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AP Top News at 8:25 a.m. EDT

Senate hearing to focus on Russian disinformation tactics
WASHINGTON (AP) - Some tactics Russia used to meddle in last year's presidential election would give shivers to anyone who believes in American democracy, the Senate intelligence committee's top Democrat says. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia spoke ahead of a committee session Thursday that will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses technology to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. Warner and the panel's chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., provided an update the committee's investigation into activities Russia might have taken to alter or influence the 2016 elections and whether there were any campaign contacts with Russian government officials that might have interfered with the election process.


Morgue reopens as Kim's body reportedly leaves Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysian police on Thursday stopped guarding the morgue that has held the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's murdered half brother, after a van departed amid reports that his remains would leave the country. Shortly after the van left the hospital, police also departed and the morgue was reopened to the public. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said "please wait" when asked whether Kim Jong Nam's body had left the morgue. Another government official said a statement would be issued soon. The morgue had earlier been guarded and its entrance sealed. Local media said the van later arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport's cargo complex, where Kim's body was expected to be flown out.


A look at latest ruling on Trump administration travel ban
HONOLULU (AP) - A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban hours before it was set to take effect issued a longer-lasting order Wednesday. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson held a hearing Wednesday on Hawaii's request to extend his temporary hold. Several hours later, he issued a 24-page order blocking the government from suspending new visas for travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin argued that even though the revised ban has more neutral language, the implied intent is still there. He likened it to a neon sign flashing "Muslim Ban," which the government hasn't bothered to turn off.


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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. TRUMP'S REVISED TRAVEL BAN BLOCK EXTENDED A federal judge in Hawaii disagreed with a government lawyer's contention that the state hasn't shown how it is harmed by a suspension in the nation's refugee program. 2. WHAT RUSSIA PROBE WILL FOCUS ON A Senate hearing will address how the Kremlin allegedly uses paid internet trolls to spread disinformation in the U.S. and Europe. 3. 'BATHROOM BILL' MAKING PROGRESS IN NORTH CAROLINA Lawmakers and the governor hope an end to the legislation would remove any obstacles to expanding businesses and attracting sporting events, but gay rights groups are not happy with the proposal.


NC lawmakers, gov reach deal to end 'bathroom bill' standoff
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said late Wednesday that they have agreed on legislation to resolve a standoff over the state's "bathroom bill" through a replacement measure that still restricts LGBT nondiscrimination protections. GOP leaders announced the new legislation would be debated and voted on Thursday, but it was unclear whether there were enough House and Senate votes to pass it. And leaders of gay rights groups were incensed about the anticipated proposal and vowed political punishment for elected officials who support it. Cooper, who ran successfully last fall on a platform that included repealing House Bill 2, said in a release that he supported the compromise.


Mosul lays bare the challenge of asymmetric warfare
BAGHDAD (AP) - As the fight for the Iraqi city of Mosul drags on, many might ask: Why has it taken the combined militaries of the United States and Iraq backed by an international coalition more than two years to dislodge a relatively small force of militants lacking heavy weaponry? Donald Trump raised the question during his campaign, promising to turn up the heat against the Islamic State group if he became president. Now the growing controversy over the high number of civilian casualties believed caused by recent U.S. airstrikes has touched on a major part of the answer: The militants are mingled among tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul and are willing to take the population down with them.


Crews to investigate head-on crash that killed 13 in Texas
CONCAN, Texas (AP) - Federal investigators will get their first look Thursday at the scene of a head-on collision between a pickup truck and small church bus in southwest Texas that crumpled the front of the bus and killed 13 senior adults returning from a church retreat. The Texas Department of Public Safety refused to speculate on the cause of the Wednesday afternoon crash outside Garner State Park, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) west of San Antonio, although one spokesman suggested the truck driver may have crossed the center line. The fronts of both vehicles were heavily damaged in the collision and the bus was backed up onto a guardrail, with glass and debris scattered around.


S Korea's Park questioned at court hearing on arrest request
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye was being questioned Thursday by a court that will decide if she should be arrested over corruption allegations that have already toppled her from power. Live TV footage earlier showed a stern-looking Park entering the Seoul Central District Court building amid a barrage of camera flashes. She did not comment to reporters. The court is expected to decide by Friday morning whether to approve her arrest. If the court approves the arrest warrant requested by prosecutors, Park will be immediately sent to a detention facility as prosecutors can detain her for up to 20 days before laying formal charges.


China's Xi to meet Trump in Mar-a-Lago on April 6-7
BEIJING (AP) - U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the first time on April 6-7 at Trump's Florida resort, China's Foreign Ministry announced Thursday, amid a range of pressing issues including trade, North Korea and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The relationship between the world's No. 1 and No. 2 economies has been uncertain following the election of Trump, who accused China during his campaign of unfair trade practices and threatened to raise import taxes on Chinese goods and declare Beijing a currency manipulator. It is unclear whether Trump will follow through with either threat.


Negotiator denies UK is blackmailing EU on security
LONDON (AP) - Britain's chief negotiator in the country's divorce from the European Union on Thursday rejected suggestions the U.K. has threatened to end security cooperation unless it gets a good trade deal, as the U.K. announced plans for the huge task of replacing thousands of EU laws and regulations with domestic law. Brexit Secretary David Davis said Prime Minister Theresa May's letter triggering talks on Britain's departure made clear Britain wants to continue to work with the EU on a range of issues, including security, for both sides. "We want a deal, and she was making the point that it's bad for both of us if we don't have a deal," Davis told the BBC.