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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 11 May 2014 01:15:39 EST

SEVERE WEATHER

Storms hit northwest Missouri

ORRICK, Mo. (AP) — Heavy storms spawning at least one tornado are sweeping across northwest Missouri, damaging homes and power lines. No injuries were immediately reported.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in the Kansas City area says a confirmed tornado that was part of a supercell storm hit the Ray County town of Orrick on Saturday evening.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Collin Stosberg says no injuries had been reported after the tornado hit Orrick, a town of about 800 residents northeast of Kansas City. Stosberg says emergency crews were checking the area.

The National Weather Service says there is also a strong indication based on eyewitness reports and radar that a second tornado touched down just north of Marshall, in Saline County.

Several severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for the Missouri and Kansas region.

HOT-AIR BALLOON FIRE

U. of Richmond: 2 athletic staffers on Va. balloon

DOSWELL, Va. (AP) — University of Richmond administrators say two members of its women's basketball staff were aboard a hot-air balloon that went down in a fiery crash.

A university news release says that assistant coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis were aboard the balloon that crashed Friday.

President Edward L. Ayers says the two women were beloved by the community.

They were aboard the balloon with a pilot when it went down after hitting a power line.

Investigators say the remains of two people were found about a mile apart in dense woods, and the search continues for the third body.

More than 100 searchers spent Saturday scouring the woods and fields around the crash site for the third victim and any remnants of the balloon. The search was scaled back because of darkness and is set to resume Sunday.

Investigators are not confirming whose remains have already been found.

SECRET SERVICE

Report: Gov't agents protected director's aide

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Post is reporting that members of a Secret Service special unit responsible for patrolling near the White House were pulled away in 2011 to protect the assistant of the agency's director.

The Post says in a story on its website that the director's assistant was engaged in a dispute with a neighbor.

The Post reports that agents were told that the Secret Service director at the time, Mark Sullivan, was concerned that his assistant was being harassed at her rural Maryland home.

The newspaper says that the agents were pulled from a surveillance team that patrols the outskirts of the White House compound.

A Secret Service spokesman says the operation had no impact on the president's protective detail because those agents were not involved.

ASEAN

China tensions top ASEAN summit talks in Myanmar

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar (AP) — Concerns over China's aggressive behavior in the South China Sea top the agenda in the first regional summit hosted by Myanmar, which is hoping to demonstrate the progress it's made since emerging from a half-century of brutal military rule.

A standoff between Chinese and Vietnamese ships near the Paracel Islands is putting a fresh spotlight on long-standing and bitter maritime disputes.

The stakes are high — it's one of the world's most important shipping lanes — but some members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are wary of upsetting the regional powerhouse.

Leaders are also expected Sunday to discuss tensions on the Korean Peninsula and Thailand's political crisis.

This is the first time Myanmar is hosting a summit of regional leaders since it joined the 10-member bloc in 1997.

VIETNAM-CHINA-PROTEST

Vietnamese protests Chinese oil rig deployment

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese protesters have gathered outside the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to protest China's deployment of an oil rig that has triggered a tense naval standoff in contested South China Sea waters.

Scores of security officers are monitoring the demonstrators Sunday as they shout anti-Chinese slogans and hold up banners.

Vietnam's authoritarian leaders are highly nervous about public protest even as they have condemned China's decision to send the rig. Dissident movements opposed to their rule have also taken part in previous anti-China protests.

Hanoi dispatched a flotilla of ships to the oil rig soon after it was deployed on May 1, and say some were rammed by Chinese boats. The latest sea confrontation in the disputed waters is raising fears that tensions could escalate.

CHINA-WALL COLLAPSE

Wall collapse in China kills 18, injures 3

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media are reporting a wall collapse triggered by heavy rains at a recycling plant has killed 18 people and injured three others in the eastern city of Qingdao.

According to Qingdao government's information office, the collapse early Sunday crushed a house for workers in which 40 people were gathered.

