AP News in Brief at 8:58 p.m. EST

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm •  Published: April 18, 2013
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FBI releases images of 2 suspects in Boston Marathon bombing; one set down a backpack

BOSTON (AP) — Plucking a couple of blurry faces in baseball caps out of a swarming crowd, the FBI zeroed in on two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and shared surveillance-camera images of them with the world Thursday in hopes the public will help hunt them down.

The photos and video depict one young man in a dark cap and another in a white cap worn backward, both carrying backpacks and one walking behind the other on the sidewalk near the finish line as marathoners run by.

The man in the white hat was seen setting down a backpack at the site of the second explosion, said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.

"Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends, neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects," he said. "Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those with information to come forward and provide it to us."

They looked much like typical college students, but DesLauriers described them as armed and extremely dangerous, and urged anyone who sees or knows them to tell law enforcement and "do not take any action on your own."

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AP PHOTOS: Images from FBI video of 2 suspects in Boston marathon bombing

In surveillance-camera footage released by the FBI, two men identified as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing are seen walking one behind the other in the crowd. The suspect wearing a white hat was seen setting down a backpack at the site of the second explosion, said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.

This series of chronological images from the FBI video shows the two suspects walking through the crowd at the Boston Marathon.

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Crews seek survivors, bodies after Texas fertilizer plant explosion; death toll is unclear

WEST, Texas (AP) — Rescuers searched the smoking remnants of a Texas farm town Thursday for survivors of a thunderous fertilizer plant explosion, gingerly checking smashed houses and apartments for anyone still trapped in debris while the community awaited word on the number of dead.

Initial reports put the fatalities as high as 15, but later in the day, authorities backed away from any estimate and refused to elaborate. More than 160 people were hurt.

A breathtaking band of destruction extended for blocks around the West Fertilizer Co. in the small community of West. The blast shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and crumpled dozens of homes, an apartment complex, a school and a nursing home. Its dull boom could be heard dozens of miles away from the town about 20 miles north of Waco.

Waco police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton described ongoing search-and-rescue efforts as "tedious and time-consuming," noting that crews had to shore up much of the wreckage before going in.

There was no indication the blast, which sent up a mushroom-shaped plume of smoke and left behind a crater, was anything other than an industrial accident, he said.

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Armed officers in haz-mat suits enter Miss. home of man accused of mailing ricin to leaders

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A team of law enforcement officers has entered the home of a Mississippi man accused of sending letters with poisonous ricin to the president and others.

At least a dozen armed officers wearing gas masks and hazardous-material suits went into the home Thursday evening in Corinth, about 100 miles east of Memphis, Tenn.

There was no immediate word on what they found inside.

Police had blocked off the home with crime-scene tape since Paul Kevin Curtis' arrest on Wednesday. No neighbors have been evacuated.

The 45-year-old Curtis appeared briefly in court Thursday and his attorney said he was innocent.

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Senators unveil immigration bill with wide coalition of supporters as conservatives attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four Democratic and four Republican senators formally unveiled a sweeping immigration bill Thursday at a news conference attended by traditional opponents from big business and labor, conservative groups and liberal ones. The lawmakers argued that this time, thanks to that broad-based support, immigration overhaul legislation can succeed in Congress.

"Powerful outside forces have helped defeat certain other initiatives in Washington, but on immigration, the opposite is proving true," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said a day after senators under intense lobbying pressure blocked a major gun control package. "I am confident this issue will not fall victim to the usual partisan deadlock."

Support for the bill is already being put to the test as conservatives grow more vocal in opposition. Two Republican senators held a dueling news conference with law enforcement officials to bash the bill's security provisions, and several conservative bloggers seized on one provision of the legislation to falsely claim that it would allow people here illegally to get free cellphones.

The 844-page bill is designed to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of new high- and low-skilled workers into the country while requiring employers to verify their legal status, and put 11 million people here illegally on a path to citizenship, as long as certain border security goals are met first.

"Yes, we offer a path to citizenship to people who didn't come here legally," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., anticipating opposition to that provision. "They're here, and realistically there is nothing we can do to induce them all to return to their countries of origin."

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Gun control: Everything in Obama's power turned out to be no match for gun rights advocates

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four months ago, President Barack Obama promised a grieving nation he would do everything in his power to change gun laws after 26 students and staff were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Turns out his power and the impassioned pleas of devastated families were no match for the force of gun rights advocates in Congress and across the nation.

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