BC-AP News Digest 6:15 pm

Photo -   President Barack Obama, center, participates in the wreathlaying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns with Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, left, Commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama, center, participates in the wreathlaying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns with Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, left, Commander of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington, at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
News,Science and Technology

The world at 6:15 p.m. Times EDT.

At the Nerve Center, news producers Caleb Jones and Mike Stewart can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, Pablo Salinas (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP Content can be obtained from For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at) or call 877-836-9477.



— CRUISE SHIP FIRE — Fire breaks out on Royal Caribbean cruise ship; more than 2,200 passengers to be flown to US from Bahamas.

— STATUE OF LIBERTY-SECURITY — NY senator, police commissioner say new Statue of Liberty security plans put visitors at risk.

— CANADA-VIDEO MAYOR — Toronto mayor's press advisers latest to leave amid purported crack cocaine smoking video.

— CHILE-VOLCANO — Chile issues red alert over Copahue volcano, evacuations ordered.



BRUSSELS — The European Union has decided to lift the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition while maintaining all other sanctions against Bashar Assad's regime after June 1. British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the decision "sends a very strong message from Europe to the Assad regime," but it comes only after an all-day meeting laying bare EU hesitation on feeding arms in a foreign conflict only months after it won the Nobel Peace Prize. By Raf Casert and Jamey Keaten.

AP photos.

— MCCAIN-SYRIA — Senator McCain, frequent critic of US Mideast policy, visits with rebels in Syria.


WASHINGTON — Three U.S. states and three countries have approved same-sex unions just in the two months since the Supreme Court heard arguments over gay marriage, raising questions about how the developments might affect the justices' consideration of the issue. In particular, close observers on both sides of the gay marriage divide are wondering whether Justice Anthony Kennedy's view could be decisive since he often has been the swing vote. By Mark Sherman.


SEATTLE — By Michael Hill's estimation, 90 percent of the people pumping gas at his station just south of the U.S.-Canada border in Washington state are Canadians. Gas north of the 49th parallel, he said, is about $1.30 per gallon more expensive than in the United States. But that's not the only product that Canadians seek in visits to Washington state: Beer, wine and milk are significantly cheaper. That's why Hill and others are troubled by the notion of charging a fee to enter the U.S. by land. Last month, in its 2014 fiscal year budget proposal, the Department of Homeland Security requested permission to study a fee at the nation's land border crossings. The request has sparked wide opposition among members of Congress from northern states, who vowed to stop it. A fee, they say, would hurt communities on the border that rely on people, goods and money moving between the U.S. and Canada. By Manuel Valdes.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON — President Obama has a chance to score a three-point play with a post-Hurricane Sandy tour of the New Jersey coast line that offers a break from the recent controversies that have dogged the White House. New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie at his side to witness the coastal recovery, Obama on Tuesday will seek to reinforce a message of effective government, bipartisanship and economic opportunity. Both men will reprise the bipartisan tableau from Sandy's aftermath last October when Obama traveled to New Jersey before the election to examine the wreckage. The visit occurs as Congress is away for the week, a vacuum that has quieted attention to upheavals over the Internal Revenue Service, the attack on Benghazi, Libya, and a leak investigation that has swept up journalist's phone records. By Jim Kuhnhenn.

AP photos.


WASHINGTON — Obese women tend to have obese children. Now a provocative study suggests weight-loss surgery may help women break that unhealthy cycle in an unexpected way — by affecting the genes of the next generation. A first-of-its-kind study found that the children born to obese women who lost a lot of weight before pregnancy had genes that improved their odds for good health. By Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard.

AP graphic.


CHICAGO — From the time they are born, we put our boys in blue beanies and our girls in pink ones. It's a societal norm that you just are what you are born — a boy or a girl. But what if your kid, from an early age, showed interest in doing opposite-gender things? What if they wanted to BE the opposite gender, or a less-defined mix of both? And what if they wanted to test those limits in public places, like school? Would you let them? With the decision of the American Psychiatric Association to remove "gender identity disorder" from its list of mental health ailments, and laws in many states forbidding discrimination, schools are having to figure out how to accommodate such children, some more successfully than others. A suburban Chicago family illustrates the challenges. By National Writer Martha Irvine.

AP photos, video.


