Thursday, May 28
UPDATE: Brazos River above flood level
HORSESHOE BEND, Texas (AP) — The Brazos River is almost cresting in North Texas following days of relentless rains, but officials say no homes have flooded in the closest rural community.
Parker County Emergency Management spokesman Joel Kertok says officials are monitoring the situation Thursday in Horseshoe Bend and will know more as the day progresses.
He says the river, which has a flood level of 21 feet, is close to cresting Thursday at 23.46 feet. It will crest at 23.6 feet.
Residents were asked to evacuate about 250 homes on Wednesday, and Kertok says he believes most people decided to leave. He says residents in the area west of Fort Worth were told to stay away for at least two or three days.
SEVERE WEATHER: HOUSTON
More flooding expected
HOUSTON (AP) — The waters of the San Jacinto (juh-SIN'-toh) River are expected to cover streets in suburban Houston today.
Officials say residents who have not evacuated in subdivisions along the west fork of the river could be stranded for several days.
Although Houston got a break from rains yesterday, officials are still warning about possible flooding.
Residents in some 300 homes on the west side of Wharton also were asked to evacuate because of a rising Colorado River.
Obama to get hurricane briefing, warn about climate change
MIAMI (AP) — President Barack Obama will visit the National Hurricane Center in Miami today to get a briefing on the hurricane season.
And he'll warn that climate change will make these storms more intense and damaging.
Government weather forecasters have predicted six to 11 storms this season, with three to six of them developing into hurricanes. The season starts next week.
Tropical depression forms in Pacific; first of season
MIAMI (AP) — The first tropical depression of the eastern Pacific hurricane season has formed far from Mexico's coast.
The National Hurricane Center says it's expected to strengthen to a tropical storm later this morning and could become a hurricane by late Friday.
At last check the tropical depression was more than 680 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico and is not threatening any land.
NEW: US jobless aid applications rose last week; total still low
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the overall level remains low and points to a healthy job market.
The Labor Department says weekly applications increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 5,000 to 271,500. The average had fallen to a 15-year low two weeks ago.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have remained below 300,000, a historically low number, for 12 weeks. That suggests Americans are experiencing solid job security. It also indicates that employers are confident enough in the economic outlook to hold onto their staffs.
The total number of people receiving benefits increased 11,000 to 2.22 million. That figure has fallen 16 percent in the past year.
Carter seeks ways to improve Iraq training, equipping
ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter says U.S. military leaders are seeking ways to improve and speed up the program to train and equip Iraqi forces, including options to better prepare Sunni tribes to join the fight against Islamic State militants.
He says getting equipment to the battlefield more quickly and enhancing the training could help build the Iraqi forces' confidence. Just days ago he publicly chastised the Iraqi military for showing "no will to fight" when they fled Ramadi last week even though they greatly outnumbered the extremists.
Carter says he called a meeting of his top advisers and tasked them to come up with options.
Iraqi officials have complained that they are not getting the military equipment they need fast enough.
Carter spoke to reporters traveling with him to Asia.
Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal possible by June 30
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says he's holding out hope that a "sustainable, mutually respectful" deal can be struck with world powers in talks over his country's nuclear program before the current deadline of June 30.
But Mohammad Javad Zarif warns that "excessive demands" would make an agreement hard to envision, even without a deadline.
Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's foreign minister hold discussions Saturday in Geneva.
UPDATE: Former NY GOP governor Pataki will run for president in 2016
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Former New York Gov. George Pataki is the latest Republican to get into the race for the Republican nomination for president.
In a video posted Thursday morning on YouTube, Pataki says American needs to recapture the spirit of unity among all Americans that spread through the country in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.
Pataki says, "If we are to flourish as a people, we have to fall in love with America again."
The video ends with a logo that reads, "Pataki for President."
Pataki is expected to formally announce his candidacy later Thursday. He's scheduled to speak in Exeter, New Hampshire, which served as the state capital during the Revolutionary War and claims to be the birthplace of the Republican Party.
FIFA president calls crisis meeting
ZURICH (AP) — The head of soccer's governing body FIFA (FEE'-fuh) has held an emergency meeting today following yesterday's arrests in an U.S. federal racketeering case.
Sepp Blatter called together leaders of FIFA's six regions, but is staying out of public view himself.
Last night, FIFA issued a statement on behalf of Blatter, saying he's determined to root out misconduct.
European soccer nations say they will not boycott the FIFA congress, where Blatter is up for re-election as president.
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney says UEFA backed down from its threatened boycott today, hours before the start of the congress.
North America's regional soccer organization says it wants the FIFA presidential election to go ahead tomorrow.
Baltimore residents fearful amid rash of homicides
BALTIMORE (AP) — Some residents in West Baltimore say their neighborhoods have become like the Wild West with no lawman around.
Thirty-six people have been killed in Baltimore this month, the highest homicide count for May since 1999. But while homicides are spiking, arrests have plunged more than 50 percent compared to last year.
The drop in arrests follows the death of Freddie Gray from injuries he sustained while in police custody.
Now West Baltimore residents worry that they've been abandoned by the officers some have accused of harassing them.
UPDATE: Lawyer: Tracy Morgan happy Wal-Mart crash lawsuit behind him
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Actor-comedian Tracy Morgan was very emotional after settling his lawsuit against Wal-Mart over a highway crash that killed one man and left Morgan and two friends seriously injured.
Appearing on NBC's "Today" show Thursday, Morgan's lawyer, Benedict Morelli, said Morgan is happy to put the litigation behind him and have closure.
Terms were not disclosed, but the lawyer said money was involved.
Morelli says Morgan tells him he has a new lease on life.
A Wal-Mart truck slammed into the back of a limo van carrying Morgan and the others last June. Comedian James "Jimmy Mack" McNair was killed. Morgan suffered head trauma, a broken leg and broken ribs and is still recovering.
Wal-Mart called the settlement amicable.
Morgan is scheduled to appear live on the program on Monday.