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AP Top News at 8:44 a.m. EDT
UN: 700 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean shipwrecks POZZALLO, Sicily (AP) - Over 700 migrants are feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats, the U.N. refugee agency said Sunday. The shipwrecks over three days appear to account for the largest loss of life reported in the Mediterranean since April 2015, when a single ship sank with an estimated 800 people trapped inside. Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers' boat that capsized Wednesday off the coast of Libya.
3 people still missing after floods in Kansas and Texas HOUSTON (AP) - At least three people were still missing on Sunday after torrential rain in Texas and Kansas flooded rivers, washed out roads and left four people dead. In Kansas, the search for a missing 11-year-old boy was suspended late Saturday because of darkness and fatigue of first responders, according to Wichita Fire Department battalion chief Scott Brown. The boy was swept away in a swollen creek on Friday night. "We are more in body recovery mode than rescue," Brown said. Recovery efforts would resume at first light on Sunday, he said. Near Austin in Travis County, Texas, officials planned to resume aerial searches on Sunday for two missing people whose vehicle was swept off a flooded roadway after the area got 9 inches of rain this week, said emergency services spokeswoman Lisa Block.
Syria's cease-fire strengthens al-Qaida branch BEIRUT (AP) - Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has recruited thousands of fighters, including teenagers, and taken territory from government forces in a successful offensive in the north, illustrating how the cease-fire put in place by Russia and the United States to weaken the militants has in many ways backfired. The branch, known as the Nusra Front, has churned out a flood of videos - slickly produced in the style of its rival, the Islamic State group - that show off its recruitment drive. In one, young men line up for combat training. In another, a bearded al-Qaida fighter in a mosque urges a crowd of men to join jihad.
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Veterans sites in California, Kentucky, Virginia damaged LOS ANGELES (AP) - Memorials to veterans in a Los Angeles neighborhood and a town in Kentucky, as well as a Civil War veterans cemetery in Virginia, were damaged as the nation prepares to mark Memorial Day, officials said. A Vietnam War memorial in the Venice area of Los Angeles has been extensively defaced by graffiti. The vandalism occurred sometime during the past week, KCAL/KCBS-TV reported. The homespun memorial painted on a block-long wall on Pacific Avenue lists the names of American service members missing in action or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. News of the vandalism came as another veterans-related memorial was reported damaged in Henderson, Kentucky.
Judge orders release of documents in Trump University suit WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge is ordering the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the now-defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The order by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego, which came Friday in response to a request by The Washington Post, calls for the documents to be released by Thursday. The Post reported the order in a story on its website Saturday. Trump University has been cited in anti-Trump political ads during the primary campaign as evidence that Trump doesn't fulfill his promises. Trump's lawyers deny any wrongdoing in the case before Curiel as well as another class-action suit in San Diego and a $40 million lawsuit filed in 2013 by the state of New York alleging that more than 5,000 people had been defrauded.
Police: Pelicans guard Dejean-Jones fatally shot in Dallas DALLAS (AP) - New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment, authorities said Saturday. A man living at the apartment was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior Cpl. DeMarquis Black said in a statement. When Dejean-Jones began kicking at the bedroom door, the man retrieved a handgun and fired. Officers who responded found Dejean-Jones collapsed in an outdoor passageway, and he died at a hospital. He was 23. "We are devastated at the loss of this young man's life," the Pelicans said in a statement.
Parishioners to leave closed church after 11-year protest SCITUATE, Mass. (AP) - For more than 11 years, a core group of about 100 die-hard parishioners of St. Frances X. Cabrini Church have kept their beloved parish open by maintaining an around-the-clock vigil in a peaceful protest of a decision by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston to close it. On Sunday, the parishioners' efforts will end and they will vacate the Scituate church many of them have attended for decades. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear their final appeal, leaving them no choice but to end their fight. The group plans to hold a final service Sunday, a "celebration of faith and transition," the parishioners said, before leaving the church.
Finally allowed 2nd child, older Chinese parents turn to IVF BEIJING (AP) - China's decision to allow all married couples to have two children is driving a surge in demand for fertility treatment among older women, putting heavy pressure on clinics and breaking down past sensitivities, and even shame, about the issue. The rise in in vitro fertilization points to the deferred dreams of many parents who long wanted a second child, but were prevented by a strict population control policy in place for more than 30 years. That, in turn, is shifting prevailing attitudes in China regarding fertility treatments - formerly a matter of such sensitivity that couples were reluctant to tell even their parents or other family members that they were having trouble conceiving.
AP PHOTOS: Refugees who made a train to nowhere their home IDOMENI, Greece (AP) - Before catching the world's attention, Idomeni was a sleepy village on the Greek border with Macedonia, the last stop on the train before heading through former Yugoslav countries and onto western Europe. Hundreds of thousands of refugees followed the train tracks past Idomeni northward in 2015, when the migrant crisis exploded. They came from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, trekking through Greece after dangerous rides on rickety smugglers' boats from Turkey, most hoping to make it west and north to more prosperous European countries. Idomeni is where they stopped when Europe decided to close its borders in March.
Ohio zoo closes gorilla exhibit for now after boy falls in CINCINNATI (AP) - The Cincinnati Zoo has temporarily closed its gorilla exhibit after a special zoo response team shot and killed a 17-year-old gorilla that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into a moat. Zoo officials said the boy fell after he climbed through a public barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit Saturday afternoon. He was picked up out of the moat and dragged by the gorilla for about 10 minutes. Authorities said the child, who has not been identified, fell 10 to 12 feet. He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center where he is expected to recover.