BC-AP News Digest 6:15 pm

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Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

The world at 6:15 p.m. Times EDT.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Suzanne Boyle McCrory, Stephanie Siek 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

— TRIPLE-CROWN STYLE GUIDE — To help with spellings and usage in coverage of the Triple Crown races, beginning with the Kentucky Derby on May 4, The Associated Press has compiled a style guide of essential horse racing terms, phrases and definitions.

NEW & DEVELOPING

— Adds BOSTON MARATHON-EXPLOSIONS, CARIBBEAN-US-SHIPWRECK, NFL DRAFT.

— MILITARY-SEXUAL ASSAULT — Protest starts at 7:30 p.m.

— NFL DRAFT — Draft begins at 8 p.m.

— LATIN BILLBOARD AWARDS — Winners will be named about 11 p.m.

— FAA-FURLOUGHS — Top congressional Democrats, White House negotiate with Republicans to ease FAA furloughs.

— SKAKEL-APPEAL — Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel slams trial attorney in appeal of Conn. murder conviction.

— CUBA SPY CASE — Charge in 9-year-old Cuban spy case unsealed, accusing ex-State Dept. officer of conspiracy.

— OBAMA-RECESS APPOINTMENTS — Obama administration asks Supreme Court to reverse ruling on president's recess appointments.

— UN-MALI — Security Council approves new UN peacekeeping force to help stabilize Mali.

TOP STORIES

BOSTON MARATHON-EXPLOSIONS

NEW YORK — The Boston Marathon bombers were headed for New York's Times Square to blow up the rest of their explosives, authorities say in what they portray as a chilling, spur-of-the-moment scheme that fell apart when the brothers realized they were low on gas. "New York City was next on their list of targets," Mayor Michael Bloomberg says.

AP photos, video, audio.

— BOSTON MARATHON-MIRANDA WARNING — Questions surround decisions to interrogate bombing suspect without lawyer, then call a halt.

US-SYRIA

WASHINGTON — The White House says intelligence suggests that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used sarin gas on his own people. But despite having called such action a "game changer," the Obama administration says the information isn't solid enough to warrant any immediate move to intervene in the bloody civil war. By Robert Burns and Julie Pace.

AP photos.

— US-SYRIA-MILITARY — US has a range of military options in Syria after revelation of regime use of chemical weapons.

— SYRIA-LETTER — A letter Obama sent to key congressional figures reporting what the U.S. intelligence community believes is convincing evidence of sarin gas use in Syria.

BANGLADESH-BUILDING COLLAPSE

SAVAR, Bangladesh — "Save us brother. I beg you brother. I want to live," a garment worker pleads from the rubble of a deadly building collapse. He was trapped, but unexpectedly 40 people are found alive in one room of the ruined structure. The day before the building tumbled down, killing more than 230 people, police ordered an evacuation — the factories kept on running. By Julhas Alam.

AP photos, video.

— BANGLADESH-BUILDING COLLAPSE-GLANCE — Bangladesh building collapse shows woeful conditions in garment industry, links to retailers.

BUSH LIBRARY

DALLAS — George W. Bush sheds a sentimental tear. Barack Obama muses about the burdens of the office. Bill Clinton and his jokes run a little long. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush join in, too, on a day of harmony and sunshine at the dedication of the younger Bush's presidential library that glosses over the hard edges and partisan divides embodied in five presidencies spanning more than three tumultuous decades. By Josh Lederman and Jamie Stengle.

AP photos, video.

CARIBBEAN-US-SHIPWRECK

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A brother and sister from the U.S. are recovering in the eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia after their ship sank during a fishing trip, forcing them to swim almost 14 hours to reach land. Dan Suski of San Francisco and Kate Suski of Seattle tell the AP that they thought they would die and never reach shore. Danica Coto.

AP photo.

BOSTON MARATHON-COSTS

Cost of amputating a leg? At least $20,000. Cost of an artificial leg? More than $50,000 for the most high-tech models. Cost for an amputee's rehab? Often tens of thousands of dollars more. These are just a fraction of the medical expenses of the Boston Marathon bombings. It's probably not what the patients and their families are focusing on. But a huge city fund already has collected more than $20 million. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner.

AP photos.

INTERNATIONAL

ISRAEL-HEZBOLLAH

JERUSALEM — An Israeli warplane shoots down a drone as it approaches the country's northern coast from neighboring Lebanon, raising suspicions that Hezbollah is behind the infiltration attempt. Although the militant group denies involvement, the incident is likely to heighten Israeli concerns that the Lebanese group is trying to take advantage of the unrest in neighboring Syria to strengthen its capabilities. By Diaa Hadid.

AP photos.

SYRIA-FLEEING ELITE

BEIRUT — With the Syrian civil war edging closer to Damascus, the capital's business elite is joining the exodus from the country. Thousands of factory owners, businessmen and merchants nationwide have fled, setting up shop in Beirut, Dubai and Egypt. Most still largely back President Bashar Assad and hope to return, but their flight is a sign of the deep worry over the direction the war has taken. By Barbara Surk.

AP photos.

ISRAEL-CULTURAL WAR

JERUSALEM — A cultural war has erupted between Israel's rising political star and his ultra-Orthodox archrivals: newly minted Finance Minister Yair Lapid, hugely popular for opposing the longstanding preferential treatment enjoyed by the growing religious minority, is moving swiftly to slash state handouts to large families, compel lifelong seminary students to work and remove funding for schools that don't teach math, science and English. By Daniel Estrin.

AP photos.

SOMALIA-CHILD VACCINES

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Two dozen babies sit on the laps of their mothers at a clinic in Mogadishu, and are among the first to receive a vaccine to protect against five dangerous diseases. With much of Somalia peaceful for the first time in 20 years, vaccination programs are expanding except in places still controlled by the al-Shabab militants. By Jason Straziuso.

AP photos by Ben Curtis.

CUBA-OLDEST BALLPLAYER

HAVANA — It's time to put another candle on the very crowded birthday cake of Conrado Marrero, the world's oldest living former major league baseball player. The Cuban hurler celebrated his 102nd birthday at his Havana apartment, an unlit Cuban cigar in his mouth and a baseball cap on his head. By Anne-Marie Garcia.

AP photos, video.

WASHINGTON

IMMIGRATION

WASHINGTON — House Republicans will take on the immigration issue in bite-size pieces, shunning pressure to act quickly and rejecting the comprehensive approach embraced in the Senate and by President Obama, a key committee chairman says. It's a sign of the obstacles to passage of sweeping immigration legislation despite strong support from the public and the growing power of Hispanic voters. By Erica Werner.

AP photos.

NATIONAL

DROUGHT-WASHING AWAY

DES MOINES, Iowa — Farmers who have looked out over parched fields for months have a new problem: mud. Recent heavy rain has caused the historic drought that covered much of the central United States to recede. Don't expect to see smiles from farmers, though. Land is too soggy to plant in corn country and freezing temperatures have ruined the winter wheat crop. By David Pitt.

AP photos.

MILITARY-SEXUAL ASSAULT

PHOENIX — The Air Force's decision to transfer a lieutenant colonel to a Tucson military base after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by a commander has outraged the family of the woman who made the allegations, adding to the growing criticism of the military justice system. The family says Lt. Col. James Wilkerson's transfer to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on the southern edge of Tucson is upsetting because roughly half the woman's family lives there, and they're planning to protest outside the base. By Jacques Billeaud.

AP photos.

SPANISH LAND GRANT FIGHT

ARROYO HONDO, N.M. — The family of Fernando Martinez has lived on the Arroyo Hondo Land Grant for more than 200 years, passing property from generation to generation ever since the land was under the rule of the Spanish monarchy. The land grant is a 31-square-mile area awarded by the King of Spain to 1800s settlers to encourage people to move to this isolated region in northern New Mexico. The spot has since become popular among transplants seeking a second home near touristy Taos. Now a group of descendants has filed a deed to the land, placing hundreds of property owners like Martinez in limbo. They cannot sell their property, refinance their mortgages or even get insurance policies while the courts struggle to unravel the conflict. By Russell Contreras.

AP photos.

GAY MARRIAGE-RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Phone banks, armies of volunteers and growing public support helped push gay marriage to victory in Rhode Island, and supporters say the sophisticated strategy behind the effort could serve as a model as the movement's focus moves to Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey and other states. By working with organized labor, religious groups and business leaders, gay marriage supporters widened their reach and created a coalition that ultimately proved successful in this heavily Catholic state. By David Klepper.

AP photos.

— GAY MARRIAGE-NEXT BATTLEGROUNDS — Five states where the gay marriage debate is likely to heat up.

HEALTH/SCIENCE

ANIMAL CONFORMITY

WASHINGTON — You don't have to be a teenager to want to fit in at the school lunchroom. Some wild animals seem to follow similar monkey-see monkey-do behavior to follow the crowd and find the best eats, new research finds. South African monkeys switched foods purely because of peer pressure and humpback whales off the coast of New England copied a new way to round up a fish meal, scientists reported. By Science Writer Seth Borenstein.

AP photos.

— DIABETES-HORMONE — Scientists have found a hormone that can sharply boost the number of cells that make insulin in mice, a discovery that may lead to a treatment in people.

