AP Top News at 11:15 a.m. EST

Jordan seeks proof captive pilot alive before any IS trade
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - Jordan on Thursday demanded proof from Islamic State militants that a Jordanian pilot they are holding is still alive, despite purported threats by the group to kill the airman at sunset unless an al-Qaida prisoner is freed from death row in Jordan. The militants' deadline passed without word on the fate of the pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, and a fellow hostage, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.


Islamic State standoff involves prisoner, pilot, journalist
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) - A young Jordanian fighter pilot, a female al-Qaida recruit who tried to blow up a hotel ballroom in Amman and a veteran Japanese war correspondent are at the center of a life-and-death standoff with the Islamic State group. The militants, who hold the pilot and the journalist, have purportedly threatened to kill the airman at sundown Thursday, Iraq time, if the would-be suicide bomber is not released from death row in Jordan. Here is a look at the three.


Senate heads toward approval of Keystone XL pipeline bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Republican-controlled Senate is moving toward passage of a bipartisan bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The move defies a veto threat and sets up the first battle with the White House over energy and the environment.


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Obama to seek to bust limits on domestic, defense spending
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will seek to bust through spending limits for both domestic and defense programs, the White House said Thursday, negating the effects of across-the-board cuts agreed to by both Democrats and Republicans and signed by Obama into law. Obama's budget proposal to Congress will "fully reverse" the so-called sequestration cuts on the domestic side, while boosting national security programs by an equal amount, the White House said, as Obama prepared to meet with House Democrats at their annual retreat in Philadelphia. The budget will be "fully paid for with cuts to inefficient spending programs and closing tax loopholes," but taxpayers will have to wait until the budget is formally released Monday to find out exactly how.


Gas blast at Mexico City children's hospital, dozens injured
MEXICO CITY (AP) - A powerful gas tank truck explosion shattered a maternity and children's hospital in Mexico City on Thursday, killing at least three people and injuring dozens. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera told Milenio television that three were killed, a woman and two men.


Attorney General nominee moves closer to confirmation
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Republicans demanded wholesale change at the Justice Department Thursday as they questioned whether President Barack Obama's attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, would provide it. "The question for me and a lot of members on this side is whether Ms. Lynch is committed to leading the Department of Justice in a new direction," Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said as he gaveled open the second day of hearings into her nomination.


Study: Chances of dying in a car crash plunged over 3 years
WASHINGTON (AP) - The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model car or light truck fell by more than a third over three years, and nine car models had zero deaths per million registered vehicles, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety The study, which examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looked at how many fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as a rate per million registered vehicle years. It found there was an average of 28 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years through the 2012 calendar year, down from 48 deaths for 2008 models through 2009.


Fugitive treasure hunter to appear in Florida federal court
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A treasure hunter locked in a legal battle over one of the greatest undersea hauls in American history was scheduled to appear in federal court Thursday after two years on the run. The U.S. Marshals Service captured former fugitive Tommy Thompson at a Hilton hotel in West Boca Raton on Tuesday. The capture was announced Wednesday by Brian Babtist, a senior inspector in the agency's office in Columbus, Ohio, where a federal civil arrest warrant was issued for him in 2012 for failing to show up to a key court hearing. A criminal contempt warrant was unsealed Wednesday.


William Shatner knows the ups, downs of traveling
LOS ANGELES (AP) - William Shatner is back as a shrewd, unflappable travel expert in his latest TV commercial for an online company. But in real life, even Shatner can't avoid the perils of getting through airport security lines.


Hoodie and scowl hide the Belichick impact
PHOENIX (AP) - He's been called the Evil Genius, and he's been fined for spying on an opponent. And now there are questions about deflated footballs. Any visual portrait of Bill Belichick likely has him wearing a hoodie - and a scowl. Many of his media duties are marked by terse answers or outright stonewalling.