Monday, April 2, 2012

Published:

Police: 7 dead, 3 injured in shooting attack at Calif. Christian university; suspect detained

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A gunman opened fire Monday at a small Christian university in California, killing at least seven people, wounding three more and setting off an intense, chaotic manhunt that ended with his capture at a nearby shopping center, authorities said.

The gunfire erupted around midmorning at Oikos University. Heavily armed officers swarmed the school in a large industrial park near the Oakland airport and, for at least an hour, believed the gunman could still be inside.

Art Richards said he was driving by the university on his way to pick up a friend when he spotted a woman hiding in the bushes and pulled over. When he approached her, she said, "I'm shot" and showed him her arm.

"She had a piece of her arm hanging out," Richards said, noting that she was wounded near the elbow.

As police arrived, Richards said he heard 10 gunshots coming from inside the building. The female victim told him that she saw the gunman shoot one person point-blank in the chest and one in the head.

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Obama makes his personal case to Supreme Court on health care law, warns against 'activism'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Monday issued a rare, direct challenge to the Supreme Court to uphold his historic health care overhaul, weighing in with a vigorous political appeal for judicial restraint. He warned that overturning the law would hurt millions of Americans and amount to overreach by the "unelected" court.

Obama predicted that a majority of justices would uphold the law when the ruling is announced in June. But the president, himself a former law professor, seemed intent on swaying uncertain views in the meantime, both in the court of public opinion and in the minds of the justices about not overstepping the high court's bounds.

"Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said at a Rose Garden news conference.

The majority he referenced was not quite that strong; Congress approved the law two years ago in hard-fought party-line votes after a divisive national debate. Republican presidential contenders say they will make sure it is repealed if the Supreme Court doesn't throw it out first.

For a president to weigh in so forcefully about a case currently under deliberation by the Supreme Court is unusual, and it speaks to the stakes at hand.

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Romney reaches halfway point in number of delegates needed to clinch GOP nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Mitt Romney is halfway to clinching the Republican nomination for president.

The former Massachusetts governor inched up to 572 delegates on Monday -- exactly half the 1,144 needed -- after the Tennessee Republican Party finalized delegate totals from its March 6 primary. Results in several congressional districts were too close to call on election night, leaving three delegates unallocated.

Romney got all three delegates. He also picked up an endorsement from a New Hampshire delegate who had been awarded to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman dropped out of the race in January and endorsed Romney.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, meanwhile, won a Minnesota delegate over the weekend that had been allocated to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Santorum won two delegates and Paul won one at Minnesota's 7th Congressional District convention.

Santorum had been projected to win all three delegates, based on the results of local caucuses in February.

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Obama says drug violence can hurt US-Mexico relations; testy Calderon says US partly to blame

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The explosion of drug-fueled violence along Mexico's border with the United States could harm relations between the two nations, President Barack Obama said Monday; Mexico's leader retorted that much of the problem of drugs and guns begins on the U.S. side of the line.

In the thick of political contests in both the United States and Mexico, Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon traded unusually direct claims about the cause and effect of the drug violence that has consumed a swath of northeastern Mexico. They were cordial and complimentary to one another, but did not hide the degree of worry on both sides about a six-year spasm of violence that has killed more than 47,000 people.

"It can have a deteriorating effect overall on the nature of our relationship," Obama said. "And that's something that we have to pay attention to."

Calderon made a government crackdown on warring drug cartels the hallmark of his six-year term, which expires later this year. His center-right party has seen its election chances fall in the face of a wide perception in Mexico that the crackdown has not worked.

The Mexican presidential election that formally began last week will culminate with elections July 1.

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Divided Supreme Court rules security trumps privacy in upholding routine jail strip searches

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Jailers may perform invasive strip searches on people arrested even for minor offenses, an ideologically divided Supreme Court ruled Monday, the conservative majority declaring that security trumps privacy in an often dangerous environment.

In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against a New Jersey man who was strip searched in two county jails following his arrest on a warrant for an unpaid fine that he had, in reality, paid.

The decision resolved a conflict among lower courts about how to balance security and privacy. Prior to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, lower courts generally prohibited routine strip searches for minor offenses. In recent years, however, courts have allowed jailers more discretion to maintain security, and the high court ruling ratified those decisions.

In this case, Albert Florence's nightmare began when the sport utility vehicle driven by his pregnant wife was pulled over for speeding. He was a passenger; his 4-year-old son was in the backseat.

