2 NYC buildings collapse in explosion, 1 dead NEW YORK (AP) - An explosion on Wednesday leveled two New York City apartment buildings, killing two people, injuring 17 others and sending smoke billowing above the skyline. The blast happened after a neighbor reported smelling natural gas.
Last words from missing plane were routine KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - "All right, good night" were the final words heard by air traffic controllers from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight before it vanished over the South China Sea five days ago, relatives of the passengers were told Wednesday. News of the last communication came as Malaysia defended its handling of the hunt for the missing Boeing 777 but acknowledged it is still unsure which direction the plane was headed when it disappeared, highlighting the massive task facing the international search.
Senate investigation of CIA dogged by controversy WASHINGTON (AP) - House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he is concerned over allegations of CIA snooping into computer files used by Senate investigators delving into allegations of past spy agency torture. At the same time, Boehner said he would keep his fuller opinions to himself until an internal report is completed by the CIA's inspector general.
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Fla. House race could be warning for Democrats CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. (AP) - After months of railing against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, Republicans scored a key victory in a hard-fought congressional race that had been closely watched as a bellwether of midterm elections in November. Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in a Florida special election Tuesday that largely turned on the federal health care law, with both sides using the race to audition national strategies in one of the country's few competitive swing-voting districts.
GO FIGURE: Health care needs 42 sign-ups a minute WASHINGTON (AP) - If the Obama administration's health care plan is going to pass what amounts to its first physical, people have to sign up this month at a pretty speedy rate: 42 times a minute. That's somewhere between the steady rate you breathe and how fast your heart beats.
Pistorius trial: Police conduct faces scrutiny PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Oscar Pistorius' defense lawyer on Wednesday tried to cast doubt on the competence of a South African police forensic expert who testified at the athlete's murder trial, where a toilet door and a cricket bat from Pistorius' home were introduced in the courtroom for a partial reenactment of events on the night that Pistorius killed his girlfriend. Police Col. J.G. Vermeulen testified about the bullet-marked door, a critical piece of evidence in the case against the double-amputee Olympian, who fired through the door on Feb. 14, 2013, killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Honor student who sued parents returns home ROSELAND, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey honor student who sued to get her parents to support her after she moved out of their home has reunited with them. The lawyer representing Rachel Canning's parents said in a statement Wednesday that the 18-year-old's return is not contingent on any financial or other considerations, the Star-Ledger of Newark reported (http://bit.ly/1fq6r3x ).
Pope sees banner first year, but expectations high VATICAN CITY (AP) - From his simple sound bites to his breaking of Vatican rules, Pope Francis has made being Catholic cool in his first year. He might not like his superstar status, but he certainly knows how to work a crowd and he has endeared himself to the public for looking out for the poor and radically shifting the church's focus to mercy rather than moralizing.
After thaw, snow returns to Midwest, Northeast CHICAGO (AP) - A wet snow forced residents of Chicago and the Midwest to once again break out shovels and slog to work along slippery roads and slow transit lines, a reality check for winter-weary residents who had just reveled in a day or so of spring-like temperatures. Along the storm's eastward track, upstate New York was gearing up for a blizzard. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses in northern Illinois lost power and a few hundred flights were canceled at Chicago's airports, including Midway International, where 6 inches of snow fell. The storm was moving east into northern Indiana, and it was forecast to hit the Great Lakes in Ohio, Pennsylvania and upstate New York before dissipating over Canada.
Sandusky's wife: Victims manipulated over money NEW YORK (AP) - The wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says she "definitely" believes her husband is innocent despite being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and that the victims' financial gain was at play. Dottie Sandusky said in an interview broadcast Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show that "there was nothing that went on because I was here" in the couple's small home in State College, Pa., where some of the victims reported being abused in the basement.