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  • Prime Minister Theresa May faces growing pressure from within her own party either to resign or to set a date for stepping down as a way to build support for her Brexit agreement with the European Union, British media reported Sunday. Senior Conservative Party figures were urging May to recognize her weakened political position and leave the prime minister's post. However, there was no indication from Downing Street a resignation was near. May thus far has been unable to generate enough support in Parliament for the withdrawal deal her government and the EU reached late last year. Lawmakers voted down the Brexit plan twice, and May has raised the possibility of bringing it back a third time if enough legislators appear willing to switch their votes. The U.K.'s departure from the EU long was set to take place on March 29, but the absence of an approved divorce agreement prompted May last week to ask the leaders of the 27 remaining member nations for a postponement. The leaders rejected May's request to extend the deadline until June 30. Instead, they agreed to delay Brexit until May 22, on the eve of EU Parliament elections, if the prime minister can persuade Parliament to endorse the twice-rejected agreement. If she is unable to rally support for the withdrawal agreement, the European leaders said Britain only has until April 12 to choose between leaving the EU without a divorce deal and a radically new path, such as revoking the decision to leave the bloc or calling another voter referendum on Brexit. Parliament may take a series of votes this week to determine what proposals, if any, could command majority support. Conservative Party legislator George Freeman tweeted Saturday night that the U.K. needs a new leader if the Brexit process is to move forward. 'I'm afraid it's all over for the PM. She's done her best. But across the country you can see the anger. Everyone feels betrayed,' Freeman tweeted. 'This can't go on. We need a new PM who can reach out & build some sort of coalition for a Plan B/' Under Conservative Party rules, May cannot face a formal leadership challenge from within her own party until December because she survived one three months ago. But she may be persuaded that her position is untenable if Cabinet ministers and other senior party members desert her. Her bid for fresh support for her withdrawal plan has so far failed to win backing from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which usually provides crucial votes for May's minority government. She also faces pressure from groups demanding a second Brexit referendum. Huge crowds turned out Saturday for an anti-Brexit protest march in London. Organizers claimed more than 1 million people attended. ___ Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit
  • Boeing on Saturday confirmed the flight-control software fixes that it plans to make for its grounded 737 Max 8, the plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months. The company is tweaking the system designed to prevent an aerodynamic stall if sensors detect that the plane's nose is pointed too high. After the update, the system will rely on data from more than one sensor before it automatically pushes the plane's nose lower. The system won't repeatedly push the nose down, and it will reduce the magnitude of the change. Boeing said it will pay to train airline pilots. The Federal Aviation Administration expects Boeing's update next week. The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that regulators tentatively approved Boeing's changes, subject to flight tests, citing government documents and people familiar with the details. FAA declined to comment. Airlines worldwide grounded the jet after the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight this month. It came less than five months after 189 people died in the October crash of another Max 8 off the coast of Indonesia.
  • Brazilian mining giant Vale said Saturday that communities in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais have been ordered to evacuate after independent auditors found that one of its dams could collapse at any moment. On Friday, the company raised the level of risk at a mining waste dam in the city of Barao de Cocais to three, the highest grade. According to Brazil's mining and energy secretary, level three means that 'a rupture is imminent or already happening.' Residents in a 10-kilometre (6.2 miles) perimeter of the dam had already been told to leave by state authorities in February after Vale raised risk levels to grade two, a company spokesperson told the Associated Press Saturday. The Vale spokesperson, who asked not to be identified in line with company policy, said 442 people had been relocated in temporary housing or with family members since February. Lt. Col. Flavio Godinho, of the state's civil defense department, told reporters that authorities are studying the Barao de Cocais structure to review the existing contingency plan. 'Any activity at the dam could trigger a rupture,' Godinho said on Globo TV. The news comes nearly two months after another Vale-operated dam in the nearby city of Brumadinho collapsed, unleashing a wave of toxic mud that contaminated rivers and almost certainly killed about 300 people. The contamination of rivers with mining waste, or tailings, which contain high levels of iron-ore and other metals is of great concern and can last for years or even decades, experts say. Small residues of iron oxide eventually fall at the bottom of the riverbed and are brought up to the surface each time it rains heavily. Brazilian environmental group SOS Mata Atlantica said Friday it had proof of water contamination in the large Sao Francisco river as a result of the Brumadinho dam collapse. Hundreds of municipalities and larger cities such as Petrolina, 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) from Brumadinho, get drinking water from the Sao Francisco. Brazil's National Water Agency, which is carrying its own water tests, denied further contamination of the Sao Francisco river, according to Globo's news portal G1. SOS Mata Atlantica was among the environmental groups that studied the impact of another dam rupture also in Minas Gerais in 2015. The accident killed 19 people and thousands of fish and left 250,000 people without drinking water. Three years later, experts say the water in the nearby Doce River is still unfit for consumption. The type of structure used to hold back mining waste in Brumadinho was the same as the one currently in use in Barao de Cocais, which lies about 150 kilometers (93 miles) away. State authorities banned the construction last month, but companies were given 90 days to present plans to substitute the dams within three years. Vale said in a statement it was already in the process of replacing ten such dams.
