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AP Top News at 4:48 p.m. EST

Published: March 9, 2018
The White House says President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have discussed North Korea. The leaders spoke Friday, the day after Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a date and time still to be determined. The White House says Trump and Xi "welcomed the prospect" of dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea. They also committed to keep pressure and sanctions in place until North Korea takes "tangible steps" toward "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization." Trump expressed hope that Kim will choose a brighter path for his country. China is North Korea's main benefactor.

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. (AP) A gunman slipped into an employee going-away party at the largest veterans home in the United States and took at least three people hostage Friday, leading to a lockdown of the sprawling grounds in California, authorities and family members said. California Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Nacke told reporters that he knew of no injuries. Police evacuated the property of the Veterans Home of California after reports of a man with a gun at the facility in Yountville, one of Napa Valley's most upscale towns in the heart of Northern California wine country. "We do have an active shooter situation with a hostage situation in Yountville," Highway Patrol Officer John Fransen told San Francisco Bay Area news station KTVU-TV.

DJIBOUTI (AP) The new electrified rail line snakes through the African desert, charting a course from a port along the Djibouti coast to Addis Ababa, the capital of land-locked Ethiopia. The Chinese built the railway, and part of the port, and the new military base next door. On the other end of the line, Chinese dollars financed Addis Ababa's new light rail, and the new ring road system, and the silver African Union headquarters that towers over the city. Across the Atlantic Ocean, America has noticed. From Djibouti to Ethiopia, Kenya to Egypt, the United States is sounding the alarm that the Chinese money flooding Africa comes with significant strings attached.

HOUSTON (AP) The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Friday accusing the U.S. government of broadly separating immigrant families seeking asylum. The lawsuit follows action the ACLU took in the case of a Congolese woman and her 7-year-old daughter, who the group said was taken from her mother "screaming and crying" and placed in a Chicago facility. While the woman was released Tuesday from a San Diego detention center, the girl remains in the facility 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away. Immigrant advocates say the mother and daughter's case is emblematic of the approach taken by President Donald Trump's administration.

LONDON (AP) Dozens of khaki-clad troops trained in chemical warfare were deployed on the streets of the usually sleepy English city of Salisbury on Friday as part of the investigation into the nerve-agent poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter. The sight of the soldiers, and forensic experts in bright yellow hazmat suits, added to the increasingly surreal scenes in a city best known for its towering medieval cathedral and its proximity to the ancient Stonehenge monument. Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench near the River Avon in the city on Sunday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) A white police officer shown on video beating a black pedestrian has been charged with felony assault in a North Carolina case that sparked outrage over use of excessive force. The case against former Asheville Police Officer Christopher Hickman stems from an August 2017 encounter but became public only last week after a leaked body camera video showed Hickman subduing and punching the pedestrian, who was accused of jaywalking. The violent encounter happened shortly after Asheville implemented rules against excessive force, demonstrating how even a well-meaning policy can be limited by the officers carrying it out. The delay in making the footage public also shows that body camera technology being adopted across the country can't always guarantee the level of transparency many have hoped for.

WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. employers went on a hiring binge in February, adding 313,000 jobs, amid rising business confidence lifted by the Trump administration's tax cuts and a resilient global economy. The surprisingly robust hiring, reported by the Labor Department on Friday, was the strongest in 1 years. It was accompanied by the biggest surge in 15 years in the number of people either working or looking for work. That kept the nation's unemployment rate unchanged for a fifth straight month at 4.1 percent. At the same time, average wage growth slowed to 2.6 percent in February from a year earlier.

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts: ___ NOT REAL: Meddling globalist George Soros named as the puppet master behind student gun control push THE FACTS: Billionaire liberal philanthropist George Soros isn't bankrolling student survivors pushing for gun control after the Feb. 14 Florida school shooting. False stories claimed Soros, a frequent target of conspiracy theories, is directing student activists as part of a "National Gun Control Movement" and is connected to a group organizing March 14 school walkouts against gun violence.