BC-AP News Digest 6 pm


Associated Press

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 5:30 PM

The world at 6 p.m. Times EDT.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Coralie Carlson, Suzanne Boyle McCrory, Richard Somma and Mike Stewart can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Dan Goodman (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP Content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

A selection of top photos can be found at http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos



— SPACE STATION — Spacecraft carrying US-Russian crew blasts off to International Space Station in quicker trip.

— DENTIST INVESTIGATION-TESTING — Health officials in Oklahoma urge HIV, hepatitis testing for 7,000 patients of Tulsa dentist.

— UN-ARMS TRADE TREATY — Chair suspends meeting after Iran, NKorea say they will block adoption of UN arms trade treaty.

— ARMY VETERAN-SYRIA — US Army veteran charged with fighting with al-Qaida in Syria, using weapon of mass destruction — a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

— UN-CONGO — UN authorizes a new brigade to take military action against rebels in eastern Congo.

— CLIMATE POLL — Poll: Americans favor adapting to global warming, but not to save beaches for coast dwellers.

— TV-WALTERS RETIREMENT — Person who works closely with Barbara Walters says she's retiring next year.



NEW YORK — For the second time in less than a month, the American stock market marches past another milepost on its long, turbulent journey back from the Great Recession, toppling another record left over from the days before government bailouts and failing investment banks. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at a new high Thursday, three weeks after another popular market gauge, the Dow Jones industrial average, obliterated its own closing record. By Business Writer Christina Rexrode.

AP photos, video.

— S&P 500 RECORD-Q&A.


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama appeals to Congress to not get "squishy" about imposing new curbs on firearms sales, but moderate senators in his own party are proving a tough sell for gun control advocates seeking support for a Senate vote on expanding background checks. By Alan Fram.

AP photos.

— OBAMA'S IOUS-HEALTH CARE — PROMISES, PROMISES: Test coming for Obama's vow to cover uninsured and protect Medicare.


JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela has been stricken by another lung infection, prompting doctors to hospitalize the 94-year-old former South African president and Nobel Peace laureate. A presidential spokesman says Mandela is responding positively to treatment and that doctors are acting with extreme caution because of the anti-apartheid leader's advanced age. By Christopher Torchia.

AP photos, video.


NEWTOWN, Conn. — On the day Adam Lanza carried out his deadly rampage, he left behind a house filled with firearms, knives and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Within five minutes of shooting his way into Sandy Hook Elementary, he fired 154 shots before turning a handgun on himself. Warrants released three months after the massacre reveal more about the troubled 20-year-old gunman and the day he massacred 20 children and six adults. By Michael Melia and Ted Shaffrey.

AP photos, video.

— CONNECTICUT SCHOOL SHOOTING-GLANCE — Highlights of search warrants.


SEOUL, South Korea — In a show of force following weeks of North Korean bluster, the U.S. takes the unprecedented step of announcing that two of its nuclear-capable B-2 bombers dropped dummy munitions on a South Korean island as part of joint military drills. The announcement is likely to further enrage Pyongyang, which has issued a flood of ominous statements to highlight displeasure over the drills and U.N. sanctions for its nuclear test. But there are signs that it is willing to go only so far. By Hyung-Jin Kim and Sam Kim.

AP photos.

— US-NORTH KOREA — U.S. defense secretary says B-2 flights are part of normal military exercises with South Korea, not a provocation.


As the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam 40 years ago, angry protesters still awaited them at home. North Vietnamese soldiers took heart from their foes' departure, and South Vietnamese who had helped the Americans feared for the future. While the fall of Saigon two years later — with its indelible images of frantic helicopter evacuations — is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, Friday marks an anniversary that holds greater meaning for many who fought, protested or otherwise lived it. By Lisa Cornwell and Gillian Flaccus.

AP photos, interactive.


WASHINGTON — Incoming college freshmen could end up paying $5,000 more for the same student loans their older siblings have if Congress doesn't stop interest rates from doubling. Sound familiar? The same warnings came last year. But now the presidential election is over and mandatory budget cuts are taking place, making a deal to avert a doubling of rates much more elusive. By Philip Elliott.


ROME — Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of a dozen inmates at a juvenile detention center in a Holy Thursday ritual that he celebrated for years as archbishop and is continuing now that he is pope. Two of the 12 were young women, a remarkable choice given that the church's current liturgical law says only men should participate. By Nicole Winfield.

AP photos, video.



WASHINGTON — American opinion on gay marriage has been swiftly shifting. Now Washington is tripping over itself trying to catch up. In less than two weeks, nine senators — most from conservative-leaning states — have announced their support. As the Supreme Court contemplated two landmark cases, even the GOP chairman warned Republicans not to "act like Old Testament heretics." By Josh Lederman.

AP photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — A majority of the Supreme Court indicated this week that it may not be ready to rule that all gay Americans have a constitutional right to wed. So what would that mean for same-sex couples in California, where the case the court is considering began with the passage of a gay marriage ban? By Lisa Leff.

AP photos.



NEW YORK — Government health officials launched the second round of a graphic, emotional ad campaign designed to get smokers off tobacco, saying they believe the last effort convinced tens of thousands to quit. By Medical Writer Mike Stobbe.

AP photos.


LANSING — A historic right-to-work law may be on the books in Michigan, but many union members considering opting out of paying dues or fees will have to wait. Terry Bowman, a 47-year-old Ford assembly line worker who likely will drop membership in his United Auto Workers local, cannot do so until 2015 when the collective bargaining agreement expires. Generally, though, already declining ranks of union members are expected to become thinner because of the law. By David Eggert and Mike Householder.

