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Missouri Lottery Sends $24.3 Million to Public Education Fund

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:40am

The Missouri Lottery has transferred $24.3 million in profits to the Lottery Proceeds Fund for public education.

The April transfer of $24,305,462 is based on March sales, and it brings the FY16 total to education to more than $263 million.

Since Missouri Lottery sales started in 1986, the Lottery has generated more than $5.3 billion for the state and public education. Annual Lottery proceeds comprise about 4 percent of the state’s funding for public education – an effort shared by local, state and federal governments.

Programs funded in FY16 include the A+ Scholarship Program, the Foundation Program and Access Missouri, among many others. For complete information about Missouri Lottery proceeds, including maps of proceeds by program and by county, click here.

In addition to providing funds for public education, the Lottery also benefits the state by collecting state taxes on prizes of more than $600. During the past fiscal year, the Lottery added $8.7 million in state tax collections from prize winnings to the General Revenue Fund.  

Ecuador earthquake: How you can help

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:38am

An unknown number of people are trapped in the debris of Ecuador's biggest earthquake in decades. The death toll has risen to 233 and more 1,500 are injured, an emergency management official said Sunday.

The Ecuador Red Cross has teams on the ground providing first aid and searching for survivors. UNICEF staff is assessing the quake's impact and ready to help if needed.

Right now there are no formal appeals for donations. But you can stay informed by going to the organizations' websites.

Impact Your World is monitoring the situation after the 7.8-magnitude quake struck Saturday night on the country's central coast.

Dozens killed, injured in Japanese earthquakes

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:32am

In the aftermath of two earthquakes in Japan, emergency crews are still searching for missing people.

RNC chief dismisses Trump's comments as 'hyperbole'

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:23am

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus pushed back Sunday against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump's assertion that the nominating process is "rigged" to block him.

Priebus dismissed Trump's comments as "rhetoric" and "hyperbole."

"Since I know what the truth is, I don't really worry about it because I know what is right and I know what is wrong," he told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."

Trump has watched rival Ted Cruz claim delegates in individual states where Trump has won, and stack delegate slates with Republicans who would be obligated to support Trump on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland but could switch to Cruz on the second ballot.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "Lyin' Ted Cruz will never be able to beat Hillary. Despite a rigged delegate system, I am hundreds of delegates ahead of him."

"Lyin' Ted Cruz can't get votes (I am millions ahead of him) so he has to get his delegates from the Republican bosses. It won't work!," he said.

Priebus said it's up to candidates and their campaigns to understand the delegate rules. He said those decisions are up to each state, and there's nothing the Republican National Committee can do to change them now.

"If you think (Trump's assertion the system is rigged is) rhetoric, if you think it's hyperbole, you know, look -- there's nothing that the RNC can do to alter the rules between now and the convention. It's not the RNC's place. So I don't sit here and internalize the charge, because there's no there there. There's nothing the RNC can do about it," Priebus said.

"Everyone knows what the rules are," he said. "Everyone knows that the RNC can't change the rules between now and the convention."

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows more than 60% of Republican voters think if no candidate reaches the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination, the one with the most votes should win it. About 33% said in that scenario convention delegates should pick the nominee.

Storm chasers capture tornadoes in Oklahoma

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:19am

Tornadoes struck Friday in the Oklahoma panhandle.

URGENT - Ecuador quake death toll 233

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:17am

(CNN) -- The death toll from Saturday's major earthquake in Ecuador has reached 233, said Ricardo Peñaherrera of Quito's emergency management office. More than 1,500 people were injured in the 7.8-magnitude quake.

EPL: Wild ending for Leicester and West Ham

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:13am

Leicester City's path to an audacious Premier League title was slightly derailed on Sunday.

The Foxes gave up two stunning late goals to visitors West Ham -- only to salvage a draw with a 94th-minute penalty by José Ulloa.

The Foxes took a 1-0 lead on an 18th minute Jamie Vardy goal, the 22nd of the season for the remarkable striker who has blossomed as at the advanced footballing age of 29.

But Vardy's performance was marred by a sending off in the second half for a second yellow after a perceived dive in the penalty box.

Vardy got tangled up with Angelo Ogbonna in the 56th minute. Television replays showed incidental contact, but not enough to garner the theatrical reaction of the striker according to referee Jon Moss.

Barring an appeal, Vardy will be forced to sit out Leicester's next match against Swansea City.

