News in Brief for Jan. 8

New Hampshire ticket sole winner in Powerball jackpot

MERRIMACK, N.H. (AP) — It’s been a billion-dollar lottery weekend after a lone Powerball ticket sold in New Hampshire matched all six numbers and will claim a $559.7 million jackpot, one day after another single ticket sold in Florida nabbed a $450 million Mega Millions grand prize.

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Since Reeds Ferry Market opened at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, dozens of excited regulars have stopped by the small, independent convenience store in New Hampshire that sold the winning Powerball ticket to congratulate the owner and chat about the win, store owner Sam Safa said.

He said he doesn’t know the identity of the winner, but hopes one of the regulars from the over 100-year-old store in Merrimack won the nation’s eighth-largest lottery jackpot.

“I’m very excited and overwhelmed,” said Safa.

He said that by selling the ticket, it felt like he himself had won.

The store will receive a $75,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The winning Powerball numbers drawn Saturday night were 12-29-30-33-61 and Powerball 26.

Battle looms for Syrian province after IS defeat

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces and allied militiamen are advancing on the largest remaining rebel-held territory in the country’s north, forcing thousands of civilians to flee toward the border with Turkey in freezing winter temperatures.

The offensive on Idlib — a large province in northwestern Syria packed with civilians and dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants — was expected after the defeat of the Islamic State group late last year.

Last week, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the main military operations against IS in Syria have ended and signaled that the focus would shift to al-Qaida-linked militants.

The Idlib offensive carries significant risks.

The province bordering Turkey is home to more than 2.6 million Syrians, according to the U.N., including more than 1.1 million who fled fighting elsewhere in the country. A full-blown government offensive could cause large-scale destruction and massive displacement.

Turkey, a supporter of the rebels, has deployed military observers in the province as part of a de-escalation deal with Iran and Russia, but that has not stopped the fighting on the ground or Russian airstrikes against the insurgents.

‘Falling apart?’ Trump’s insults not forgotten in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — When President Donald Trump swoops into Atlanta for a VIP seat at college football’s biggest game, he’ll enjoy the Southern hospitality of a city he disparaged a year ago as “falling apart” and “crime infested.”

The insults tweeted by Trump a week before his inauguration may seem like ancient history to most Americans who follow the president’s voluminous stream of online invective. But Atlanta hasn’t forgotten.

“It was very personal because we live here and we love it,” said Stephanie Langer, a 40-year-old East Atlanta resident whose anger over the president’s putdowns was rekindled by news of his pending visit.

“I guess it’s just ironic that he’s coming here,” she said. “I guess things must have improved.”

Trump plans to be among 72,000 attending the College Football Playoff Championship game tonight between Georgia and Alabama.

Judge aims to referee fight over Manson’s remains

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The fight over the body and possessions of apocalyptic cult leader Charles Manson has fragmented into at least three camps competing over an estate that could cash in on songs he wrote that were used by The Beach Boys and Guns N’ Roses.

Manson, 83, died in November nearly a half-century after he orchestrated the 1969 killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and eight other people.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday will try to sort out at least two conflicting wills and claims by a purported son, grandson and pen pal who all seek control of an estate that includes commercial rights to his name, image and mementos that can fetch thousands of dollars from “murderabilia” collectors.

“We think Manson’s worth more than anyone realizes,” said Mike Smith, a music agent for a man who claims Manson fathered him during an orgy. “There’s a lot of money there.”

The hearing seeks to name an attorney to administer Manson’s estate on behalf of purported grandson Jason Freeman, who claims to be the rightful next of kin. Court documents show Freeman is the son of the late Charles Manson Jr. and the grandson of Charles Manson and his first wife, Rosalie Willis.

‘Jumanji,’ ‘Insidious’ top ‘Star Wars’ in its fourth weekend

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Move over, “Star Wars,” there are some new box office champs this weekend. “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” has topped the charts after three weekends in theaters, and newcomer “Insidious: The Last Key” opened in second, pushing “The Last Jedi” into third place.

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Columbia Pictures says Sunday that the Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart-led “Jumanji” is estimated to have earned an additional $36 million this weekend, bringing its total to $244.4 million.

“This is all about ‘Jumanji’s’ staying power,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for box office tracker comScore. “This is a movie that was overshadowed by all the excitement around ‘The Last Jedi,’ and yet ‘Jumanji’ just kept plugging away and drawing audiences throughout the holiday … This is kind of unheard of for a movie this size.”

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