koreas resolve dispute

Monday, August 24, 2015

SEOUL, South Korea — After 40-plus-hours of talks, North and South Korea on Tuesday pulled back from the brink with an accord that allows both sides to save face and, for the moment, avert the bloodshed they’ve been …

Man describes tackling La. police shooting suspect

Monday, August 24, 2015

LAKE CHARLES, La. — It was a scene that probably would have made most people run the other way: a bloodied state police trooper lying on the asphalt by the side of a Louisiana country road, the lights …

Wash. recruits overseas help to battle record wildfires

Monday, August 24, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. (ap) — As Washington state’s wildfires burned into the record books Monday, calls for help were answered from far and near. Fire managers from New Zealand and Australia arrived to contribute to a ground campaign led …

Teens seeking deals, individual styles for back to school

Monday, August 24, 2015

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. — Giulia Pugliese is a typical teenager. She likes to look good, and she’s particular about what she wears. But when The Associated Press followed the 15-year-old from Long Island on a recent back-to-school shopping …

Train heroes to receive Legion of Honor

Monday, August 24, 2015

PARIS — Three American travelers say they relied on gut instinct and a close bond forged over years of friendship as they took down a heavily armed man on a passenger train speeding through Belgium. U.S. Airman Spencer …

Koreas look to pull back from brink

Sunday, August 23, 2015

PYONGYANG, North Korea — South Korea’s president on Monday vowed a hard line and signaled Seoul’s mounting frustration as marathon negotiations by senior officials from the rival Koreas stretched into a third day. Park Geun-hye said that without …

Islamists blow up Palmyra temple

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BEIRUT — Islamic State militants have destroyed a temple at Syria’s ancient ruins of Palmyra, activists said Sunday, realizing the worst fears archaeologists had for the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city after the extremists seized it and beheaded a local …

La. state trooper shot in head in traffic stop

Sunday, August 23, 2015

LAKE CHARLES, La. — A Louisiana state trooper was shot in the head and critically injured Sunday afternoon during a struggle with a man whose pickup truck had run into a ditch after being reported as driving erratically, Louisiana State Police said. Other drivers stopped to help Senior …

Barak’s Iran bombshell thrusts ex-Israeli PM back into spotlight

Sunday, August 23, 2015

JERUSALEM — Former Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s comments that Israel nearly attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities but the plan was scuttled by military men and cowardly politicians could shake up Israeli politics. The leaked interview, in which Barak also …

Boaters map Pacific garbage, offer report

Sunday, August 23, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO — Far away from California’s coast, where the Pacific Ocean currents swirl, the blue of the sea was replaced by fishing nets, buckets, buoys, laundry baskets and unidentifiable pieces of plastic that floated past the Ocean …