BUSINESS

WORKPLACE COMPLIMENTS

NEW YORK — When Lisa Parker was new to corporate coaching, a senior colleague she respected brought her in as his No. 2 on a series of training seminars. Time and time again, he took to introducing her as smart, capable and beautiful. "I was so uncomfortable," she said. When she asked him to stop, his response was: "But you ARE beautiful." That was a decade ago. Fast forward to President Obama's introduction of California's Kamala Harris as brilliant, dedicated, tough and "by far, the best-looking attorney general in the country." Male to female, peer to peer, superior to subordinate, are workplace compliments focused on physical appearance ever OK? By Leanne Italie.

AP photo.

BANKS-SHEDDING JOBS

NEW YORK — Banks aren't the big jobs machines they used to be. One after another, major financial firms are trimming their payrolls. In first-quarter earnings announcements, the five big U.S. banks revealed that they have slashed more than 31,000 jobs, or 3.5 percent of their combined workforce, in the past year. And the pattern is being repeated at banks around the world. Low interest rates are crimping the profits from lending. By Business Writer Christina Rexrode.

AP photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

ONLINE-SOAPS RESURRECTED

STAMFORD, Conn. — Taped to a wall at the entrance to the Connecticut Film Center in Stamford is this greeting: "Welcome (back) to Pine Valley." Pine Valley, of course, is the mythical setting of "All My Children," a daytime drama that ran on ABC for nearly 41 years until it was snuffed in 2011. But now, in one of those plot twists so common to soap operas but so rare in the real world, "All My Children" has been raised from the dead — but this time, online. By Television Writer Frazier Moore.

AP photos.

FILM-FUTURE FRANCHISES

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood is banking on the future with its summer lineup — and not just a future where Capt. Kirk orders warp speed or Tony Stark builds a better Iron Man outfit. Though some film franchises seem to live on forever, most come with a shelf life, leaving studios always on the hunt to dream up new ones or reinvent old ones. The new stuff you watch this summer could be a sign of what you'll be seeing for years to come if movies such as Brad Pitt's zombie fest "World War Z," Guillermo del Toro's robots-vs.-sea-monsters tale "Pacific Rim" and Johnny Depp's buddy Western "The Lone Ranger" connect with audiences. By Movie Writer David Germain.

AP photos.

SPORTS

NFL DRAFT

NEW YORK — The NFL draft begins its three-day draft with few glamour names awaiting the 32 teams but plenty of big bodies available to fill roster holes. The proceedings at Radio City Music Hall will likely open with 306-pound tackle Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M selected by the Kansas City Chiefs. By Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner.

AP photos.

SHIFTING POWER

STUTTGART, Germany — The expectation of seeing Lionel Messi line up against Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final, of watching Barcelona and Real Madrid fight for supremacy, is all but washed away. By Sports Writer Nesha Starcevic.

AP photos.

MOVED IN ADVANCE FOR USE ON SUNDAY

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC-BELEAGUERED TOWN

NDELE, Central African Republic — A dawn exchange of fire between rival armed camps begins another day of fear and disarray in one small town in the heart of Africa. "Be brave! Be brave!" children shout to reassure each other as the gunfire crackles. The newest rebellion to roil Central African Republic is estimated to have forced some 173,000 people from their homes across a poor country bordered by some of Africa's most troubled nations. And critics say the rebels now in control care more about self-enrichment than good government.

AP Photos.

GETTING ATTENTION

— OBAMA-PLANT EXPLOSION — Obama joins hundreds of residents from the small town of West, Texas, to honor the lives of 14 people killed in a blast at a fertilizer plant. With PLANT EXPLOSION-VICTIMS.

— SWEDEN-BIEBER-DRUGS — Swedish police find a small amount of drugs and a stun gun on tour bus used by pop singer Justin Bieber.

— LATIN BILLBOARD AWARDS — Winners of the Billboard Latin Music Awards are announced. Among the finalists for artist of the year are Jenni Rivera, who was killed in a plane accident in Mexico last year.

— 10 THINGS TO SEE — 10 Things to See: A gallery of lasting moments our editors think you should see.

— MARIJUANA RULING — A Colorado appeals court rules that people who test positive for smoking pot can legally be fired from their job, even if they have a medical marijuana card.

— CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC-ELEPHANTS — Elephant poaching increases in Central African Republic after government overthrow.

— MISSING BROWN STUDENT — Body found in water off Providence, RI, park is that of missing Brown Univ. student, officials say.

— FUEL BARGE EXPLOSION — A spark caused by a cleaning crew is believed to be the cause of enormous fiery explosions on two fuel barges that critically injured three people.

___

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