  • Officials have no timetable for reopening a portion of the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest commercial waterways in the country, after another setback caused flammable chemicals to seep into the water near a fire-ravaged petrochemical tank farm, a Coast Guard commander said Saturday. Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt said during a news conference that work was underway to contain and absorb benzene and other contaminants after a dike failed adjacent to the farm operated by the Intercontinental Terminals Company in Deer Park, southeast of Houston. The breach occurred Friday. As of early Saturday, more than 40 vessels — oil tankers, container ships and other crafts — were either trying to move south out of the channel or north toward awaiting terminals, according to Coast Guard petty officer Kelly Parker. The channel is a critical waterway that connects oil refineries between the Port of Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. ITC was planning Saturday to resume pumping some 20,000 barrels of product from a tank heavily damaged by the fire, which began Sunday, March 17, and was extinguished Wednesday, but flared again on two occasions. The most recent flare-up on Friday took an hour to suppress and disrupted the pumping, ITC executive Brent Weber said. The tanks that caught fire contained components of gasoline and materials used in nail polish remover, glues and paint thinner. Residents already alarmed by a large plume of black smoke that billowed for days from the farm were further shaken by an order Thursday to remain indoors after elevated levels of benzene were detected in the air. Schools in the region also were shuttered and waterfront parks were closed to the public as a precaution. The chemical evaporates quickly and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and headaches, with worse symptoms at higher levels of exposure. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against ITC, saying Friday that Texas had to hold the company 'accountable for the damage it has done to our environment.' The company has had a history of environmental violations, Paxton said. ITC spokeswoman Alice Richardson declined to comment on Paxton's claims, citing the pending litigation. Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. has spent days giving assurances that company and public officials are working in a transparent manner to provide the latest updates to anxious residents. 'Everything doesn't always work the way it's planned,' he told reporters Saturday. 'Everybody out here is doing the best they can,' Mouton said, later adding, 'They're trying to address every situation to the best of their ability.
