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

March 22, 2017 - 4:11 pm


Four dead, police believe there was one attacker

LONDON (AP) — Details of today's deadly attack in London are becoming clearer. Police now confirm that the man who ran down pedestrians with a car on Westminster Bridge is the same man who then stabbed to death an armed police officer inside the gates of Parliament before being fatally shot by police.

In addition to the attacker, three people died. About 20 others were injured.

Police say the dead policeman was one of the armed officers who guard Parliament. The other victims were on Westminster Bridge.


UPDATE: Trump offers condolences

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has offered his condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May following the deadly attack in London.

The White House says the president praised the response of security forces and first responders and pledged "the full cooperation and support" of the U.S. government "in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice."

The White House says the two spoke by phone after a vehicle mowed down pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge. Around the same time, a knife-wielding attacker stabbed a police officer and was shot on the grounds outside Britain's Parliament. The compound is in lockdown.

The head of counterterrorism at London's Metropolitan Police has said that four people have died in what has been labeled a terror incident, including an attacker and a police officer.


UPDATE: Trump feels 'somewhat' vindicated after Nunes intel briefing

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he feels "somewhat" vindicated by statements by the House Intelligence chairman on the legal and incidental surveillance of the president and Trump transition officials.

Trump says in response to a question during a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus that he felt "somewhat" vindicated following his briefing by Republican House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes of California.

The president says, "I very much appreciated the fact that they found what they found."

Trump has claimed that former President Barack Obama's wiretapped his New York skyscraper last year. But FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Security Agency said this week that there was no evidence to back up Trump's assertions.


WH distances Trump from Manafort after AP report

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is distancing itself from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying his secret work for a Russian billionaire detailed in an Associated Press report happened during "the last decade."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says nothing in Wednesday's AP report references any action by the president, the White House or any Trump administration official.

Spicer says Trump was not aware of Manafort's clients from the past decade and there are "no suggestions" Manafort did anything improper.

Spicer also says former presidential rival Hillary Clinton had her own Russia ties. He says Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta sat on the board of a Russian-based energy company and Hillary Clinton was "the face of a failed Russia reset policy."


Trump lawyers ask court to move quickly on travel ban appeal

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Donald Trump's administration is asking a U.S. court to quickly hear its appeal of a ruling that blocked the president's revised travel ban.

Lawyers for the president filed a brief with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia on Wednesday. In it, they argue that the matter is one of national importance and should be reviewed as soon as possible.

They want the court to set an expedited schedule for filing briefs and to hold oral arguments at the earliest opportunity after those are filed.

Courts in Maryland and Hawaii earlier this month blocked the revised ban, which would temporarily ban travel to the U.S. from six predominantly Muslim countries.

The ruling was a victory for immigrant advocates and civil liberties groups, which claimed the ban violated the Constitution.


UPDATE: Manchin says he's open to backing Gorsuch

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is a "fine individual, a very good human being" and that he's open to voting for him.

Manchin sat in the audience for part of Gorsuch's confirmation hearing Wednesday. Manchin said he's assessing Gorsuch's demeanor, and "he's been pretty solid" so far. He also has a meeting with Gorsuch next week.

Senate Republicans will need the support of at least eight Democratic senators to easily move forward with Gorsuch's nomination. Or they may change Senate rules to assure his confirmation.

Manchin says Democrats should be open.

Noting that Democrats lost the presidential election, Manchin said: "You're not going to get someone of your preference. You get someone you can live with and someone who has good character and good stature."


NEW: Disability rights group protests health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of protesters, many in wheelchairs, have been escorted out of the Capitol Rotunda by police during an apparent protest of the health care bill being considered in the House.

Chanting "Rather go to jail than die without Medicaid," the protesters were led out individually or in pairs by members of the U.S. Capitol Police.

An agency spokeswoman, Eva Malecki, says arrests were made and additional details will be provided later.

One of the protesters being led out says she is part of ADAPT, an organization that promotes rights for people with disabilities.

One protester is displaying a sign that says "Medicaid = Life 4 Disabled."

The GOP-led bill would limit future federal financing for Medicaid.


NEW: After surgery, Georgia senator could miss crucial votes

ATLANTA (AP) — Sen. Johnny Isakson is recuperating from back surgery and could miss crucial votes on health care and President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Aides said Wednesday that the Republican senator from Georgia still awaits his physician's approval to travel to Washington. That could complicate GOP plans to move quickly on the legislation as well as the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the high court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants to vote on the health care bill next week and the court nominee before the mid-April recess.

The House is scheduled to vote on the health care bill Thursday, but several conservatives remain opposed. Six Republican senators have said they cannot support the House bill.

Isakson's spokeswoman, Amanda Maddox, said her boss remains in touch with colleagues.


NEW: Aid group says millions of Afghan children are not in school

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An aid group says nearly a third of all children in war-torn Afghanistan are unable to attend school, leaving them at increased risk of child labor, recruitment by armed groups, early marriage and other forms of exploitation.

