AP News in Brief at 12:04 a. m. EDT

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 8:25 AM

The exact no of casualties remained unclear as rescue efforts continued to unfurl Saturday. Oncoming rains could further complicate the relief operation and set off more mudslides in isolated rural towns, where people were waiting to be rescued in collapsed homes.

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a. m. EDT

Twin quakes kills at least twenty-nine in S Japan; many trapped

MASHIKI, Japan (AP) — Two powerful earthquakes a day apart shook southwestern Japan, killing at least twenty-nine people, injuring 1.500, trapping many beneath flattened homes and sending thousands to seek shelter in gymnasiums and hotel lobbies.

The exact no of casualties remained unclear as rescue efforts continued to unfurl Saturday. Oncoming rains could further complicate the relief operation and set off more mudslides in isolated rural towns, where people were waiting to be rescued in collapsed homes.

Kumamoto Prefectural official Tomoyuki Tanaka said the death toll was climbing by the hour, with the latest standing at nineteenth from Saturday'south magnitude-7.3 quake that shook the Kumamoto region on the southwestern island of Kyushu at 1:25 a. m. On Thursday night, Kyushu was hit by a magnitude-six.5 quake that left ten dead.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that 1.500 people have been injured, eighty of them seriously. Nearly seventy.000 have left their homes, he said.

A series of aftershocks ensued, including a magnitude-5.4 Saturday morning. The Japan Meteorological Agency said that the quake that struck earlier Saturday may be the main quake, with the earlier one a precursor. The quakes' epicenters have been relatively shallow — about ten kilometers (6 miles) — and near to the surface, resulting in more severe shaking and damage. NHK TV said as many as eight quakes were being felt an hr in the area.

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Brazil'south lower house begins presidential impeachment debate

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The lower chamber of Brazil'south Congress on Friday began a raucous debate on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a question that underscores the deep polarization in Latin America'south largest country and most-powerful economy.

If lawmakers approved the measure in a vote slated for Sunday, it gets sent to the Senate, where an impeachment trial could get place, prompting the president'south suspension from office.

The atmosphere in the lower Chamber of Deputies was electric, as Rousseff'south critics festooned themselves with yellow and green ribbons and brandished placards reading "Impeachment Now!"

Lawmakers backing impeachment allege Rousseff'south administration violated monetary rules, using sleight of hand accounting in a tender to shore up public support. However, many of those pushing for impeachment face grave accusations of corruption themselves, prompting Rousseff and her supporters to decry the whole process as a bold-faced power grab by her foes.

Rousseff'south defenders insist she did nothing illegal, pointing out that similar accounting techniques were used by previous presidents.

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At the Vatican, Sanders blasts 'immoral' wealth inequality

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Bernie Sanders issued a global call to action at the Vatican on Friday to address "immoral and unsustainable" wealth inequality and poverty, using the high-profile gathering to echo one of the central platforms of his presidential campaign.

The Democratic senator from VT cited Pope Francis and St. John Paul II repeatedly during his speech to the Vatican conference commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of a landmark teaching document from John Paul on social and economic justice after the Cold War.

Sanders arrived in Rome hours after wrapping up a debate in NY Thursday night, saying the opportunity to address the Vatican conference was too meaningful to pass up. The roughly 24-hour visit precedes Tuesday'south crucial NY primary, which Sanders should do well in to support a viable challenge to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Pope Francis apologized that he couldn't personally greet participants at the Vatican conference. Number meeting with Sanders was expected.

But the ride gave Sanders a moment on the world stage, placing him alongside priests, bishops, academics and two S American presidents. Sanders has been at a disadvantage during his campaign against Clinton, President Barack Obama'south former secretary of state, on issues of foreign policy but he was peppered with questions from academics and ecclesiastics in a manner that might've been afforded a head of state.

