UN Security Council to confer on North Korea nuclear program UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Turning to diplomacy after flexing military muscle, the United States will urge the U.N. Security Council on Friday to increase economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, leaning on China in particular to turn the screws on its wayward ally. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his counterparts from allies Japan and South Korea and was set to chair a ministerial meeting of the U.N.'s top decision-making body. The U.S. wants to tighten the implementation of sanctions and build international resolve to isolate North Korea so it eventually disarms. That's a goal that has eluded U.S.
Trump to address NRA, raise money for key Congress race WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years when he speaks Friday at the group's annual meeting. The president's trip to Atlanta also will serve as his first foray into a congressional race since taking office. Trump is expected to attend a private fundraiser for Republican congressional candidate Karen Handel, a local election that has become a national referendum on his presidency. Trump has been a champion of gun rights and supportive of NRA efforts to loosen restrictions on gun ownership. During the campaign, he promised to do away with President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen background checks and to eliminate gun-free zones at schools and military bases.
House OKs bill averting Saturday gov't shutdown, Senate next WASHINGTON (AP) - With just hours to spare, the House easily approved a short-term spending bill Friday that would prevent a partial federal shutdown over the weekend. But on President Donald Trump's 99th day in office, lawmakers were leaving until next week without completing two other measures he's coveted: A Republican health care overhaul and a budget financing government for the entire year. House members backed the weeklong spending measure by a lopsided 382-30 vote, moving it to the Senate for certain final approval that would avert a Saturday shutdown. Leaders hope it will give bipartisan bargainers enough time to finish a $1 trillion package financing government through Sept.
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Pope urges Egypt imams to teach and preach tolerance, peace CAIRO (AP) - Pope Francis urged Egypt's leading imams on Friday to teach their students to reject violence in God's name and preach messages of peace and tolerance instead, forging ahead with a delicate visit to the Arab world's most populous country following a spate of deadly Islamic militant attacks against Christians. Francis arrived to a subdued welcome and a heavy police presence at Cairo's international airport. But he brushed off security concerns by driving into town with his windows rolled down in a simple blue Fiat - not the armored "popemobiles" of his predecessors. Francis' first event was a landmark visit to Cairo's Al Azhar university, the revered, 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Islam learning that trains clerics and scholars from around the world.
Street gang MS-13 grips Long Island suburbs in violence BRENTWOOD, N.Y. (AP) - Late at night, when helicopters thrum overhead and spotlights beam down onto lawns, many people here know exactly what's going on. "You just think, 'Oh, God, whose child is it now?'" said Stephanie Spezia, a longtime resident of this suburb in the heart of Long Island that's caught in the grip of a violent street gang with Central American ties, MS-13. MS-13 has been blamed for a trail of 11 corpses of mostly young people discovered in woods and vacant lots in Brentwood and neighboring Central Islip since the start of the school year. The bloodshed in the two blue-collar towns has gotten the attention of President Donald Trump, who says the killings are the result of lax immigration policies that let too many criminal "scum" slip through.
US economic growth weakened to 0.7 percent in first quarter WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. economy turned in the weakest performance in three years in the January-March quarter as consumers sharply slowed their spending. The result underscores the challenge facing President Donald Trump in achieving his ambitious economic growth targets. The gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, grew by just 0.7 percent in the first quarter following a gain of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department reported Friday. The slowdown primarily reflected slower consumer spending, which grew by just 0.3 percent after a 3.5 percent gain in the fourth quarter. It was the poorest showing in more than seven years.
Warren 'troubled' by report of Wall Street-paid Obama speech WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she's "troubled" by reports that former President Barack Obama will be paid $400,000 to speak at a September health care conference put on by Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. The Massachusetts Democrat said Thursday on SiriusXM's "Alter Family Politics" program that she is concerned about the overall influence of money in politics. Obama spokesman Eric Schultz says in a statement that the Democratic former president accepted the invitation to speak because health care is "an issue of great importance to him." He added that Obama implemented financial reforms even after taking money from Wall Street as a candidate in 2008.
UK jury convicts doctor of performing unnecessary surgeries LONDON (AP) - A prominent breast surgeon whose victims accused him of playing God with their lives faces a life sentence after a jury convicted him Friday of carrying out unnecessary operations that maimed some of his victims for life. The Nottingham Crown Court jury found Ian Paterson guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and three counts of unlawful wounding. Prosecutors say the 59-year-old doctor lied to patients or exaggerated their risk of cancer to persuade them to have surgery. "Of the 11 victims he was charged with in relation to this case, none had breast cancer, and yet he led them to believe they were at risk.
Robots, tasers join battle against invasive species WASHINGTON (AP) - A robot zaps and vacuums up venomous lionfish in Bermuda. A helicopter pelts Guam's trees with poison-baited dead mice to fight the voracious brown tree snake. A special boat with giant winglike nets stuns and catches Asian carp in the U.S. Midwest. In the fight against alien animals that invade and overrun native species, the weird and wired wins. "Critters are smart - they survive," said biologist Rob "Goose" Gosnell, head of U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife services in Guam, where brown tree snakes have gobbled up nearly all the native birds. "Trying to outsmart them is hard to do." Invasive species are plants and animals that thrive in areas where they don't naturally live, usually brought there by humans, either accidentally or intentionally.
NFL's wild opening round could yield more surprises on Day 2 PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Defense was supposed to dominate in the first round of the NFL draft. It did, eventually. It just took a while. After the Browns took Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick Thursday night, eight of the next 11 picks were offensive players in a surprising opening day. Overall, 19 of the 32 players were from the defense, which was closer to projections. The first stunning move was the Bears trading with the 49ers to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2. "It was just pretty much silence," Trubisky said. "That's why I'm surprised to hear my name called because we didn't have a lot of contact.