BC-AP News Digest 6:15 pm

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Associated Press

Posted on April 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

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

At the Nerve Center, news producers Stephanie Siek, Coralie Carlson and Suzanne Boyle McCrory can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Chelsea Matiash (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.

NEW & DEVELOPING

— Adds MORNING AFTER PILL, SUSPICIOUS LETTERS, RUSSIA-BOSTON SUSPECT, OBAMA-GUANTANAMO

— MASSACHUSETTS SENATE — Polls close at 8 p.m.

Has moved:

— CARGO PLANE CRASH-AFGHANISTAN — NTSB sends team to Afghanistan to assist investigation of deadly US cargo airline crash.

— HORSE SLAUGHTER — APNewsBreak: USDA secretary says New Mexico horse slaughter plant expected to open soon. AP photo.

— FAA-FURLOUGHS — Officials: Transportation Secretary LaHood pledged to keep small towers open with flexibility under FAA furlough bill.

TOP STORIES

MORNING AFTER PILL

The Plan B morning-after pill is moving over-the-counter for girls older than 14, a decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration just days before a court-imposed deadline. The FDA lowers to 15 the age at which girls and women can buy the emergency contraceptive without a prescription — and says it no longer has to be kept behind pharmacy counters. By Lauran Neergaard.

AP photo.

US-SYRIA

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama strongly suggests he would consider military action against Syria if it can be determined that President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons. But he says the U.S. does not yet know how or when the weapons were used or who deployed them. Meanwhile, Hezbollah warns of possible intervention on behalf of the regime. By White House Correspondent Julie Pace.

AP photos, video, interactive.

— SYRIA — Hezbollah chief warns the militant group could intervene in Syria on Assad side if need arises. AP photos, video, interactive.

ECONOMY

WASHINGTON — Americans are more optimistic the job market is healing and will deliver higher pay later this year. That brighter outlook, along with rising home prices, cheaper gasoline and a surging stock market, could offset some of the drag from the recent tax increases and government spending cuts. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

AP photos, graphic, interactive.

SUSPICIOUS LETTERS

TUPELO, Miss. — Ricin has been found in a business once used by the man charged in the case of letters laced with the deadly poison being sent to President Barack Obama, according to a court document that also says the substance was found on items the suspect dumped in a public trash bin. By Holbrook Mohr and Jay Reeves.

AP photo.

HEALTH OVERHAUL-APPLYING FOR BENEFITS

WASHINGTON — After a storm of complaints, the Obama administration unveils simplified forms to apply for insurance under the president's new health care law. You won't have to lay bare your medical history but you will have to detail your finances. By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar.

AP photos interactive.

BANGLADESH-EVERYDAY HEROES

SAVAR, Bangladesh — The heat closed in on his body like the darkness around him. Working by flashlight, he slithered through the broken concrete and spotted a young woman, her arm crushed and pinned by a pillar. Saiful Islam Nasar had no training and almost no equipment. "I asked her 'Sister, are you married?' She said 'Yes.' I asked her 'If I cut off your arm, will your husband take you again?' She said 'My husband loves me very much.' And then I started to cut." Like Nasar, hundreds of volunteers rushed to help after a building tumbled down. They saved lives. By Chris Blake.

AP photos.

— BANGLADESH-BUILDING COLLAPSE — A Bangladesh court orders the government to confiscate the property of a collapsed building's owner. AP photos, video.

— BANGLADESH-ETHICAL CLOTHING — You can recycle plastic and drive a fuel-efficient car, but being socially responsible isn't so easy when it comes to the clothes on your back. AP photos.

ON THE BOSTON BOMBINGS

RUSSIA-BOSTON SUSPECT

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — Russian agents placed the elder Boston bombing suspect under surveillance during a six-month visit to southern Russia last year, then scrambled to find him when he suddenly disappeared after police killed a Canadian jihadist, a security official told The Associated Press. By Arsen Mollayev And Lynn Berry.

AP photos.

— BOSTON MARATHON-WASHINGTON — Obama says his administration's counter-terrorism bureaucracy "did what it was supposed to" in the Boston bombing investigation. Nevertheless, a review is underway into whether sensitive information was adequately shared and whether anything was missed. AP photo.

INTERNATIONAL

NETHERLANDS-NEW KING

AMSTERDAM — Like his mother before him, the Netherlands' freshly minted King Willem-Alexander assumes the throne at a time of social strains and economic malaise. And while the House of Orange-Nassau he leads is almost purely ceremonial these days, Willem-Alexander immediately staked out a course aimed at maintaining the monarchy as a popular and relevant institution in the 21st century: Act as a unifying symbol in social conflict and promote national economic interests where possible. By Toby Sterling.

AP photos, video.

ISRAEL-ARABS

JERUSALEM — The Arab League has sweetened its decade-old proposal offering comprehensive peace with Israel, placing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a bind and exposing fissures in his new government. Netanyahu's chief negotiator welcomes the proposal, while the prime minister remains silent — reflecting the internal divisions that lie ahead as the U.S. tries to restart long-frozen peace talks with the Palestinians. By Josef Federman.

AP photos.

— ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS — Israel carries out first deadly airstrike in Gaza since November truce; 1 Palestinian killed. AP photos, audio.