CHINA-INCINERATOR PROTEST

Protest over incinerator hurts dozens in China

BEIJING (AP) — A protest in eastern China over a plan to build a waste incinerator has turned violent with state media reporting at least 10 demonstrators and 29 police injured in clashes.

State-run Xinhua News Agency says 30 vehicles were overturned as protesters on Saturday set two police cars on fire and dived a highway linking Hanzhou with another city.

One protester and a policeman have been reported seriously injured.

An official in the city's Yuhan district government confirmed the incident Sunday but would not offer details.

An online statement posted by the district government says construction on the incinerator would not begin until the project had won public support.

MALL EVACUATED

Police: Car fire may have led to mall evacuation

PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Authorities believe a car fire may have led to reports of gunshots at the same New Jersey mall where a man killed himself last year.

The Garden State Plaza was evacuated Saturday night following reports of gunfire.

But New Jersey State Police Capt. Stephen Jones says investigators have found no evidence that any shots were fired. Police are going through the building to rule out any threat.

Twenty-six-year-old Wyckoff resident Brittany Berdy says she saw the burning car outside the mall while at dinner. She went outside and heard the tires explode, a sound she likened to gunshots. The evacuation started shortly after.

In November, a 20-year-old Teaneck man fired shots inside the mall, terrifying shoppers and employees before killing himself.

SAM-DOLPHINS TWEET

Dolphins DB Jones draws rebuke for tweet about Sam

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — A negative one-word tweet from Miami Dolphins safety Don Jones about the drafting of Michael Sam has drawn a rebuke from the team.

Shortly after the St. Louis Rams selected Sam in the seventh round Saturday, Jones tweeted, "Horrible." The tweet was taken down a short time later.

Sam is the NFL's first openly gay player.

The Dolphins were at the center of bullying scandal last season that embarrassed the league and drew nationwide scrutiny of locker room culture in the NFL.

After the draft, Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said he was made aware of Jones' tweet and was disappointed. He said the organization would sit down with Jones and address the matter appropriately.

Jones' agent, Chris Martin, said he was unaware of the tweet and declined to comment.

PEOPLE-HUGH JACKMAN

Hugh Jackman has another cancerous growth removed

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Jackman has had another cancerous growth removed.

The 45-year-old actor attended the premiere of his latest film, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" Saturday night with a bandage over his nose. He told The Associated Press he had a basal-cell carcinoma removed two nights earlier.

Jackman said learned the results of a recent biopsy earlier on Thursday, and had it removed right after.

Basal-cell carcinoma is a slow-growing form of skin cancer. Jackman was treated for same disease last year but said the prognosis was good: "It's all out now."

But he urges others to "get checkups and wear sunscreen."

He says he hopes kids will listen to X-Men character Wolverine, or at least the man who plays him, and be smart about their health.

BEAR BREAK-INS

Bears suspected in New Hampshire car break-ins

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — Wildlife officials in New Hampshire believe a bear is to blame for a series of recent car break-ins.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department says several cars have been broken into over the last few weeks in the same North Conway neighborhood. Officials say the likely culprit is a bear looking for food.

Terry Leavitt tells WMUR-TV the radio was pulled out of her dashboard. The interior was ripped apart and a window was smashed. Other residents also reported similar damage.

Conway police Sgt. George Walker says it's a common occurrence this time of year as bears stop hibernating and search for food. And the suspect description is always the same: "black and furry."

MISSING COWS

Authorities help runaway cows get back home

GRAFTON, N.Y. (AP) — Five cows that went on the lam are back home in upstate New York thanks to a quick-thinking emergency dispatcher and a Facebook post.

State police say the cows were spotted Saturday wandering along State Route 2 in Grafton, about 20 miles northeast of Albany.

They say troopers corralled the "feisty" creatures into a yard until a Rensselaer County dispatcher figured out where they belonged.

The dispatcher saw a Facebook post from the family of a farmer asking if anyone had seen their missing cattle.

Authorities contacted the farmer and the cows were returned safely.

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