Save the Children says more than 400,000 Afghan children, over 1,100 per day, are expected to drop out of school this year due to growing instability and the forcible return of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, adding to the 3.7 million already out of school.

More than 600,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan in 2016 and around one million more are expected in 2017.

The report says over half of all returnee children do not attend school, often working on the streets because their parents cannot find jobs.


Prosecutor pleads not guilty in bribery case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia's top prosecutor has pleaded not guilty at his federal court arraignment on bribery and extortion charges.

Democratic District Attorney Seth Williams was to be released on $50,000 bond after Wednesday's arraignment. No trial date has been set. Williams surrendered his passport and will be allowed to travel only in eastern Pennsylvania unless he gets permission to go elsewhere.

Williams is accused of taking Caribbean trips, free flights and $9,000 in cash from an unnamed business owner who sought official favors. He's also accused of misspending $20,000 meant for a relative's nursing home care.

The prosecutor admits he accepted more than $100,000 in gifts while in office. But his lawyer says he denies ever compromising a case and vows to fight the charges.


Figures show drop in crime reporting by Latinos

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crime statistics show there were 41 fewer sexual assaults reported by Latinos in Los Angeles during the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

The statistics provided by the Los Angeles Police Department also show there were 118 less reports of domestic violence reported by Latinos.

The same large declines haven't been seen in other ethnic groups.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said there is a strong correlation between the drop in police reports and concerns of increased immigration enforcement that the Trump administration has called for.

Beck says immigrants in the country illegally fear they could face deportation if they interact with police or appear in court.

Jessica Vaughan, with the Center for Immigration Studies, says it is careless to draw a conclusion between the drop in reporting and fears of immigration enforcement.


Oklahoma lawmaker charged with child prostitution resigns

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma state senator accused of hiring a 17-year-old boy for sex has resigned.

Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey submitted his resignation letter Wednesday. He was arrested last week on charges of engaging in child prostitution, transporting a minor for prostitution and engaging in prostitution within 1,000 feet of church.

The 35-year-old married father of three is out on $100,000 bond. Oklahoma's most prominent Republican leaders had called for his resignation after he was charged.

Acting on a tip from the teenager's father, police in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore say they went to a Super 8 Hotel earlier this month and smelled marijuana coming from a room. They say they found Shortey and the teenager.

Shortey had represented his Oklahoma City district in the state Senate for seven years.


Arctic sea ice shrivels to record low for winter

WASHINGTON (AP) — The frigid top of the Earth just set yet another record for low levels of sea ice in what scientists say is a signal of an overheating world.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado says the Arctic this month set a record low for winter peak sea ice area: 5.57 million square miles (14.42 million square kilometers).That's about 35,000 square miles (97,000 square kilometers) below 2015's record.

Center Director Mark Serreze says the less ice that grows in the winter, the deeper the melt problem is in the Arctic in the crucial summer. More areas will likely be ice-free.

Serreze says what's happening is important because Earth is losing a key part of its climate system.

Satellite records go back 38 years.


Lawmaker wants public debate on climate change

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Republican lawmaker in Maine who has introduced a bill that would protect people from discrimination based on their beliefs about climate change says he thinks it's an open question whether human activity is the primary cause of it.

Rep. Larry Lockman's bill would limit the attorney general's ability to investigate or prosecute people based on their political speech, including their views on climate change. It would also prohibit the state from discriminating in buying goods or services or awarding grants or contracts based on a person's "climate change policy preferences."

Peer-reviewed studies, science organizations and climate scientists say that the world is warming from man-made forces.

Lockman tells The Associated Press there needs to be a "vigorous public debate" on whether human activity is the main cause of climate change.


NEW: Prosecutors say Oregon day care provider left children alone

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors say a day care provider in Oregon faces more than 100 criminal counts after being accused of leaving children as young as six months old alone multiple times to go to a tanning salon and gym.

A grand jury indicted 31-year-old January Neatherlin of Bend of criminal mistreatment and reckless endangerment.

Authorities said she was arrested last week after police found seven children alone in her home.

State records show the business, Little Giggles Daycare, was investigated twice since 2014 by state child welfare advocates.

In one case, she was found to be caring for more children than allowed without a license. She was told to drop her number to three or less children.

The second case involved the same issue.

Her attorney did not immediately return a call on Wednesday.


NEW: Funeral held for pugnacious NY journalist Jimmy Breslin

NEW YORK (AP) — New York political leaders from the last 50 years have joined Jimmy Breslin's family in celebrating the life of the pugnacious journalist.

During the funeral Wednesday, Kevin Breslin alluded to his father's gruffness. He thanked the assembled by joking: "I'm not sure that he would come here for any of us."

Fellow columnist and longtime friend Michael Daly said nobody brought more honor to the New York City press pass than Breslin.

The program picture, from 1985, showed Breslin standing on the street. It was taken by Jill Krementz, a well-known photographer who's the widow of Kurt Vonnegut.

Breslin died Sunday at age 88.

He spent decades battling corrupt politicians and championing the downtrodden in columns for the Daily News and other New York newspapers.

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