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As clinic access tightens, grouping touts pregnancy-ending drug

NY (AP) — The tightening of restrictions on abortion clinics in many states has emboldened some abortion rights advocates to launch an outreach effort, reminding women they've relatively secure and effective means of ending a pregnancy on their own through utilize of a miscarriage-inducing drug.

Anti-abortion groups are wary of the phenomenon, disavowing any drive to prosecute women who self-abort but favoring crackdowns on illegal distribution of the drug. Even in the abortion rights community, the outreach effort has raised some concerns.

Dr. Hal Lawrence, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says it'south always preferable for a woman undergoing abortion to be below direct supervision of a medical professional.

Advocates of the new approach declare they'd agree, below ideal conditions, but they worry that many women — out of fear, poverty or lack of a nearby clinic — aren't getting access to professional services and necessity accurate information if they're considering self-induced abortion. Notably, they wish to highlight the option of using the drug misoprostol as a generally secure method for inducing a miscarriage within the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.

"There will always be people who necessity to do this for themselves, and they deserve to have the resources and information so they can do so safely and effectively, free from the threat of arrest," said Jill Adams, executive director of the Middle on Reproductive Rights and Justice at the Univ of California-Berkeley law school.

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AP-NORC Poll: That'south rude: More declare GOP is discourteous

WA (AP) — Ask Americans about horrible manners in the two thousand sixteen presidential campaign and the conversation shifts immediately to Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner who's branded his critics, "little," "lyin," "low-energy" and worse.

"I don't recall anyone stirring up as much of a fuss as Mr. Trump," says Sidney Waldman, eighty-one, a retired book store owner in Key West, Florida. "He just doesn't necessity to declare things the way he says them. It may obtain attention now, but he's going to be remembered in a negative way."

"He'south a bully," says Kellie Zangrillo, fifty-three, of Auburn, Washington, love Waldman an independent. Trump not only may have set the tone in the campaign, she suggested, but his nasty words could've genuine consequences if uttered as president. "I think he'd obtain us into World War III."

When it comes to rudeness in two thousand-sixteenth politics, the Republican presidential contest wins in a landslide, a new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Middle for Public Affairs Research has found. The survey shows that seventy-eight % of Americans, including most Republicans, look the GOP race as discourteous. Only about half as many — forty-one percent — declare the same about the Democratic campaign.

Eight in tenth people declare remarks about race or gender and sexuality are unacceptable in public places, and that political leaders should be held to a higher standard of behavior than other people.

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US: N Korean missile launch a 'catastrophic' failure

SEOUL, S Korea (AP) — A N Korea missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country'south founder ended in failure, U. S. defense executive said, an embarrassing setback in what was reportedly the inaugural test of a new, powerful mid-range missile.

"It was a fiery, disastrous attempt at a launch that was unsuccessful," Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Friday. U. S. executive are still assessing, but it was likely a road-mobile missile, given that it was launched from a location not generally used for ballistic missile launches, on the country'south E coast, he said.

S Korea'south Yonhap news agency carried an unsourced report that a "Musudan" missile, which could one day be capable of reaching far-off U. S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific, exploded in the air a few seconds after liftoff.

A U. S. official speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters told The Associated Press that it appeared to be a Musudan missile but number definitive conclusion had been reached.

Despite the failure, the N has another Musudan loaded on a mobile launcher and Pyongyang will likely fire it, according to S Korean and U. S. authorities, Yonhap reported.

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US researchers look more signs NKorea is producing plutonium

WA (AP) — As N Korea intensifies testing of its ballistic missile technology, a U. S. website said Friday it also sees further signs from satellite imagery that N Korea is looking to produce more plutonium for nuclear weapons.

The website thirty-eight North, which monitors sites in N Korea associated with its weapons programs, says an image taken Monday at the Nyongbyon nuclear facility shows a rail flatcar at a radiochemical laboratory complex where the N separates weapons-grade plutonium from waste from a nuclear reactor.

It says the tanks or casks seen on the flatcar could be used to supply chemicals or haul out waste products. In recent weeks, exhaust plumes have been seen at the laboratory complex, also suggesting that nuclear reprocessing action could be in the works.

