Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment

April 22, 2013, 12:52 am


Officials: Bomb suspects appear driven by religious views

BOSTON (AP) — More is emerging about the criminal case against the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

U.S. officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-KHAR'tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) and his brother appear to have been motivated by their religious views, not any connection to any Muslim terrorist groups. The officials made the assessment after Tsarnaev was interrogated in his hospital room, where he's being treated for severe wounds allegedly suffered during violent encounters with law enforcement following the Boston Marathon bombings.

He was charged Monday with federal crimes that could bring the death penalty, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. He was accused of joining with his older brother, Tamerlan — now dead — in setting off the pressure-cooker bombs that killed three people and wounded more than 200 a week ago.

The brothers, ethnic Chechens from Russia who had been living in the U.S. for about a decade, practiced Islam.

The surviving brother is said to have communicated with his interrogators in writing because of throat wounds. Officials say what he said will have to be verified. Investigators will look at such things as his telephone and online communications and his associations with others.


Chinese victim of Marathon blasts remembered

BOSTON (AP) — A 23-year-old Boston University graduate student killed in the Boston Marathon bombing has been described at her memorial service as a sweet-hearted woman passionate about piano, her studies and loving life.

Speakers including Lu Lingzi's (loo ling-zuh) father and her roommate say they will never forget the lightness she brought to their lives.

Hundreds of people including Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick attended the service hosted by the university Monday night.

Lu, from Shenyang, China, studied statistics at the school. Friends and faculty say she was an exceptional student with a bubbly personality.

Lu was one of three people killed in the bombings a week ago. A funeral was held Monday morning for another victim, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell.

Boston University has launched a scholarship fund in Lu's name.


Kazakhstan ministry: Duo may have known suspects

BOSTON (AP) — Two foreign nationals arrested Saturday on immigration violations are from Kazakhstan and may have known the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, according to a statement released Monday by the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign ministry said U.S. authorities came across the students while searching for "possible links and contacts" to bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-KHAR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv). The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth student was charged Monday in the attack.

Officials have not disclosed the names of the nationals, who the ministry said were found to have "violated the U.S. visa regime." The country's consul is in Boston to work with the students and their families, the statement said.

The ministry Monday reaffirmed its cooperation with the U.S. on terrorism and emphasized that it "strongly condemns terrorism" in any form.


Feinstein asks what Boston suspect told FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein wants to know what the FBI learned when it interviewed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev (tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) after his six-month stay last year in the Russian provinces of Dagestan and Chechnya.

The FBI had been tipped off a year earlier by Russian officials that 26-year-old Tsarnaev, who was killed last week in a shootout with police, was worth investigating for possible extremist ties.

Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, wants senior FBI officials to testify as soon as Tuesday to explain what they learned and why they did not pursue the matter further.

The surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, remains hospitalized and was charged Monday.


Biden to attend MIT officer's memorial service

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Cambridge, Mass., on Wednesday to attend the memorial service for the MIT police officer killed in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

That's according to a White House official, who was not authorized to discuss the trip publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Authorities say the two brothers suspected in the bombing shot 26-year-old Sean Collier multiple times on Thursday night in his police cruiser, killing him.

Collier's memorial service is planned for midday Wednesday at MIT's Briggs Field. The vice president's wife, Jill Biden, will also attend the service.


US to press China over repatriation of NKoreans

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. envoy says Washington will press China over its forcible repatriation of refugees to North Korea. He likened the North's vast gulag to that operated by the Soviet Union in the 1930s.

Robert King is envoy for North Korean human rights issues although he's rarely had the chance to visit because of tense relations with Pyongyang.

He told reporters Monday that human rights in North Korea remain deplorable. He said the prison camp system is estimated to hold between 130,000 and 200,000 people.

He said numbers of refugees fleeing North Korea have decreased since 2011 as border controls have increased.

He said there are indications China is continuing refugee repatriations.

King is among U.S. officials meeting in Washington this week with China's envoy on Korean affairs, Wu Dawei.


Feds investigate shooting at Tenn. nuclear plant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An East Tennessee nuclear power plant has added security patrols after a weekend incident in which an officer exchanged gunfire with a man who then fled on a boat.

The FBI and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are investigating the shooting early Sunday at Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar nuclear power plant near Spring City, Tenn., about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said a security officer spotted a man near the bank of the Tennessee River, which is on the property of the plant but outside the plant's fences.

The man, who was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, shot at the officer and struck the officer's vehicle. The officer was not injured and returned fire.


Obama invites female senators to dinner

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will host female senators for dinner at the White House on Tuesday.

The dinner is part of Obama's ongoing efforts to improve the lines of communication with Congress and lay the groundwork for future compromise.

Last week, Obama shared a meal with a dozen Senate Democrats at a hotel near the White House, discussing immigration, gun control, the budget and other second-term priorities.

He's hosted two similar dinners for Senate Republicans in recent weeks. Obama has also traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers from both parties.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York says all 20 female senators were invited. She says Gillibrand requested the dinner in October while traveling with Obama to survey the damage from Superstorm Sandy.


Pastor calls for both justice and mercy in immigration reform

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Houston pastor has urged Congress to balance justice with mercy in immigration reform.

The Rev. David Fleming of Champion Forest Baptist Church was among nearly two dozen witnesses to testify at the Senate Judiciary Committee's second hearing on the issue.

He said the Bible calls for obeying the law, but also says foreigners must be treated with love and respect. Fleming suggested that could be achieved by securing the border while offering undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

He said thousands of pastors are praying that Congress will pass legislation that prevents deportations from dividing families.

Some Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have called for adding a provision recognizing gay marriages for immigration purposes.


LeMond: Get drug testing out of UCI

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond says professional cycling must take drug testing out of the hands of the International Cycling Union for the sport to clean up.

LeMond spoke Monday night at a University of Texas symposium on doping in sports. LeMond says riders don't trust the sport's governing body, which has had to defend itself against allegations it helped Lance Armstrong cover up doping offenses.

LeMond won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and is now recognized as the only American winner after Armstrong was stripped last year of his seven victories.

Bill Bock, attorney for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said riders should be given amnesty to come clean about doping. Bock says riders are tired of living in the shadows about doping.


Death of LA Clippers owner's son ruled accidental

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coroner's investigators say the death of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's son was a drug-related accident.

Los Angeles County Coroner's officials said in a statement Monday that Scott Ashley Sterling died from a pulmonary embolism after injecting narcotic medication meant to be taken orally.

The report did not say with certainty what drug Scott Sterling injected, but said the painkiller oxycodone was found in his system.

It also listed diabetes as a significant condition in his death.

The body of the 32-year-old Sterling was found in his beachfront apartment in Malibu on New Year's Day. The Sheriff's Department said at the time his death was likely from a drug overdose, and an autopsy was performed Jan. 3.

The coroner expects to release a final report within two weeks.

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