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the circumstances of the arrest were of little importance. Instead, Kennedy said, Florence's entry into the general jail population gave guards the authorization to force him to strip naked and expose his mouth, nose, ears and genitals to a visual search in case he was hiding anything.

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Comparing Palin vs. Couric as they prepare for epic (or not so epic) battle on Tuesday morning

NEW YORK (AP) -- While it's not quite Ali vs. Frazier, Tuesday's faceoff between Katie Couric and Sarah Palin on opposing morning shows has some viewers wishing for a war of words. Here's a look at how the pair measures up.

Career Highlight:

Couric: Her 15-year run as queen of the morning on the "Today" show.

Sarah Palin: Her electrifying speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention marking the national debut of a political powerhouse.

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Interest in 1940 US census paralyzes National Archive website, with millions of user 'hits'

NEW YORK (AP) -- Interest in the newly released 1940 U.S. census is so great that the government website with the information was nearly paralyzed shortly after the records became available to the public for the first time.

Miriam Kleiman, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Archives, told The Associated Press that the site registered more than 22 million hits in just four hours on Monday, from almost 2 million users. In a tweet posted after 5 p.m. on its official Twitter account, the archives said the website had received 37 million hits since the information was released at 9 a.m.

The government released the records for the first time after 72 years of confidentiality expired.

It's the largest collection of digital information ever released by the National Archives. The records allow individuals and families to learn details about their past.

Susan Cooper, a second spokeswoman, said the problems began as soon as the information was released on the website. She termed the problems a "virtual traffic jam."

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Mammograms can find early breast cancers that get unneeded treatment, study suggests

NEW YORK (AP) -- For years, women have been urged to get screened for breast cancer because the earlier it's found, the better. Now researchers are reporting more evidence suggesting that's not always the case.

A study in Norway estimates that between 15 and 25 percent of breast cancers found by mammograms wouldn't have caused any problems during a woman's lifetime, but these tumors were being treated anyway. Once detected, early tumors are surgically removed and sometimes treated with radiation or chemotherapy because there's no certain way to figure out which ones may be dangerous and which are harmless.

"When you look for cancer early and you look really hard, you find forms that are ultimately never going to bother the patient," said Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, who was not part of the research. "It's a side effect of early diagnosis."

The study is the latest to explore overdiagnosis from routine mammograms -- finding tumors that grow so slowly or not at all and that would not have caused symptoms or death. Previous estimates of the problem have varied.

The researchers took advantage of the staggered decade-long introduction of a screening program in Norway, starting in 1996. That allowed them to compare the number of breast cancers in counties where screening was offered with those in areas that didn't yet have the program. Their analysis also included a decade before mammograms were offered.

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Landing Tebow may have Jets in mix for return to HBO's "Hard Knocks"

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fasten your seat belts. Coach Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow and the New York Jets might be ready for a sequel on HBO's "Hard Knocks."

Jets owner Woody Johnson says he's heard talk that HBO is interested in signing up the team for its training-camp documentary show. He's not ruling it out.

Johnson said Monday the team has not received a "formal invitation," but "when we do, we will take a look at it."

HBO said there will be a "Hard Knocks" before the 2012 NFL season begins following a hiatus last year because of the lockout. HBO spokesman Greg Domino said "we do not discuss the process."

Speculation began after the Jets acquired Tebow in a trade with the Broncos.

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History, headliners collide when Kansas meets Kentucky for national title

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Kentucky has the best players. Kansas has the most heart.

From the first practice in October to the final cutting of the nets in April, that's how the two teams remaining in the NCAA tournament have made a name for themselves.

They meet Monday to decide the national championship -- a game between the Wildcats and their cadre of NBA-caliber talent and the Jayhawks and their unending supply of high-wire comebacks.

Kentucky (37-2), in search of its eighth national title but its first since 1998, has five, maybe six, players who will be playing in the NBA soon. Most are freshmen and sophomores. None are better than Player of the Year Anthony Davis, the 6-foot-10 freshman who had 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks in Kentucky's 69-61 win over Louisville in the semifinals.

"Anthony Davis is a great player, but he's not Superman," Kansas coach Bill Self said, clearly ignoring the fact that, only moments earlier, Davis had been walking around the Superdome with his practice jersey slung across his shoulders like a cape.