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AP Top News at 11:27 p.m. EDT

May 16, 2019 09:52 PM

Pregnant Chicago woman slain, baby cut from her womb

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman who sold baby clothes to a pregnant woman and lured her back to her house with an offer of more clothing has been charged with murder after allegedly strangling the woman with a cord and cutting the infant from her womb, police said Thursday. Clarisa Figueroa, 46, apparently wanted to raise another child two years after her adult son died of natural causes, investigators said. "Words cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are," Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told reporters at a news conference to announce the murder charges against Figueroa and her 24-year-old daughter, Desiree Figueroa.

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Trump tries to tamp down talk of war with Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Thursday that he hopes the U.S. is not on a path to war with Iran amid fears that his two most hawkish advisers could be angling for such a conflict with the Islamic Republic. Asked if the U.S. was going to war with Iran, the president replied, "I hope not" — a day after he repeated a desire for dialogue, tweeting, "I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon." The tone contrasted with a series of moves by the U.S. and Iran that have sharply escalated tensions in the Middle East in recent days.

Saudis blame Iran for drone attack amid calls for US strikes

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia accused Tehran of being behind a drone strike that shut down a key oil pipeline in the kingdom, and a newspaper close to the palace called for Washington to launch "surgical" strikes on Iran, raising the specter of escalating tensions as the U.S. boosts its military presence in the Persian Gulf. Concerns about possible conflict have flared after the U.S. dispatched warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged but unspecified threat from Iran. There also have been allegations that four oil tankers were sabotaged Sunday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack on the Saudi pipeline.

US: Flynn described efforts to interfere with cooperation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn told the special counsel's office that people connected to the Trump administration and Congress sought to influence his cooperation with the Russia investigation, and he provided a voicemail recording of one such communication, prosecutors said in a court filing made public Thursday. Meanwhile, the judge in the case ordered that portions of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that relate to Flynn be unredacted and made public by the end of the month. Thursday's order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan is the first time a judge is known to have directed the Justice Department to make public any portion of the report that the agency had kept secret.

Alabama man executed for helping commit a quadruple killing

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A man condemned for his role in a quadruple killing that followed a dispute over a pickup truck was put to death Thursday in Alabama after declining to make any last-minute appeals. Michael Brandon Samra, 41, was pronounced dead at 7:33 p.m. following a three-drug lethal injection at Holman prison, authorities said. Samra and a friend, Mark Duke, were convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Duke's father, the father's girlfriend and the woman's two elementary-age daughters in 1997. The two adults were shot and the children had their throats slit. Evidence showed that Duke planned the killings because he was angry his father wouldn't let him use his pickup.

Trump pushes immigration plan favoring 'merit' over family

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unveiling a new immigration plan, President Donald Trump said Thursday he wanted to provide a sharp contrast with Democrats, and he did — aiming to upend decades of family-based immigration policy with a new approach that favors younger, "totally brilliant," high-skilled workers he says won't compete for American jobs. Trump's sweeping immigration plan is more a campaign document than anything else. It's a White House attempt to stretch beyond the "build-the-wall" rhetoric that swept the president to office but may not be enough to deliver him a second term. As Trump heads into reelection season, his campaign sees the plan as a way to help him look more reasonable on a signature issue than he often seems — and to cast Democrats as blocking him.

4th death of migrant child since December raises new alarms

HOUSTON (AP) — Advocates raised new alarms Thursday about the U.S. government's treatment of migrant families after a 2½-year-old Guatemalan child became the fourth minor known to have died after being detained by border agents since December. "The death of a single child in custody of our government is a horrific tragedy," said Jess Morales Rocketto, chair of the advocacy group Families Belong Together. "Four in six months is a clear pattern of willful, callous disregard for children's lives." The boy died Tuesday after several weeks in the hospital, American and Guatemalan authorities said. Tekandi Paniagua, Guatemala's consul in Del Rio, Texas, said the boy had a high fever and difficulty breathing, and authorities took him to a children's hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

F-16 fighter crashes into California warehouse, pilot ejects

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — An F-16 fighter jet crashed Thursday into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in California, sending a dozen people to hospitals for evaluation after they were exposed to debris, authorities said. The pilot ejected and parachuted to safety, said Maj. Perry Covington, the base's director of public affairs. The cause of the crash was under investigation. Interstate 215, which runs between the base and the warehouse, was closed in both directions, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles. Television news showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

I.M. Pei, architect who designed Louvre Pyramid, dies at 102

NEW YORK (AP) — I.M. Pei (PAY), the versatile, globe-trotting architect who revived the Louvre with a giant glass pyramid and captured the spirit of rebellion at the multi-shaped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died at age 102. Pei's death was confirmed Thursday by Marc Diamond, a spokesman for the architect's New York firm, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. One of Pei's sons, Li Chung Pei, told The New York Times his father had died overnight. Pei's works ranged from the trapezoidal addition to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the chiseled towers of the National Center of Atmospheric Research that blend in with the reddish mountains in Boulder, Colorado.

Bruins sweep Hurricanes to reach Stanley Cup Final

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Tuukka Rask posted his seventh career playoff shutout, and the Boston Bruins swept the Carolina Hurricanes out of the Eastern Conference final, winning 4-0 on Thursday night to reach their third Stanley Cup Final in nine years. Rask made 24 saves in his second straight series-clinching shutout. Patrice Bergeron scored two goals, David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists and Brad Marchand added an empty-netter. Both Bergeron and Pastrnak scored on second-period power plays. The Bruins won their seventh straight postseason game — their longest playoff winning streak in nearly half a century — to return to the Cup final after winning it in 2011 and losing to Chicago two years later.

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