Monday, April 14, 2014

Published:

Official says a sub will be deployed for first time to search for Malaysia jet wreckage

PERTH, Australia (AP) -- Search crews will for the first time send a robotic submarine deep into the Indian Ocean on Monday to try to determine whether underwater signals detected by sound-locating equipment are from the missing Malaysian jet's black boxes, the leader of the search effort said.

The crew on board the Australian navy's Ocean Shield will launch the unmanned underwater vehicle Monday evening, said Angus Houston, the head of a joint agency coordinating the search off Australia's west coast. The Bluefin 21 autonomous sub can create a three-dimensional sonar map of the area to chart any debris on the seafloor.

The move comes after crews picked up a series of underwater sounds over the past two weeks that were consistent with an aircraft's black boxes, which contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings. The devices have beacons that emit "pings" so they can be more easily found, but the beacons' batteries last only about a month, and it has been more than a month since the plane vanished.

"We haven't had a single detection in six days, so I guess it's time to go under water," Houston said.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott raised hopes last week when he said authorities were "very confident" the four underwater signals that have been detected are coming from the black boxes on Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.

___

Official IDs suspect in attacks at Kansas City-area Jewish sites as known white supremacist

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- The man accused of killing three people in attacks at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a well-known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader who was once the subject of a nationwide manhunt.

Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Mo., was booked into Johnson County jail on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder after the attacks Sunday in Overland Park.

At a news conference, Overland Park police Chief John Douglass declined to publicly identify the man suspected in the attacks. But an official at the Olathe jail, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the case, identified the suspect as 73-year-old Frazier Glenn Cross, of Aurora, Mo.

"Today is a sad and very tragic day," Douglass said at the news conference. "As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation. There's a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hardcore information."

According to police, the attacks happened within minutes of one another. At around 1 p.m. a gunman shot two people in the parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. He then drove a few blocks away to a Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, and gunned down a woman or girl there, Douglass said. Officers arrested him in an elementary school parking lot a short time later.

___

Kiev deadline for disarming, freeing buildings in east Ukraine passes

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Pro-Russian separatists on Monday seized a police building in yet another city in Russian-leaning eastern Ukraine, defying government warnings that it was preparing to act against the insurgents.

Dozens of angry men hurled rocks, smashed the windows and broke into a police station in the city of Horlivka not far from the border with Russia, while hundreds of onlookers cheered them on. Thick white smoke rose from the entrance to the building.

The events in Horlivka were the latest sign of trouble in Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions, in which pro-Russian gunmen have seized a number of government buildings demanding more autonomy from the central government and closer ties with Russia.

Kiev authorities and Western officials have accused Moscow of instigating the protests, saying the events echoed those in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia last month. Ever since pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in late February, Russia has demanded constitutional reforms that would turn Ukraine into a loose federal state.

After staunchly refusing such demands, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov indicated Monday that holding a nation-wide referendum on the nation's status was a possibility and that such a vote could be conducted on May 25, along with presidential elections, the Interfax news agency reported.

___

Police seek answers after 7 dead babies found in garage of Utah home; woman arrested

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (AP) -- The discovery of seven dead babies in cardboard boxes in a Utah garage has police desperately seeking answers from the mother and other family members about how such a tragedy unfolded over a decade with no one noticing.

Megan Huntsman, 39, is accused of killing her babies after giving birth to the children between 1996 and 2006, investigators said. She was booked Sunday into the Utah County Jailwith six counts of murder. It wasn't immediately clear if Huntsman has an attorney or why there were six counts and not seven.

The gruesome case has raised a series of questions about how the killings occurred despite Huntsman carrying out what neighbors seemed like a normal existence. Police declined to comment on a motive and what Huntsman said during an interview with investigators.

Her estranged husband made the discovery while cleaning out the garage after recently getting out of prison, and authorities do not believe he was aware of the killings and he isn't a person of interest at this time.

Police Capt. Michael Roberts said officers responded to a call from him Saturday about a dead infant, and then they found the six other bodies.

___

Explosion blasts busy bus station in Nigerian capital, killing many and destroying 30 vehicles

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- An explosion blasted through a busy commuter bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, before 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) Monday as hundreds of people were traveling to work.

Many are feared dead. Reporters saw rescue workers and police gathering body parts.

The blast ripped a hole 4 feet deep (1.2 meters) in the ground of Nyanya Motor Park about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the city center and destroyed more than 30 vehicles, causing secondary explosions as their fuel tanks ignited and burned.

There was no official comment or an immediate claim for Monday's explosion though bus stations are a favored target of Nigeria's Islamic extremists.

The Islamic extremists have been threatening to attack the capital, in the middle of the country and hundreds of miles from its traditional base in the northeast, where it has killed nearly 1,500 people this year.

