Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

March 05, 2017 - 2:15 am


UPDATE: Senator asks Trump to explain tweets; Obama spokesman denies Trump's wiretap allegation

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska is calling on President Donald Trump to explain himself following the Saturday morning Twitter allegations that his phones were tapped on orders of former President Barack Obama during last year's campaign.

The tweets provided no evidence, just the allegation. Sasse says Trump should explain himself, "ideally to the full public, and at a bare minimum to the U.S. Senate."

A spokesman for former President Barack Obama says that "neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen." Kevin Lewis says "any suggestion otherwise is simply false."

Trump said in one of a series of angry early morning tweets that he "just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!'

He also compared the alleged events to "Nixon/Watergate" and called Obama a "Bad (or sick) guy."

It's not clear what prompted Trump's outrage.

In recent days, the Breitbart News website has published reports citing other anonymously sourced or unconfirmed reports about Obama administration attempts to investigate Trump campaign ties to Moscow. The Associated Press has not confirmed those reports.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that Trump was making "the most outlandish and destructive claims without providing a scintilla of evidence to support them."

Trump is spending the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, his waterfront estate in Palm Beach, Florida.


Supporters turn out for 'March 4 Trump' rallies around US

NEW YORK (AP) —People who voted for Donald Trump are showing their support for the nation's 45th president.

On Saturday, they convened at various prominent locations across the country in rallies to show their pride in his presidency.

The "March 4 Trump" demonstrations were also intended to show unity in the face of what organizers call "a seditious fringe" aiming to sabotage his vision for the country.

Scores of people rallied in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The Virginian-Pilot reports around 200 Trump backers showed up for the event at Mount Trashmore Park.

Also in attendance were some 100 counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, the Washington State Patrol says four demonstrators were arrested Saturday in the state capital of Olympia at a rally in support of Trump.

KOMO-TV reports that about 225 people attended the pro-Trump rally and a group of about 150 people against Trump staged a counter-protest.

Authorities did not say if the people arrested were pro-Trump or anti-Trump. The station reports that the demonstrators are accused of assaulting a police officer.


Pence criticizes AP for publishing his wife's email address

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is criticizing The Associated Press for listing his wife's email address in a story about his frequent resistance to public records requests while Indiana's governor.

In a tweet Saturday, Pence said that by publishing the personal AOL address of his wife, Karen, the AP "violated her privacy and our security." The vice president posted a letter his counsel sent to Gary Pruitt, the AP's president and CEO.

On Friday, the AP reported the Pences used their AOL accounts to conduct official business since at least 2013.

Lauren Easton, the AP's director of media relations, said in a statement: "AP removed the email address from subsequent stories after learning Mrs. Pence still used the account. The AP stands by its story, which addresses important transparency issues."


NEW: NYPD probing possible vandalism at largely Jewish cemetery

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department is investigating a report of possible vandalism at a predominantly Jewish cemetery.

An NYPD spokesman says Sunday the department's hate crimes division has been notified of headstones found toppled over at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted photos Saturday night showing some headstones on the ground. The Democrat says he'll go to the cemetery Sunday to see them.

There has been a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries and 122 bomb threats called in to Jewish organizations in three dozen states since early January.

Authorities said Friday that Juan Thompson, a former journalist fired for fabricating details in stories, made at least eight of the scores of threats against Jewish institutions nationwide as part of a campaign to harass and frame his ex-girlfriend.


NEW: Prosecutors: NY man willing to sacrifice self for jihad

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York man is being held without bail on terrorism charges after federal prosecutors say he traveled to the Middle East to try to join the Islamic State or another terror group.

Elvis Redzepagic was arrested Feb. 2 on a minor unrelated charge, and told police he was going to leave the U.S. and bring back an army with him.

He was released without bail, but continued talking to federal agents, according to a complaint unsealed Saturday.

Federal prosecutors say he was prepared to strap on a bomb and sacrifice himself for jihad. They say he traveled repeatedly to the Middle East.

Redzepagic lives in Commack on Long Island. He told authorities after his arrest that he'd become a devout Muslim while in Montenegro, in the Balkans.


Police: Security guard fatally stabbed at Virginia mall

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (AP) — Police say a security guard at a northern Virginia mall has died after being stabbed by a suspected shoplifter who fled the scene.

Prince William County Police said in a statement that officers responded to the Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge around 2:30 p.m. Saturday after a stabbing was reported.

