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AP Top News at 8:26 a.m. EDT

Struggle to explain what motivated co-pilot in doomed flight
LONDON (AP) - A disgruntled worker shoots up a workplace. A student opens fire at a high school. A pilot crashes a planeload of people into a mountainside. There may never be a convincing explanation for such devastating acts of violence, but experts say certain personality disorders such as extreme narcissism can help push people who want to take their own lives to take those of others at the same time.


AP Exclusive: Before leak, NSA mulled ending phone program
WASHINGTON (AP) - The National Security Agency considered abandoning its secret program to collect and store American calling records in the months before leaker Edward Snowden revealed the practice, current and former intelligence officials say, because some officials believed the costs outweighed the meager counterterrorism benefits. After the leak and the collective surprise around the world, NSA leaders strongly defended the phone records program to Congress and the public, but without disclosing the internal debate.


Officials: Iran nuke talks solving some issues, not others
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Iran may accept new constraints to its uranium enrichment program at nuclear talks but is pushing back on how long it must accept limits on technology it could use to make nuclear arms, Western officials told The Associated Press on Sunday. The officials spoke less than four days ahead of Tuesday's target date for a preliminary agreement. That accord is meant to set the stage for a further round of negotiations toward a comprehensive deal aimed at imposing long-term curbs on Iran's nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.


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Arab summit: Yemen airstrikes to go on until rebels withdraw
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) - Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen will continue until Shiite rebels there "withdraw and surrender their weapons," a summit of Arab leaders decided Sunday, as they also agreed in principle to forming a joint military force. The decision by the Arab League puts it on a path to potentially more aggressively challenge Shiite power Iran, which is backing the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis.


Air Canada plane leaves Halifax runway on 'abrupt' landing
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) - An Air Canada plane made an "abrupt" landing and skidded off the runway at the Halifax airport in bad weather, and officials said early Sunday that 25 people were taken to a hospital for observation and treatment of minor injuries. The airline said Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late Saturday, had 133 passengers and five crew members.


Leading suspect in Tunisia museum attack killed
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - Tunisia's prime minister said Sunday a leading suspect in a deadly museum attack on foreign tourists has been killed in anti-terrorist operations, as tens of thousands of Tunisians marched through the capital to denounce extremist violence. State news agency TAP cites Prime Minister Habib Essid as saying that Khaled Chaieb, also known as Abou Sakhr Lokman, was killed overnight in an operation in the Gafsa region near the Algerian border.


Pence: Effort to 'clarify' religious objections law underway
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said he would support legislation to "clarify the intent" of a new state law that has attracted widespread criticism over concerns it could allow discrimination against gay people. In an interview Saturday with the Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1MhuY1d), the Republican governor said he's been in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend. He expects that a clarification bill will be introduced this coming week to the religious objections law he signed Thursday. Pence declined to provide details but told the newspaper that making gay and lesbian Indiana residents a protected legal class is "not on my agenda."


Utility found 'hazardous situation' months before NYC blast
NEW YORK (AP) - More than seven months before an explosion and fire leveled three apartment buildings in Manhattan's East Village, utility workers discovered that the gas line to a restaurant in one of them had been illegally tapped, creating a hazardous situation, according to the company. On Aug. 6, a meter reader at the restaurant detected the smell of gas and reported it, said Consolidated Edison spokesman Allan Drury. A gas crew dispatched to the site found multiple leaks in a gas line that had been tapped, Drury said, adding that the restaurant was the only customer in the building authorized to receive gas.


Pope prays for plane crash dead during Palm Sunday Mass
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis opened solemn Holy Week services with Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, stressing humility and remembering the dead in the Germanwings crash. At the end of Mass outside St. Peter's Basilica for some 70,000 faithful, Francis prayed for those who died in Tuesday's crash in the French Alps, noting there was a group of German schoolchildren aboard the aircraft. The disaster killed 150 people, including the co-pilot who investigators say deliberately slammed the plane into the mountain.


Police investigate threat to BBC boss over Clarkson firing
LONDON (AP) - British police are investigating a death threat made to the head of the BBC after the broadcaster fired "Top Gear" host Jeremy Clarkson over an assault on a colleague. The Mail on Sunday newspaper ran photos of security guards outside the home of director-general Tony Hall.