SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A New York man charged with trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen is scheduled to appear before a federal judge to change his plea.
Thomas George Paculis was to appear Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Savannah, where he pleaded not guilty during his last hearing in July.
Court records filed last week say 62-year-old Paculis of Newfield, N.Y., has signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. But details have not been released.
Prosecutors and Paculis' defense attorney have declined to comment.
Authorities say Paculis contacted Deen's attorney threatening to reveal damaging statements by the former Food Network star unless she paid him $200,000. That happened after documents became public that showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. (AP) - Two New Jersey officials say 16 workers from a county garage in Toms River have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department Director Jim Pine and Freeholder Jack Kelly say the employees have the ticket sold at an Acme Markets store in Little Egg Harbor.
Pine says they're a group of "wonderful, hardworking people," who showed up for work on Thursday.
Paul White, a 45 year old project engineer from Ham Lake, Minn., claimed his third of the jackpot Thursday. He's taking a lump sum, which will amount to $58.3 million after taxes.
The holder of the third ticket, also from New Jersey, hasn't come forward yet. That ticket was sold in a supermarket in central New Jersey.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — The State Department has warned Americans not to travel to Pakistan and evacuated nonessential government personnel from the country's second largest city because of a specific threat to the consulate there, a U.S. official said Friday.
The move was not related to the threat of an al-Qaida attack that prompted Washington to close temporarily 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East and Africa.
According to U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Meghan Gregonis, the U.S. is shifting its nonessential staff from the consulate in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore to the capital, Islamabad.
Emergency personnel will stay in Lahore, and embassy officials do not know when the consulate will reopen, she said.
"We received information regarding a threat to the consulate," said Gregonis. "As a precautionary measure, we are undertaking a drawdown of all except emergency personnel."
The consulate in Lahore was already scheduled to be closed for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr from Thursday through Sunday.
The personnel drawdown at the Lahore consulate was precautionary and wasn't related to the recent closures of numerous U.S. diplomatic missions in the Muslim world, said two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the order.
Earlier this week, 19 U.S. diplomatic outposts in 16 countries in the Middle East and Africa were closed to the public through Saturday and nonessential personnel were evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Yemen after U.S. intelligence officials said they had intercepted a recent message from al-Qaida's top leader about plans for a major terror attack.
None of the consulates in Pakistan or the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad were affected by the earlier closures.
On Thursday, the State Department issued a travel warning saying the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups posed a potential danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan.
The country has faced a bloody insurgency by the Pakistani Taliban and their allies in recent years that has killed over 40,000 civilians and security personnel, and is also believed to be home base for al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Most of the militant attacks have been in the northwest and southwest along the border with Afghanistan.
Gunmen killed six people and wounded 15 others Friday in an attack on a former lawmaker outside a mosque in Quetta, the capital of southwest Baluchistan province, said police officer Bashir Ahmad Barohi. The lawmaker escaped unharmed. A day earlier, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 30 people at a police funeral in Quetta.
Pakistan's major cities, including Lahore, have also experienced periodic attacks.
A powerful bomb exploded at a busy market street in Lahore in early July, killing at least four people and wounding nearly 50.
Lahore is considered Pakistan's cultural capital and has a population of at least 10 million people.
A CIA contractor shot to death two Pakistanis in Lahore in January 2011 who he said were trying to rob him. The incident severely damaged relations between Pakistan and the U.S. The contractor, Raymond Davis, was released by Pakistan in March 2011 after the families of the victims were paid over $2 million.
Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.