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Germany hunts for co-pilot motive amid depression reports
BERLIN (AP) - Police have searched the homes of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in two German cities in search of an explanation for why he may have crashed a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. German tabloid Bild reported Friday that Lubitz had a "serious depressive episode" six years ago and that a medical problem was noted in aviation records.


The Latest: Germanwings sets up family assistance center
10:25 a.m. (0925 GMT, 5:25 a.m.) Germanwings says it is setting up a family assistance center in Marseille for relatives of the 150 people killed when one of its planes crashed in the French Alps.


Little vetting of pilots for mental health, US experts say
WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite U.S. and international regulations requiring that airline pilots be screened for mental health problems, little effective, real-world checking takes place, pilots and safety experts say. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. Authorities believe the 27-year-old German deliberately sought to destroy the Airbus A320 as it flew Tuesday from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.


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10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. HOW PILOT SCREENING CAN FALL THROUGH CRACKS


Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House
WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans muscled a balanced-budget plan through the Senate early Friday, positioning Congress for months of battling President Barack Obama over the GOP's goals of slicing spending and dismantling his health care law. Working into Friday's pre-dawn hours, senators approved the blueprint by a near party-line 52-46 vote, endorsing a measure that closely follows one the House passed Wednesday. Both budgets embody a conservative vision of shrinking projected federal deficits by more than $5 trillion over the coming decade, mostly by cutting health care and other benefit programs and without raising taxes.


Arabs inch closer to old dream of joint Arab force
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - Arab leaders meeting this weekend in this Egyptian Red Sea resort are moving closer than ever to creating a joint Arab military force, a sign of a new determination among Saudi Arabia, Egypt and their allies to intervene aggressively in regional hotspots, whether against Islamic militants or spreading Iranian power. Creation of such a force has been a longtime goal that has eluded Arab nations in the 65 years since they signed a rarely used joint defense pact. And there remains reluctance among some countries, particularly allies of Iran like Syria and Iraq - a reflection of the divisions in the region.


Utility: Inspectors found faulty work before NYC blast
NEW YORK (AP) - Firefighters are working to put out pockets of fire at the site of a blaze that leveled an apartment building in Manhattan's East Village. A fire department spokesman says about 200 firefighters and medical staff are on the scene Friday morning.


Complex US-Iran ties at heart of complicated Mideast policy
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq's deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement. Yet the old adversaries are locked in proxy war across an ever more volatile region. In Syria, the United States arms insurgents seeking to oust the Iran-backed government. In Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and elsewhere, Iran supports militant groups determined to end Israel's existence. And now in Yemen, the U.S. is backing a military intervention by Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia against a Shiite rebellion aided by Iran.


Critters found in Antarctic ice shows how tenacious life is
DECEPTION ISLAND, Antarctica (AP) - Deep below the ice, far from the playful penguins and other animals that bring tourists to Antarctica, is a cold and barren world that by all indications should be completely void of life. But recently, scientists researching melting ice watched a half-foot-long (15-centimeter) fish swim by. Not long after that, they saw shrimp-like creatures.


Bo knows when not to change a thing; can Irish slay Goliath?
Bo Ryan is no fan of change. He said so himself answering the question - "What's the most important change your team needs to make here?" - as he left the locker room to start the second half, down by two to North Carolina in Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup.