AP Top News at 3:05 a.m. EDT

April 27, 2011
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Neighbours examine the damage to a house which was struck by a shell in Misrata, Libya, Monday, April 25, 2011. Gadhafi's troops on the outskirts of Misrata unleashed more shells into the city Monday, hitting a residential area and killing 10 people, including five members of one family, according to a doctor in Misrata. (AP Photo)

Violent weather pounded several Southern states for a second straight night, killing at least one person in Arkansas a day after a series of powerful storms killed 10 people in flooding and a tornado that twisted a tractor-trailer like a wrung dish rag. The National Weather Service issued a high risk warning for severe weather in a stretch extending from northeast of Memphis to just northeast of Dallas and covering a large swath of Arkansas. It last issued such a warning on April 16, when dozens of tornadoes hit North Carolina and killed 21 people.

ABOARD THE RED STAR 1 (AP) — Libyan government forces on Tuesday bombarded the port of Misrata, in a virtually nonstop assault on the sole lifeline of a battered population that has been under siege for the past two months. While forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pulled out of the city over the weekend under pressure from NATO airstrikes, they have since unleashed a withering rocket and mortar barrage on Misrata that has killed dozens. The bombardment Tuesday was constant throughout the afternoon and into the evening, and loud explosions could be heard thundering across the city.

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor's degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the kids. Census figures released Tuesday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record shares of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seasoned diplomat Ryan Crocker has emerged as the top candidate to become the next U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, part of a far-reaching revamping of the nation's top leadership in the conflict there, now in its 10th year. Crocker is the only person being considered currently to replace Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, a former Army general whose two-year tenure has been marred by cool relationships with major players in the Afghanistan war, including the White House, U.S. military leaders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, administration and other sources said. The sources emphasized that the White House has not made a final decision.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The astronaut husband of wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords arrived at NASA's launch site Tuesday for this week's flight of space shuttle Endeavour, and said his wife would be following him "pretty soon" — in plenty of time for liftoff. Endeavour is set to blast off Friday afternoon on its final voyage. It will be the next-to-last space shuttle mission.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The door at the notoriously secretive Federal Reserve is opening wider. For the first time in the Fed's 98-year history, its chairman is to begin holding regular news conferences. For Ben Bernanke, Wednesday's meeting with the press gives him a chance to steer the debate about where hiring, economic growth and inflation are headed in the months ahead.

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen, who has moderated her party's policies toward mainland China, secured its presidential nomination Wednesday by narrowly winning an island-wide telephone poll. The Democratic Progressive Party is expected to formally announce Tsai's nomination on May 4. According to party rules, the winner of the poll automatically becomes its nominee.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — In some of Britain's Caribbean territories and former colonies, judges wear thick wigs of white curls in the tropical heat, sports fans follow cricket religiously, and Queen Elizabeth II is the titular head of state. That doesn't mean people here will be breaking out the tea and crumpets to watch this week's royal wedding. Interest in Friday's nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton is breaking down along generational lines in the ethnically diverse British Caribbean. It elicits excitement in some middle-age and older people who see the British royal family as a symbol of stability, and yawns from a younger generation more captivated by the latest dancehall reggae stars.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wrestling star Chris Jericho was smacked down on "Dancing With the Stars," eliminated from the competition one night after landing in last place on the hit ABC show. "It's actually good timing that I got eliminated because I have to fly over to England for the royal wedding," Jericho joked after learning his fate on Tuesday's episode.

CHICAGO (AP) — Sitting on the bench with four fouls and his team struggling, Derrick Rose pleaded with his coach to put him back in the game. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau took the risk and his All-Star guard responded, lifting the Bulls to the second round.