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

March 20, 2017 - 12:43 am

WHITE HOUSE-SUSPICIOUS CAR

Man who drove suspicious car near White House is detained

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who drove to a security checkpoint near the White House in a car that was deemed suspicious has been detained by the U.S. Secret Service.

Media outlets reported Sunday that the suspect has been identified by police as 29-year-old Sean Patrick Keoughan of Roanoke, Virginia.

The car was stopped Saturday night about a quarter-mile from the White House.

The Secret Service says it's investigating. It hasn't said what caused the car to be considered suspicious.

Republican President Donald Trump wasn't at the White House because he and his family are spending the weekend at his resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Earlier Saturday someone jumped a low metal barrier just outside a White House fence. About a week earlier a man breached an outer perimeter fence and scaled a vehicle gate to gain entry to the White House grounds, raising questions about lapses in security under the Secret Service's watch.

TRUMP TRAVEL BAN-LAWSUITS

Judge rejects request to clarify travel order

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge has rejected the Justice Department's request for clarification on his temporary order blocking President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson said in court records Sunday that there's nothing unclear about his order and the federal government can't ask for a distinction that officials failed to make in earlier briefs and arguments.

The Justice Department had asked Watson to clarify that his temporary restraining order only applied to the ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries and not a global freeze on refugees entering the United States.

Watson issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by the state of Hawaii, concluding there was "significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus" behind the travel ban.

AUSTRALIA-US-REFUGEES

US officials begin fingerprinting refugee families on Nauru

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Asylum seekers say U.S. security officers have begun fingerprinting refugees held on Pacific islands in the final stage of assessing who will find new lives in the United States.

Department of Homeland Security officers are taking biometric details from refugees on Nauru, including fingerprints, heights and weights, according to a document circulated among asylum seekers and provided to AP on Monday by Mehdi, a refugee on the island nation who for security reasons did not want his family name published.

Mehdi says U.S. officials began scheduling appointments with asylum seeker families on Nauru from Monday.

President Donald Trump has reluctantly agreed to honor an Obama administration deal to accept up to 1,250 refugees refused entry into Australia, but has said they will be subjected to "extreme vetting."

HEALTH OVERHAUL

Ryan: more help for older people needed in GOP health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan says he will seek changes to the GOP health care bill to provide more help to older people who are not yet eligible for Medicare.

Ryan tells "Fox News Sunday" that he feels "very good" about the bill's prospects, but says House leaders are "making fine-tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns."

A Congressional Budget Office analysis last week concluded that older people would likely pay higher premiums under the proposal to repeal and replace Barack Obama's health care law.

Ryan says he believes the CBO analysis is not accurate but agreed that people in their 50s and 60s experience higher health care costs.

The Wisconsin Republican says "we believe we should offer more assistance than what the bill currently does" and that it's one of several possible revisions to help round up enough House votes for the bill.

A House vote on the plan is scheduled for Thursday.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

UPDATE: Hearings to begin on alleged Russian election hacking

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House intelligence committee is set to begin hearings Monday into Russia's role in cybersecurity breaches at the Democratic National Committee.

FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency director Mike Rogers are slated to testify.

Intelligence officials have said that Moscow was behind the theft of DNC emails last summer in an effort to interfere in the presidential election.

JAPAN-RUSSIA

Japan and Russia hold talks on security, territorial dispute

TOKYO (AP) — The foreign and defense ministers from Japan and Russia are meeting in Tokyo for the first such "two-plus-two" talks since Russia's annexation of Ukraine.

Monday's one-day meeting comes as the sides work to end a decades-long territorial dispute that is blocking them from forging a peace treaty. At the same time, Japan, Russia, China and other countries are mulling how best to deal with North Korea's launches of missiles and its nuclear program.

Plans by the U.S. and its ally South Korea to deploy a state-of-the-art missile defense system known as THAAD, meanwhile, have antagonized Beijing and Russia.

Officials on both sides said the talks would largely focus on regional security.

AUSTRALIA-US-REFUGEES

NEW: US officials begin fingerprinting refugee families on Nauru

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Asylum seekers say U.S. security officers have begun fingerprinting refugees held on Pacific islands in the final stage of assessing who will find new lives in the United States.

Department of Homeland Security officers are taking biometric details from refugees on Nauru, including fingerprints, heights and weights, according to a document circulated among asylum seekers and provided to AP on Monday by Mehdi, a refugee on the island nation who for security reasons did not want his family name published.

