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Japan inflation cools, household spending, incomes softenTOKYO (AP) — Japan has reported lackluster inflation and wages data for February that suggest its economic recovery remains in the doldrums.Cameron wins first TV encounter of close election - poll

Cameron-Miliband interviewsBy Andrew Osborn and Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister David Cameron won the first TV encounter of a close national election in Britain, an opinion poll showed, but opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband leveraged a rare opportunity to promote himself on a national stage. With Cameron's Conservatives neck-and-neck in the opinion polls with Labour, both are trying to grab an elusive lead over the other before the May 7 ballot to avoid another possible coalition or even a minority government. Britain's future in the European Union and its territorial integrity could ride on the outcome as Cameron is pledging an EU membership referendum and Miliband may need to do a deal with Scottish nationalists intent on breaking up the United Kingdom. A snap Guardian/ICM poll afterwards showed 54 percent of those asked thought Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party, had won, compared to 46 percent who judged Miliband had triumphed.


New York fire, building collapse injure 12; gas blast blamed

New York City firefighters work the scene of a large fire and a partial building collapse in the East Village neighborhood of New York on Thursday, March 26, 2015. Orange flames and black smoke are billowing from the facade and roof of the building near several New York University buildings. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)NEW YORK (AP) — An apparent gas explosion leveled an apartment building, partially destroyed another and launched rubble and shards of glass across streets in the heart of Manhattan's trendy East Village on Thursday, injuring at least a dozen people. Smoke could be seen and smelled for miles.


Woman accused of kidnap plot claimed to be business coach

Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, left, and Mayor Robert Garcia stand during a news conference in Long Beach, Calif., Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Southern California authorities have arrested four people in a plot to kidnap two newborn babies. The plot ended with the death of a 3-week-old girl and the shooting and beating of the children’s mothers, police said Wednesday. At left is an image of baby Eliza Delacruz, who was snatched Jan. 3, 2015, in Long Beach by a gunman who wounded her parents and uncle, Luna said. Her body was found the next day in a trash bin near the Mexican border. (AP Photo/The Daily Breeze, Scott Varley) MAGS OUT; NO SALESLONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A woman accused of masterminding a scheme to kidnap two babies and pass them off as her own is a self-styled business mogul and motivational speaker described on one of her websites as one of the "kindest women you will ever meet."


Labor, developers reach deal on proposed NFL stadiumLOS ANGELES (AP) — Labor leaders announced Thursday that they have resolved a dispute with developers that threatened to delay construction of a proposed 80,000-seat stadium near Los Angeles that could become home for an NFL team.Co-pilot deliberately slams plane in Alps; families ask why

Graphic shows aircraft and victims by country; 2c x 5 inches; 96.3 mm x 127 mm;PARIS (AP) — Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.


Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels

People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country's south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The turmoil in Yemen grew into a regional conflict Thursday, with Saudi Arabia and its allies bombing Shiite rebels allied with Iran, while Egyptian officials said a ground assault will follow the airstrikes.


Co-pilot suspected of air crash in Alps trained in Arizona

A pilot walks past a training plane at The Airline Training Center Arizona Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Ariz. German Pilot Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot on Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps, trained at the Airline Training Center in 2008 according to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)PHOENIX (AP) — The co-pilot who authorities believe intentionally crashed an airplane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, honed his flying skills early in his aviation career in Arizona.


Filing: Teen says mom killed her siblings found in freezer

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carin Goldfarb looks into the gallery during the video arraignment of Mitchelle Blair, in the courtroom of Magistrate Renee McDuffee, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Detroit. Blair, who was charged with child abuse after the bodies of two of her children were found in her home freezer has been ordered to stay in jail Thursday unless she can post a $1 million bond. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Jose Juarez ) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUTDETROIT (AP) — A teenager told authorities that her mother killed two siblings and forced her to put one of the bodies in the freezer of their Detroit home where both were found by an eviction crew.


Del Potro loses 1st-round match at Miami Open

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, hits a return against Vasek Pospisil, of Canada, during their match at the Miami Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., Thursday, March 26, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) — Juan Martin del Potro's latest comeback from an injury is off to a slow start, and he's OK with that.