WUSA-TV reports that 44-year-old Larry Donnell Drumgole was taken to a hospital, where he died. The other employee wasn't hurt.

Police say the suspect, 35-year-old Jamel Carlos Kingsbury, was seen shoplifting inside a Burlington Coat Factory and two loss-prevention employees confronted him. A struggle ensued, and one of the guards was stabbed.

Officers searched the area but couldn't find Kingsbury.

An investigation is ongoing.


Deputies shoot, kill man after answering woman's 911 call

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina say deputies answering a 911 call have shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at them.

Sheriff Will Lewis told local media outlets that deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call Saturday in Greenville County, about 30 miles west of Spartanburg, in which the woman who called 911 said her estranged husband was on the porch of the home with a gun.

Lewis said as deputies approached the man, he pointed a gun at them and said, "Do you not see my gun?" Lewis said deputies had no choice but to shoot the man, who he said died at the scene.

Five deputies who answered the call are on administrative leave while the incident is investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division and the Greenville County Coroner.

The man's identity hasn't been released.


Los Angeles police shoot, kill man armed with steel pipe

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police have shot and killed a man they say was armed with a steel pipe.

Authorities say officers confronted the man around 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.

Police say they used a Taser on the man but eventually there was a shooting and the man died at a hospital.

The man's name and other details weren't immediately released.

Nobody else was hurt.


Funeral held for boy, 14, found drowned in Los Angeles River

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (AP) — About 1,000 people have turned out to honor a 14-year-old boy who was found drowned in the Los Angeles River after a storm.

A funeral service for Elias Rodriguez was held Saturday at a church in his Sylmar neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.

The teenager vanished on Feb. 17, leaving a phone message for his mother saying he was walking home from school.

His body was found on a tree-covered island in the river last weekend. Police say he may have slipped or fallen into a storm-swollen wash a dozen miles upstream and been swept away.

On Friday night, more than 1,000 people held a candlelight vigil at the San Fernando school the boy attended and then threw white flowers from a bridge over the wash.


Mother, 4 children die in Massachusetts blaze

WARWICK, Mass. (AP) — Officials say a mother and four children were killed when flames swept through their home in the small Massachusetts town of Warwick.

Two other members of the family escaped the fire, which broke in the single-family home around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

An emotional town fire chief Ron Gates said at an afternoon news conference that the house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and there was little they could do to prevent the tragedy.

Officials said early indications were that the fire may have started in a wood stove in the kitchen.

The town of less than 800 residents has no fire hydrants and officials said firefighters had to draw water about a half mile from the scene.


Elderly resident unaccounted for after Dallas condo fire

DALLAS (AP) — Authorities say an elderly resident of a Dallas condominium complex is unaccounted for after a fire destroyed the four-story structure.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says firefighters Saturday searched for the woman and also contacted her family and friends. Dallas police also issued a critical missing person advisory for the woman, described as having dementia and last seen Friday night.

More than 100 firefighters battled the blaze that broke out around 11:30 p.m. Friday in the 60-unit complex. Evans says one person had minor medical issues, exacerbated by the fire and smoke, and was transported to a hospital but was expected to be OK.

Firefighters spent Saturday dealing with hot spots. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

American Red Cross officials were assisting about 100 displaced residents.


Gas blast kills 4 in Mexico City suburb famous for fireworks

MEXICO CITY (AP) — An explosion has killed four people at a home in a Mexico City suburb where a massive fireworks market blast left dozens dead in December.

The Mexico state government identifies the victims as two women ages 25 and 26 and two children ages 6 and 11. Six others were hospitalized for injuries from cuts to severe burns.

The local Red Cross says the explosion was "apparently due to a gas build-up."

The Saturday morning blast took place in a residential neighborhood of Tultepec, about 2 miles from the San Pablito fireworks market.

Many Tultepec residents make a living from the manufacture and sale of fireworks. It was not immediately clear whether there was explosive material at the residence that could have exacerbated the effects of the explosion.


China premier pledges: 'We will make our skies blue again'

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has pledged to make the country's skies blue again and "work faster" to address pollution caused by coal burning.

His words to delegates at the opening of the National People's Congress highlight how reducing smog has become a priority for the leadership because of public discontent.

In a report to China's ceremonial legislature, Li said that "people are desperately hoping for" faster progress in improving air quality.

He said the government intends over the next year to step up work to upgrade coal-fired power plants and prioritize the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid.

Lauri Myllyvirta of Greenpeace welcomed the statements and said the government was "really building on measures that were taken in the last couple of years."

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