But even while fielding 10 men, Leicester looked as though they would cling on to their lead until giving up a penalty in the 84th minute after a foul by Wes Morgan on Winston Reid. Andy Carroll secured the draw and just two minutes later Aaron Cresswell made it 2-1 West Ham.

"We will always fight to the death, and that's what we did," said Leicester's Danny Simpson to Sky Sports after the match. "We can't control all the things, but we can fight and work hard."

"I'm so happy for the team, because we don't deserve to lose the game," added Ulloa.

West Ham were unlucky not to score in the second minute off a Cheikhou Kouyaté header which was barely deflected onto the inside post by Kasper Schmeichel before ricocheting onto the outside post and into the goalkeepers arms.

The play set the tone for what began as a frustrating day for the Hammers -- still in contention for a Champions League slot next season -- and a fateful day for Leicester.

Leicester now need eight points out of their final four matches to keep matters in their own hands. Two of the matches will be played at their home ground, the King Power Stadium, against Swansea and Everton, while their two away games feature Manchester United, and, eventually, Chelsea in the last fixture of the season.

Leicester stand eight points ahead of second place Spurs, who have a game in hand with a match against Stoke on Monday.

"Blood, heart, and soul," said Leicester's manager Claudio Ranieri after the match, while not contesting Vardy's sending off. "We were magnificent."

West Ham, meanwhile, hold their ground in sixth place, with UEFA competition next year a very realistic scenario -- and Champions League an ambitious dream.

Leicester City is in the process of making one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of modern football, considering crippling debts forced the club into administration in 2002. By 2008, the Foxes had dropped all the way down to the third tier of English football. Two years later, Thai duty free magnate Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha took over as chairman, spurring Leicester's improbable climb back to the top.

Lottery provides more than 200,000 college scholarships in Arkansas

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:07am

Lottery players have sent a lot of young people to college in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) announced a milestone in its mission to provide scholarships to Arkansas students. As of this academic year, the Lottery has provided funding for 200,000 scholarship recipients across the state.

“Every day, I talk to students and families whose lives have been changed because of lottery-funded scholarships,” ASL Director Bishop Woosley said. “We are proud of reaching this scholarship milestone. We’re even more proud of the opportunities we are able to provide through the scholarships -- but it’s the students who do all the hard work.”

Arkansas has one of the lowest percentages of citizens with advanced degrees, Woosley noted, adding, “Some students wouldn’t be able to go to college at all without this scholarship.”

Woosley encourages both traditional and non-traditional students in the state to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship through the Arkansas Department of Higher Education before the June 1 deadline. To learn more or to apply, click here.

“At the Lottery, we say ‘you can’t win if you don’t play.’ Likewise, you can’t get a scholarship if you don’t apply,” Woosley said.  

Rangers sign F Stromwall

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:03am

The New York Rangers and free agent forward Malte Stromwall agreed to terms on a contract Sunday.

Stromwall, 21, skated in 49 games with AIK of Allsvenskan in Sweden this season, registering 42 points (25 goals, 17 assists) and 26 penalty minutes. He ranked second in the league in goals and tied for seventh in points. Stromwall, along with current Rangers prospect Robin Kovacs, helped AIK win the league championship in Allsvenskan.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Stromwall has played parts of the last three seasons with several teams in the Swedish Hockey League and Allsvenskan. He has skated in 87 career SHL games, recording nine goals and five assists. He has tallied 46 points (27 goals, 19 assists) in 55 career games in Allsvenskan.

Prior to playing professional hockey in Sweden, Stromwall played two seasons of junior hockey with the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League. The Lulea, Sweden, native skated in 130 regular-season games with the Americans during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, registering 32 goals and 61 assists.

Orioles-Rangers postponed

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:03am

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sunday's game between the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles was postponed due to inclement weather in the area.

The game has been rescheduled for June 20 at Globe Life Park. The rainout ends a 448-game stretch without a rainout for the Rangers -- the longest streak in the majors. The last time the Rangers had a game rained out before Sunday was May 29, 2013 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

China official: Donald Trump 'is an irrational type'

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 9:01am

A top China official has weighed in on one of the biggest headlines of the U.S. presidential race: Donald Trump's controversial proposals on trade and relations between the two countries.

"Don't take the rhetoric in a presidential campaign too seriously. Trump is an irrational type," China's finance minister, Lou Jiwei, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Sunday. The newspaper said it was Lou's first interview with foreign news media in four years.

