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The Associated Press

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Obama praises payday lender rules, vows veto of limitations

Embracing proposed new rules aimed at payday lenders, President Barack Obama on Thursday said working families need protections from heavy debt burdens and warned Republicans that he would veto attempts to unravel regulations that govern the financial industry.

How government aims to protect low-income users of ‘payday’ loans

Each month, more than 200,000 needy U.S. households take out what’s advertised as a brief loan.

Not just another ACC game when Louisville meets North Carolina State

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — At first glance, it seems like just another Atlantic Coast Conference game — North Carolina State vs. Louisville.

UCLA, Gonzaga prepare for rematch

HOUSTON — UCLA lost just once at home this season and it was Gonzaga that dished out that defeat.

Izzo, Kruger cross paths again

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo isn’t sure where his career would have led had he accepted the Atlanta Hawks’ offer some 15 years ago.

It’s Coach K vs. Coach K when Duke meets Utah

In regional semifinal

HOUSTON — Coach K vs. Coach K.

Bergdhal charges stoke fresh criticism of prisoner swap

WASHINGTON (AP) — The tough military charges against Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have revived the questions and controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s decision to swap five Taliban detainees to secure his release, as well as the wisdom of the White House fanfare that followed.

Co-pilot deliberately slams plane into Alps

Families ask why

Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.

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Co-pilot was ‘very happy’ with Germanwings job

Andreas Lubitz never appeared anything but thrilled to have landed a pilot’s job with Germanwings, according to those who helped him learn to fly as a teenager in this town in the forested hills of western Germany.

MIT expert: US rules make chances of cockpit takeover slim

U.S. flight regulations make it unlikely that a single jetliner pilot could barricade himself or herself inside the cockpit like French prosecutors say the Germanwings co-pilot did before crashing his airliner into the French Alps, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology aviation analyst said Thursday.

House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate

In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill on Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving Congress closer to resolving a problem that has plagued it for years.

Guardsman, cousin planned US terrorist attack

An Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring “the flames of war to the heart” of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group, and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S., federal prosecutors said Thursday in announcing the men’s arrests. Both are also accused of hatching a plot to attack a U.S. military facility.

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Royals, Cumberbatch help bury comeback King Richard III

A maligned monarch found under a parking lot was buried in pomp Thursday, as Britain embraced comeback King Richard III, a long-reviled ruler who is experiencing a remarkable posthumous renaissance.

US probes effectiveness of 2 Nissan air bag sensor recalls

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that two Nissan recalls didn’t go far enough to fix a problem with front-seat air bag seat sensors.

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Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels

The turmoil in Yemen grew into a regional conflict Thursday, with Saudi Arabia and its allies bombing Shiite rebels allied with Iran, while Egyptian officials said a ground assault will follow the airstrikes.

Man charged after allegedly punching ex-Cardinal Ford

Prosecutors say a white St. Louis-area man was driven by racism when he allegedly punched former Cardinals outfielder Curt Ford.

Authorities go after crooked car deals in national crackdown

A nationwide crackdown on auto dealers has turned up widespread evidence of false ads, deceptive loans and fake odometer readings, the government said Thursday.

Diet sodas fall in US; Pepsi takes back No. 2 spot

Americans bought less soda for the tenth straight year in 2014, with diet sodas shrinking more than their sugary counterparts, according to a report released Thursday.

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Michigan man retraces Daniel Boone’s trip into Kentucky

Keeping up a quick pace to the finish line, Curtis Penix didn’t look like someone who had walked nearly 240 miles in the footsteps of frontiersman Daniel Boone, an arduous trip through the Appalachian terrain that was inspired by his own family’s pioneering roots in the Kentucky wilderness.

Labor leaders, developers resolve dispute surrounding Kroenke’s proposed stadium

Labor leaders said they have resolved a dispute with developers that threatened to delay construction of a proposed stadium near Los Angeles that could become home for an NFL team.

Columbia College may split into schools

The Columbia College Board of Trustees will vote in April on a proposal to split the college into separate schools.

NASA details plans to pluck rock off asteroid, explore it

NASA is aiming to launch a rocket to an asteroid in five years and grab a boulder off of it — a stepping stone and training mission for an eventual trip sending humans to Mars.

Thursday's NHL Capsules

Games played on March 26, 2015

NHL ROUNDUP: Anze Kopitar scored with 4:23 left, defenseman Alec Martinez had two assists, and the Los Angeles Kings won their third straight on their road trip by beating the slumping New York Islanders 3-2 on Thursday night.

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What to pack for a year in space?

What’s one thing astronaut Scott Kelly can’t do without when he moves into space this week for a year? A belt.

Jury: Life for grandma in running death of girl

A jury is recommending life without parole for an Alabama woman convicted of capital murder in her granddaughter’s running death.

