Winston-Salem Journal: Ap

AP Top News at 8:56 a.m. EDT

Prosecutors: Evidence Germanwings co-pilot hid illness
MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) - Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers, including having been excused by a doctor from work the day he crashed a passenger plane into a mountain, prosecutors said Friday. The evidence came from the search of Lubitz's homes in two German cities for an explanation of why he crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.


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.


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


Watch Top News Video




Saudi airstrikes in Yemen target rebel stronghold in north
SANAA, Yemen (AP) - Saudi Arabia bombed the northern stronghold of Yemen's Shiite rebels and key military installations on Friday as a coalition led by the Gulf kingdom carried out airstrikes for a second day. The strikes hit at least six provinces, including an eastern area rich in oil and gas. The military action is turning impoverished and chaotic Yemen into a new front in the rivalry between Sunni heavyweight Saudi Arabia and Shiite power Iran, which supports the rebels known as Houthis. In recent months, the Houthis have swept out of their northern strongholds and taken over Sanaa and other parts of Yemen. U.S.-backed President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled the country earlier this week.


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.


Authorities: 2 people unaccounted for in NYC blast
NEW YORK (AP) - Firefighters using high-powered water towers worked Friday to extinguish pockets of fire at the site of an apparent gas explosion in Manhattan's East Village as authorities reported that two people were unaccounted for. The police department was not yet listing the two individuals as official missing person reports, the mayor's office said, because they are under further verification and investigation.


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.


From new logos to New Coke: when corporations make mistakes
NEW YORK (AP) - It was a tempest in a coffee cup. Mega coffee chain Starbucks wanted to spark a conversation about race when it asked baristas to write "Race Together" on customers' cups as part of a broader effort, but people standing in line for their morning java were not amused. Many voiced complaints on social media and elsewhere that they didn't want a debate with their brew and Starbucks ended the campaign Sunday, although they said the campaign was always meant to be brief.


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.