Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment


Cruz finishes third in NH primary, Bush fourth

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has finished third in the New Hampshire primary behind winner Donald Trump and runner-up John Kasich.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush finished in fourth place, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finished behind him in fifth.

Trump led the field, beating Kasich, the sitting Ohio governor, by nearly 20 points.

Cruz came in third, leading Bush by less than a percentage point. Rubio trailed Bush by less than a percentage point.


Bush's brother appears in new radio ad

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Jeb Bush's campaign is unveiling a radio ad Wednesday in South Carolina featuring Jeb Bush's famous presidential brother, George W. Bush.

The former president says "There's no doubt in my mind that Jeb Bush will be a great commander-in-chief for our military."

George W. Bush has been enlisted to campaign for his brother in South Carolina, where Jeb Bush is making eight campaign stops in the state over the next three days following a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire.

The 60-second ad, "Steady Hand, will air throughout the state.


UPDATE: Sharpton, Sanders dine at Harlem restaurant

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton says he met one-on-one with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Wednesday at a Harlem landmark, where they discussed issues that affect the African-American community around the country.

Sharpton says, "I think it is very important that he sent the signal that on the morning after a historic victory...he would come to Harlem and have breakfast with me."

Sharpton says the two men talked at Sylvia's Restaurant about affirmative action, police brutality and the water disaster in Flint.

Sharpton adds that he and various heads of national civil rights organizations plan to meet with Clinton next week.

He says he won't endorse a candidate until after that meeting with Clinton.


NEW: Clinton allies forming group to protect, register voters

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Allies of Hillary Clinton are forming a new $25 million political organization that aims to expand voter protection and drive turnout and registration among Latino and black voters. Those voters will be essential to her Democratic presidential campaign.

The new group is called Every Citizen Counts. It's beginning its work as Clinton faces a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won an overwhelming victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Sanders is hoping to build support among black and Hispanic voters who have been loyal to Clinton.

Organizers say the group will not be involved in the primaries. It will be advised by Guy Cecil, a former Clinton campaign staffer who runs Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a Clinton supporter, is also involved.


NEW: US says Russian campaign in Syria helping the Islamic State

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says Russia's counterterrorism campaign in Syria is actually helping the Islamic State.

Brett McGurk, the Obama administration's point-man for defeating the group, says a Russian-backed offensive in northern Syria is targeting rebel fighters who were battling the Islamic State and who now have to face the Syrian military.

McGurk tells the House Foreign Affairs Committee, "What Russia's doing is directly enabling ISIL."

He says Russia is strengthening the Syria's government, worsening a humanitarian crisis and fueling extremism.

McGurk, who will meet Russian and other diplomats at a conference on Syria later this week, called the developments "totally unacceptable."


Obama administration struggles to craft ceasefire in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Munich on Wednesday in search of a compromise with other world powers that could end Syria's civil war. It's not the first time he's tried, and the administration is being pressed by all sides to clarify its strategy.

The Obama administration has become increasingly torn between its loyalty to Turkey as a NATO ally and to its longtime Arab partner, Saudi Arabia. Then there's the cold pragmatism of Russia. The result has been a confusing mix of shifting priorities that have exposed the U.S. policy toward Syria that few understand and even fewer see working.

Kerry said, "we will approach this meeting in Munich with great hopes that this will be a telling moment."


NEW: NATO ministers approve new multinational force for east

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO defense ministers have approved a new multinational force to beef up defenses of frontline alliance members most at risk from Russia, the alliance's secretary general says.

Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday the new unit will be multinational and will rotate in and out of Eastern European member states rather than being based there. He said military planners will decide on its composition during the spring.

The new force's multinational composition, Stoltenberg said, will make it clear that for NATO, "an attack on one ally will be an attack on the whole alliance."


Ferguson mayor says amended agreement is best offer

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Ferguson's mayor says the embattled city is not trying to reopen negotiations with the U.S. Department of Justice by amending a consent decree. Lawsuit or not, Mayor James Knowles says the revised agreement is Ferguson's best offer.

After seven months of negotiations, Ferguson and the Justice Department announced a consent agreement in January aimed at improving the St. Louis suburb's police and court practices. On Tuesday, the Ferguson City Council voted unanimously to adopt the agreement, but with seven amendments.

Key changes approved by the city would drop a requirement for police pay raises, and include a stipulation that if another agency takes over police or other duties in the future, it would not be subject to the provisions of the settlement.

Knowles said Wednesday that the financial burden of the original agreement was simply too heavy.


NEW: Alabama health agency confirms first Zika case in state

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama health officials say they've confirmed the first travel-related case of the Zika virus in the state.

The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a statement Wednesday saying a resident of Morgan County in the Tennessee Valley tested positive for the virus.

Acting State Health Officer Tom Miller says more cases probably will show up in Alabama.

The Zika virus spreads through a certain type of mosquito. It moved quickly through Latin America before showing up in the United States, most often in people who have traveled.

Federal and state officials say cases of the virus have been confirmed in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

The virus is suspected of causing a defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.


VW recalls 680,000 vehicles with suspect air bag inflators

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Automaker Volkswagen says it is recalling 680,000 vehicles with suspect air bag inflators in the United States.

Volkswagen says it has notified the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the upcoming action involving VW vehicles from model years 2006 to 2014 and that it plans to notify the owners of all affected vehicles.

Volkswagen said in a statement Wednesday that it had been notified by the agency that some drivers' side air bag inflators in Volkswagen vehicles could be defective.

Millions of cars have been recalled worldwide over air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata that have shot metal fragments into vehicle occupants.