Trump has said if elected he would threaten tariffs -- which are like taxes or fees -- of as much as 45% on any goods imported from China into the United States. Experts say such a move could provoke a trade war if China retaliated with economic policies aimed at hurting the U.S.

Lou said Trump's proposals would run afoul of international rules established by the World Trade Organization, a global organization that referees trade disputes between countries.

Trade between China and the U.S. is one of the most powerful forces in the global economy.

American jobs have been lost as China has built itself into a manufacturing giant. And lower-priced imports of products made in China have helped boost American spending -- which drives the U.S. economy. China is also the biggest holder of U.S. government debt.

"If the U.S. were to do what [Trump] proposed, then the U.S. would not be entitled to its position as the world's major power," Lou told the Journal. "The U.S. needs to recognize that the U.S. and China are mutually dependent on each other. ... We have more in common than sets us apart."

Russian jet barrel-rolls over US aircraft

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 8:36am

A U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane was barrel-rolled by a Russian jet over the Baltic Sea during a routine flight in international airspace, U.S. European Command said Saturday, but Russia disputed that account.

The incident Thursday occurred when a Russian jet "performed erratic and aggressive maneuvers" as it flew within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft's wing tip, Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for U.S. European Command, said in a response to a question from CNN.

The Russian Su-27 began the barrel roll from the left side of the U.S. RC-135 and went over the top of it to end on the right side of the aircraft, European Command said.

The RC-135 aircraft was "intercepted by a Russian SU-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner," Hernandez said, adding that the U.S. plane never entered Russian territory.

"The unsafe and unprofessional actions of a single pilot have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries," said Hernandez, who added the United States is protesting with the Russian government.

Russia disputes reports

But Russia's Defense Ministry said that reports on Thursday's incident were "not consistent with reality" and that the Russian aircraft's maneuvers had been "performed strictly in accordance with the international regulations on the use of airspace."

Ministry spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the Su-27 had been dispatched after Russian air defense facilities spotted an unknown target over the Baltic Sea, approaching the Russian border at high speed.

It identified the jet as an American reconnaissance aircraft, and after visual contact, the U.S. plane "changed its course to the opposite direction, away from the Russian border," he said.

No incidents were recorded over the encounter, he said.

Escalating tensions

The encounter comes just days after the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued formal concerns with the Russian government over an incident last week in which Russian fighter jets flew close to the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic.

One of the Russian jets flew within 30 feet of the Cook's ship superstructure, according to a U.S. official.

Close encounters between Russian military aircraft and U.S. warships have become increasing common in recent months. In October, U.S. Navy jets intercepted two Russian Tu-142 aircraft that were flying near the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific Ocean.

In June, a Russian Su-24 jet flew within 500 meters (1,640 feet) of a U.S. guided-missile destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea near Crimea.

The Russian aerial maneuvers come amid rising tensions on NATO's eastern flank.

In February, the Department of Defense announced it was spending $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative in an effort to deter Russian aggression against NATO allies following Russia's 2014 intervention in Ukraine.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has deployed additional military assets throughout Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force deployed F-15s to Iceland and the Netherlands and F-22s to the United Kingdom. And in February the United States announced it would send six F-15s to Finland for a training exercise and pre-position tanks and artillery in Norway. Both countries share a border with Russia.

N. Korea on Trump comment: 'Absurd, illogical'

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:47am

A North Korean official said recent remarks by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump are "absurd and illogical," in a rare interview granted to a CNN team in Pyongyang.

Trump suggested the U.S. military should withdraw from key allies South Korea and Japan, and both countries could instead arm themselves with nuclear weapons.

"Donald Trump's remarks are totally absurd and illogical," says Ri Jong Ryul, deputy-director general of the Institute of International Studies in Pyongyang.

"The U.S. tells us to give up our nuclear program, is preparing a nuclear attack against us, and on the other hand would tell its allies to have nuclear weapons. Isn't this (a) double standard?"

Pyongyang has not officially responded to Trump's remarks. Last week, North Korean propaganda attempted political satire -- adopting the voice of Abraham Lincoln -- scolding President Barack Obama for U.S. nuclear policy.

Called out for inflammatory rhetoric

Even in a country known for bellicose rhetoric, Ri believes Trump's ideology is dangerous.