Seattle police corral goats running through neighborhoodSEATTLE (AP) — Seattle police got their goats, corralling a group of 10 that had managed to get loose from a yard in the city's Beacon Hill neighborhood.Senate up next after House passes bold conservative budget

In this March 25, 2015, photo, Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, to discuss the budget. The Senate is up after House Republicans pushed through a boldly conservative budget eliminating deficits over the next decade by cutting deeply into Medicaid, food stamps and welfare, and repealing the president’s health care law. "It really is a budget that is insensitive and unaware of the reality of life for working families, and that is sad," said Durbin. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans slowly pushed a balanced-budget blueprint toward Senate approval Thursday, laying down conservative markers for a likely veto struggle with President Barack Obama over their plans to erase deficits through trillions in spending cuts and repeal of the health care law.


Before close election, Cameron says got some things wrong, but got economy right

Cameron-Miliband interviewsPrime Minister David Cameron on Thursday conceded he'd made mistakes during his five years in power during a special pre-election interview, but implored voters to give him a second term to finish the job of rebuilding the economy. Opinion polls indicate neither Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party will win an overall majority on May 7 as millions of voters turn to Nigel Farage's anti-EU UKIP and the separatist Scottish National Party (SNP). Subjected to his toughest cross-examination in years by veteran journalist Jeremy Paxman, Cameron appeared uncharacteristically unsettled and conceded he'd broken a pledge to cut immigration and hadn't cut the deficit fast enough.


Fiancee of Aaron Hernandez to be called to testify Friday

Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, left, sits with his defense attorney Charles Rankin during his murder trial Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez is charged with killing Odin Lloyd. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be called to testify in his murder trial Friday, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press.


US: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack

In this courtroom sketch, Jonas M. Edmonds, left, and Hasan R. Edmonds, right, stand in front of an FBI agent as they appear at a hearing at federal court in Chicago, Thursday, March 26, 2015, following their arrests Wednesday on charges of conspiring with the Islamic State group. Hasan Edmonds, an Illinois Army National Guard soldier, and his cousin, Jonas Edmonds, are both U.S. citizens from the Chicago suburb of Aurora. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring "the flames of war to the heart" of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group, and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S., federal prosecutors said Thursday in announcing the men's arrests. Both are also accused of hatching a plot to attack a U.S. military facility.


Woman testifies about gifts from ex-owner of Clippers

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011, file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, right, sits with V. Stiviano as they watch the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, is going after the $2.5 million in real estate and cars her husband lavished on V. Stiviano in a trial scheduled to begin Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Los Angeles Superior Court. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — The woman who recorded Donald Sterling's racially offensive remarks says she loved him and called him her hubby, but they never had a romance.


Latest on NY fire, building collapse: Partial collapse, too

A New York City fire department Arson investigator arrives at the scene of a large fire and a partial building collapse in the East Village neighborhood of New York on Thursday, March 26, 2015. An apartment building on fire near New York University collapsed on Thursday. Two nearby buildings began burning and firefighters said at least 12 people were hurt, three critically, and other people were being evaluated at the scene. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)7:30 P.M.


Britain to release Prince Charles 'black spider memos'

Britain’s Prince Charles speaks at the 2015 US Congressional International Conservation Gala at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington on March 19, 2015Britain's top court on Thursday ruled that secret letters from Prince Charles to government ministries should be published, in a potential setback for the monarchy seen as a victory for media freedoms. "The Supreme Court dismisses the attorney general's appeal," read the ruling, after the government went to court to prevent the publication of secret letters dubbed the "black spider memos" due to Charles' scrawled handwriting. The letters have the potential to reinforce Charles' reputation as "The Meddling Prince", a moniker he earned for speaking out on pet topics -- at times leading to accusations he overstepped the convention of a politically neutral royal family. "The black spider memos will inspire a necessary debate about the parameters of royal interference," said royal commentator Andrew Morton.


NCAA says it will monitor impacts of Indiana religious law

FILE- In this March 16, 2015, file photo, workers add team names to a 2015 NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament bracket that is displayed on the side of the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. With the Final Four a week away from shining a spotlight on Indianapolis, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday, March 26, that the governing body for college sports is concerned about an Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)With the Final Four a week away from shining a spotlight on Indianapolis, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday that the governing body for college sports is concerned about an Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.


