Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment:

March 29, 2013, 9:15 am


KOREAS-TENSION

NKorea says it is in a state of war with SKorea

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it has entered 'a state of war' with South Korea in the latest of a string of threats that have raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

A statement Saturday by Pyongyang said all matters between the sides will be dealt with in a manner befitting war.

Earlier this week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his troops to be on a high alert in response to annual U.S-South Korean drills. He warned his forces were ready "to settle accounts with the U.S." after two American B-2 bombers flew a training mission in South Korea.

South Korea says the latest threat is a follow-up to Kim's order.

Analysts say a full-scale conflict is suicidal for Pyongyang and the threats are aimed at drawing Washington into talks.

OBAMA

Obama pitches public works spending, and private-sector involvement, to create jobs

MIAMI (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to show that the economy remains a top priority -- with a visit to Florida today to promote a plan that would create construction and other jobs.

The plan is aimed at attracting private money to help rebuild roads, bridges and other public works projects.

Obama outlined the plan at a Miami port that is undergoing $2 billion in upgrades -- paid for with government and private dollars.

He said even though the unemployment rate among construction workers has been cut in half over the past three years, it's still the highest of any industry. Obama said rebuilding the nation's infrastructure is a way to create jobs and strengthen the economy over the long run.

The proposals would need approval from Congress. They include $4 billion in new spending on two infrastructure programs that award loans and grants. He's also urging higher caps on what are called "private activity bonds." They're used by state and local governments to attract investment.

In Obama's State of the Union speech last month, private-sector investment in infrastructure was a key part of his economic agenda.

IMMIGRATION

Business, labor close on deal for immigration bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business and labor groups are close to resolving details of a new low-skilled labor program that had stalled negotiations on a sweeping immigration bill in the Senate.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York says in a statement the two sides are closer than they've ever been and are very optimistic of reaching a final agreement.

Negotiations between the AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce had stalled last week over wages for workers in the new program. But talks resumed this week, and Schumer says the two sides are now ironing out a few final issues.

An agreement would likely clear the way for a bipartisan group of senators to unveil legislation the week of April 8 to dramatically overhaul the U.S. immigration system.

CONGRESSMAN-RACIAL SLUR

Alaska congressman apologizes for racial slur

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Alaska congressman has issued a direct apology after using the racial slur "wetbacks" when discussing migrant workers.

U.S. Rep. Don Young apologized today for using what he described as an "insensitive term" that should have been left behind with the last century.

Young used it while discussing the labor market during an interview this week with Alaska radio station KRBD. In a statement late yesterday, the Republican lawmaker said he "meant no disrespect" but didn't directly apologize. The slur often refers to Mexican migrants who have entered the country illegally. Hispanics consider the term, which can be used to disparage all Hispanics, to be highly pejorative.

Officials from both parties, including House Speaker John Boehner, called today for Young to apologize. The head of an online Latino advocacy group -- Presente.org -- called on Young to resign.

DENTIST INVESTIGATION-TESTING

Oklahoma dental board may institute routine inspections

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The state dental board in Oklahoma says it doesn't do routine inspections of dental and oral surgeon clinics -- because it's too busy chasing complaints, including those involving misused drugs and possible sexual misconduct.

But the executive director of the board says the policy might change, in light of a case involving a Tulsa dental clinic where inspectors say thousands of patients were put at risk for hepatitis and the virus that causes AIDS.

They say they found rusty instruments that were used on patients with infectious diseases, and a pattern of unsanitary practices. They're urging 7,000 patients of Dr. Scott Harrington to get tested for hepatitis and HIV.

Inspectors say workers at Harrington's two clinics used dirty equipment and risked cross-contamination to the point that the state Dentistry Board is calling Harrington a "menace to the public health."

Health officials say the investigation began after a patient with no known risk factors tested positive for both hepatitis C and HIV.

Harrington has voluntarily given up his license. Officials say he's closed his offices and is cooperating with investigators.

US-SUPERSTORM-HOTELS

NEW: Thousands in NYC living in hotels after Sandy

(Information in the following story is from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com)

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 2,000 people displaced by Superstorm Sandy are still living in New York City hotels five months after the storm.

The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/10luh9p ) reports Friday the Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying for the rooms at an average cost of $252 a night.

More than 900 households are among those living in 45 different hotels around the city.

City Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Seth Diamond tells the newspaper that hundreds of those families will soon get public housing apartments.

City officials say the hotel stays are supposed to end by April 30.

RIC FLAIR'S SON

Son of pro wrestler Ric Flair found dead

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities say the son of professional wrestler Ric Flair has been found dead in a North Carolina hotel room.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police says officers were called to a hotel on the city's south side around 10:30 a.m. Friday. When they arrived, they found the body of 25-year-old Reid Fliehr, who also was a wrestler.

A statement from police says there are no signs of foul play, and that the cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner's office.

Flair's agent released a statement Friday describing Reid as "an incredible son, brother, friend, and professional wrestler."

Ric Flair's real name is Richard Morgan Flair. The peroxide-blond wrestled for some 40 years and also was known as The Nature Boy.

The 64-year-old won many pro wrestling titles including in the WWE.

US-THREE-DEAD-NORTH-CAROLINA

NEW: NC police: 3 dead after shooting, police standoff

HARRISBURG, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in a Charlotte suburb say a man suspected of shooting two neighbors has committed suicide after a six-hour police standoff.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Cabarrus County sheriff's deputies said late Friday that the suspected shooter shot himself as deputies and SWAT team members surrounded the house where he was hiding.

Late Friday afternoon, deputies responded to a report of a man shooting a gun at a house. They said the suspect shot two neighbors in what was described as a neighborhood feud. Neighbors told the newspaper that the two victims were adult males.

WBTV-TV reports that a woman and her young children were able to escape the home where the initial shootings occurred.

Sheriff Brad Riley couldn't immediately be reached for comment by the Associated Press.

FILMMAKER KILLED

NEW: Filmmaker who rescued Romanian orphans is killed

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — A documentary filmmaker known for helping rescue children from squalid Romanian orphanages in the early 1990s has been fatally shot.

Officials say the shooting followed an apparent dispute over the trimming of shrubbery outside his Southern California home.

John Charles Upton Jr., who was 56, was found dead Thursday on a dirt path in the yard of his Encinitas home. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department says detectives arrested 61-year-old Michael Vilkin on suspicion of murder. He's being held without bail, pending arraignment Tuesday.

Vilkin, in an interview conducted in county jail, told KGTV in San Diego he fired gunshots in self-defense after Upton menaced him with a gun during a dispute over foliage.

Vilkin said he owns vacant property next to Upton's home, and the two men had a disagreement over trimming shrubs.

A statement from the sheriff's department says a dispute between the two men led to the shooting, which is under investigation.

US-MAN-FELL-FROM-PLANE

Police in Tenn. search for man who fell from plane

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Tennessee are searching for a man who was thrown from an experimental aircraft while he was learning to fly from an instructor.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (http://bit.ly/11YgGrn ) that police in Collegedale and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office on Friday were searching the ground for the man, who has not been identified.

Collegedale Municipal Airport employee Lowell Sterchi said the man was being trained by an instructor in his Zodiac 601 aircraft at about 2,500 feet when the canopy came off.

The man's seat belt was not fastened and he was thrown out from the plane over the East Brainerd and Apison areas of the county.

Sterchi said the instructor, who Sterchi would not identify, landed the plane and was not physically hurt. Sterchi said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified.

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