"Trump's remarks give us deeper look at America's hostile policy against my country," Ri says. "Simply put, America's hostile acts against us are making the situation on the Korean peninsula worse."

He warns a policy like Trump's would only escalate North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

Peace talks thwarted

Last year, North Korea asked for peace talks with the United States. Washington rejected the request when Pyongyang refused to commit to stopping its nuclear weapons program.

In January, just days before his birthday, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un ordered an H-bomb test. One month later, he ordered a satellite launch using a long-range rocket.

Observers believe Kim is trying to project strength ahead of the crucial Worker's' Party Congress next month -- where the young leader could gain even more power.

A failed mobile missile launch Friday, which coincided with North Korea's most important holiday, marking the birthday of late founder and president Kim Il Sung, may have also been an attempt to show force in the face of what the North considers a looming threat from its southern neighbors.

About 17,000 American service members are engaged in eight weeks of military exercises, with 300,000 South Korean troops.

Displays of strength

North Korea's own military response has included firing projectiles, claims of miniaturizing nuclear warheads, and promises of more nuclear and missile tests.

Few North Korean officials study American politics like Ri, a longtime diplomat and former ambassador who now runs a Pyongyang think tank that monitors global events and reports back to North Korean leadership.

Ri is one of a handful of North Koreans who can access the Internet. State media doesn't cover details of the U.S. presidential campaign -- the average person wouldn't recognize any of the candidates.

"We're not really interested in the U.S. election," he said. "We don't care who becomes the next U.S. President.

"Whether Republicans or Democrats take power, it has nothing to do with us. American politicians have always had a hostile policy against (North) Korea."

N. Korea official calls Trump comments absurd

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:44am

A longtime North Korean diplomat and former ambassador says while the country isn't interested in United States' presidential race, some of Donald Trump's comments about North Korea are absurd and dangerous.

Sanders crowd covers Clinton car with dollars

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:32am

A group of around 100 Bernie Sanders supporters showered Hillary Clinton's motorcade in 1,000 single-dollar bills as the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate drove to a fundraiser with George and Amal Clooney on Saturday.

Howard Gold, who lives down the street from Clooney in Los Angeles' tony Studio City neighborhood, hosted the group of Sanders supporters for a $27-a-person fundraiser. As part of that event, Gold and other organizers handed out $1 bills for attendees to throw at Clinton as she drove by.

Gold and others said the protest was meant to be a fun way to show what they called the absurdity around campaign finance laws. Gold said he doesn't support the former first lady because of her foreign policy views.

"She is the most militaristic of any of the candidates," Gold, 56, said, citing her tenure of secretary of state. "I really think she is."

Gold, whose family founded the 99 Cents Only Stores chain, withdrew the money from a bank, organizers said.

The Sanders supporters blasted "Hail to the Chief" and "We're in the Money" as Clinton drove by, and once she passed, the group danced in the street, stomping on the dollar bills.

Clinton was in Los Angeles for a rally earlier in the day and two fundraisers, including the evening event hosted by Clooney, the famed actor, and his wife, Amal Clooney, a renowned human rights attorney.

The Hillary Clinton fundraiser hosted by the Clooneys was a star-studded affair, according to sources inside the event.

In addition to the hosts, it was co-hosted by Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of DreamWorks, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, the well-known director, and Cheryl and Haim Saban, the longtime Clinton donor and owner of Univision.

Celebrities in attendance included Jane Fonda, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Jim Parsons and James Cameron, according to sources inside the event.

The is the second fundraiser the Clooneys have headlined with Clinton in as many days. The first was Friday night in San Francisco.

Both of the Clinton-Clooney fundraisers benefit the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising effort for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and a host of state Democratic parties.

To co-host the event, a couple was asked to donate $353,400 to the fund. Single tickets cost $33,400.

Clinton's campaign defended the fundraisers on Friday by knocking Sanders for not raising money for Democrats, something Sanders has just recently started doing, not near the level Clinton has.

"Hillary Clinton has made it a priority to raise money for Democrats up and down the ballot and we're grateful to everyone who supports the party," said Christina Reynolds, a Clinton campaign spokeswoman. "We frequently hear about how much money Senator Sanders is raising, maybe he can send a few of those $27 donations to the DNC and state parties across the country to help the party he hopes to lead."

Clinton's event in San Francisco on Friday was protested by a group of roughly 100 people chanting "Hey hey, ho ho, Hillary Clinton has got to go." The sentiment among that group was markedly anti-Clinton, with many in the group vowing to never vote for her.