  • Rescue workers off Norway's western coast rushed to evacuate 1,300 passengers and crew from a disabled cruise ship by helicopter on Saturday, winching them one-by-one to safety as heaving waves tossed the ship from side to side and high winds battered the operation. The Viking Sky issued a mayday call as bad weather hit and engine problems caused it to start drifting toward the rocky shore, the Norwegian newspaper VG reported. Police in the western county of Moere og Romsdal said the crew, fearing the ship would run aground, managed to anchor in Hustadvika Bay, between the Norwegian cities of Alesund and Trondheim, so the evacuations could take place. Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances, including gusts up to 38 knots (43 mph) and waves over 8 meters (26 feet). The area is known for its rough, frigid waters. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said the Viking Sky's evacuation was a slow and dangerous process, as passengers needed to be hoisted one-by-one from the cruise ship to the five available helicopters. 'I was afraid. I've never experienced anything so scary,' Janet Jacob, among the first group of passengers evacuated to the nearby town of Molde, told NRK. She said her helicopter ride to safety came amid strong winds 'like a tornado,' prompting her to pray 'for the safety of all aboard.' The majority of the cruise ship passengers were reportedly British and American tourists. About 180 have been evacuated so far, according to rescue officials. Per Fjeld of the Joint Rescue Center Southern Norway said there is no danger to the remaining passengers and the airlift can accommodate all of them. He said the rescue will speed up when there is better light and the weather improves. Video and photos from people on the ship showed it heaving, with chairs and other furniture dangerously rolling from side to side. Passengers were suited up in orange life vests but the waves broke some ship windows and cold water flowed over the feet of some passengers. American passenger John Curry told NRK that he was having lunch as the cruise ship started to shake. 'It was just chaos. The helicopter ride from the ship to shore I would rather not think about. It wasn't nice,' Curry told the broadcaster. NRK said one 90-year-old-man and his 70-year-old spouse on the ship were severely injured but did not say how that happened. Later, reports emerged that a cargo ship with nine crew members was in trouble nearby, and the local Norwegian rescue service diverted two of the five helicopters working on the cruise ship to that rescue. Authorities told NRK that a strong storm with high waves was preventing rescue workers from using life boats or tug boats to take passengers ashore. Fjeld said rescuers were prioritizing the nine crew members aboard the Hagland Captain cargo ship, but later said they had all been rescued and the helicopters had returned to help the Viking Sky. He said that with two more of the Viking Sky's engines now in operation there is the possibility of sailing, though he would not say whether there is an intention of sailing to shore. Norwegian authorities said late Saturday that the evacuation of the Viking Sky would proceed all through the night into Sunday. The Viking Sky was on a 12-day trip that began March 14 in the western Norwegian city of Bergen, according to the cruisemapper.com website. The ship was visiting the Norwegian towns and cities of Narvik, Alta, Tromso, Bodo and Stavanger before its scheduled arrival Tuesday in the British port of Tilbury on the River Thames. The Viking Sky, a vessel with gross tonnage of 47,800, was delivered in 2017 to operator Viking Ocean Cruises. ___ Sheila Norman-Culp contributed from London.

News

  • Two men are accused to stealing more than $70,000 worth of musical instruments from the University of Louisville’s School of Music, WLKY reported. >> Read more trending news  Alphonso Monrew, 22, and Anthony Abrams, 52, were arrested Thursday, according to Jefferson County Jail records. Each were charged with two counts of third degree burglary and two counts of theft by unlawful taking, the television station reported. According to police, on several occasions the two men stole instruments, including a $10,000 guitar, from the university’s music school, WLKY reported. The thefts occurred over several weeks, the television station reported. All of the instruments have been recovered and will be returned to students, police said.
  • A Texas woman got an early start to celebrating her 105th birthday, joining more than 150 family members for a party at a San Antonio church, KSAT reported. >> Read more trending news  Minnie McRae, who turns 105 on Tuesday, was the guest of honor at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church on Saturday, the television station reported. McRae’s nephew, Arturo Ayala, flew from Germany to attend the party for a woman who taught him how to dance by giving him lessons in her living room, KSAT reported.  Ayala said he believes he knows the secret to his aunt’s long life 'She's never shared it, but from my relationship with her, I see her always praying and ... always reading,' Ayala told the television station.  Ayala also said McRae was very spiritual and did work with Incarnate Word. 'She's a blessing and she's a miracle,' Ayala told KSAT.
