Saturday, April 25
Death toll nears 1,200
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Tens of thousands of people are preparing to spend the night in the open after a powerful earthquake shook Nepal and its neighboring countries. Authorities say the quake has killed nearly 1,200 people but that number is likely to rise.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake originated outside Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, and rattled northern parts of India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan. At least 50 deaths were reported in those countries.
10 dead, more missing in quake-triggered Everest avalanche
Eds: Clarifies that avalanche began near, not on, Mount Everest
KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche triggered by the massive earthquake in Nepal's Mount Everest region has killed at least 10 climbers and guides and left an unknown number of people injured and missing.
A mountaineering official says the avalanche began on Mount Kumori, a few miles from Everest, and gathered strength as it headed toward the base camp where climbing expeditions have been preparing to make their summit attempts in the coming weeks.
The official says the avalanche — or perhaps a series of avalanches — plowed into a part of the base camp, flattening at least 30 tents. Numerous climbers may now be cut off on routes leading to the top of the world's highest peak.
UNITED STATES-NEPAL EARTHQUAKE
NEW: US sending disaster response team, $1 million aid to Nepal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is sending a disaster response team and $1 million in aid to Nepal following a devastating earthquake that shook three countries.
The White House and Secretary of State John Kerry are offering condolences along with pledging the support.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake outside the capital Kathmandu killed more than 1,000 people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. It also toppled buildings and triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest.
Kerry says in a statement that the United States stands with the people of Nepal and sends heartfelt sympathies.
He says USAID is preparing to deploy the disaster assistance response team and is activating an urban search and rescue team.
National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says the U.S. stands ready to provide further assistance in the region.
NEW: Cruz tells Jewish Republicans he'll work to stop deal with Iran
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz say he'll do "everything humanly possible" to stop a nuclear deal with Iran — a stand that's drawn cheers from the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Concerns about President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program are dominating the group's meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday.
A 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Cruz says a nuclear Iran threatens Israel's existence.
Cruz points out that every politician who appears before the group would promise to protect Israel "unless you are a blithering idiot." Cruz says the key question is which candidate would coalition members trust to fulfill that promise.
The group says it plans a presidential forum in December and that all candidates for the GOP nomination are expected to attend.
NEW: Perry calls for principled American leadership
LAS VEGAS (AP) —Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling for clear, principled American leadership to stave off violence in the Middle East and mounting anti-Semitism in Europe.
During his 35-minute speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Las Vegas on Saturday, Perry bashed President Barack Obama's foreign policy while calling for more defense spending, putting troops on Poland's border with Russia and taking a more aggressive posture against China. He underscored the importance of western values against Islamic extremism.
Perry said he was calling for "the type of strength that prevents war."
Perry has yet to say whether he'll pursue 2016 Republican presidential nomination, but he's spent months gearing up for a second run. Four years ago, he plummeted from prime contender to political punchline. He couldn't remember during a nationally televised candidates' debate one of the three cabinet-level departments he wanted to abolish.
NEW: US unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance
UNDATED (AP) — With the Patriot Act surveillance law about to expire, the Obama administration is unveiling a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans' calls and emails.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence publicly released the redacted report on Saturday. The release follows a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the New York Times.
President George W. Bush authorized the program code-named Stellarwind in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The basics of the National Security Agency program had already been declassified. But the lengthy report includes some new details about the secrecy surrounding it.
The report says the program would have been more useful if it weren't so highly classified, since many FBI agents and CIA analysts were unaware it existed.
UPDATE: Several hundred march
BALTIMORE (AP) — Several hundred demonstrators marched through the streets of West Baltimore, where a crowd had gathered at the site of the arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Gray died Sunday after sustaining injuries while in the custody of Baltimore police.
Although barriers had been placed around the Western District police station house, marchers who had gathered earlier in the day were able to stand in front of the building.
Outside the station people held yellow and black signs that read, "Community control of police now!" ''Jail killer police!" and "Unite Here!"
NEW: European authorities stop illegal horse meat network
PARIS (AP) — European authorities say police in several countries have detained 26 people in a crackdown on an organized crime network accused of trading in illegal horse meat.
Eurojust, the EU agency for judicial cooperation, said in a statement late Friday that the network falsified documents and sold meat from horses unfit for human consumption. The meat then made its way into the "legal food chain," unbeknownst to consumers.
The operation involved authorities in France, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The statement said the main suspect is a Belgian, but did not provide the nationalities of those arrested.
European health authorities have been on alert for horse meat crime since 2013, when they discovered that it was being secretly sold as beef in some prepared foods around Europe.
NEW: Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview
NEW YORK (AP) — Former Olympian Bruce Jenner reached an audience of just under 17 million people for his declaration in an ABC News interview that he identifies as a woman.
The Nielsen company said Saturday 16.9 million viewers watched the interview on ABC's "20/20" newscast Friday night.
The audience was the biggest for a non-sports show on a Friday night since 2003, which would exclude Olympics broadcasts. Friday is generally a light night for television viewing because so many people have plans outside the house.
It was also the biggest audience for ABC's "20/20" newscast on a Friday night in 15 years. Nielsen said viewership peaked just after 10 p.m. with 17.2 million viewers.
Nielsen Social also estimated that there were 972,000 tweets sent Friday night about the Jenner interview.
NEW: 7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Seven members of the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox have been fined and six have been suspended by Major League Baseball for their roles in a brawl this week.
Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was suspended seven games, fellow starter Edinson Volquez suspended five games, and outfielder Lorenzo Cain and reliever Kelvin Herrera suspended two games apiece for taking part in the benches-clearing fight Thursday night.
White Sox pitchers Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija were suspended five games.
All six players were fined an undisclosed amount Saturday, along with White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers. The Royals-White Sox game on Saturday was rained out, meaning all suspensions will begin Sunday unless a player chooses to appeal.