WASHINGTON — Of the 85 kids who have won the National Spelling Bee, only one became an instant movie star. For the millions who watched back in 1999, Nupur Lala's face is frozen in time. She'll always be the 14-year-old girl from Tampa, Fla., with the glasses and dark shoulder-length hair, her arms raised while leaping for joy. Like all bee winners, she's since had to deal with the perks, drawbacks and stereotypes that come with the title — all magnified because she won the same year the competition was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary "Spellbound." Today, she's 28 and finishing up a master's degree in cancer biology. Lala will be watching this week when the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place near the nation's capital as a new successor is crowned. All of the recent winners, to some degree, have cited Lala as an inspiration. By Joseph White.

AP photos.



NEW ORLEANS — Before Cpl. Thomas "Cotton" Jones was killed by a Japanese sniper in the South Pacific in 1944, he wrote what he called his "last life request" to anyone who might find his diary: Please give it to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved. Davis did get to read the diary — but not until nearly 70 years later, when she saw it in a display case at the National World War II Museum. Laura Mae Davis Burlingame had gone to the New Orleans museum looking for a display commemorating the young Marine who had been her high-school sweetheart. She was stunned to find the diary of the 22-year-old machine gunner. By Janet McConnaughey.

AP photos.


A long-forgotten dog tag that spent the past 69 years in a barley field in France is back in the hands of the western New York veteran who lost it. Eighty-eight-year-old Irving Mann says he was skeptical when an email from a French woman recently arrived at his Rochester jewelry store. But any doubts disappeared when the woman sent it to him in the mail, just in time for Memorial Day. By Carolyn Thompson.

AP photos.

— US-MEMORIAL DAY — Americans gathered at cemeteries, memorials, museums and parades nationwide to honor fallen service members. For some veterans, it's a somber day.

— MEMORIAL DAY-PHOTO GALLERY — AP PHOTOS: Americans mark Memorial Day.

— MEMORIAL DAY-OBAMA — Obama says Americans must honor the sacrifices of their fighting men and women.



WASHINGTON — The high-stakes dissent on public display recently as U.S. intelligence officials grappled with conflicting opinions about threats in North Korea and Syria is reminiscent of the intense internal debate over whether to lay siege to the compound in Pakistan where terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was hiding. It's a vital part of ongoing discussions in the national security establishment over whether to send deadly drone strikes against terror suspects abroad — including American citizens. By Lara Jakes.

AP photos.



BAGHDAD — A coordinated wave of car bombings tears through mostly Shiite areas in the Baghdad area, killing more than 60 people as insurgents up the tempo of bloodshed roiling Iraq. The attacks signal a fast deterioration in security as sectarian tensions exacerbated by anti-government protests and the war in neighboring Syria are on the rise. By Adam Schreck and Sinan Salaheddin.

AP photos.

— IRAQ-ATTACKS-GLANCE — A look at deadliest attacks in recent weeks.


KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Abdul Malik and his fellow Afghan soldiers were driving across the arid and volatile south when their armored personnel carrier struck a roadside bomb. Malik found himself outside the vehicle, dazed. Help came quickly: U.S. helicopters swooped in and took them to the Afghan military hospital in Kandahar. Malik lost his leg below the knee, but not his life. This year's fighting season is the first in 12 years of war that Afghan troops are responsible for security in most of the country. But the Afghans are still heavily dependent on international air support to ferry the wounded to hospitals and for gunships to defend troops who are isolated and under attack. By Kathy Gannon.

AP photos.

— BRITAIN-ATTACK — UK police arrest 10th suspect in brutal killing of off-duty soldier in London street. AP photos.


TOKYO — A prominent Japanese politician apologizes for saying U.S. troops should patronize adult entertainment businesses as a way to reduce rapes but defends his remarks about Japan's use of sex slaves during World War II. By Mari Yamaguchi and Malcolm Foster.

AP photos.


TEHRAN, Iran — From a computer keyboard in London, an Iranian emigre plays the role of counselor, social media guru and all-around adviser for Internet users back home seeking ways around the cyber-blocks set up by authorities in Tehran. These have been busy days. With a presidential election looming, the Web firewalls are closing in even more. Iranian authorities appear to be stepping up blocks on the main outlets for many Iranians: Virtual pathways to servers outside Iran that open access to outlawed sites such as Facebook, BBC's Persian service and websites from what's left of Iran's opposition Green Movement. By Nasser Karimi and Brian Murphy.