___

Medical marijuana measure in Florida a key test of pot's political potency for Democrats

MIAMI (AP) -- Democrats in the nation's largest swing-state see the question of whether to legalize medical marijuana as a rare source of hope and high voter turnout in this year's midterm elections.

Party operatives are pushing a constitutional amendment that would make Florida the first state in the South to legalize some pot use. Polls show the measure has widespread public support, and it's particularly popular among young voters -- a critical part of the Democratic coalition with historically weak turnout in non-presidential election years.

"I wish that it didn't take medical marijuana on the ballot to motivate our young voters to go and vote because there's far too much at stake for them and their children," said Ana Cruz, former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party. "But listen, we'll take it any way we can get it."

At stake is the Florida governor's office, as well as a handful of competitive House seats. But the nation's political world will be watching Florida's turnout in November for clues to whether pot on the ballot could draw young people to the polls.

In 2012, both Washington and Colorado saw spikes in youth turnout when marijuana initiatives were on the ballot. This year, Florida could be a critical test case for whether those increases were an anomaly or the start of a trend in advance of the presidential election in 2016, when activists plan to launch legalization campaigns in at least six states, including battleground Nevada.

___

Fed agency revisits safety rules after tragic college bus crash in Northern California

RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) -- Federal transportation authorities are investigating ways to minimize death and injuries in bus crashes following the fiery wreck leaving 10 dead when a FedEx truck slammed into a bus carrying high school students in Northern California.

On Thursday, the truck driver veered across the Interstate 5 median, sideswiped a sedan and collided with the bus, leaving no tire marks to suggest he had applied his brakes. Dozens of injured students escaped through windows before the vehicles exploded into towering flames and billowing smoke in Orland, Calif., 100 miles north of Sacramento. The sedan driver told investigators the truck was in flames before the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board investigators found no physical evidence of a pre-impact fire or other witnesses to confirm that account.

The bus was carrying 44 students from Southern California for a free tour of Humboldt State University. Many were hoping to be the first in their families to attend college. Five students, the three adult chaperones and both drivers died.

"The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we've issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been lost . and find out (that) if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved," NTSB member Mark Rosekind said Friday.

His agency has long advocated for seatbelt, emergency exits and fire-safety rules to protect bus passengers. But federal agencies are often slow to heed the call. The California case can reinforce the need for regulations or expose the need for new rules, Rosekind said.

___

AP PHOTOS: 4 heroes of the Boston Marathon bombing: EMT, volunteer, spectator, survivor

An EMT. A volunteer. A spectator in a cowboy hat.

Moments after bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, these three helped rescue a man whose legs were blown off, a scene captured in an Associated Press photo. That man, Jeff Bauman, was lauded as a hero himself when he gave authorities a description that helped them track down two suspects.

A year later, the AP revisited the lives of the four people in the image.

PAUL MITCHELL

___

MTV Movie Awards showcases upcoming Hollywood studio blockbusters

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night's show cemented that change, as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted at the madcap ceremony.

In its 22nd year, the MTV Movie Awards show has become an important event for Hollywood studios. And oh yes, there were some awards, too.

At last year's show, which saw an average of 3.8 million viewers, up from 3.2 million for the previous year's telecast, included new footage from "Iron Man 3" and the world premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" trailer, which was introduced by one of the films' stars, Liam Hemsworth.

Sure, an abundance of golden popcorn-shaped prizes were again presented for fun fair, like the award for best shirtless performance, which Zac Efron accepted, well, shirtless. But it's the summer movie teasers -- and the stars attached to them -- that really make the show.

Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone (who will also appear in Woody Allen's "Magic in the Moonlight," July 25) and Jamie Foxx, star in the seventh installment of Sony's "Spider-Man" franchise, which kicks off the summer movie season on May 2. The trio introduced a clip of the film showing Spider-Man (Garfield) and the sparkling blue villain Electro (Foxx) battling in New York's Times Square.

___

Green again: Bubba Watson wins another Masters, and this time he can celebrate in style

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- Bubba Watson scooped up his son, hugged his wife and took off down the ropes along the 18th green, high-fiving the patrons at Augusta National.

This was the kind of Bubba-like celebration he would've relished two years ago, but it wasn't possible that Sunday.

Watson and his wife had just adopted their little boy, so the rest of the family stayed at home. The Masters was decided not in front of the clubhouse, but down in the hollow at No. 10, where Watson won a nerve-wracking playoff by whacking a trick shot off the pine straw and around a tree. It ended suddenly, dramatically, without the proper time to commemorate the occasion.

Not a problem this time.

Watson seized the lead from Jordan Spieth with a dramatic two-hole swing before the turn. The last real uneasy moment came at the 13th, where the left-hander launched a slicing tee shot around the trees -- nicking a limb or two along the way -- to set up an easy two-putt birdie that essentially clinched his victory.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.