US News: Obama, Chinese Leader Meet; Spying, Building Collapse, Santa Monica Updates; Missing Woman, Girl Found?; Denver Balloon Crashes; Looters in Oklahoma

By: AP
By: AP
Chinese official: Obama, Xi `blazed a new trail

FILE - In this Sunday, April 15, 2012 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves from a balcony at the end of a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square. China has shown a growing frustration with longtime ally North Korea and talk of a North Korean collapse is no longer a taboo subject it once was. There is no word whether U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed in detail the regime of North Korea's Kim Jong Un when they met this weekend in California. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) -- A senior Chinese official says President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping "blazed a new trail" away from the two country's differences in the past at a two-day summit.
Xi's senior foreign policy adviser says the two leaders "talked about cooperation and did not shy away from differences" in about eight hours of talks Friday and Saturday. The gathering at the sprawling Sunnylands estate was their first meeting since Xi took office in March.
Xi's advisor said the international community expects relations between the world's two largest economies to steadily improve and grow, and they are committed to working more closely together. He called it "a strategic, constructive and historic meeting."

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) -- A top U.S. official says cybersecurity is now at the "center of the relationship" between the world's largest economies.
President Barack Obama used an unusually lengthy and informal desert summit this weekend to present Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) with detailed evidence of intellectual property theft emanating from his country..
While there were few clear policy breakthroughs on cybersecurity, U.S. officials say Obama and Xi were in broad agreement over the need for North Korea to be denuclearized. And both countries are expressing optimism that the closer personal ties forged between the two leaders during the California summit could stem the mistrust between the world powers.
Still, Obama's national security adviser Tom Donilon says resolving cybersecurity issues would be "key to the future" of the relationship.
Chinese officials say Xi opposes all forms of cyberspying, but claims no responsibility for attacks against the U.S.
Yang Jiechi, Xi's senior foreign policy adviser, says "Cybersecurity should not become the root cause of mutual suspicion and frictions between our two countries. Rather, it should be a new bright spot in our cooperation."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's top intelligence official says a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot intentionally target a U.S. citizen. And he says it was reckless to reveal it and another intelligence-gathering program.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has taken the rare step of declassifying some details of an intelligence program to respond to media reports about the government's counterterrorism techniques.
His statement and declassification on Saturday addresses the Internet scouring program, code-named PRISM, that allows the NSA and FBI to tap directly into the servers of major U.S. Internet companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL. Like the phone-records program, PRISM was approved by a judge in a secret court order. Unlike that program, however, PRISM allows the government to seize actual conversations: emails, video chats, instant messages and more.
Clapper says the program, authorized in the USA Patriot Act, has been in place since 2008 and "has proven vital to keeping the nation and our allies safe."

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The lawyer for the heavy equipment operator accused of being high on marijuana when a downtown building collapsed onto a thrift store, killing six people, says his client "is not responsible."
Attorney Daine Grey says 42-year-old Sean Benschop (BEHN'-shop) and his family "are extremely sympathetic and remorseful." But, he says, in time, the facts will show that Benschop is not responsible.
Benschop surrendered Saturday to face charges in the deaths.
Authorities believe Benschop had been using an excavator Wednesday when the remains of the four-story building gave way and toppled onto an attached Salvation Army thrift store, killing two employees and four customers and injuring 13 others.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) -- Police in Southern California who are investigating why a heavily armed gunman plotted a rampage that killed four people and wounded several others are focused on how the violence began.
What started as domestic violence Friday led to a chaotic street shooting rampage and ended less than 15 minutes later in the Santa Monica College library where the gunman was killed by police.
An official briefed on the probe says investigators are looking at family connections to find a motive because the killer's father and brother were the first victims.
Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks says the killer, who died a day shy of his 24th birthday, was connected to the home that went up in flames after the first shootings. She refused to elaborate or name the suspect because a surviving family member was out of the country and couldn't immediately be notified.
At a Saturday afternoon news conference next to weapons and ammo found at multiple crime scenes, Seabrooks said the "cowardly murderer" planned the attack and was capable of firing 1,300 rounds.
The killer had a run-in with police seven years ago, but Seabrooks wouldn't offer more details because he was a juvenile at the time.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Authorities have pulled a missing teacher's car from a New Orleans bayou and police say there is a decomposed body inside.
Terrilyn Monette, a Long Beach, Calif., native who moved Louisiana to teach, vanished three months ago. Authorities did not immediately say whether the body in the car was Monette.
Monette's black Honda Accord was pulled from New Orleans' Bayou St. John on Saturday.
Louisiana state Rep. Austin Badon has spearheaded the search for Monette. He says he and a volunteer diver resurveyed the waterway in a boat using sonar and found a car that had earlier been missed.
The 26-year-old teacher was last seen leaving a New Orleans bar not far from the bayou in the early morning hours of March 2.

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) -- Residents of a small central Iowa city and its surrounding communities say they're saddened and feel "robbed of some innocence" following the discovery of a body in a river believed to be that of a teenager who was abducted more than two weeks ago.
Along streets and businesses in Dayton, about 60 miles north of Des Moines, purple ribbons were neatly tied on trees, blooming flower pots and utility poles. One large sign near a grocery store on the city's main street read, "PRAY FOR KATHLYNN."
It all signified hope for finding 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard alive.
But investigators are confident the body a fisherman found Friday night in the Des Moines River under a bridge near Boone is that of the high school freshman, who was abducted on May 20 along with a 12-year-old girl who later escaped and found help.
An autopsy has been completed and a positive identification is pending.
Authorities believe Michael Klunder, a registered sex offender who later killed himself, kidnapped the girls.

DENVER (AP) -- Authorities have responded to four unrelated hot air balloon crashes in the metro Denver area that have left at least five people injured.
The Saturday morning accidents all happened within miles and about an hour of each other.
Arvada police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan says one person was injured when a balloon crashed into power lines and sparked a small brush fire.
Three people were in the basket when the balloon crashed near the intersection of state highways 72 and 93 at about 8 a.m. Saturday.
KUSA-TV reports another balloon went down in unincorporated Boulder County.
A third crash was reported in Louisville, but authorities say no one was injured. And a fourth balloon went down in the Rocky Flats area south of Boulder.
It was unclear if strong winds contributed to the crashes.

MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- Authorities say looters have come from as far away as New York and Virginia to steal from victims of last month's tornado in Moore, Okla.
The Oklahoman reports that police arrested one man from Elmhurst, N.Y., and two from Virginia on misdemeanor complaints of stealing copper wire, scrap metal and other items from homes destroyed by the May 20 tornado. Twenty-four people were killed.
Several Moore residents were also arrested on similar misdemeanor complaints.
Residents have filed theft reports for such items as a $50,000 watch, a $13,000 watch, a $2,000 fountain pen and a $1,300 hunting camera.

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