Northeast braces for wintry wallop on 1st day of spring PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Spring? What's that? Yet another powerful storm bore down on the Northeast on Tuesday, with wind-whipped snow falling in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey as people grumbled and complained about a first day of spring that looked an awful lot like the last weeks of winter. Landscaping crews along the New Jersey coast tended to shrubs and plants at oceanfront homes, then packed up their garden tools to get ready to plow. Shore towns positioned bulldozers, front-end loaders and other heavy equipment to deal with beach erosion from a system that could dump up to 18 inches of snow elsewhere.
New blast sends bombing investigators to Texas FedEx center AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Investigators pursuing a suspected serial bomber in the Texas capital shifted their attention Tuesday to a FedEx shipping center near San Antonio where a package exploded on a conveyor belt in the middle of the night and caused minor injuries to a worker. Although the latest blast did not inflict serious harm, it added to the widening fear of more strikes like those that have already killed two people and badly wounded four others. Hours after the explosion, police sent a bomb squad to a FedEx facility outside Austin's main airport to check on a suspicious package that was reported shortly before sunrise.
Sheriff: Teenager dead, 2 wounded in Maryland high school GREAT MILLS, Md. (AP) - A teenager with a handgun shot a girl inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before he was fatally wounded during a confrontation with a school resource officer, a sheriff said. The officer and the student both fired a single shot at that point, and it wasn't immediately clear whether he took his own life or was killed by the officer's bullet, St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said. The 16-year-old girl was hospitalized in a life-threatening condition with critical injuries, the sheriff said. A 14-year-old boy also suffered a gunshot wound - it wasn't clear who shot him - and was in stable condition.
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UK parliament asks Zuckerberg to testify in data misuse case LONDON (AP) - A British parliamentary committee on Tuesday summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer questions on fake news as authorities step up efforts to determine whether data has been improperly used to influence elections. The request comes amid reports that a U.K.-based company allegedly used Facebook data to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The company, Cambridge Analytica, has been accused of improperly using information from more than 50 million Facebook accounts. It denies wrongdoing. The chairman of the U.K. parliamentary media committee, Damian Collins, said Tuesday that his group has repeatedly asked Facebook how it uses data and that Facebook officials "have been misleading to the committee." "It is now time to hear from a senior Facebook executive with the sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this catastrophic failure of process," Collins wrote in a note addressed directly to Zuckerberg.
Rocket attack on Syrian capital kills 35 people BEIRUT (AP) - Rockets fired on a market in a government-controlled neighborhood of Damascus on Tuesday killed 35 people and wounded more than 20 others, Syrian state-run media said, marking one of the highest death tolls in a single attack targeting the capital. The government blamed rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus for the attack on the Kashkol neighborhood. The capital, seat of President Bashar Assad's power, has come under more frequent attack as government forces continue to pound rebel-held eastern Ghouta, with military backing from Russia. With government forces tied up in the monthlong offensive on eastern Ghouta, Islamic State militants seized a neighborhood on its southern edge, forcing the government to rush in reinforcements.
Trump calls Putin to congratulate him on re-election MOSCOW (AP) - President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to congratulate him on his re-election to a fourth term, and they discussed arranging a meeting against the backdrop of heightened tensions between their two nations over election meddling. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that the meeting could happen soon and they would likely follow up on Putin's recent declaration that he does not want an arms race with the United States. "I suspect that we'll probably be meeting in the not too distant future to discuss the arms race, to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control, but we will never allow anybody to have anything even close to what we have," Trump said.
Supreme Court questions crisis pregnancy center law WASHINGTON (AP) - A skeptical Supreme Court took aim Tuesday at a California law that forces anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion. A ruling striking down the law could doom similar laws in Hawaii and Illinois, and also call into question laws in other states that seek to regulate doctors' speech. Both conservative and liberal justices raised questions about the California law, which took effect in 2016. Centers that are licensed by the state must tell clients about the availability of contraception, abortion and pre-natal care, at little or no cost. Centers that are unlicensed also must post a sign that says so.
Russian diplomats head home from Britain after spy attack MOSCOW (AP) - Nearly two dozen Russian diplomats expelled by Britain over the poisoning of an ex-spy headed home Tuesday, while a scientist involved in the creation of the nerve agent said it could be manufactured by other countries. Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, are in critical condition in the English city of Salisbury after being poisoned on March 4. Britain said they were poisoned with a class of nerve agent known as Novichok and blamed Russia for the attack. Russian scientist Leonid Rink told the state RIA Novosti news agency that Britain and others could easily synthesize Novichok after chemical expert Vil Mirzayanov emigrated to the U.S.
Trump praises Saudi crown prince over economic ties, sales WASHINGTON (AP) - Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman opened a marathon tour of the United States on Tuesday by soaking in praise from President Donald Trump, who championed close economic ties and increased military sales to the Saudis as he hosted the young heir to the throne in the Oval Office. Trump and the crown prince looked past the two nations' differing views about waging war in Yemen as they came together for an Oval Office meeting and working lunch. Instead, they focused on areas of easy agreement: Saudi investments in the U.S., American arm sales to the kingdom and sharp criticism of their mutual foe: Iran.
Judge won't dismiss 'Apprentice' contestant suit vs. Trump NEW YORK (AP) - Saying no one is above the law, a New York state judge refused to toss out a defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump by a former contestant on "The Apprentice." Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Schecter ruled Tuesday that Summer Zervos' lawsuit can proceed. Lawyers for the president had asked that the lawsuit be tossed out or delayed until Trump is no longer president. Schecter said the president has no immunity and is subject to the laws for "purely private acts." She cited as precedent a civil rights lawsuit against then President Bill Clinton that was ordered to proceed.