Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

March 12, 2017 - 7:55 pm

TRUMP-CABINET

Confirmation hearing for Trump's labor pick now March 22

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Labor Department has been delayed until later this month.

Alexander Acosta had been slated to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday.

But a spokesman for the panel's chairman, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, says the hearing will now be held on March 22.

The spokesman, Taylor Haulsee, cites a scheduling conflict in which Alexander is to appear with Trump at an event in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday to help promote Republicans' plan to repeal and replace Barack Obama's health care law.

Acosta is dean of Florida International University's law school. He was nominated after Trump's original choice for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination.

Acosta is expected to win confirmation.

FEDERAL PROSECUTORS-RESIGNATIONS

Abrupt dismissals spark turmoil among federal prosecutors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave his top federal prosecutors a pep talk two days before he demanded dozens of resignations.

The seemingly abrupt about-face has left the affected U.S. attorneys scrambling to brief those left behind and say goodbye to colleagues. Some of those close to the process say it also could have an impact on morale for the career prosecutors who now must pick up the slack.

The quick exits aren't expected to have a major impact on ongoing prosecutions, but they are giving U.S. attorneys little time to prepare deputies who will take over until successors are named.

It's fairly customary for U.S. attorneys to leave their posts once a new president is in office.

HOVERBOARD FIRE

Flags ordered at half-staff for firefighter

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered flags in the commonwealth to be flown at half-staff to honor a central Pennsylvania fire official who died after he was injured in a crash while responding to a fatal fire.

Lt. Dennis DeVoe, a 21-year veteran of the Harrisburg fire department, died Saturday. Officials said he was on his way to the station to pick up his gear before heading to the scene of Friday night's fire when his vehicle was hit at an intersection. Authorities said the female driver fled but was later arrested.

The governor said flags would remain at half-staff at the Capitol Complex and at state facilities in York and Dauphin counties until his interment.

The fire was blamed on a recharging hoverboard. The blaze killed one girl and injured four other people, two critically

SEVERE WEATHER

Northeast braces for winter storm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Northeast is bracing for winter's last hurrah — a blizzard expected to sweep the New York region starting Monday with possibly the season's biggest snowstorm dumping up to 18 inches on Central Park.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch Sunday for coastal regions including New York City and surrounding areas of Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut. On Long Island, a snowfall of 12 to 18 inches is forecast along with equally strong winds and visibility of a quarter mile or less.

A winter storm watch is being posted for a larger area of the Northeast: New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New England.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Monday evening, with stockpiles of sandbags, generators and pumps at the ready.

BRAZIL-STORM

2 dead, 10 missing, dozens injured in storms in south Brazil

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian authorities say two people died and more than 10 are missing after heavy rains and wind storms hit a state in southern Brazil.

Images in local media show streets inundated with water early Sunday in Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state. The state has posted a photo on its website showing houses crushed in the overnight storm.

The state government says in a statement that it will send $55,000 to help care for victims in Sao Francisco de Paula, one of the cities hit hardest by the storm. In addition to the two dead and 10 missing in the city, dozens were injured in high winds and more than 100 houses were destroyed.

It is currently the summer rainy season in Brazil.

ETHIOPIA-DEADLY LANDSLIDE

46 killed, dozens missing in Ethiopia garbage dump landslide

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — At least 46 people are dead and several dozen are missing in Ethiopia, after a mountain of trash gave way in a massive garbage dump on the outskirts of the capital.

Officials in Addis Ababa (AD'-ihs AB'-uh-buh) say most of the dead are women and children.

It's not clear what caused last night's collapse, which buried several makeshift homes and concrete buildings.

Many people at the landfill had been scavenging items to make a living, but others live there because renting homes, largely built of mud and sticks, is relatively inexpensive.

One resident told The Associated Press that about 150 people were there when the landslide occurred.

The landfill has been a dumping ground for the capital's garbage for more than 50 years.

GUATEMALA-FIRE

Death toll in Guatemala children's shelter fire rises to 40

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The death toll in a fire at a Guatemalan children's shelter has risen to 40 with the death of another girl due to burns.

The death was announced Sunday by the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala's capital.

The fire began when mattresses were set ablaze during a protest by residents at the overcrowded youth shelter.

Authorities are still searching for answers in the disaster that has put a spotlight on failings in Guatemala's child protective services. Prosecutors spokeswoman Julia Barrera says the head of the country's protective services agency has been ordered not to leave Guatemala.

Nineteen of the adolescents perished at the scene of Wednesday's inferno and another 21 have died in local hospitals.

HAITI-BUS CRASH

Bus runs into crowd in Haiti, killing at least 34 people

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A bus plowed into people taking part in an early morning street festival in Haiti on Sunday, killing at least 34 people and injuring 17, rescue officials said.

The accident occurred around 3 a.m. in the city of Gonaives when a passenger bus first hit two people at a bus stop and then continued into a crowd of people participating in a Rara festival, an Easter season Haitian musical celebration, said Josepth Faustin, civil defense coordinator for the Artibonito region.

Faustin said angry festival-goers then attacked the bus and tried to burn it before police rescued the passengers aboard. The bus driver fled and was being sought. Faustin said the cause of the accident was unclear.

The injured were being treated at a hospital in Gonaives, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of the capital.

POLICE CHASE-FATAL CRASH

2 die when vehicle chased by Michigan State Police crashes

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A college student driving to school was one of two people killed when a vehicle leading police on a high-speed chase crashed into her car in western Michigan.

Michigan State Police say troopers tried to stop the car Saturday night in the city of Kentwood, near Grand Rapids, but the driver fled. The fleeing vehicle slammed into a car Tara Oskam of Grand Rapids was driving to Calvin College.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle police were chasing also died. The driver of the vehicle police were pursuing suffered serious injuries. Authorities didn't immediately release information about the driver or the passenger.

TRIBAL POLICE OFFICER SHOT

Navajo Nation police officer critically wounded in shooting

PREWITT, N.M. (AP) — The FBI and Navajo Nation are investigating a shooting that critically wounded a tribal police officer.

Authorities say the officer was shot while responding to a domestic violence call early Sunday near the small town of Prewitt, in western New Mexico.

They say a suspect is in custody, but no other details have been released.

FBI officials say the officer was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital. There was no immediate update on the officer's condition and a name wasn't released.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says he's praying for the wounded officer and his family.

He says New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has called to offer assistance in the case.

The New Mexico State Police and McKinley County Sheriff's Office are assisting with the investigation.

GAS PRICES

US gas prices rise 2 cents over 2 weeks, to $2.35 a gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline rose 2 cents nationally during the past two weeks, to $2.35.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that despite the rise, gas prices are poised to dip slightly because crude oil costs are falling and refinery production is strong.

The national average is up 51 cents per gallon over the price a year ago.

Gas in San Francisco was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $3.03 a gallon Friday. The lowest was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $2.03 per gallon.

The U.S. average diesel price is $2.58, up half a cent from two weeks ago.

NCAA-SELECTION SUNDAY

Field for NCAA Tournament is being announced

UNDATED (AP) — The field for the 68-team NCAA Tournament is being announced tonight.

The Division I men's basketball committee is selecting 36 at-large teams that will make up the field with 32 conference champions.

Defending national champion Villanova is the No. 1 overall seed and will play in the East. Duke is the No. 2 seed in the East.

Kansas is the No. 1 seed in the Midwest. Louisville is the No. 2 seed there.

North Carolina takes the top seed in the South. The second seed is Kentucky.

The No. 1 in West is Gonzaga, Arizona is the No. 2 in the West

The tournament begins Tuesday night with two First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, and culminates with the national championship game in Phoenix on April 3.

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