AP Top News at 11:14 p.m. EDT

April 17, 2011
Emergency personnel confer in front of Lowes Home Improvement  after it was hit by a tornado in Sanford, N.C., Saturday, April 16, 2011. Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm system that whipped across North Carolina, bringing flash floods, hail and reports of tornadoes from the western hills to the streets of Raleigh.   In the Lee County town of Sanford, a Lowe's store was smashed by the storm.  "The Lowe's Home Improvement has been flattened," said Monica Elliott, who works at the nearby Brick City Grill. "It's totally destroyed."  (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)
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Emergency personnel confer in front of Lowes Home Improvement after it was hit by a tornado in Sanford, N.C., Saturday, April 16, 2011. Homes and businesses were badly damaged Saturday by a severe storm system that whipped across North Carolina, bringing flash floods, hail and reports of tornadoes from the western hills to the streets of Raleigh. In the Lee County town of Sanford, a Lowe's store was smashed by the storm. "The Lowe's Home Improvement has been flattened," said Monica Elliott, who works at the nearby Brick City Grill. "It's totally destroyed."

North Carolina officials say at least three people have been killed as a result of storms that rampaged across the state. Raleigh officials report multiple fatalities in the state's capital city, while Dunn Police Chief B.P. Jones says a woman was killed in his town in the central part of the state.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's prime minister, fighting criticism at home over his handling of the aftermath of last month's massive earthquake and tsunami, says he deeply regrets the crisis at a radiation-leaking nuclear plant. "I take very seriously, and deeply regret, the nuclear accidents we have had at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Bringing the situation under control at the earliest possible date is my top priority," Naoto Kan said in a commentary in the weekend edition of the International Herald Tribune.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Sarah Palin defended Wisconsin's governor at a tea party tax day rally Saturday, telling hundreds of supporters that his polarizing union rights law is designed to save public jobs. Braving snow showers and a frigid wind outside the state Capitol building, the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate told tea partyers she's glad to stand with Gov. Scott Walker. Hundreds of labor supporters surrounded the rally, trying to drown Palin out with chants of "Hey-hey, ho-ho, Scott Walker has got to go!" and "Recall Walker!"

AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) — Moammar Gadhafi's forces poured rocket fire after dawn Saturday into Misrata, the only western city still in rebel hands, and weary residents who have endured more than a month of fighting angrily lashed out at NATO for failing to halt the deadly assault. Five civilians were killed in a 30-minute barrage of shelling that heavily damaged a factory for dairy products and sent up a thick column of black smoke, a doctor said. A human rights group has accused the Gadhafi regime of using cluster bombs in Misrata — munitions that can cause indiscriminate casualties and have been banned by most countries. The Libyan government and military denied the charge.

SEOUL (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday the Obama administration is determined to pass a free trade pact with South Korea this year and complete the largest such agreement for the United States since her husband was president. Clinton told American and Korean business leaders that the U.S. and its close ally already have one of the strongest trading relationships in the world, with nearly $88 billion in two-way commerce last year. The $38.8 billion in U.S. exports supported some 230,000 American jobs, she said.

CHICAGO (AP) — Rod Blagojevich said Saturday he never considered a plea deal with federal prosecutors even though the impeached Illinois governor could face the possibility of spending decades behind bars if a jury finds him guilty during his upcoming second trial on corruption charges. Blagojevich spoke to The Associated Press in the dining room at his Chicago home, just a few feet from the office where he was recorded by secret FBI wiretaps allegedly trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.

MULLAN, Idaho (AP) — Rescue teams on Saturday cleared debris from a collapsed tunnel at a northern Idaho silver mine to try to find a miner missing more than a mile underground, officials said. Hecla Mining Co. President Phil Baker said the collapse at the Lucky Friday Mine occurred Friday afternoon close to where two employees were working. One worker escaped without injuries, but there's been no contact with the other, whose condition was unknown.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration changed air traffic control work schedules Saturday, acknowledging it has a widespread problem with fatigue after another controller fell asleep on duty — this time in Miami. "We are taking important steps today that will make a real difference in fighting air traffic controller fatigue. But we know we will need to do more. This is just the beginning," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Actor Nicolas Cage was arrested after he got drunk in the city's French Quarter and argued in the street with his wife over whether a house they were in front of was theirs, police said Saturday. The couple was in front of a home that Cage insisted they were renting, police said. When she said it wasn't theirs, Cage grabbed her arm, according to a police news release.

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins will head to Lake Placid next week, needing a miracle to get back into their first-round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. Michael Cammalleri and Mathieu Darche scored in the first 2:20, and Carey Price stopped 34 shots to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory Saturday night and give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.