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

March 10, 2017 - 4:46 pm


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.


UPDATE: White House confirms Trump invitation to Abbas

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — President Donald Trump's spokesman confirms that Trump today invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.

The invitation came during a phone conversation, the first contact between them since Trump took office.

An Abbas spokesman says he plans to meet with Trump "very soon" to discuss resuming peace talks.

There's no comment from the Israeli government.

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.


US taking no position on South Korean election

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is taking no position on the outcome of South Korea's upcoming presidential election, saying it's a domestic issue to be decided by South Koreans and their democratic institutions.

Spokesman Sean Spicer says the White House is monitoring developments after South Korea's Constitutional Court removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office Friday over a corruption scandal.

Spicer says the U.S. will remain a "steadfast ally, friend and partner" to the Republic of Korea, regardless of the outcome of the election.

South Korea must hold a presidential election within two months to choose Park's successor.


NEW: Source: Trump picks former FDA official to head agency

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House official says President Donald Trump is choosing a conservative doctor-turned-pundit with deep ties to Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry to lead the powerful Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb would be tasked with Trump's goal of cutting red tape at the FDA, which regulates everything from pharmaceuticals to seafood to electronic cigarettes. Trump has called the FDA's drug approval process "slow and burdensome," despite changes to speed reviews, particularly of cutting-edge products.

Gottlieb served as a deputy commissioner under George W. Bush and currently is a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a partner in the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the nomination has not been formally announced.


Attorney general seeks resignations of 46 US attorneys

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking the resignations of 46 United States attorneys who were appointed during the prior presidential administration.

In a statement Friday, the Justice Department said the request was similar to ones made in past presidential transitions.

The department said many federal prosecutors appointed in the Obama administration have already left their positions, but that Sessions is now seeking the resignations of 46 holdovers.

There are 93 U.S. Attorney posts.


Trump embraces jobs numbers he once scorned

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is embracing numbers he once maligned as "phony" as he tries to take credit for the latest jobs report.

The new administration on Friday praised new Labor Department statistics that show U.S. employers added 235,000 jobs in February. The unemployment also rate dipped to a low 4.7 percent from 4.8 percent.

It was a jarring contrast from the campaign, when Trump denounced the stat as "one of the biggest hoaxes in modern politics."

Asked about the apparent disconnect, Press Secretary Sean Spicer was unapologetic.

He says, "They may have been phony in the past but they are very real now."


Ethics office disagrees with White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Office of Government Ethics disagrees with a White House belief that government ethics rules don't apply to executive branch employees.

In a letter to the Republican and Democratic House Oversight leaders, OGE Director Walter Shaub writes that the White House ignored his recommendation to discipline counselor Kellyanne Conway for promoting Ivanka Trump's fashion line in a TV appearance. Conway has been counseled on the matter and meant no harm by it, the White House has said.

In Thursday's letter, Shaub writes: "Of greater concern, the White House's response includes assertions challenging the applicability of ethics rules and OGE's authority to oversee the ethics program for the entire executive branch."

Shaub has publicly tussled with Trump, saying the president should have fully divested his businesses before taking office.


Orlando judge revokes bond for wife of nightclub shooter

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge in Orlando has revoked bond for the wife of the Pulse nightclub gunman.

U.S. District Judge Paul Byron on Friday reversed the decision of a magistrate judge in Oakland, California, to release Noor Salman on $500,000 bond.

The bond revocation was made at the request of prosecutors.

Salman moved to California to be with family after the nightclub massacre and she had her first court appearance there even though charges were filed in Orlando.

Salman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding and abetting, and obstruction of justice.

Salman's husband, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack at the Pulse gay nightclub on June 12. The deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history left 49 people dead.


Gay veterans group refuses to drop rainbow flag

BOSTON (AP) — The leader of the group of gay veterans barred from marching in Boston's St. Patrick's Day parade says it's infuriating that the decision was based on the rainbow flag.

OutVets' executive director, Bryan Bishop, told The Associated Press on Friday that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council said the group could participate in the March 19 parade if they did not display the rainbow — a symbol of gay pride and solidarity.

OutVets has the rainbow on its banner and jackets.

Bishop said no. The group has carried the rainbow banner the past two years with no problems.

He says the parade organizers are diminishing the contributions and sacrifices of gay veterans.


UPDATE: Official says Russian envoy died of heart attack

NEW YORK (AP) — A senior New York City official briefed by the medical examiner's office says Russia's ambassador to the United Nations died last month from a heart attack and no foul play was suspected.

The official was not authorized to reveal the cause of death and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday.

The New York City medical examiner's office, citing diplomatic protocol, said Friday it was instructed not to publicly release the cause and manner of death for Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who died suddenly last month after collapsing in his office.

A spokesman for Russia's U.N. Mission said they regarded the decision not to publicly release the cause of death as one that "fully complies with the principles of inviolability of private life and diplomatic immunity."


California to give the green light to truly driverless cars

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cars with no steering wheel and nobody at all inside could be driving themselves on California roads by the end of the year.

In a powerful boost to the industry from the nation's most populous state, California's Department of Motor Vehicles is proposing rules that would open the way for truly driverless cars.

For the past two years, tech companies and automakers have been testing self-driving cars on California's roads. But regulators insisted that those vehicles have steering wheels, pedals and human backup drivers who could take over in an emergency.

Now that could change.

That would a major advance, given California's size, its clout as the nation's biggest car market, and its longtime role as a cultural and technology trendsetter.


NEW: 3 arrested at North Carolina airport for having loaded guns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say they stopped three separate travelers from bringing loaded handguns onto planes at a North Carolina airport.

In a statement Friday, the Transportation Security Administration said authorities don't believe the three incidents at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Thursday were related.

The statement said TSA officers staffing the X-ray machines at the respective checkpoints spotted the firearms and ammunition as the carry-on bags passed along the conveyor belt. The officers contacted Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, who questioned the travelers and arrested them on a local charge of carrying a firearm on airport property.

Last week, two men were charged after trying to bring loaded guns onto planes at Charlotte Douglas.

So far this year, TSA officers have found 12 firearms at the airport. They found 53 in all of 2016.


NEW: Indiana winner of $435M Powerball jackpot claims winnings

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Hoosier Lottery officials say the winner of last month's $435.3 million Powerball drawing has come forward to claim the winnings.

Lottery spokesman Dennis Rosebrough says a Monday news conference will be held in Indianapolis. He says lottery officials can't say until then whether the person who purchased the winning ticket for the Feb. 22 drawing or a representative will speak.

Indiana law allows jackpot prizes to be claimed by a limited liability corporation or legal trust, thus allowing winners to remain anonymous.

The winning numbers for the drawing were 10-13-28-52-61 and Powerball 2.

The winning ticket for that jackpot was sold at a convenience store in the city of Lafayette, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. The $435.3 million prize is the 10th largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

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