LIBYA

TRIPOLI, Libya — Gunmen swoop in on trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns and surround Libya's Justice Ministry, cutting off roads in the latest instance of powerful militiamen showing their muscle to press their demands on how Libya should be run more than a year after Moammar Gadhafi's ouster. By Esam Mohamed and Maggie Michael.

AP photo.

— US-LIBYA-BENGHAZI — Republicans pepper Obama administration with questions about Benghazi attack.

UKRAINE TYMOSHENKO

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine's jailing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was a politically motivated violation of her rights, Europe's human rights court rules, dealing a harsh blow to President Viktor Yanukovych. The prosecution of Tymoshenko, the country's most vocal opposition leader, has strained the former Soviet state's ties with the European Union and the United States. By Maria Danilova and Lori Hinnant.

AP photos.

CUBA-REAL ESTATE

HAVANA — A baffling, sometimes bizarre real estate market has emerged since President Raul Castro legalized private home sales on this Communist-run island for the first time in five decades. While trade in homes is now legal, the people who bring buyers together with sellers are not. It's a story typical of Castro's economic reforms, which often have left little space for the sort of middlemen and other services that help markets work. By Peter Orsi.

AP photos, video.

WASHINGTON & POLITICS

OBAMA-GUANTANAMO

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama renews his pledge to close the prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but the impediments that have thwarted him thus far remain. By Desmond Butler.

—OBAMA-CONGRESS — Obama brushes aside the suggestion he's lost political clout, saying "rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated." AP photos.

VIRGINIA-MANSION CHEF

RICHMOND — Gov. Bob McDonnell says his administration has never given any special treatment to a dietary supplement company that is under federal investigation. The Republican governor says more than $100,000 in political contributions and thousands of dollars more in personal gifts have not won the company any state economic development incentives. Whether the governor showed the company any special treatment is among the questions asked by FBI investigators conducting securities investigation into Star Scientific. By Bob Lewis.

AP photos.

NATIONAL

JACKSON-AEG SUIT

LOS ANGELES — Two sides of Michael Jackson have emerged during the start of a trial involving a lawsuit over his death. The superstar was repeatedly called an addict by lawyers on both sides of the lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live. Jackson's words and music also rang through the courtroom as a lawyer for plaintiff Katherine Jackson tried to show jurors his loving relationship with her and his children. By Anthony McCartney.

AP photos.

ABORTION CLINIC DEATHS

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia jury began weighing murder charges Tuesday against a doctor charged with killing five people, including four viable babies allegedly born alive in what authorities describe as illegal, late-term abortions routinely performed at his clinic. By Maryclaire Dale.

AP photos.

URBAN RAT HUNTING

NEW YORK — Bodies tensed and noses twitching, the dogs assess the fertile hunting ground before them: a New York City alley, grimy, dim and ripe for rats. With a single command — "Now!" — the chase is on. In a scrappy, streetwise cousin of mannerly countryside fox hunts, rodent hunters and their dogs scour downtown byways, meeting weekly when weather allows, in a bid to maintain breed types through actual work and, in the process, get rid of a little vermin. By Jennifer Peltz.

AP photos, video.

SCIENCE

CHILD'S WINDPIPE TRANSPLANT

CHICAGO — A 2-year-old born without a windpipe now has a new one grown from her own stem cells, the youngest patient to benefit from the experimental treatment. Hannah Warren had spent her entire life in a South Korea hospital, unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own. By Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner.

AP photos.

ENTERTAINMENT

TONY NOMINATIONS

NEW YORK — The Tony Awards committee largely favored tried-and-true stage veterans over flashy visitors when announcing this year's Tony nominations, with Hollywood stars such as Bette Midler, Jessica Chastain, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes and Scarlett Johansson never hearing their names called. By Drama Writer Mark Kennedy.

AP photos, video.

— TONY NOMINATIONS-LIST

— TONY NOMINATIONS-QUOTES

SPORTS

JASON COLLINS

Now that Jason Collins has made history as the first active player in any of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay, he still must find a team that will sign a 34-year-old journeyman player, as well as teammates who will accept him. By Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski.

AP photos.

— JASON COLLINS-ESPN CRITIC — ESPN says it regrets that reporter described gay NBA player Jason Collins as a sinner. AP photos.

ALSO GETTING ATTENTION

— NASA-RUSSIA — Skyrocketing inflation: Russia now charging NASA $70 million per seat to fly US astronauts.

— TAINTED ORANGE JUICE — San Jose woman faces attempted murder charges for allegedly placing tainted juice at Starbucks. AP photo.

— INDIA-CHILD RAPE — Indian official says 5-year-old girl dies after being raped in central state of Madhya Pradesh. AP Photo DEL124.

— SMALL PLANES COLLIDE — Two small airplanes collide in midair over Southern California, sending one crashing into a rocky ridge and killing its pilot while the second was able to maneuver a belly-flop landing on the fairway of a nearby golf course. AP photos.

— KANSAS-PROM APOLOGY — A Kansas school that barred an airman from escorting his sister to prom as he tried to walk her down the dance's promenade has apologized to him as it tries to quell the firestorm sparked by a YouTube video posted of the debacle. AP photos.

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