Mehdi says U.S. officials began scheduling appointments with asylum seeker families on Nauru from Monday.

President Donald Trump has reluctantly agreed to honor an Obama administration deal to accept up to 1,250 refugees refused entry into Australia, but has said they will be subjected to "extreme vetting."

COLORADO WILDFIRE

Colorado wildfire may be human-caused

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire that caused people to flee hundreds of homes just west of Boulder, Colorado, has been 50 percent contained.

The progress update was released late Sunday by the Boulder Office of Emergency Management.

Firefighters plan to monitor the perimeter of the 62-acre fire and focus on protecting structures overnight. No structures have been damaged by the blaze, which Boulder County Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Wagner says may be human-caused.

Evacuation orders for residents of 426 homes remain in place.

Crews hope to fully contain the blaze on Monday.

AUSTRALIA-CROCODILE ATTACK

Crocodile attacks Aussie teen who jumped into river on dare

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A teen who was attacked by a crocodile after jumping into a crocodile-infested river on a dare is recovering from serious wounds to his arm.

Eighteen-year-old Lee de Paauw was at a hostel in the northern Queensland town of Innisfail around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when he started bragging that he could swim in the river, a known habitat for aggressive saltwater crocodiles.

Sophie Paterson, a British backpacker who was at the hostel, says others egged him on, though none of them thought he would actually do it.

Seconds after jumping into the water, a crocodile latched onto him.

Queensland paramedic Neil Noble said the teen was lucky to escape before the crocodile drowned him.

GUATEMALA-PRISON RIOT

1 dead, several injured in riot at Guatemala prison

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Officials in Guatemala say a riot at a prison for juveniles and adults has resulted in the death of a jail monitor and injuries to several other people.

Sunday's incident came two weeks after unrest at a state-run shelter for children resulted in a fire that killed 40 girls.

The National Civil Police says officers are still investigating what happened at the Central Correctional Stage II prison in San Jose Pinula, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of the capital.

Volunteer firefighters have told local media that the monitor who was killed had been beaten, but the cause of death has not been determined.

PENN STATE-ABUSE

NEW: Jury selection to begin in Penn State ex-president's trial

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of Penn State's former president on charges that his response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal put children at risk.

Graham Spanier's trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is scheduled to start on Monday and could last a week or more. Potential witnesses include two of his former top lieutenants who recently struck plea deals with prosecutors.

The 68-year-old Spanier faces two counts of endangering the welfare of children and a single conspiracy charge.

Prosecutors say Spanier and two of his former top lieutenants dealt with complaints about Sandusky more than 15 years ago.

Spanier was forced out as university president shortly after Sandusky was charged with child molestation in November 2011.

He has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing.

HOME HEALTH AIDE SHORTAGE

NEW: Minimum-wage hikes could deepen shortage of health aides

WEST CHAZY, N.Y. (AP) — Advocates for the disabled, elderly and chronically ill in New York are concerned the state's move to a $15 minimum wage could deepen a shortage of home health aides.

More than 180,000 Medicaid patients in New York are authorized to receive long-term, in-home care, the most in the state's history. But there are increasingly too few aides to go around, especially in the state's remote, rural areas.

It's a national problem that advocates say could get worse when the state's $15 minimum goes statewide by 2021. It could potentially push low-paid health aides into other jobs, in retail or fast-food, that don't require hours of training or the pressure of keeping another person alive.

New York state employs about 326,000 home health workers, but is projected to need another 125,000 by 2024.

LEGALIZED MARIJUANA-MASSACHUSETTS

NEW: Massachusetts panel opens hearings on recreational pot law

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are vowing to respect the will of the voters, but aren't ruling out changes to the state's recreational marijuana law.

A special legislative committee that's considering revisions to the law opens hearings at the Statehouse on Monday.

Among those expected to testify are members of "Yes on 4," the group that led the ballot initiative that made Massachusetts one of eight states where recreational marijuana use by adults is now legal. The group is demanding that lawmakers leave the measure alone and give it time to work.

State treasurer Deb Goldberg, whose office will oversee regulation of marijuana sales, also is scheduled to appear before the panel.

The Legislature already has moved to postpone the opening of retail pot shops in the state until mid-2018 at the earliest.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()