National & World News

AP Top News at 2:29 p.m. EDT

Trump on top: He reaches magic number to clinch nomination
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president Thursday, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign. The good news for Trump, reported by The Associated Press after a nationwide survey of unbound delegates, was tempered by continuing problems for his campaign. Those include the abrupt departure of Trump's political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders to declare their support for his upstart candidacy. Trump was put over the top in the AP delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July.

Mister 1,237: North Dakota delegate puts Trump over the top
WASHINGTON (AP) - John Trandem wanted to be the delegate who would put Donald Trump over the top, giving him enough delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination. But when he was contacted by an Associated Press reporter, the AP delegate count stood at 1,235 - two delegates short. "I'm happy to be No. 1,237," said Trandem, a small business owner from North Dakota. "But I won't commit until you're at 1,236." Trandem is an unbound delegate, meaning he is free to support the candidate of his choice. All 28 Republican delegates in North Dakota are unbound because the state party declined to have a primary or caucus.

EU: Some 20 bodies spotted as migrant boat sinks off Libya
ROME (AP) - A migrant boat sank off Libya's coast Thursday, with some 20 bodies spotted in the sea. Officials said 88 people had been rescued. The Libyan coast guard also reported finding four bodies as well as also two empty boats, suggesting there could be many more victims as smugglers working amid Libya's lawlessness take advantage of calm seas and warm weather to pack people into unseaworthy boats for the trip to Europe. Photos tweeted by the European Union's Mediterranean mission showed a bright blue dinghy submerged under the weight of migrants waving their arms to the EU aircraft hoping for rescue.

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Obama defends his nuclear record on eve of Hiroshima visit
SHIMA, Japan (AP) - On the eve of his historic trip to Hiroshima, President Barack Obama is defending the vigor of his efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He says he will use his visit to the Japanese memorial site on Friday to underscore "the sense of urgency that we all should have." Obama, who began his administration with an audacious call for a nuclear-free world, acknowledged there still is much to be done. In fact, some critics maintain the world is further away from Obama's goal now than it was at the start of his presidency. But he is holding out last year's Iran nuclear deal as "a big piece of business" and pointing to his administration's negotiation of the New START treaty with the Russians as big steps toward reducing nuclear stockpiles.

Baylor demotes Starr, fires coach amid sex assaults scandal
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Baylor University demoted school President Ken Starr and fired football coach Art Briles on Thursday, issuing a scathing report over the university's handling of sexual assault complaints against players. The board of regents at the nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement that Starr, a former prosecutor who investigated the Monica Lewinsky scandal, will vacate the presidency on May 31 and will become the school chancellor. It said it suspended Briles "with intent to terminate" and placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation. Starr asked a law firm last year to review Baylor's handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the school mishandled several cases in which football players were accused of attacking women.

Obama's every gesture will be scrutinized in Hiroshima visit
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) - Every gesture. Every word uttered or avoided. Every person Barack Obama speaks with, listens to and stands beside in Hiroshima. All of it will help determine the success of a trip with huge potential political and diplomatic pitfalls, both in America and Asia. The leader of the United States is already one of the world's most watched people. But that daily scrutiny will be magnified exponentially when Obama makes the first presidential journey to the place where the first atomic bomb attack killed tens of thousands 71 years ago. Obama's mere presence among the nightmare images of death and destruction that linger in Hiroshima will be what most casual observers will remember.

Savchenko's return heralds new turmoil in Ukraine
MOSCOW (AP) - After being freed from a Russian jail, Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko stands to emerge as a wild new force in Ukraine's already volatile politics. Savchenko's adamant defiance of Russian authorities and the Russian justice system has made her a national icon, a widely revered symbol of courage and perseverance for a nation reeling from an economic meltdown and a devastating war in the east against Russian-back separatists. The 35-year-old's blunt candor and passionate ways pose a tough challenge to Ukraine's political clans, who have been locked in fierce power battles that go back decades. The prospects of more political infighting raises new threats to the stability of Ukraine - and would be welcome news for the Kremlin, which is eager to see its neighbor plunge deeper into turmoil.

WHO: Nearly 960 killed in attacks on hospitals in 2 years
WASHINGTON (AP) - Nearly 960 people have been killed worldwide in attacks on medical facilities in conflicts over the past two years, the World Health Organization said in a report Thursday that highlighted an alarming disrespect for the protection of health care in war by both governments and armed groups. The study by the U.N. heath agency detailed 594 attacks on hospitals and clinics in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere in 2014 and 2015 that killed 959 medics, support staff, patients and visitors and left over 1,500 injured. Most disturbingly, the report says over 60 percent of the attacks deliberately targeted the medical facilities, while 20 percent were accidental and the rest were undetermined.

Police seek gunman in shooting at T.I. concert that killed 1
NEW YORK (AP) - Police searched Thursday for a man captured on surveillance footage firing a gun at a hip-hop concert where artist T.I. was set to perform. Four people were shot, one of them fatally. A fistfight that started on an upper floor of Manhattan's Irving Plaza concert hall spilled into a second-floor balcony VIP area where shots rang out Wednesday night, police said. Rappers Maino and Uncle Murda were on stage at the time, said William Aubry, Manhattan chief of detectives. T.I. was elsewhere in the building. Police said they had obtained video showing part of the shooting, and Police Commissioner William Bratton said the investigation was progressing rapidly.

90-minute tornado a rarity, even where tornadoes are common
A tornado that raked the northern Kansas landscape for about 90 minutes was impressive both for its classic "wedge" shape and its sheer endurance - staying on the ground about 10 times longer than the typical twister. The Storm Prediction Center says most tornadoes last less than 10 minutes and stay on the ground for about 3 miles. Wednesday's storm covered about 23 miles between Niles and Chapman, but was moving so slowly it lasted an hour and a half and was so isolated that other storms never interrupted its air flow. The SPC says the legendary, long-lived tornadoes talked about from a century ago were most likely a series of storms along one general path.