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

March 08, 2017 - 12:46 am


China says NKorea could suspend nukes for halt in US drills

BEIJING (AP) — China has proposed that North Korea could suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for a halt in joint military drills conducted by the U.S. and South Korea.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday that escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula were like "two accelerating trains, coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way."

Wang asked: "Are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision?"

He added that as a first step to defusing the looming crisis, the North might suspend its nuclear and missile activities if the U.S. and South Korea halted their military exercises.

Wang says the "suspension-for-suspension can help us break out of the security dilemma and bring the parties back to the negotiating table."


Australian service marks third anniversary of MH370 tragedy

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government minister in charge of the suspended seabed search for Malaysia Airlines jet has joined victims' families and friends in the east coast city of Brisbane for a memorial service to mark the third anniversary of Flight 370's disappearance.

Darren Chester, minister for infrastructure and transport, and Angus Houston, the former Australian defense chief who coordinated the early months of the search efforts, were among around 100 who attended the private ceremony at a cathedral on Wednesday.

Several victims and relatives of the 239 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 777 live in or near Brisbane.

Chester said before the service that he understood the frustration that many would feel on this anniversary of the tragedy that there was no longer an active search for the crash site.


NEW: Gunmen attack military hospital in Afghan capital

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Defense Ministry says gunmen have attacked a military hospital in the capital, Kabul.

Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a ministry spokesman, said an unknown number of gunmen entered the Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital Wednesday after an explosion and gunfire. The 400-bed military hospital is located near two civilian hospitals in the Wazir Akbar Khan area of the capital, home to several heavily guarded embassies.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said there was an attack underway in the neighborhood, without providing further details.

It was not immediately clear how many people might have been killed or wounded.


UPDATE: Bus carrying seniors hit by train, killing 4

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) —Officials in Biloxi, Mississippi, says four people were killed and 40 others were injured when a freight train smashed into a charter bus at an intersection.

Seven of the injured are in critical condition.

The trip was organized by a senior center near Austin, Texas.

It took rescuers more than an hour to pull the victims out of the wreckage.


Kasich warns against Medicaid phase-out

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says phasing out Medicaid coverage without a viable alternative is "counterproductive" and potentially risky.

The Republican governor's tweet Tuesday comes in response to House Republicans' health care proposal.

Kasich, a frequent critic of GOP health care proposals, says he supports replacing the Affordable Care Act with "more conservative market-driven reforms" that work to control health-care costs, but the final fix must involve both Republicans and Democrats.

He says the proposed Medicaid phase-out "unnecessarily" risks the states' ability to treat "the drug-addicted, mentally ill and working poor who now have access to a stable source of care."

Kasich has been a leader among governors urging Congress to adopt an alternative that would change Medicaid from an open-ended federal entitlement to a program designed by each state within a financial limit.


Protesters rally in Harvard Square against Trump travel ban

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters have gathered in a plaza at Harvard University to voice opposition to Republican President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting visitors from majority Muslim countries.

The Harvard Islamic Society, the Society of Arab Students and other student groups organized the Tuesday night rally at Harvard Square after Trump issued the new executive order Monday. Roughly 300 people turned out holding signs opposed to the order and the Trump administration.

Police set up a perimeter around the growing crowd. But the event appeared peaceful at its outset. Organizers say they plan to march through the square to a nearby park.

The new measure prevents citizens of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from obtaining U.S. visas for at least 90 days. It also suspends the refugee resettlement process for 120 days.


Hawaii plans to amend lawsuit to fight revised travel ban

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is planning a challenge to President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

A motion filed in federal court on Tuesday in Honolulu says the state wants to amend its existing lawsuit challenging Trump's previous order.

The new order bars new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and temporarily shuts down America's refugee program, affecting would-be visitors and immigrants from Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

Hawaii's lawsuit had been on hold while a nationwide injunction on the initial ban remained in place.

Hawaii plans to file its amended lawsuit on Wednesday.

According to the motion, attorneys for the government had no position on the request to file the amended lawsuit.

The motion proposes a hearing on March 15, a day before the revised ban goes into effect.


Flint's water line replacement to take until at least 2019

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — The head of Flint's water pipe replacement program says the city in Michigan hopes to finish the project in 2019.

Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel coordinates the FAST Start initiative to replace lines that leached lead into homes and businesses. He made his comments during the first day of a three-day water infrastructure conference in Flint.

He says they hope to replace pipes to 6,000 homes this year. The city has said at least 30,000 homes may have service lines that need replacement. Residents still are being urged to use water filters.

Flint was under state control when it switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. The river water was not properly treated to prevent pipe corrosion.

Elevated levels of lead later were found in some children.


NEW: LA Mayor Garcetti has huge lead for re-election

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has a commanding lead in his bid for a second term.

Early returns after Tuesday's polls closed showed Garcetti garnering 80 percent of the vote.

Mitchell Jack Schwartz was in second with nearly 8 percent, and eight other candidates had 3 percent or less.

In the voting for the city's ballot measures, the fiercely contested proposal known as Measure S, intended to restrict larger real estate projects, is losing so far. Nearly 60 percent of early ballots voted "no" on the measure.

A quarter-cent sales tax increase to pay for homeless services

A Los Angeles County measure that asks for a quarter-cent sales tax increase to pay for homeless services was getting 61 percent of the early vote, short of the two-thirds it needs to pass.


Muhammad Ali's son launching religious freedom campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Muhammad Ali's son is declaring a "showdown" over religious freedom against President Donald Trump a month after he and his mother were detained by immigration officials in a Florida airport.

Muhammad Ali Jr. and his mother, Khalilah Camacho Ali, are headed to Washington Thursday to meet with lawmakers to discuss the issue and their experience. The mother and son said they were detained and questioned on Feb. 7 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport as they returned from a Black History Month event in Jamaica.

Ali Jr. said he was asked if he was Muslim and that he explained to officials that he was the son of the former heavyweight champion. He says he and his mother were targeted because they are Muslim and have Arabic names.

They will meet with lawmakers who are part of a House subcommittee on border security in hopes of testifying in the future.


Judge: Federal lawsuit against Baylor University can proceed

HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a lawsuit against Baylor University by 10 women alleging they were sexually assaulted while students can proceed.

The women allege Baylor was indifferent to or ignored claims of sexual assault and didn't enforce federal general discrimination protections.

Baylor had sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing the former students' allegations were insufficient to state a claim of liability.

But in a ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin wrote each woman "had plausibly alleged that Baylor was indifferent to her report(s) of sexual assault."

Pitman did dismiss some claims.

A Baylor spokeswoman says the school intends to defend itself against those allegations that haven't been dismissed.

The Baptist university has come under intense scrutiny for mishandling allegations of sexual assault over several years.


Study: California fault could cause magnitude-7.4 quake

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A new study says an earthquake fault running from San Diego to Los Angeles is capable of producing a magnitude-7.4 temblor that could affect some of the most densely populated areas in California.

The study, announced Tuesday, looked at the Newport-Inglewood and the Rose Canyon systems. They'd been considered separate but the study concludes they're one long fault running offshore from San Diego Bay and on land through the Los Angeles basin.

Study lead author Valerie Sahakian says the fault is never more than four miles offshore and even a moderately large quake could have a major impact on the region.

In 1933, a magnitude-6.4 quake struck the Long Beach area, killing 115 people.

The study was conducted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

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