Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

March 17, 2017 - 5:49 am


Judge doesn't extend order on new travel ban

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle has ruled that his order blocking President Donald Trump's original travel ban will not apply to Trump's revised ban.

Judge James Robart says there are enough differences between the two executive orders.

But the new ban has been blocked by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland. And Robart says he'll rule later on a request from Washington state and several other states that have asked him to also block the revised ban.


GOP governors say health care bill doesn't work

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican congressional leaders are turning to President Donald Trump to wrangle support for their divisive health care legislation meant to dismantle and replace "Obamacare."

Yesterday, the House Budget Committee narrowly voted to advance the GOP bill, with defections by three GOP conservatives.

And four GOP governors have written congressional leaders saying the bill would not work for their states.


Syrian activists say airstrike on mosque kills at least 35

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian first responders and activists say an airstrike on a mosque in a rebel-held area has killed at least 35 people.

The Syrian Civil Defense, volunteer paramedics known as the White Helmets, says first responders are racing to the scene after Thursday's airstrike in the Jeenah area, near the rebel-held province of Idlib.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 42 people were killed, mainly civilians.

Jeeneh is in the western Aleppo countryside, which along with Idlib is home to hundreds of thousands of Syrians displaced by fighting in other areas.

Russian and Syrian aircraft are known to operate in the opposition-held region.


Tillerson gets a look at NKorea at the DMZ between Koreas

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says it may be necessary to take pre-emptive military action against North Korea if the threat from its weapons program reaches a level "that we believe requires action."

Tillerson spoke at a news conference in Seoul after visiting the heavily militarized border with North Korea today.

Asked about the possibility of using military force against the North, Tillerson said, "all of the options are on the table."

He said the U.S. does not want a military conflict, but if North Korea takes actions that threaten South Korean or U.S. forces it would be met with an "appropriate response."

Past U.S. administrations have considered military force because of North Korea's development of nuclear weapons, but rarely has that option been expressed so explicitly.


NEW: Trump's campaign insults complicate Merkel visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is welcoming German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House after spending much of 2016 bashing her, accusing her of "ruining" Germany by allowing an influx of refugees from Syria.

The leaders of the Western world's most influential counties meet face-to-face for the first time in Washington today. The White House says the agenda includes discussions on strengthening NATO, fighting the Islamic State group and resolving Ukraine's conflict. All are matters that require close cooperation between the U.S. and Germany.

The meeting will be capped with a joint news conference.

The sit-down could be a restart of a relationship. In his meetings with world leaders since he took office, Trump has adopted a more diplomatic persona.


Mexico program to offer up to 50,000 jobs for deportees

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government has signed an agreement with a private organization to provide thousands of jobs for repatriated citizens as the United States moves to boost deportations of immigrants in that country illegally.

Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says 22 associations that make up the organization known as ASUME will work to offer as many as 50,000 jobs. The initiative aims to take advantage of the skills and knowledge of deportees.

Osorio Chong says he rejects U.S. policies targeting Mexican migrants, but his country is prepared to receive those who return.

He said Thursday that 2.5 million Mexicans have been deported back home in the last eight years, during the administration of then-U.S. President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump has promised to implement even more aggressive migration-enforcement policies.


EMT struck, killed by stolen ambulance in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say an emergency medical technician in New York City has died after she was run over by a stolen ambulance.

Authorities say 44-year-old Yadira Arroyo had stopped her ambulance in the Bronx around yesterday evening after being alerted that a man was riding on the back of the vehicle.

Police say when she got out to investigate, the man jumped into the vehicle.

Arroyo tried to stop the man, but he put the ambulance in reverse, striking her. He then crashed into parked cars and got stuck on a snowbank.

He's now in custody.


Illinois paramedic saves infant from submerged SUV

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities have praised the actions of a fast-thinking paramedic who dove into a frigid Illinois lake and saved an infant from a submerged SUV.

Madison County Sheriff John Lakin says a motorist called 911 Thursday morning to report a car heading down a hill toward Silver Lake in Highland, Illinois. Paramedic Todd Zobrist arrived on the scene and swam toward the SUV, where he found a baby floating inside. He pulled the baby onto the hood of the vehicle and administered CPR. The child was then taken to a hospital.

Lakin says the baby is expected to make a full recovery. Highland Emergency Medical Services chief Brian Wilson called Zobrist's actions heroic.

Authorities later recovered two bodies in related incidents. One was recovered from the lake and the other after a house fire.


Plane lands safely in Australia after propeller falls off

SYDNEY (AP) — A passenger plane has landed safely after one of its two propellers fell off in an extraordinary emergency as it approached Sydney's main airport.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson says Regional Express Airlines crew reported the right engine propeller assembly separated from the Saab 340 plane 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Sydney Airport.

Flight 768 was carrying 16 passengers and three crew from Albury, 500 kilometers (300 miles) southwest of Sydney. Accident investigators have appealed to anyone who finds propeller parts on Sydney's outskirts to come forward to help explain what went wrong.

The parts that fell off apparently did not cause further damage to the plane.


Oklahoma GOP senator's fall from power is stunningly fast

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A two-term Oklahoma Republican state senator's fall from political power following his arrest on child prostitution charges has been stunningly fast.

Before state Sen. Ralph Shortey was even arrested or formally charged, Senate workers already had scraped his name from his office door, changed the locks and painted over his name in the parking lot.

After felony charges were filed Thursday alleging the 35-year-old solicited sex from a 17-year-old boy, the state's most prominent Republican leaders immediately began calling for his resignation, including Gov. Mary Fallin.

A conservative Republican with a wife and three young daughters, Shortey surrendered to authorities on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church. He was released on a $100,000 bond.


Huge fire engulfs apartment building under construction

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Firefighters are battling a massive fire that has engulfed an apartment building under construction in North Carolina's capital city.

Raleigh police spokeswoman Laura Hourigan says preliminary information indicates there were no injuries. She says the fire began shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday in the building in downtown Raleigh, a city in the eastern part of the state.

A witness, Pedro Tapiak, told the News and Observer of Raleigh that spreading flames caused a construction crane to collapse.

Firefighters on extended ladders dumped water on the flames as wind gusts spread smoke for blocks around. Local media reports say there were no signs of anyone trapped in the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Slammer Sale: States find closed prisons can be a tough sell

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — States are finding out the hard way that closed prisons can be a tough sell.

A recent national study found at least 94 state correctional facilities have been shut down since 2011, and only a few have been sold.

Developers say cell blocks and dormitories tend to be too expensive to tear down, and too restrictive to repurpose.

In New York, a mountaintop site in the Adirondacks is on the market for the second time in two years despite stunning views and proximity to the tourist destination of Saratoga Springs.

But a few states have had success. In Virginia, a former prison will be the site of more than 270 homes. In Tennessee, the former Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary is being turned into a whiskey distillery and tourist attraction.


NEW: Ex-Power Ranger pleads guilty to killing roommate with sword

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) — A former "Power Rangers" TV actor has pleaded guilty to killing his roommate, who was stabbed to death with a sword.

Thirty-eight-year-old Ricardo Medina entered a plea Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter with the use of a sword. He faces six years in state prison.

Prosecutors say Medina stabbed Joshua Sutter several times in the abdomen two years ago at their house in Green Valley, a mountain town north of Los Angeles.

The two had argued over Medina's girlfriend.

Medina played the Red Lion Wild Force Ranger on "Power Rangers Wild Force" in 2002. He was the voice of Deker on "Power Rangers Samurai" in 2011 and 2012.

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