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

March 02, 2017 - 8:46 pm

ATTORNEY GENERAL-RUSSIA-SESSIONS

Sessions recuses himself from Russia probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 White House election.

Sessions faced mounting pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to step aside after revelations that he had twice talked with Moscow's U.S. envoy during the presidential campaign. Sessions' conversations with the ambassador seem to contradict his sworn statements to Congress during his confirmation hearings.

Sessions says he should not be involved in investigating a presidential campaign he had a role in. He made the comment at a Thursday news. The move came after revelations that Sessions twice spoke to the Russia's mbassador to the U.S. during the presidential campaign.

Sessions rejected any suggestion that he tried to mislead anyone about his contacts with the Russian, saying, "That is not my intent. That is not correct."

But he says he "should have slowed down and said 'but I did meet with one Russian official a couple of times.' "

Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente (bihn-taye will handle any matters related to investigation.

ATTORNEY GENERAL-RUSSIA-TRUMP

Trump 'wasn't aware' of Sessions' Russian talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he "wasn't aware" that his attorney general —former Sen. Jeff Sessions — had contact with the Russian ambassador during last year's White House campaign.

Trump made the comment in Newport News, Virginia, before giving a speech aboard the USS Gerald Ford.

Sessions spoke twice with Russia's ambassador to the United States during the campaign. Those conversations appear to contradict Sessions' testimony to Congress during his confirmation hearings.

Democrats are demanding that Sessions resign over the contact, while Democratic leaders and some Republicans say Sessions should step aside from a federal investigation into Russian interference in the election.

ATTORNEY GENERAL-RUSSIA-KUSHNER

Kushner met with Russian before inauguration

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and the man who would become national security adviser, Michael Flynn, met with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. in December.

The official calls the sit-down at New York's Trump Tower a "brief courtesy meeting."

Flynn was fired last month because he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The Trump team's public accounting of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador have changed multiple times. The White House did not confirm the in-person meeting — or Kushner's contact with the ambassador — until Thursday.

The official isn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and insists on anonymity.

SENATE-PERRY

Perry sworn in as energy secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been sworn in as President Donald Trump's energy secretary.

Perry was approved by the Senate earlier Thursday by a 62-37 vote. He was sworn in at the White House by Vice President Mike Pence.

Perry — who once pledged to eliminate the Energy Department — has repeatedly promised to be an advocate for the agency and to protect the nation's nuclear stockpile. Perry also has said he'd rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.

Perry has said he'll work to develop American energy in all forms — from oil, gas and nuclear power to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

SCHOOL-FUNDING-KANSAS

Lawyers say Kansas must hike school aid by $800M

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for four Kansas school districts that are suing the state to increase school funding say the state Supreme Court's new ruling will require a funding boost of at least $800 million per year.

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state isn't spending enough money on its schools to provide a suitable education to every child, which the state constitution requires. The justices did not set a specific figure for how much more the state must spend a year.

Attorneys Alan Rupe and John Robb say the ruling suggests that the increase must be sizeable because it affirmed a lower court panel's findings that spending was inadequate.

Rupe and Robb represent the Dodge City, Hutchinson, Wichita and Kansas City, Kansas, districts. They used the state in 2010.

SUPREME COURT-TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS

Apple, IBM, Microsoft back transgender teen at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apple, IBM and Microsoft are among 53 companies urging the Supreme Court to rule that a transgender teenager has the right to use the boys' bathroom at his Virginia high school.

The businesses signed onto a brief filed Thursday in high school senior Gavin Grimm's lawsuit against the Gloucester (GLAH'-stur) County school board.

Grimm says he wants to use the bathroom that matches his chosen gender. He is challenging the board's policy that prohibits him from using the boys' bathroom.

Airbnb, eBay, PayPal, Tumblr and Williams-Sonoma also are part of the brief that argues that "transgender individuals deserve the same treatment and protections" as everyone else.

The case is scheduled to be argued on March 28, but the school board is seeking a delay.

FATAL FIRE-OREGON

Official: Space heater led to fatal Oregon fire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The fire chief in a rural Oregon town says a house fire that killed four children and critically burned three other people was caused by a portable space heater.

Riddle Fire Protection District Chief Rich Holloway said Thursday on the fire district's Facebook page that the fire was caused by combustible materials placed too close to the heater.

