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

March 10, 2017 - 3:04 pm


UPDATE: WH: Trump didn't know Flynn was to register as foreign agent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump was not aware his national security adviser was probably going to have to register as a foreign agent for his lobbying work.

Spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday that Michael Flynn's decision to register was a personal decision and not one for the Trump's lawyers to determine. He dismissed questions about whether Flynn's work as a foreign agent should have given Trump pause in naming him national security adviser, saying Flynn had "impeccable credentials."

Lawyers for Flynn told Trump's transition team before the inauguration that he might need to register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent because of work on behalf of Turkey.

Flynn was fired after less than a month on the job after misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.


Judge won't yet sentence VW

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen has pleaded guilty in a scandal related to diesel emission tests, but a federal judge in Detroit wants more time to study the deal.

Judge Sean Cox wasn't ready to immediately sentence VW on Friday. Instead, he says he wants to study the agreement negotiated by VW and the U.S. Justice Department and will hold another hearing on April 21.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay a $2.8 billion criminal fine in addition to a $1.5 billion civil fine that was negotiated separately. But the scandal has cost VW billions more.

The company admitted installing software that activated pollution controls during government tests and switched them off during regular driving.

The judge says, "This is a very, very serious offense."


US adds 235K jobs, unemployment rate falls to 4.7 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — One analyst says today's jobs report includes plenty of reasons for optimism about the economy.

Russell Price of Ameriprise Financial says consumers "are in great shape to support an accelerated pace of economic growth."

Unemployment ticked down to 4.7 percent in February, and hourly pay rose by 2.8 percent from a year ago.

President Donald Trump -- who, during the campaign, called the unemployment rate a "hoax" -- today quickly retweeted a news report about the February jobs report, which covers his first full month in office.


UPDATE: Abbas spokesman says Trump invited him to visit 'soon'

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says President Donald Trump has invited him to visit the White House to discuss resuming peace talks.

The spokesman says the invitation came during a telephone call today. It was the first between Trump and Abbas since Trump took office. The last round of peace talks mediated by the United States collapsed in 2014.

Trump is unpopular among Palestinians because he appeared to break from his predecessor and adopt friendlier positions toward the Israeli government. However, Trump's administration last week warned Israel against annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, saying it would trigger an "immediate crisis" between the two allies.

The Abbas spokesman says Trump invited the Palestinian leader to visit "soon." He said Abbas is "convinced that President Trump is serious about achieving peace."


Cause of Russian UN ambassador's death won't be released

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City medical examiner's office will not release the cause and manner of death for Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.

An autopsy was performed after Ambassador Vitaly Churkin died suddenly last month, but the death required further study.

Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday the city's law department instructed the medical examiner's office not to disclose the information.

On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of State requested that his cause of death not be revealed because his diplomatic immunity survives his death.

The medical examiner investigates deaths that occur by criminal violence, accident or suicide or when the death is sudden. It also takes the case when the person seemed healthy, or died in an unusual manner. Most of the deaths investigated by the office are not suspicious.


UPDATE: Opponents of Dakota pipeline bring message to Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of people have rallied outside the White House and President Donald Trump's Washington hotel in a last-ditch effort to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Participants in Friday's march and rally say the protests against the pipeline have been successful even if it gets built because they've called attention to the issue of American Indian sovereignty.

A federal judge this week declined to halt construction of the final section of the $3.8 billion pipeline, meaning oil could begin flowing through it as early as next week.

The last pipeline section would pass under a reservoir that provides water to the Standing Rock Sioux.

The rally also revealed divisions among some activists. Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II was booed and heckled by some in the crowd.


Experts check for ethanol leaks after derailment

GRAETTINGER, Iowa (AP) — Environmental experts are checking for ethanol leaks after a fiery freight train derailment in northwest Iowa, while fire officials are allowing the blaze to burn itself out.

The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office says the derailment occurred 1 a.m. Friday, near Graettinger (GREHT'-ihn-jur).

Iowa Natural Resources field office supervisor Ken Hessenius (Heh-SEHN'-ee-uhs) says he doesn't yet know if any ethanol leaked from the 27 tanker cars that derailed. Each carries about 25,000 gallons.

County emergency manager Mark Hunefeld (HUH'-nee-fehld) says it appears that five of the derailed cars fell into a creek. The creek flows through relatively flat farm fields and empties a few miles downstream into the Des Moines River.


2nd veterans group decries St. Patrick's parade exclusion

BOSTON (AP) — A second veterans' organization says it has been barred from participating in this year's Boston St. Patrick's Day parade.

Veterans for Peace said Friday that it was denied the right to participate in the March 19 parade because "we work for peace and peaceful resolution of conflict."

Veterans for Peace has been trying for several years to get permission to march. Local chapter member Pat Scanlon called the group's exclusion "shameful."

Parade organizers didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The organizers of the parade are expected to hold a meeting Friday to reconsider their vote to shut out the gay veterans group, OutVets.

This week's decision to bar OutVets from marching drew immediate condemnation from high-profile politicians and stirred up a furor on social media.

OutVets was first allowed to participate in the parade in 2015.


No flush, no shower: Mississippi capital city in water pinch

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Portable toilets are parked outside the Mississippi Capitol, city residents are stocking up on bottled water and restaurants are evaluating whether they can stay open.

About 40,000 homes and businesses in Jackson, Mississippi, will be without water or will experience low pressure this weekend because the city is replacing a major water pipe that's damaged.

Like other cities across the nation, Jackson faces the expensive challenge of aging infrastructure.

Jackson officials say they expect water service to be affected for about 60 percent of the city from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.

The city has distributed bottled water and told people to prepare for the outage by filling bathtubs so they can flush toilets and wash dishes.

Some downtown hotels are turning away guests for the weekend.


GOP rep: Obama stayed in capital to run 'shadow government'

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pennsylvania congressman has accused former President Barack Obama of staying in Washington solely to run a "shadow government" to undermine the GOP agenda.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly made the claim to fellow Republicans at an event Saturday north of Pittsburgh.

A video clip posted to YouTube shows Kelly saying that Obama remained in Washington for "one purpose only ... to run the shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda."

The Obamas have said they would remain in the nation's capital until their youngest daughter, Sasha, completes high school.

Kelly's spokesman said Friday the congressman was just "sharing the frustration of everyone in the room over how they believe certain Obama administration holdovers" are trying to upset President Donald Trump's agenda.


NEW: Trump spokesman wears upside-down flag pin

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer opened his daily press briefing with his American flag lapel pin upside down — and the internet noticed.

Spicer took the podium in the White House briefing room Friday and launched into a recap of President Donald Trump's first 50 days in office.

Twitter lit up with jokes about the pin. Some posters noted that, traditionally, an upside-down American flag is a sign of distress or an act of political protest.

Others tweeted that it was the logo for the television political series "House of Cards" and wondered if it was subtle advertising.

The situation was rectified when Spicer called on Fox News reporter John Roberts for the first question of the briefing. Roberts pointed out the pin, and Spicer fixed it.

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