BC-AP News Digest 6:30 pm


Associated Press

Posted on April 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM

The world at 6:30 p.m. Times EDT.

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— BOSTON MARATHON-MEDIA — News organizations forced to pull back on reports of Boston suspect.

— GUN CONTROL-NEWTOWN — Families of Newtown school shooting victims, Connecticut lawmakers chide Congress on lack of support for background checks. AP photos.

— PRIVATE SPACE — Private firm contracted to deliver space station supplies scrubs test rocket launch.

— MEDICAL MARIJUANA — Illinois House OKs use of medical marijuana for patients with specific terminal illnesses.



BOSTON — Investigators poring over photos and video from the Boston Marathon bombing have a department-store surveillance-camera image of a man dropping off a bag at the scene of the one of the explosions, a top city politician says. The news comes with Boston in a state of high excitement over a possible breakthrough in the case. By Denise Lavoie and Jay Lindsay.

AP photos, videos, audio, interactive.


WASHINGTON — A Virginia woman makes a point to get out and go jogging. A Texas mom stays in and snuggles her toddler a little closer. Strains of defiance, tenderness and wariness are woven together as Americans once again do some post-9/11 balancing in the aftermath of the Boston bombings and tainted letters sent to the government. It's more unease for an already bruised American psyche. By Nancy Benac.

AP photos.


The bombs that made Boston a war zone also brought battlefield medicine to the victims. A decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has sharpened skills and scalpels, leading to dramatic advances that are now being used to treat the 13 amputees and nearly a dozen other patients still fighting to keep damaged limbs. Prosthetics honed from battlefield lessons are now so good that surgeons are choosing them over trying to save a badly mangled leg. By Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione.

AP photos.

— BOSTON MARATHON-CHINESE VICTIM — The Chinese graduate student identified as the Boston Marathon attack's third victim was an excellent student and a food fan, eager for culinary discoveries. AP photos.


WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans backed by a small band of rural-state Democrats scuttle the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades, refusing to tighten background checks on firearms buyers or ban assault weapons as they spurn the personal pleas of families of the victims of last winter's elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Critics of the legislation, backed by the political muscle of the NRA, say it infringes on the constitutional right to bear arms. By David Espo.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON — In a capital city on edge, letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator test positive for poisonous ricin in preliminary checks, and authorities chase a stream of reports of other suspicious-looking items sent to senators in Washington and beyond. By Eileen Sullivan and Laurie Kellman.

AP photos.

— RICIN PRIMER — Made from castor beans, the poison ricin causes far more scares than deaths.


BEIRUT — Syria's president accuses the West of backing al-Qaida in Syria and warns it will pay a price "in the heart" of Europe and the United States, suggesting the terror network will be emboldened. Bashar Assad also lashes out at Jordan for allowing thousands of fighters to enter Syria through its borders. The rare TV interview comes as his military fights to reverse rebel advances, with a rocket attack killing at least 12 people in a central village. By Zeina Karam.

AP photo.


DALLAS — American Airlines played catch-up Wednesday, resuming most flights and even adding a handful that weren't on the schedule to help passengers stranded by a massive technology failure that grounded the carrier's entire U.S. fleet a day earlier. As passengers got back in the air, questions lingered about whether the system that runs many of the airline's daily operations will be adequate after American merges with US Airways to form the world's largest airline. By David Koenig.

AP photos, video.



LONDON — Margaret Thatcher is laid to rest with prayers and ceremony, plus cheers and occasional jeers, as Britain pauses to remember a leader who transformed the country — for the better according to many, but in some eyes for the worse. By Jill Lawless and Cassandra Vinograd.

AP photos, video.

— BRITAIN-THATCHER INVITES-GLANCE — A look at some of the guests who attended the funeral — and some invitees who did not. AP photos.


RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinians are turning to their fledgling high-tech sector as they try to lay the groundwork for an independent state. Local entrepreneurs say their unique circumstances, including years of experience coping with Israeli travel restrictions, have fostered a creative spirit conducive to the entrepreneurial high-tech world. By Daniela Berretta.

AP photos.


WALAWEYN, Somalia — Abdi Ali and his girlfriend Anisa arrive in a run-down town north of Mogadishu, having pretended not to know each other during the trip. Their secret mission: to elope in defiance of Anisa's parents' wishes for her to marry a cousin in America. Now that Islamic extremists have been pushed out of almost all of Somalia's cities and towns, elopements — banned under the insurgents — are soaring in Somalia. By Abdi Guled.

AP photos.


BANGUI, Central African Republic— Rebel fighters who overthrew the president have set up shop in the capital's sole luxury hotel. Now, rebels armed with rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikov rifles walk among businessmen in traditional embroidered robes and diplomats who come to meet with the man who rules mineral-rich Central African Republic. By Krista Larson.

AP photos.


KIROV, Russia — Alexei Navalny, a Russian opposition leader facing trial on charges of embezzlement, shot to prominence through outing public corruption via his blog and Twitter. At the beginning of what his supporters say is a politically motivated trial, the AP looks at his campaigns that have provoked official wrath. By Max Seddon.

AP photos.


SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Going to the doctor in Puerto Rico has for years often meant getting in line. Now, it might mean getting on a plane. Doctors and nurses are fleeing for better salaries on the U.S. mainland. Many of their patients are finding they have no other choice but to follow them off the island. One example: The number of cardiologists has fallen from 400 to 150. By Danica Coto.

AP photo.



KAUFMAN, Texas — The wife of a former North Texas justice of the peace implicates her husband in the shooting deaths of a local district attorney, his wife and an assistant prosecutor. An arrest affidavit reveals Kim Lene Williams told investigators that her husband, Eric Lyle Williams, was the triggerman in the slayings. By Danny Robbins.

AP photos.


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Mark Sanford's attempted political comeback hinges on the mostly conservative voters of South Carolina's Lowcountry accepting his contrition and forgiving him for his past infidelity and political mistakes. But will voters be willing to do that after his ex-wife accuses him in court documents of trespassing at her home? And will his opponent for the congressional seat, who has so far avoided discussing the scandal that enveloped him as governor, now try to make hay of it on the campaign trial? By Bruce Smith.

AP photos.


PHOENIX — After the Connecticut school shooting, cities around the country held gun buyback programs where people bring old firearms and get cash and gift cards to get weapons off the street. Arizona, however, is now a step away from essentially doing away with the programs. Lawmakers have approved a bill that would ban cities from destroying the weapons and require them to sell the guns — part of a broader movement among gun-rights lawmakers to limit gun buybacks. By Bob Christie.

AP photos, video.


SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court grapples with California's first-in-the-nation bid to bar licensed mental health professionals from offering therapies aimed at making gay and lesbian teenagers straight. The ban on so-called reparative therapy was supposed to take effect at the beginning of the year, but has been on hold pending resolution of two lawsuits seeking to overturn it. By Lisa Leff.

AP audio.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A soldier and an instructor at the Army's Alaska Northern Warfare Training Center descended 145 feet to a 15-foot space inside an Alaska glacier to extract the body of a 9-year-old boy who fell through the hole on his snowmobile. The men on Sunday shoveled 3,000 pounds of snow into bags lifted out by soldiers at the surface to reach the body of Shjon Brown. By Dan Joling.

AP photos.



WASHINGTON — A senior Democratic senator who helped write President Barack Obama's health care law stuns administration officials, saying openly he thinks it's headed for a "train wreck" because of bumbling implementation. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is the first top Democrat to publicly voice fears about the law's rollout. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court rules that foreign victims of human rights abuses cannot use American courts to seek accountability and monetary damages for their suffering. It's a major victory for corporations that have been sued in the U.S. over their alleged role in foreign atrocities, and largely unravels a more than 30-year-old strategy by human rights lawyers. By Mark Sherman.



Europe's auto market is in freefall. Once the motor for Europe's economy, the car industry has fallen victim to the region's widening recession and soaring unemployment. Carmakers have suffered 18 straight months of declining sales as people worried that they might soon be out of a job put off making big purchases. Even in Germany, one of Europe's strongest economies, new car sales plunged 13 percent during the first three months of the year. By Colleen Barry.

AP photos.


Amazon.com is giving viewers a chance to vote on its lineup of new TV shows, scuttling a secretive, money-wasting process once reserved for Hollywood taste-makers. The online retailing giant will let visitors from the U.S, U.K. and Germany watch, rate and critique 14 pilot episodes the company has bankrolled. Viewer comments will help the company decide which ones — if any — get the green light. Amazon's foray into TV production is unique in the way it saves money. Every spring, as part of a rather wasteful Hollywood ritual, networks like ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox order dozens of pilots, only to have a handful made into series. By Ryan Nakashima.

AP photos.


— ABORTION CLINIC DEATHS — Medical assistant testifies she gave anesthesia, cut dosages at Philadelphia abortion clinic. With ABORTION CLINIC DEATHS-NEWS GUIDE.

— WALL STREET — Investors turn cautious just one week after the stock market hit an all-time high, Dow off 138.

— MEXICO-US IMMIGRATION — Mexicans cautiously welcome US immigration overhaul, despite long wait.

— DEAD INFANT-HOSPITAL LINENS — A Minnesota hospital apologizes for mishandling the remains of a stillborn who was found in linens by a laundry service. AP photo, video.

— KERRY — Kerry says the U.S. has identified people it believes were culpable in the attack that killed U.S. ambassador in Libya and is working through evidence to make a case. AP photo.

— DIPLOMAT KILLED-FUNERAL — Hundreds come to a suburban Chicago church to mourn a young diplomat killed while delivering textbooks to a school in Afghanistan. AP photos.

— EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA — Bank of America agrees to pay $500 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who bought mortgage investments from Countrywide Financial. AP photo.

— SUPERMAN'S 75TH — Man of Steel's 75th highlights tough neighborhood roots of Superman's Cleveland creators. AP photos.

— VEGAS SHOOTING-CRASH — Judge appoints lawyer for defendant in Las Vegas Strip shooting-crash that killed 3, hurt 5. AP photos.

— NEW ZEALAND-GAY MARRIAGE — Hundreds celebrate at New Zealand's Parliament as lawmakers approve gay-marriage bill.