The authenticity of the post was confirmed by City Manager Kathy Wilson.

Holloway says a component of the family's fireplace that circulated heated air back into the house had malfunctioned several days before.

The family bought the space heater to stay warm until they could get the fireplace repaired.

Four children ages 4 to 13 died in the blaze.

Thirty-nine-year-old James Keith Howell, 38-year-old Tabitha Annette Howell and 13-year-old Andrew Hall-Young are in critical condition at a Portland hospital.

AMAZON-OUTAGE

Fat finger: Typo caused Amazon's big cloud-computing outage

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says an incorrectly typed command during a routine debugging of its billing system caused the five-hour outage of some Amazon Web Services servers on Tuesday.

In a summary posted online, the Seattle company says a command meant to remove a small number of servers for one of its S3 subsystems was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed. A full restart was required, which took longer than expected due to how fast Amazon Web Services has grown over the past few years.

Amazon says it is making changes to its system to make sure incorrect commands won't trigger an outage of its web services in the future.

Amazon is the world's largest provider of cloud services, which entails hosting companies' computing functions on remote servers.

SEX ABUSE-HAITI

Former US missionary in Haiti accused of child sexual abuse

MIAMI (AP) — U.S. authorities have charged an Arkansas man with sexually abusing children while working as a missionary in Haiti.

Daniel Pye became well-known among missionaries in Haiti as he helped coordinate relief efforts in Jacmel after the January 2010 earthquake. He was jailed for about five months in Haiti in 2011 amid a dispute with members of his U.S.-based mission over property belonging to their home for children.

Following a two-year investigation, prosecutors in Miami have charged Pye with four counts of traveling from South Florida to Haiti to engage in sexual conduct with children

A judge in Arkansas set bond at $5,000, but prosecutors filed a motion Thursday to reverse the decision. He remains in custody.

RACIALLY COLORBLIND KIDS

Story of 2 boys, 1 white and 1 black, teaches racial harmony

UNDATED (AP) — Sometimes life's lessons come from those with the least experience.

The story of two 5-year-old boys from Kentucky, one white and one black, is teaching people about racial harmony. The story exploded online when the mother of Jax, the white boy, posted on Facebook about how her son wanted to get his haircut like his black buddy, Reddy, so they could trick their teacher. The boys believe if they have the same haircut, their teacher won't be able to tell them apart.

WAVE-TV followed Jax to his haircut, and he and Reddy giggle and goof around as Jax gets his hair shaved off.

In the video, Reddy sums it all up: "Jax's me ... and I'm Jax."

Jax's mother says she is glad people can "see what little kids see."

SUBWAY-CHICKEN

Subway: Tests show only "trace" soy in chicken

Subway says lab tests it commissioned show its chicken had only trace amounts of soy.

That comes after a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. show reported that tests showed only about half the DNA from Subway chicken samples was from chicken. The rest was mostly from soy.

After calling the report "false and misleading," Subway followed up by saying it sent chicken samples to two labs and the results from both found soy protein to be less than 1 percent. The sandwich chain said it used samples from the supplier that provides products to all its Canadian locations. The company said it uses a different supplier in the U.S., but that the recipe for the product is similar. It says soy is an ingredient it uses in the marinade and seasoning for its chicken.

The CBC has stood by its report, saying Wednesday it tested multiple Subway chicken samples from various locations in southern Ontario. It noted that DNA tests don't reveal the exact amount of chicken in a product, but are a good indicator of its proportion of animal DNA.

The CBC didn't immediately respond to Subway's tests.

SLEEP PODS-HIGH SCHOOL

NEW: It's nap time for high school students who use 'sleep pods'

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Taking a power nap has never been easier for some high school students in New Mexico.

"Sleep pods" have been installed at a few high schools in the Las Cruces area. KRQE reports that the pods let students lie on a recliner while listening to music as colorful lights shine inside.

Linda Summers is an associate professor at New Mexico State University. She wrote a federal grant that awarded the college $128,000 and the university donated the pods to the high schools. At the time, the pods cost $14,000.

Summers tells KVIA that they've found agitated adolescents responded well to the sleep pods. She says they could be having an argument with someone, go into the pod for 20 minutes and be able to return to class.

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