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Updated: Thu, 03 Apr 2014 01:15:40 EST


Gunman kills 3, wounds 16 at Fort Hood Army base

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — A Fort Hood official says the shooter in Wednesday afternoon's attack at the central Texas Army post was a soldier being assessed for whether he had PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said the shooter, whose name has not been released by the Army, killed three people and wounded 16 others. All those killed and wounded were military members.

Milley says the shooter opened fire in one building, drove a short distance and open fire in a second building. He was later confronted outside by a military police officer and then used a handgun to take his own life. Milley says there is no indication the shooting was related to terrorism.

The shooter is married and served in Iraq in 2011. A Texas congressman, Rep. Michael McCaul, identified the suspect as Ivan Lopez.

Meanwhile, officials at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, say three of the nine patients brought there are in critical condition.

Fort Hood is the same facility where there was a mass shooting in 2009. An Army psychiatrist now on death row killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others.


Obama: We will get to bottom of Ford Hood shooting

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama says the government will get to the bottom of what happened in a shooting incident at Fort Hood.

Obama says he's following the situation closely but that the situation is fluid at the Texas Army post. He says officials are doing everything they can to make sure everyone is secure.

Obama says the incident brings back painful memories of the 2009 mass shooting at Fort Hood. He says, quote, "We're heartbroken that something like this might've happened again."

Obama says people at Ford Hood have sacrificed so much for freedom and their sense of safety has been broken once again.

Obama spoke at a restaurant in Chicago where he held a fundraiser.


UPDATE: Suspect in shooting at Kent State in custody

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State University says a person suspected of firing a gun on campus has been apprehended, and there's no longer a threat to anyone at the school.

The university posted a notice on its Twitter page Wednesday night.

Kent State police say the suspect is in custody at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna.

A Kent State spokeswoman says the male suspect fired the shot into the ground around 9 p.m. It happened near Bowman Hall, an academic building that was the site of deadly shootings by Ohio National Guard members during a Vietnam War protest in 1970.

No injuries were reported following Wednesday night's gunfire.

The university initially advised people across campus to stay put while police searched for the shooter, who was believe to be carrying a silver handgun.


USGS: 7.8 aftershock shakes Chile's north coast

IQUIQUE, Chile (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says a powerful 7.8-magnitude aftershock has rocked Chile's northern coast, which was hit by a powerful magnitude-8.2 earthquake Tuesday night.

It caused buildings to shake in the port of Iquique, which saw some damage from the big quake on Tuesday. There are no immediate reports of new damage or injuries.

The latest tremor came 45 minutes after a strong 6.4-magnitude aftershock shook the same area.

The stronger aftershock's epicenter was 14 miles (23 kilometers) south of Iquique. The USGS said the aftershock had a depth of 12 miles (20 kilometers).


High court loosens reins on big campaign donors

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's the latest declaration from the Supreme Court that some of the limits on big-money political contributions violate the free-speech rights of the contributors.

The court, in a 5-4 ruling Wednesday, said donors can give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they want -- rejecting the overall federal limit on contributions from individuals. That limit had stood at $123,000 last year and this year.

The wealthiest contributors will now be free to pour millions of dollars into candidate and party coffers. But those contributions will be subject to disclosure under federal law, unlike much of the big money that independent groups have spent on attack ads.

The justices left in place the limits on individual contributions to each candidate for president or Congress. That limit is $2,600 for a primary and another $2,600 for the general election.

Justice Stephen Breyer criticized the ruling in a dissent in which he said the court's conservatives have "eviscerated our nation's campaign finance laws."

The White House says it's disappointed with the decision. But the head of the Republican National Committee says it's "an important first step toward restoring the voice of candidates and party committees."


In Michigan, Obama calls for minimum wage hike

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — President Barack Obama is arguing for an increase in the minimum wage, saying no one who works full time should be in poverty.

Obama says raising the minimum wage won't solve all of the nation's economic problems. But he says it's good for business, increasing productivity and giving workers more buying power.