Astros Triple-A club pulls 2017 championship ring promotionThe Fresno Grizzlies are so confident the Houston Astros will win a title soon, they planned to hand out replica 2017 World Series rings as a promotion this season.Hollywood golden age actress Sally Forrest dies at 86LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sally Forrest, an actress-dancer who graced the silver screen throughout the '40s and '50s in MGM musicals and films such as the 1956 noir "While the City Sleeps," died on March 15 at her home in Beverly Hills, California. She was 86 and had long battled cancer.Lawyer says kidnapping wasn't a hoax, boyfriend was drugged

This undated photo released by the Vallejo Police Department shows Denise Huskins. Police say Huskins, who was reported kidnapped from her boyfriend's San Francisco Bay area home and held for ransom, has contacted her father to say she's in the Southern California city of Huntington Beach. (AP Photo/Vallejo Police Department)VALLEJO, Calif. (AP) — The strange case of a California woman who disappeared for two days grew stranger still Thursday, with her uncle and a lawyer for her boyfriend insisting she was kidnapped while police said it was a hoax.


BASEBALL 2015: Hurry up! Nats, Cubs, Red Sox on the clock

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer works in the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Even before Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper and the rest of the ramped-up Washington Nationals hit the field for their first full-squad workout at spring training, they got the message.


Twelve hurt in New York buildings collapse, blaze

A resident watches a blaze at a commercial and residential block on March 26, 2015, in New York's East VillageTwelve people were hurt when two New York buildings collapsed and a blaze tore through neighboring properties Thursday in what preliminary indications suggested was a gas-related explosion. Four were in a critical condition after the blast flung the front of commercial and residential property at 121 Second Avenue across the street in the popular East Village, the fire department said, triggering the collapse of the next-door building and a huge blaze. The cause of the incident was under investigation but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the initial impact appeared to have been caused by plumbing and gas work at the site. The incident quickly heightened safety fears, a year after eight people were killed when a gas explosion leveled two apartment buildings in East Harlem in northern Manhattan on March 12, 2014.


Mexico City businesses cite losses during Bond filmingMEXICO CITY (AP) — The leader of small businesses in Mexico City's historic downtown district says owners have complained of a 60 percent drop in sales during the first week of filming of the new James Bond movie, "Spectre."UK prime minister, opposition leader in live TV interviews

Prime Minister David Cameron is interviewed by Jeremy Paxman, right, during a live televised interview, in west London, Thursday March 26, 2015. Conservative leader Cameron went first in the show Thursday night, facing harsh questions from prominent TV journalist Jeremy Paxman. Miliband, the Labour Party leader, was set to follow, they weren't expected to share a stage at the studio. (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau, Pool)LONDON (AP) — It wasn't quite a debate, but back-to-back live televised interviews of Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband were billed Thursday as the unofficial campaign kickoff six weeks before Britain's general election.


Obama talks drug war with 'The Wire' creator David SimonWASHINGTON (AP) — Talk of overhauling the criminal justice system is serious business — but before diving into the subject, President Barack Obama had something else he wanted to say.Brazil come from behind to down France

Brazil's forward Neymar (C) vies with France's Morgan Schneiderlin (R) and Geoffrey Kondogbia during their friendly football match on March 26, 2015 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of ParisA fine finish from captain Neymar helped secure a come-from-behind 3-1 win for Brazil over France in a friendly in Paris on Thursday as they maintained their perfect record since the return as coach of Dunga. Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane had headed the hosts in front on a cold night at a packed Stade de France, only for Oscar to equalise late in the first half. Barcelona forward Neymar then controlled a Willian pass and lashed the ball high into the roof of the net from the left edge of the six-yard box in the 57th minute to put the visitors in front, and a Luiz Gustavo header secured the victory midway through the second period. Brazil have now won seven consecutive friendly matches under Dunga following the heavy defeats to Germany and the Netherlands that saw their World Cup campaign on home soil last year end in such catastrophic fashion.


Bergdahl charges stoke fresh criticism of prisoner swap

U.S. Army Col. Daniel King addresses the news media about charges against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive for five years by the Taliban, was charged Wednesday by the U.S. military with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could get life in prison if convicted. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)WASHINGTON (AP) — The tough military charges against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have revived the questions and controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's decision to swap five Taliban detainees to secure his release, as well as the wisdom of the White House fanfare that followed.


NC State's Barber says all is OK with Obama after profanity

FILE - North Carolina State's Cat Barber (12) drives around Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis (2) during the first half of NCAA college basketball game in this Dec. 30, 2014 file photo taken in Raleigh, N.C. Barber used an unexpected Sweet 16 berth to take a cutting remark at President Barack Obama. He was caught by TV cameras Saturday March 21, 2015 saying "What ... (is) wrong with Barack Obama" to his teammates in the locker room. (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Ethan Hyman, FILE)SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — N.C. State's Cat Barber says things are square again with President Barack Obama.


