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By AP

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Updated: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 01:16:02 EST

MALAYSIA-PLANE

UPDATE: Cautious optimism

PERTH, Australia (AP) — After weeks of false sightings and frustration, there is cautious optimism that searchers are closing in on the Malaysian airliner believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.

The Australian coordinator says no further sounds were detected Wednesday night, and Thursday's search is in a smaller zone in an effort to track sounds heard since the weekend.

Three ships are using underwater acoustic equipment.

HIGH SCHOOL STABBINGS

UPDATE: Teen suspect charged as adult in school stabbings

EXPORT, Pa. (AP) — Some residents of Murrysville, Pa., have paused to pray for the 21 students and a security guard who were stabbed or slashed by a student at a high school on Wednesday.

Witnesses say a 16-year-old who faces multiple counts of attempted homicide and aggravated assault, had a "blank expression" and apparently chose victims at random in a hallway at Murrysville High.

DAYCARE CRASH

UPDATE: 1 child dead, 11 hurt in Florida day care crash

WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — A search is underway for the driver of an SUV involved in a collision that sent a car smashing into an Orlando-area day care.

The crash killed a girl and injured 12 other children and two adults.

The SUV was found about two hours later at a home. State records show the driver has been arrested eight times since 2000.

OBAMA-FORT HOOD

Obama: Nation draws strength from Fort Hood

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — President Barack Obama says the nation is drawing strength from relatives of the victims of the fatal shootings last week at Fort Hood.

He says the tragedy tears at wounds that are still raw from a deadly mass shooting on the sprawling Army post five years ago.

Obama told relatives of the victims that he's there to honor their loved ones and offer whatever comfort he can.

Officials say Spc. Ivan Lopez fatally shot three soldiers and wounded 16 others before killing himself a week ago at the Texas military base.

In 2009, another soldier killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others at the Army post.

ALBUQUERQUE POLICE SHOOTINGS

US inquiry may order Albuquerque police oversight

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is set to release its report on the troubled Albuquerque Police Department and could mandate federal oversight and reforms costing millions of dollars.

The announcement expected Thursday will follow a more than yearlong investigation into possible civil rights violations and excessive use of force. The police agency has been decried for 37 shootings by officers since 2010, more than 20 of them deadly.

Federal officials have released few details of the investigation but conducted hundreds of interviews. Albuquerque's mayor has asked the federal agency to expedite its review and aid in reforms.

It is one of 15 investigations of police departments launched during President Barack Obama's first term.

In 2012, federal officials found Portland, Ore., police engaged in a pattern of excessive force against people with mental illnesses.

CIVIL RIGHTS SUMMIT

Hall of Famer: Gay athletes face old questions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell says gay athletes' fight for equality and acceptance reminds him of the struggles black players faced in the 1960s.

Russell, who won 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, joined NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown during a panel discussion Wednesday at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library in Austin. The library is hosing events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Russell and Brown, who are black, were key figures as athletes and leaders during the civil rights era.

Russell says questions about whether gay athletes can be good teammates or might disrupt locker rooms are the same questions that black athletes heard back then.

Russell says he'd have one question about a gay teammate: Can he play?

US-OBAMA

Obama chides GOP for rejecting gender pay gap bill

HOUSTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is chiding Republicans for diving a Senate bill aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women.

Obama says it seems like common sense to most people. He says the bill would make it possible to meaningfully enforce the concept of equal pay for equal work.

Obama says you'd think that wouldn't be a controversial proposition. He's scolding Senate Republicans for uniformly rejecting it.

He says this Congress is the least productive in modern history or recent memory.

Republicans said the bill could hinder employers from granting raises or permitting flexible hours for fear of lawsuits. Democrats hope the issue will spur women to back them in the midterm elections.

Obama spoke at a fundraiser in Houston benefiting the Democratic campaign committees for House and Senate.

BIBLE SURVEY

Survey finds Americans more skeptical of the Bible

NEW YORK (AP) — A new poll finds a sharp increase in the number of Americans who consider the Bible merely the teachings of men rather than the word of God.

The fourth annual State of the Bible survey was conducted just over two months ago by the Barna Group for the American Bible Society.

It found that while about one in five Americans continue to read the Bible at least four times a week and view it as divinely inspired, an equal percentage doubt the Bible's relevance and authority. That's almost twice the percentage of those who were skeptical of the Bible in 2011.

The survey found the greatest increase in indifference toward the Bible was among Americans between the ages of 18 and 29.

Spokesman Geof Morin (jeff MOHR'-in) says the American Bible Society hopes to reach more of that generation through their cell phones with daily verses and Bible studies.

Society President Roy Peterson says he hopes more Americans will turn to the Bible to "make sense of life" and reverse what many see as the nation's "moral decline."

MISSING HIKERS

Search for missing Minnesota hikers called off

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Rescue teams have called off the search for a father and son from Minnesota who went missing last week in the Colorado mountains.

Alpine Rescue Team spokesman Steve Wilson says the search for 51-year-old Damian McManus and 18-year-old Evan McManus was called off Wednesday evening. They were last heard from April 2 when one of the men told a friend they were going to scale a peak.

The men from St. Louis Park, Minn., were hiking near Mount Evans about 35 miles southwest of Denver.

Searchers aren't sure if they were equipped for wintry conditions.

RAT ON SUBWAY

Commuter's video shows rat terrifying NYC subway

NEW YORK (AP) — Turns out, New Yorkers are just as wimpy as anyone else.

A subway train was leaving the Fulton Street station in lower Manhattan on Monday when someone shouted, "Rat on the train!"

Jinais Ponnampadikkal Kader (jih-NYE'-ees poh-nahm-PAH'-dihk-kahl KAH'-dur) started recording the ensuing panic on his cellphone.

His video shows people screaming as a large rat runs from side to side. It ends when the train reaches the High Street station in Brooklyn.

The 28-year-old Kader is a software developer who lives in Harrison, N.J.

More than 700,000 people had clicked on the YouTube video by Wednesday afternoon.

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