AP photos.

— IRAN-ELECTION-Q&A — Some questions about Iran's June 14 presidential election and beyond.



NEW YORK — Ebullient and seemingly inexhaustible, with a New York intensity tempered by a ready laugh that can be heard from down the hall, Quinn is the kind of person who can describe herself as a "pushy broad" and not make you wince, or duck for cover. At the same time, the City Council chief is a veteran, work-through-the-system politician who champions consensus and compromise. When she faces criticism, the knock is as often that she's too pragmatic as that she's too pushy. In short, she's a classic that's-New-York-for-you candidate. By Jennifer Peltz.

AP photos.


MOORE, Okla. — Meet the Mayor of Tornado Town. Glenn Lewis has been mayor of Moore, Okla., for nearly 20 years. Twice in that time, Lewis' town has faced destruction by tornadoes so strong the chance they will happen are less than 2 percent. The most recent came May 20, when an EF5 tornado killed 24 people, seven of them children in a school obliterated by the storm. He's working with companies to remove debris, and with federal and state agencies to ensure aid flows in quickly. He also tries to do the little things, buying breakfast for troopers manning safety checkpoints and going home to help his neighbors. By Ramit Plushnick-Masti.

AP photos.


KILPATRICK, Ala. — For years before a tornado hit, few besides the immigrants who work at nearby poultry plants ventured down the pothole-rutted dirt roads of "Little Mexico. The community, officially called Kilpatrick, comprises a large population of Latin American residents who previously mingled very little with the white, English-speaking natives. Oddly enough, it was the twister, with its 125 mph destructive winds and home-wrecking fury, that began bringing the two groups together, even as it tore much of what they owned apart. People began working together clearing away debris and wreckage after the storm without regard to language or culture, and folks suddenly were getting along better. By Jay Reeves.

AP photos.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — In an effort to save money, Girl Scout councils across the country are making proposals that would have been unthinkable a generation ago: selling summer camps that date back to the 1950s. Leaders say the properties have become a financial drain at a time when girls are less interested in camp. But defenders of the properties insist that the camping experience must be preserved for future generations. By Ryan J. Foley.

AP photos.



Canadian drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals says it will pay $8.7 billion to buy Bausch + Lomb, one of the world's best-known makers of contact lenses, in a massive expansion of Valeant's smaller ophthalmology business. Valeant said the cash deal will help it capitalize on increasing demand for contact lenses and other products because of aging populations, growing demand in emerging markets and increasing rates of diabetes. By Linda A. Johnson.

AP photos.


PITTSBURGH — One of the founding giants of modern technology is investing billions of dollars in the new boom of oil and gas fracking. General Electric is opening a new laboratory in Oklahoma that aims to use cutting edge science to improve profits and productivity for clients, and reduce the environmental impact of the drilling boom. By Kevin Begos.



NEWARK, N.J. — Julie Hermann is not resigning as Rutgers' incoming athletic director following a report that 16 years ago she humiliated and emotionally abused players while coaching Tennessee's women's volleyball team. And the university is standing behind her. By Tom Canavan.

AP photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — The days of boat shoes and baseball caps are long gone. America's Cup sailors now wear padded body armor and crash helmets. Following a sailor's death two weeks ago, even more safety gear is being mandated. Some sailors predict more capsizes and crashes before a winner is crowned in September. By Paul Elias.

AP photos.


— OREGON FLIGHT DISTURBANCE — Ariz. man accused of trying to open door on flight from Alaska to Ore.; passengers subdue him.

— BOX OFFICE — 'Fast & Furious 6' speeds past 'The Hangover Part III' to finish first at weekend box office.

— MCCARTNEY-GRACELAND — McCartney leaves guitar pick on 1st visit to Graceland 'so Elvis can play in heaven'. AP photo.

— NYC BIKE SHARING — NYC launches its bike sharing program, the nation's largest. AP photos.

— ANGEL FLIGHT-CRASH — Rescuers search for 3rd day for passenger from Angel Flight that crashed in New York.

— EU-SPAIN-NEPAL-CLIMBER DIES — Spanish climber dies in Himalayas on world's 7th tallest mountain after a fall.



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