Sheriff: Young brothers cooking before fatal shooting

A 12-year-old boy was cooking with his older brother when an argument erupted, and the boy shot his 6-year-old brother to death, wounded his older brother in the leg and killed himself, a sheriff said Thursday.

Lawyer disputes police's hoax claim in Calif. kidnapping

A lawyer disputes police claims that the kidnapping of a California woman was a hoax and says her boyfriend was bound and drugged during the abduction.

Gas blast blamed as New York fire, building collapse leave 12 injured

An apartment building collapsed in a fiery burst of rubble on Thursday and flames spread to nearby buildings in what officials said appeared to be a gas-related explosion, injuring at least a dozen people and scattering debris across surrounding streets in the heart of Manhattan’s trendy East Village.

Thursday's Men's NCAA Tournament Capsules

Sam Dekker scored a career-high 23 points, Frank Kaminsky added 19 and top-seeded Wisconsin rallied in the final 10 minutes to hold off North Carolina 79-72 on Thursday night and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Boy dies in collision between Amish carriage, vehicle

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says a 10-year-old boy died when a sports utility vehicle hit an Amish horse-drawn carriage in northwest Missouri.

After US airstrikes, Iraq troops start final push for Tikrit

Iraqi troops started the final phase of an offensive to recapture Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit on Thursday, a military official said, just hours after the United States launched airstrikes on the Islamic State-held city.

Bergdahl charged despite torture, attempts to escape Taliban

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured repeatedly in the five years he was held captive by the Taliban: beaten with a copper cable, chained, held in a cage and threatened with execution after trying to escape.

Nixon touts Missouri in European trade mission

Gov. Jay Nixon is touting the state’s central location and AAA credit rating during a trade mission to Italy, Germany and Spain.

Woman's body found in office complex

Police in the St. Louis County town of University City are investigating after the body of a woman was found in an office complex building.

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Tale of 2 Ferguson deaths: 1 well known, 1 anonymous

Along a short stretch of winding road through a non-descript apartment complex, two memorials of stuffed animals mark the spots where young men died.

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Lawyer: Suspect didn’t fire gun in Ferguson

The man accused of shooting two police officers during a demonstration in Ferguson this month had nothing to do with the incident, his attorney said Wednesday, adding police should be searching for the real shooter.

Kansas lawmakers pass nation’s first ban on abortion procedure

Kansas legislators Wednesday approved a proposed ban on a common second-trimester procedure described by abortion opponents as dismembering a fetus, making their state the first to adopt a national group’s model policy.

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Wisconsin trooper killed in shootout was new academy grad

A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper just three months out of the academy and working the first solo patrol of his “dream job” died in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect also believed to have killed a motorist.

Police: No evidence of kidnapping of California woman

A Northern California woman and her boyfriend concocted her reported abduction that spurred a two-day search, police said late Wednesday. The revelation coming just hours after she had reappeared 400 miles away in Southern California to the emotional relief of her family.

Cruz eyes insurance via Obamacare

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz could soon be buying his family’s health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act he has vowed to dismantle.

Changes likely in NFL

PHOENIX (AP) — Spice it up.

Military: Bergdahl may face life in prison if convicted

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban, was charged Wednesday by the U.S. military with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and could get life in prison if convicted.

Six teams with double-digit losses most ever to reach Sweet 16

Tough regular-season schedules

The NCAA Tournament has never had so many teams with so many losses make it so far.

Re-energized Brey leads Irish against Shockers

CLEVELAND — The blessing of being the son of an Olympic athlete meant Mike Brey grew up in a house where excellence wasn’t requested from his mother but required.

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No. 1 Wildcats prep for defense of Mountaineers

'Press Virginia'

CLEVELAND — Nothing has rattled Kentucky to this point. Unbeaten and unblemished, the Wildcats have handled every challenge this season.

Facebook’s Messenger app adding more ways to connect

Facebook is trying to mold its Messenger app into a more versatile communications hub as smartphones create new ways for people to connect with friends and businesses beyond the walls of the company’s ubiquitous social network.

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Elephant hauler gets stuck; pachyderms keep truck upright

Louisiana authorities responding to a tractor-trailer stuck on the muddy shoulder of a highway were astounded to see what was keeping it from overturning: elephants.

‘Stand by Me’ among 25 records being preserved at US library

One of the most broadcast songs of the 20th century, Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” has been selected for preservation at the Library of Congress, along with recordings from Joan Baez, The Righteous Brothers, Steve Martin and the darker sounds of the band Radiohead.

Miller, Mack get reunion when Arizona faces Xavier

LOS ANGELES — Six years are a blink when old friends like Sean Miller and Chris Mack get back together. When the coaches met up Wednesday in a Staples Center hallway, they jumped right back into their old relationship roles.

Wisconsin back in California

LOS ANGELES — Bo Ryan is trippin’ about being back in the NCAA West Regional.

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