Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Dozens shot in deadly Kenyan college attack
At least 14 people were killed, 65 injured and hundreds were unaccounted for Thursday after gunmen stormed a college campus in Kenya, officials said. Masked attackers "shot indiscriminately," and "heavy gunfire and explosions" could be heard during the hours-long standoff at Garissa University College, authorities said. The Red Cross confirmed that an unknown number of students were being held hostage. Al Shabab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group based in neighboring Somalia, claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn attack. Read more in NEWS.
2. After epic drought, California imposes water restrictions
The state is ordering slashing water use by 25 percent to deal with a drought that just won't quit. With more than 98 percent of the state suffering from a drought that has stretched into its fourth year, Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order Wednesday, saying that "this historic drought demands unprecedented action." Even before the governor's order, the built-up snow supply that feeds the state's water wasn't looking good. Statewide, snow surveys were at about 5 percent of their average for the start of April, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Read more in NEWS.
3. Firestorm continues over 'religious freedom' bill
Indiana lawmakers could vote on new language Thursday for a "religious freedom" law that opponents say legalizes discrimination against gays, while Arkansas House leaders hope to give final approval to changes on a similar bill. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson had said he would sign the legislation into law, but then called for alterations after an uproar. Even his son asked the governor to veto the bill with further consideration, Hutchinson said Wednesday. Read more in NEWS.
4. Iran nuke deal negotiators burn midnight oil
U.S., Iranian and European Union leaders working on a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program took a several-hour pause to sleep early Thursday after a marathon session that lasted through the night. Two days beyond the longstanding deadline to reach a deal by the end of March, the all-night talks were focused on whether the U.S. and EU would agree to ease banking, oil and financial sanctions, apart from United Nations sanctions, officials said. Read more in NEWS.
5. Atlanta public school educators found guilty in cheating scandal
Eleven former Atlanta educators were convicted Wednesday in a public school cheating scandal that has rocked the district for the past decade. The 11 were found guilty of racketeering charges, while a 12th educator was acquitted of racketeering, The Associated Press reported. The verdicts on other charges — theft and false statements — were varied. Prosecutors claimed the educators conspired to cheat on standardized tests as far back as 2005 after feeling pressure to meet federal and local testing standards, motivated by the promise of receiving bonuses or the threat of losing their jobs. Read more in NEWS.
6. Tornado threat looms as thunderstorms lash Midwest, Plains
Severe thunderstorms threatened to slam the Plains, Midwest and Ohio Valley Thursday with damaging wind gusts, hail and even possible tornadoes, forecasters warned. An area from northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas through to central Ohio was at greatest risk of twisters, according to Weather Channel lead meteorologist Kevin Roth. Hail was expected across the area on Thursday, with the tornado risk confined to late in the day. Read more in NEWS.
And now this ...
NASA is working up a flying saucer for travel to Mars. It is meant to carry heavy loads and travel in Mars' low-density atmosphere.