AMTRAK CRASH-TRAIN CONTROL
WASHINGTON -- The deadly derailment of a speeding train near Philadelphia appears to be yet another accident that didn't have to happen. It could have been avoided if a long-sought safety technology had been installed on Amtrak's tracks and trains, according to information gathered by accident investigators. By Joan Lowy.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama and leaders from six Gulf nations are trying to work through tensions sparked by the U.S. bid for a nuclear deal with Iran, a pursuit that has put regional partners on edge. Obama is seeking to reassure the Gulf leaders gathering at Camp David that U.S. overtures to Iran will not come at the expense of commitments to their security. He is expected to offer them more military assistance, including increased joint exercises and coordination on ballistic missile systems. By Julie Pace.
CRUCITO, Colombia -- The president's decision to halt spraying of herbicide on coca fields over health concerns is lending new strength to claims of injury by dozens of farmers across Colombia who consider themselves victims of the U.S.-led drug war in South America. By Jacobo Garcia. AP Photos.
PUERTO RICO-WATER RATIONING
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico imposes strict water rationing that will make daily showers a challenge for tens of thousands of people and force businesses such as restaurants and car washes to brace for a summer expected to be drier than usual. By Danica Coto. AP Photos.
MEXICO-US GIRL SEIZED
MEXICO CITY -- A Texas woman whose 8-year search for her missing daughter in Mexico led her to be handed the wrong girl now believes she has found the right one. But, this time, she'll have to wait for DNA results to prove the match. AP Photo.
MADRID -- Spain's foreign minister says the security chief for the country's embassy in Brazil, under investigation in his wife's death, could lose diplomatic immunity if the probe determines the case is domestic violence. By Alan Clendenning.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senators reached a deal to move forward on President Barack Obama's trade agenda only one day after Democrats embarrassed him by blocking it. Obama wants to win "fast track" authority -- allowing him send to Congress trade proposals it can kill or ratify, but not amend -- and then ask Congress to ratify a long-negotiated, 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Parties include Japan, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada, but not China. A proposed European trade agreement could follow. By Charles Babington.
WASHINGTON -- The House of Representatives voted by a wide margin Wednesday to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records, setting the stage for a showdown with the Senate just weeks before the Bush-era provisions authorizing the program are due to expire. The House bill would create a new system to search data held by telephone companies on a case-by-case basis. If it becomes law, it will represent one of the most significant changes stemming from the unauthorized disclosures of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. By Ken Dilanian.
BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING
BOSTON -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys made their final appeals to the jury that will decide the fate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as jurors began deliberating whether the Boston Marathon bomber should get life in prison or the death penalty. Jurors got the case late in the day Wednesday and deliberated for about 45 minutes before going home. They will return to the federal courthouse Thursday to resume their work. By Denise Lavoie.
WASHINGTON -- Two senior U.S. Secret Service agents were "more likely than not" impaired by alcohol when they drove a government vehicle through a secure area at the White House earlier this year, a government watchdog concluded in a report released late Wednesday. Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth found that the agents spent about five hours at a bar during and after a retirement party for a colleague at the agency that protects the president and ran up a "significant" bar tab before driving to the White House on March 4. Their tab included eight glasses of scotch, two vodka drinks, three beers and a glass of wine. By Alicia A. Caldwell.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS-LABELING
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Agriculture Department has developed the first government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. USDA's move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. By Mary Clare Jalonick.
PRESIDENTIAL RACE-FIORINA'S FIRING
SAN FRANCISCO -- In her quest for the Republican presidential nomination, former tech CEO Carly Fiorina boasts about her experience running Silicon Valley computer-maker Hewlett-Packard as evidence that she's "a problem solver, with a track record to prove it." What her campaign literature doesn't highlight is that she was fired from that job in 2005, after a stormy tenure. By Brandon Bailey.
ARCTIC OFFSHORE DRILLING-RIGS
SEATTLE -- Royal Dutch Shell is forging ahead with plans to park two Arctic oil drilling rigs in Seattle, despite the city saying it could issue fines in the case and port commissioners asking Shell to wait. Shell's plan to move the two rigs to Seattle in coming days sets up a showdown between environmentalists and oil exploration advocates and touches off a wider debate about climate change and whether the nation should tap oil and gas reserves in the icy, remote Arctic Ocean off Alaska's coast. By Gene Johnson and Phuong Le.
NEW YORK -- When Oprah Winfrey was a youngster, the mere sighting of an African-American on television was occasion to alert all the neighbors, she recalled. "We would call them to say, 'Colored people are on TV! Colored people are on!'" The only black child she was ever likely to see telecast was the unflattering role model Buckwheat on the ancient "Little Rascals" comedies, Winfrey added. By Frazier Moore.
CHRISTIE'S-SPRING ART AUCTION
NEW YORK -- In the past three days, Christie's in New York City has sold over $1 billion worth of art, a frenzied spectacle that showcases the world's rising class of uber-wealthy and its appetite for trophy art. Wednesday's bidding was spirited at Christie's contemporary art auction highlighted by iconic works by Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and others.
LOS ANGELES -- Nick Fradiani is the latest winner of "American Idol." The 29-year-old rocker of Guilford, Connecticut, bested soulful 22-year-old vocalist Clark Beckham of White House, Tennessee, to win the 14th edition of the Fox talent competition. By Derrik J. Lang.