The feeling at the Los Angeles fundraiser was different. Many of the protesters blew bubbles as fundraiser attendees drove by. And while some carried signs charging Clinton with being in the pocket of her wealthy contributors, many confided that, should she be the nominee, they would vote for her in November.

While Sanders' campaign did not organize the counter-fundraiser, it did use the Clooney events to do fundraising of its own.

The campaign ran an ad on Friday titled "27" that goes after her for the big-dollar fundraiser. The number refers to the average dollar donation to Sanders' campaign, something he regularly touts on the campaign trail. The ad ran in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

"If you can't afford to attend tonight's event with Secretary Clinton," Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, said of the ad, "we invite you to join Bernie's fundraiser for the low price of turning on your television."

Spring snowfall cancels flights out of Denver

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:28am

Hundreds of flights were canceled at Denver International Airport due to snowstorms on Saturday.

Rescuers call off search for 2 teens caught by rip tide

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:21am

Rescuers are calling off a search for two teenage boys swept out to sea in San Francisco, authorities said.

Rescuers call off search for 2 teens swept out to sea

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 7:21am

Rescuers are calling off a search for two teenage boys swept out to sea in San Francisco, authorities said.

The two 16-year-olds and three friends waded into the surf at Ocean Beach and got pulled out into the water, the SFGate reported. Three made it back to shore and were hospitalized in stable condition.

For five hours, Coast Guard and fire department officials scoured the waters in a 54-square-mile area looking for the two teens, the Coast Guard said.

Investigating agencies notified their families that they have probably drowned, and no recovery effort will be conducted, officials told the SFGate.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the missing persons," said Capt. Greg Stump, a Coast Guard commander in San Francisco.

"We want to thank all of our partner agencies who assisted with search efforts for their dedication and service to the public."

Two teenagers, 14, charged with murders in UK

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 6:47am

Two 14-year-olds have been charged with murder after two bodies were found in a house in the UK town of Spalding, police said Sunday.

Lincolnshire police said they had not officially identified the bodies found Friday.

Preliminary reports indicate the victims are Elizabeth Edwards, 49, and her daughter Katie, 13, according to police.

The two teens have been arrested and are scheduled to appear at the Lincoln Magistrates Court on Monday.

A detective in charge of the investigation said authorities want to talk to anyone who may have seen activity at the home between Wednesday and Friday.

"Post mortem examinations will be carried out in due course but again I still need to speak to anyone with any information that might be relevant," Detective Chief Inspector Martin Holvey said.

The deaths sent shock waves through the small market town with a population of 29,000, Superintendent Paul Timmins said in a statement.

"The events that unfolded in Spalding yesterday have understandably generated a great deal of local concern and upset," he said.

"I would like to make clear that this type of crime is extremely rare and not something we often see. Indeed, we believe this is a completely isolated incident."

Police are conducting forensic investigations at the scene.

Singapore Sevens: Kenya crushes Fiji in final

Sun, 04/17/2016 - 6:44am

The Kenyans will want to savor this moment for a long time. The Singapore Sevens victors capped an impressive weekend performance with a dominating 30-7 victory over series-leaders Fiji in the finals on Sunday -- the team's first win in 114 tournaments.

Kenya got off to a blistering 20-0 start in the final with superstar Collins Injera recording two tries in the process. The 29-year-old Injera took his all-time tally to 225, just five short of the record set by Argentinian Santiago Gomez Cora.

Fiji's Jerry Tuwai scored in the second half, but it was too little too late, as both Nelson Oyoo and Frank Wanyama came back with tries of their own for Kenya to nail the victory.

Injera continued from his fine run of form in the semi-finals, where he recorded a winning drop-goal against Argentina to advance Kenya into its first finals since 2013.

"There was pressure, definitely," said Injera shortly after the match. "I knew I had to nail it, and I just got myself down and nailed it.

Earlier, in the first semi-final, Fiji came from behind on a last-minute thriller to upset South Africa 26-21.

With the score tied and just a few seconds remaining on the clock, Fiji's Amenoni Nasisila passed to an open Alivereti Veitokani who raced in to score in the corner.

Fiji are still tops on the leaderboard with 147 points -- eight points ahead of second-place South Africa with just two tournaments to go in the series. New Zealand stand at third place with 135 points. Kenya moved up to seventh position with 85.