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

March 08, 2017 - 4:37 am


Women's March organizers call for 'A Day Without a Woman'

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of January's Women's March are calling for women to take the day off and encouraging them not to spend money to show their economic strength and impact on American society.

Today's "A Day Without a Woman" is the first national action by organizers since the nationwide marches held the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration. They drew millions of women onto the streets to protest misogyny, inequality and oppression. Though it is unclear how many women could participate, thousands across the country have signaled their support and interest online and to employers.

The event coincides with the U.N.-designated International Women's Day, and organizers say they want to "stand with women around the globe" who supported their efforts Jan. 21 with similar protests in cities around the world.


Wind conditions should ease, helping crews battle wildfires

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Winds are expected to diminish as emergency crews in four states continue to battle wildfires that have killed six people and destroyed hundreds of square miles of land.

The Oklahoma-based Storm Prediction Center said Tuesday that the powerful wind gusts that fanned the wildfires in Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas should diminish to about 10 to 20 mph on Wednesday, with temperatures likely topping in the 70s.


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.


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti easily wins second term

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has claimed a second term, easily trouncing 10 little-known rivals in an election with a tiny turnout but potentially major implications for the nation's second largest city.

The 46-year-old Democrat had an insurmountable lead by winning 81 percent of the first 70,000 votes counted.

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Decapitation case: Teen suspect's mental state to be probed

ZEBULON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina are evaluating the mental state of an 18-year-old accused of decapitating his mother.

The sheriff's office in Franklin County says the grisly scene unfolded Monday afternoon in a neighborhood east of Raleigh when 18-year-old Oliver Funes (FOON'-yays) Machada called 911 to say he had killed his mother.

Authorities arriving at the home say Machada walked out of his house, holding a woman's head.

Machada's attorney describes his client as "profoundly disturbed."


Lights out at Statue of Liberty for several hours

NEW YORK (AP) — For several hours, Lady Liberty didn't shine so brightly.

The famed The Statue of Liberty was temporarily in the dark Tuesday night after what a spokesman calls an "unplanned outage."

WCBS-TV says the statue was dark except for the crown and torch. The lights returned shortly before midnight.

The outage sparked conversation on social media that perhaps it was done deliberately for Wednesday's "A Day Without Women" protest of economic and social inequality.

But National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis says the outage probably was related to a project for a new emergency backup generator. He says the official cause will be determined Wednesday when crews return to work on the project, "part of our last remaining Hurricane Sandy recovery projects."

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