  • There will be laughing, singing, and music swinging when singer Martha Reeves receives another honor in May. >> Read more trending news  Reeves, 77, the lead vocalist of 1960s group Martha and Vandellas, will be honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts on May 22, AL.com reported. Reeves was the singer for the group’s hits, including “Dancing in the Streets,” “Heat Wave” and “Jimmy Mack.” Reeves, a native of Eufaula, will receive Alabama’s 2019 Distinguished Artist Award. The award recognizes “a professional artist who is considered a native or adopted Alabamian and who has earned significant national acclaim for their art over an extended period,' according to the council’s website. Other recipients of the award include Jim Nabors, Fannie Flagg and George Lindsey. Vandella moved to Detroit as a child and grew up singing in church, AL.com reported. Her gospel-influenced vocals were evident in the group’s pop and rhythm and blues songs, which gave the Vandellas a string of hits on the Motown label. Reeves was inducted with the group -- Rosalind Ashford-Holmes, Annette Sterling-Helton, Lois Reeves and Betty Kelly -- into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. “Martha and the Vandellas were the Supremes’ tougher, more grounded counterpart,” the Rock Hall website says. “With her cheeky, fervent vocals, Martha Reeves led the group in a string of dance anthems that are irresistible to this day.” Reeves was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1995. 
  • A Florida deputy was arrested after an altercation at a Jacksonville nightclub, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Officer Rodney Bryant, a 5 1/2-year member of the department, was involved in a dispute Friday at Mascara's Gentlemen's Club with his girlfriend and her friend.  Bryant has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has been terminated from his position in the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. According to deputies, the group left the club but the dispute continued in a vehicle. This was when Bryant allegedly pulled over, opened the trunk of his vehicle and pulled out a firearm.  Bryant allegedly pointed the gun at the two women, making threats, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  They were all pulled over long enough for the girlfriend's friend to make contact with her sister, who later arrived at the scene, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The girl's sister observed Bryant with the firearm making threats and that he pointed the firearm at her, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
  • A Marine killed in action during the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago was honored in a memorial service Saturday, and a headstone and plaque were erected at his gravesite at a South Florida cemetery, the Sun-Sentinel reported. >> Read more trending news  Private First Class Gregory Carter was killed in action Oct. 12, 1969, in the Quang Ngai province of South Vietnam, according to according to a Vietnam military casualties database on Ancestry.com. He was remembered in a service attended by nearly 200 people Saturday at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Fort Lauderdale, the Sun-Sentinel reported. “It’s like he woke up to the world again,” Carter’s brother, Anthony Owens, told the newspaper. “His life is meaningful. It means something.” “No, I did not (expect this many people). It raised our spirits, big time.” Carter laid in an unmarked grave until the Vietnam Veterans of America discovered him while searching for photographs of Vietnam veterans to place on the black granite Wall of Faces in Washington, D.C., the Sun-Sentinel reported. Carter was drafted into the Marines on July 4, 1969, when he was 19, according to the Ancestry.com database. He already had a young son and a daughter was on the way, but Carter would never know either of them, the newspaper reported. The Vietnam Veterans of America worked with the city of Fort Lauderdale and others to get Carter’s grave marker, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The organization also secured a photograph from a baseball team photograph in the Dillard High School yearbook, the newspaper reported. Gregory Carter now lies with his mother, grandparents, three siblings and other relatives at Sunset Memorial Gardens. “If you die you’re just lost until somebody thinks about you again,” Anthony Owens told the Sun-Sentinel. “So his spirit is probably all around us right now. It’s a good thing. He’s doing good.”
  • The wife of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was bitten by a rattlesnake at their Arizona home Friday, the Arizona Republic reported. >> Read more trending news  Ava Arpaio was working on her computer in her office around 10 a.m. when the snake bit her on the left foot, Joe Arpaio told the newspaper. 'She's tough. If she can put up with me for 60 years, then she can handle a snake bite,' Joe Arpaio told the Republic. Joe Arpaio, 86, said the large rattlesnake was removed by fire crews. 'Must've been a Democrat,' the longtime Republican joked to the Republic. Ava Arpaio likely will be in a hospital for 'two or three' days, her husband told the newspaper. Arpaio served as sheriff of Maricopa County for 24 years until losing re-election to Democrat Paul Penzone in 2016. The 86-year-old lawman made national news for his Tent City Jail where inmates were housed in Korean War era army tents, KSAZ reported. >> President Trump pardons Joe Arpaio Joe Arpaio was convicted of a criminal charge in July 2017 for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants. He was pardoned a month later by President Donald Trump.