"The presence of a loaded flatcar, together with the presence of exhaust plumes, propose that N Korea is preparing or conducting a reprocessing campaign to separate more plutonium for weapons," says the analysis by Joseph S. Bermudez, a specialist in satellite imagery and N Korea's military.

S Korean and U. S. executive said Friday that N Korea conducted a failed launch of what was reportedly an untested mid-range missile that could one day be capable of reaching far-off U. S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific. It's the latest in a series of provocations. The N conducted its fourth, underground nuclear test explosion in Jan and a long-range rocket launch in Feb that drew the strongest international sanctions yet against Pyongyang.

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Donald Trump continues assault on GOP leadership

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Donald Trump rained fresh criticism on the Republican Party'south nomination process Friday, describing the system as "rigged" and warning that millions of disenfranchised Republicans would sit out the common election if he'south denied the nomination.

The comments came as the billionaire businessman addressed voters in Connecticut'south capital city just days ahead of neighboring New York'south Tuesday primary election. CT is among five states set to vote a week later.

Trump attacked his Republican rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, but also took direct aim at his own party'south leadership. He charged that "party bosses" arranged a presidential nomination process that's unfairly allowed Cruz to stay within striking distance in the battle for delegates.

"The system is rigged, folks," Trump charged. "The top Republicans called up, they said, 'Donald, please could you stop saying that?' I said: 'Look, I'm telling the truth. I don't care, I'm telling the truth.'"

Trump'south sustained attacks on Republican leadership in recent days forced Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to lash out at the GOP front-runner earlier Friday.

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After apology, Philly among many Jackie Robinson tributes

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — As cities across the country honored Jackie Robinson'south pioneering baseball career, one also apologized for its racist treatment of Major League Baseball'south first black player nearly 70 years ago.

When Robinson'south Brooklyn Dodgers played the Philadelphia Phillies in one thousand nine hundred forty-seventh, he was told to "go back to the cotton fields" by the Phillies' manager, refused service at a local hotel and taunted by players with racial slurs when he came to bat. On Friday, Philadelphia'south city council publicly acknowledged the incident as a shadowy chapter in the city's history.

"He faced tremendous racism in our city," Councilwoman Helen Gym said. "It was something he never forgot ... but neither should we."

April fifteen is recognized nationally as Jackie Robinson Day, and ballparks around the country are also celebrating the sixty-ninth anniversary of the day he broke the league'south color barrier in one thousand nine hundred forty-seventh. Robinson played for the Dodgers until 1956.

All MLB players, managers, coaches and umpires wore his No. forty-two for games. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, at Yankee Stadium for the Seattle-New York game, said he was in his office earlier in the day and saw CO playing the Cubs on television, with everyone wearing the same number.

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MI urges toughest lead rules in US after Flint crisis

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — MI would've the toughest lead-testing rules in the nation and require the replacement of all underground lead service pipes in the state below a sweeping map that Gov. Rick Snyder and a team of water experts unveiled Friday in the wake of Flint'south water crisis.

Other proposals comprise requiring utilities to test all schools, day care centers, nursing homes and similar facilities — not just some people'south houses — and the mandatory disclosure of lead plumbing in residence sales and rental contracts.

The map was given to The Associated Press before it was presented to a committee that Snyder appointed to work on long-term fixes related to Flint'south lead-tainted water crisis. It's unclear how much the proposal will cost, and the policy workgroup purposely didn't get funding into account.

The Republican Gov said at Friday'south meeting in Flint that he wants a "marker in the ground," and he expects the map to generate legislative debate and a better accounting of cost considerations.

Below U. S. Environmental Protection Agency rules, water systems across the country should get steps to control corrosion if lead concentrations exceed fifteen parts per billion in more than ten % of customer taps sampled. MI would move by two thousand twenty to a limit of ten parts per billion — in line with the World Health Organization's standard.

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