House panel asks White House for documents on Bergdahl swapWASHINGTON (AP) — The House Oversight panel is asking the White House for intelligence information, reports and documents on the swap of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held captive for five years, for five members of the Taliban.Gov. Scott Walker's immigration stance at center of disputeWASHINGTON (AP) — A dispute over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's position on immigration erupted on Thursday, highlighting the Republican's struggle to appeal to conservatives on the explosive issue as he prepares to launch a Republican presidential bid.Jason Alexander to replace Larry David in 'Fish in the Dark'

FILE - In this Sept. 29, 2013 file photo, Jason Alexander attends the First Annual SALUTE to the Playwright Honors Terrence McNally at the Saban Theatre, in Los Angeles. Larry David will hand over his starring role on Broadway to an old “Seinfeld” alum - Alexander. Producers said Thursday, March 26, 2015, that Alexander, who played the David-like George Costanza on the hit show, will replace David as Norman Drexel beginning June 9 in the comedy at the Cort Theatre. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Larry David will hand over his starring role on Broadway to an old "Seinfeld" pal — Jason Alexander.


Google's new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan StanleySAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google just found out that luring a top executive from Wall Street to Silicon Valley is expensive.Mexico double-transplant patient eyes US humanitarian entry

In this May 2, 2014 photo, Jose Chua Lopez, left, holds hands with his mother, Myra Lopez Martinez, during a news conference in Hermosillo, Mexico. Family and friends raised thousands of dollars to send Jose Chua Lopez to the prestigious Mayo Clinic for an urgently needed heart and liver transplant. But the 20-year-old Mexican born with a heart defect has twice been turned down for a U.S. visa, and relatives and his doctor say his life is in danger. (AP Photo/El Imparcial) MANDATORY CREDIT MEXICO OUTMEXICO CITY (AP) — A young Mexican man who is urgently trying to travel to the Mayo Clinic for a double-organ transplant has filed a third application for entry into the United States after twice being denied a visa.


Obama praises payday lender rules, vows veto of limitations

President Barack Obama waves to a group of people before he speaks at Lawson State Community College, Thursday, March 26, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. The president talked about the progress to financial systems and economic policies. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Embracing proposed new rules aimed at payday lenders, President Barack Obama on Thursday said working families need protections from heavy debt burdens and warned Republicans that he would veto attempts to unravel regulations that govern the financial industry.


Jury shown graphic autopsy photos of Boston bombing victim

This undated forensics photograph made by the FBI, released by the U.S. Attorney's office and presented as evidence during the federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Boston, shows Massachusetts driver's licenses of his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged with conspiring with Tamerlan Tsarnaev to place two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line that killed three and injured more than 260 spectators in April 2013. Tamerlan died days after the bombing when he was wounded during a gun battle with police and run over by Dzhokhar as he escaped. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)BOSTON (AP) — A medical examiner testifying Thursday in the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnev described in graphic detail the devastating injuries that ravaged the body of a 29-year-old woman and caused her to bleed to death on the pavement.


Meerkat vs. Periscope: Live-streaming app battle & buzz

FILE - This Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, file photo shows a Twitter app on an iPhone screen, in New York. Twitter bought the company behind live video-streaming app Periscope earlier this year for a reported $100 million. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Download Periscope, Twitter's just-launched live video-streaming app, and you'll find people broadcasting all sorts of mundane stuff: waiting for AT&T to fix their wiring, getting out of bed in Silicon Valley, looking outside their office window in Chicago.


Capitol Hill Buzz: Senators vote on amendments, score pointsWASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is a place where hidebound tradition mixes with raw politics, sometimes with a touch of the absurd. Then there's the "vote-a-rama."Co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing Germanwings jet

Undated file picture of co-pilot Andreas LubitzThey offered no motive for why Andreas Lubitz, 27, would take the controls of the Airbus A320, lock the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set it veering down from cruising altitude at 3,000 feet per minute. German police searched his home for evidence that might offer some explanation for what was behind Tuesday's crash in the French Alps. EasyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Air Berlin were among other carriers that swiftly announced such policies. Among those that didn't was Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, whose CEO said he thought it was unnecessary.


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