Ahead of his remarks, Obama visited an Ann Arbor deli where workers make $9 an hour, higher than the federal hourly minimum wage of $7.25.

The Senate could vote on a bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 as early as next week. The White House says raising the minimum wage would benefit more than 970,000 workers in Michigan.


Hobby Lobby 401(k) invests in birth control makers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The company that is leading the legal challenge against birth control coverage under "Obamacare" offers its workers a retirement plan that includes investments in companies making contraceptive and abortion drugs.

Hobby Lobby Stores has a 401(k) plan featuring several mutual funds investing in pharmaceutical firms that produce intrauterine birth control devices, emergency contraceptive pills and drugs used in abortion procedures.

Hobby Lobby and others companies have sued the Obama administration, challenging the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for all approved forms of birth control. They say it conflicts with their owners' religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in the case last week.

Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The magazine Mother Jones first reported Hobby Lobby's retirement plan investment holdings.


Panel OKs GOP budget to cut spending, aid to poor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican plan stuffed with familiar proposals to cut across a wide swath of the federal budget has breezed through the House Budget Committee.

The panel adopted the measure late Wednesday on a party-line vote after Democrats assaulted its sharp cuts to health care coverage for the middle class and the poor, food stamps and popular domestic programs such as highway construction, health research and education. GOP supporters said it's needed to prevent a looming fiscal crisis.

The plan by Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan promises $5.1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade to bring the budget into balance by 2024.

The plan is a nonstarter with the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama, but gives Republicans a vehicle to polish their budget-cutting credentials before the November elections.


NEW: Republican governors raise $33M under Christie

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donors have given $33 million to the Republican Governors Association since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took the helm late last year.

The committee to elect GOP governors says it raised $23.5 million during the first three months of the year. That sum more than doubles the $9.1 million raised at this point in 2010, the last time there were 36 gubernatorial races.

The governors' committee has almost $60 million in the bank, nearly double what the group had at this point in 2010.

Christie has been dogged by questions over a New Jersey bridge closing last year. But the scandal seems to have had little impact on his ability to raise money.

The Democratic Governors Association is expected to release its fundraising totals in the coming days.


Chinese tourist kidnapped from eastern Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police say that armed men have kidnapped a Chinese tourist and a hotel worker from a seaside resort in the east of the country.

The attackers took the two away by boat following the raid late Wednesday night in the Semporna district of Sabah state.

Insurgents in the nearby islands of the southern Philippines have carried out similar kidnappings for ransom against tourists in the region before.

A Malaysian security official forwarded a police report about the incident at the Singamata Reef Resort on Sabah state.

It says the Chinese victim is a 28-year-old woman from Shanghai.

A receptionist at the hotel declined to comment.


Union: Date set for Northwestern vote

CHICAGO (AP) — A union official says a date has been set for Northwestern football players to vote on authorizing a union to represent them in collective bargaining with the university.

A national policy director of United Steelworkers, Tim Waters, says the vote will be April 25.

Waters and the Steelworkers have worked closely with the College Athletes Players Association, or CAPA, as it pushed for the right to form the nation's first college athletes' union.

In a decision that rocked college sports, the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that the Northwestern players were employees and so could unionize. The Evanston, Ill.-based university has said it will file an appeal of the NLRB's ruling.


NEW: Historic warship will be staying in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Caretakers for a historic steel cruiser from the Spanish-American War say they have ended an effort to find another home for it and are keeping it in Philadelphia.

The Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing had been looking for a new home for the USS Olympia for four years.

The rusting 344-foot-long warship needs repairs costing millions of dollars, money the museum doesn't have. It hasn't been dry-docked since 1945.

The search for a new owner yielded proposals from California and South Carolina. But museum president John Brady says a review panel determined neither group had viable long-term plans in place.

Brady says the museum will promote tours and new activities on the Olympia while a $20 million national fundraising campaign gets underway.

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