AP Top News at 2:50 a.m. EDT

Fournette entering NFL draft showing no fear of a bad fit
Leonard Fournette is about to lose a little control over his carefully cultivated football career. The former LSU star running back got to choose where he played in high school - a New Orleans private school called St. Augustine - and in college. But Fournette sounds ready to accept whatever fate brings him in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night. Some teams drafting early in the first round might be a better fit for the 6-foot-1, 228-pound power runner than others, but Fournette asserts, "It doesn't matter. I'm not really focused on that. "Wherever I'm going, I plan on starting, playing my role and my main focus is on a championship - a Super Bowl and nothing less," Fournette said in an interview with The Associated Press while doing promotional work for the sports nutrition supplement MET-Rx this week.

White House: Trump will not immediately bolt NAFTA
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Wednesday told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not immediately pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, just hours after administration officials said he was considering a draft executive order to do just that. The White House made the surprise announcement in a read-out of calls between Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries," said the White House.

As Trump calls for wall, a look at the world's barriers
As President Donald Trump marks 100 days in office, he is vowing to keep his campaign promise to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Despite widespread skepticism and Mexico's refusal to pay for the wall, as Trump has demanded, the U.S. government has been soliciting bids and test sections could be built as soon as this summer. Physical barriers are as old as humanity and have proven to be effective over the centuries at protecting borders. But fences can also have unwanted consequences, like destroying city neighborhoods, harming the environment and preventing innocent victims from reaching safety. Here is a look at some of the world's barriers.

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Trump team softens war talk, vows other pressure on NKorea
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Trump administration told lawmakers Wednesday it will apply economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, as an extraordinary White House briefing served to tamp down talk of military action against an unpredictable and increasingly dangerous U.S. adversary. President Donald Trump welcomed Republican and Democratic senators before his secretary of state, defense secretary, top general and national intelligence director conducted a classified briefing. The same team also met with House members in the Capitol to outline the North's escalating nuclear capabilities and U.S. response options to what they called an "urgent national security threat."

United raising limit on payments to bumped flyers to $10,000
DALLAS (AP) - United Airlines says it will raise the limit - to $10,000 - on payments to customers who give up seats on oversold flights and will increase training for employees as it deals with fallout from the video of a passenger being violently dragged from his seat. United is also vowing to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking - the selling of more tickets than there are seats on the plane. The airline made the promises Thursday as it released a report detailing mistakes that led to the April 9 incident on a United Express plane in Chicago. United isn't saying whether ticket sales have dropped since the removal of a 69-year-old passenger by three airport security officers, but the airline's CEO admits it could be damaging.

Observers: Large explosion rocks Syrian capital
BEIRUT (AP) - A large explosion rocked the Syrian capital early Thursday, followed by a fire near the Damascus airport, Syrian opposition activists and a monitor said. The explosion was heard across the capital, jolting residents awake, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdurrahman said. He said the explosion was reported to have happened near the Damascus airport road. The dawn explosion was also reported by other activists' networks but the source was unclear. Activist-operated Diary of a Mortar, which reports from Damascus, said the explosion near the airport road was followed by flames rising above the area.

Trooper ambush killer sentenced to death in Pennsylvania
MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - The bell atop the Pike County Courthouse last tolled the fate of a condemned killer in the 1980s. On Wednesday, it rang again. Eric Frein, the would-be revolutionary who shot two Pennsylvania troopers, one fatally, in a late-night attack at their barracks, was sentenced to death late Wednesday. The jury's decision that Frein should die by lethal injection brought a shouted "yes!" from a gallery that included high-ranking state police brass, the slain officer's mother and the trooper who suffered debilitating injuries after Frein shot him with a high-powered rifle. "Jurors have delivered full justice in this case and issued the penalty that is so richly deserved by Eric Frein," said District Attorney Ray Tonkin.

Businesses like Trump tax plan, but they won't rush to hire
NEW YORK (AP) - Giving workers a raise, investing in new machinery. Small business owners have long wish lists to choose from if the Trump administration's plan to lower tax rates becomes law - but most don't expect to go on a hiring binge. Some owners and small business groups hoped the dramatic cuts in corporate and personal taxes proposed Wednesday could mean more savings to invest in their businesses and more revenue coming in from consumers and businesses with some extra money to spend. Brian Hart, the sole owner of a public relations company in Philadelphia, said he would reinvest any tax savings into Flackable, but doesn't expect to have enough to hire employees.

Dispute over health payments defused, spending bill on track
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House and congressional Democrats on Wednesday defused a tense standoff over payments for the working poor under the health care law, keeping a massive government spending bill on track just days ahead of a shutdown deadline. President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed away from a threat to immediately withhold payments to help people with modest incomes with out-of-pocket medical expenses under Democrat Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The dispute with Democrats, especially House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, threatened to hold up the $1 trillion-plus spending bill. A temporary funding bill expires Friday at midnight, and GOP leaders late Wednesday unveiled another short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown this weekend - Trump's 100th day in office.

Here's what could be next for Trump's sanctuary cities order
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - President Donald Trump is lashing out at a judge's ruling blocking his attempt to strip funds from "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities, calling it "ridiculous" and vowing to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was the third Trump executive order on immigration to be thwarted by the federal courts. Here is a look at Tuesday's ruling and what lies ahead: --- WHAT DID THE FEDERAL JUDGE SAY ABOUT THE SANCTUARY CITIES ORDER? U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco said the president has no authority to attach new conditions of his own to spending that was approved by Congress.

1-2 Buzz Question
1-2 Buzz Question
2012 vs. 2011 - Will the New Year be:
: Better
: Worse
: The Same