AP photos.


BOSTON — Mayor Thomas Menino wasn't the smoothest of political figures, but during his nearly two decades in office he earned a reputation of one of the hardest working, from filling potholes to shaping the city's skyline. On Thursday, Menino — beset with health problems — decided against seeking an unprecedented sixth term, saying during an emotional news conference that it was "a very difficult decision." By Steve LeBlanc and Bob Salsberg.

AP photos.



NICOSIA, Cyprus — There were long lines of people but no sign of trouble as banks in Cyprus opened for the first time in nearly two weeks following an international bailout that sought to prevent the country from financial ruin. The government imposed a daily limit on how much people can withdraw to stop a run on banks — the first such action in the history of the euro currency. Cypriots took the measure in their stride, aware that with their economy teetering on the edge of collapse, panic would make the situation worse. By Menelaos Hadjicostis.

AP photos, video.


PRETORIA, South Africa — Oscar Pistorius could compete at this year's world championships after a South African judge rules that the athlete, who faces a murder trial for the shooting death of his girlfriend, can travel overseas to run. The international athletics body says that if Pistorius qualifies, it has no objection to him running — an event that could dwarf the stir when he became the first double-amputee to compete at the Olympics. By Gerald Imray.

AP photos.


BEIRUT — Mortar shells slam into a cafeteria at Damascus University, killing at least 10 people in the deadliest of increasingly frequent shelling in the heart of the Syrian capital. Attacks have escalated as rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad push to enter the city, terrifying civilians whose support the opposition will need to advance its cause. By Ben Hubbard.

AP photos.


KHALIS FAMILY VILLAGE, Afghanistan — Barely able to walk even with a cane, Ghulam Rasool says he padlocked his front door, handed over the keys and his three cows to a neighbor and fled his mountain home in the middle of the night to escape relentless airstrikes from U.S. drones targeting militants in this remote corner of Afghanistan. Villagers have their own name for Predator drones. They call them benghai, which in the Pashto language means the "buzzing of flies." By Kathy Gannon.

AP photos, video.


BEIJING — A photo of China's new first lady Peng Liyuan in younger days singing to martial law troops after their 1989 bloody military crackdown on protesters flickered across Chinese cyberspace this week. It was swiftly scrubbed from China's Internet. but the posting revived a memory the leadership would like to suppress and showed one of the challenges it faces in presenting Peng as the softer side of China. By Gillian Wong.

AP photo.


BERLIN — With the wartime generation rapidly disappearing, a television drama about five young Germans in World War II has revived debate in Germany about the role ordinary men and women played in the Nazis' murderous campaign to conquer Europe. Many critics praised the series as a milestone in Germany's troubled reckoning with its past. Yet some accuse the film of sidelining the Holocaust and depicting Germans as victims. By Frank Jordans.

AP photos.


HAVANA — Fight your way through mangrove swamps shoulder-to-shoulder with bearded guerrillas clad in olive green like Fidel Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Your mission: Topple 1950s Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista. Island programmers unveil a new 3-D shoot-'em-up video game with a distinctly Cuban twist. By Andrea Rodriguez.

AP photo.



TORONTO — Research In Motion says it sold about 1 million of its critically important new BlackBerry 10 devices, more than expected, and surprises Wall Street by returning to profitability in the most recent quarter — even after losing 3 million subscribers. It expects to break even in the current quarter despite increasing spending on marketing. By Rob Gillies.



NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez will make more this year than all the Houston Astros combined — a lot more. A-Rod's $29 million salary tops the major leagues for the 13th straight season, according to a study of major league contracts by The Associated Press. Rodriguez's Yankees are on track to have the highest payroll on opening day for the 15th straight year with a projected $228 million. The Astros payroll has shrunk to about $25 million. By Ronald Blum.

AP photos.



SANTA FE, N.M. — For more than a decade, he packed and repacked his treasure chest, sprinkling in gold dust and adding rare gold coins, gold nuggets, pre-Columbian animal figures, ancient Chinese faces carved from jade and antique jewelry with rubies and emeralds. Forrest Fenn was creating a bounty, and the 82-year-old art and antiquities dealer says his goal was to make sure it was "valuable enough to entice searchers." Those who saw the chest say he accomplished that, one guessing the trove was worth $1 million. And they believe him when he says he hid it somewhere in the Rockies — its location spelled out cryptically in a poem that has spurred a mini-gold rush in northern New Mexico. By Jeri Clausing.

AP photos.


— PLANTING ESTIMATE — Farmers intend to plant the largest corn crop in the U.S. since 1936 this year, about 97.3 million acres, the USDA says in a new planting report.

— SOLAR PLANE — A solar-powered plane that has delighted aviation fans in Europe is preparing to fly across North America.

— REPUBLICANS-TECH RACE — A tech race is developing on the American political landscape as Republicans work overtime to catch up with Democrats' superior 21st century-style campaign techniques.

— SOUTH SUDAN-VIOLENCE — South Sudan military says 163 people, mostly rebels, killed in clash inside country.

— DOG MAULING-GEORGIA — Sheriff says Ga. toddler killed by 7 dogs in yard as mother, other adults were inside house.

— GIRL MISSING — 10-year-old girl found, 2 men sought after late-night abduction from Los Angeles home.

— SYRACUSE-FINE INVESTIGATION — APNewsBreak: Ex-Syracuse asst. coach Fine files notice he'll sue ESPN over sex-abuse reporting.

— TV-CNN-MORNING SHOW — CNN says Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan will host new morning show.