WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate aide and a lobbyist say two senators have struck a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more firearms purchases. The agreement could build support for President Barack Obama's drive to curb gun violence.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania planned to announce their pact Wednesday.
Gun control advocates consider background checks the most effective of the proposals Congress is considering for reducing gun violence.
The deal would expand the checks to cover all commercial sales, such as at gun shows and online. Private transactions that are not for profit, such as those between relatives, would be exempt.
Currently, the system only covers sales through licensed gun dealers.
The aide and lobbyist spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private talks.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - A South Korean Defense Ministry official says North Korea has completed preparations for a missile test that could come any day.
The warning Wednesday came as Pyongyang prepared to mark the April 15 birthday of its founder Kim Il Sung, historically a time when it seeks to draw the world's attention with dramatic displays of military power.
In Pyongyang, however, the focus was more on beautifying the city ahead of the nation's biggest holiday. Soldiers hammered away on construction projects and gardeners got down on their knees to plant flowers and trees.
The official in Seoul said the North's military is capable of conducting multiple missile launches involving Scud and medium-range Rodong missiles, as well as a missile transported to the east coast recently.
He spoke on condition of anonymity.
PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. (AP) - The U.S. Navy has canceled the remainder of the elite Blue Angels demonstration team's 2013 season because of federal cuts.
The commander of Naval air forces announced the decision on Tuesday.
The Blue Angels have performed at air shows around the world for more than 60 years. The fighter pilots selected to serve a two-year tour with the team are among the world's best and are often graduates of the Navy's famed Top Gun air tactics school.
A spokesman for the Navy said team members would be allowed to fly minimal hours to maintain flight proficiency in the F/A 18 fighter jets, but the six-jet squadron would discontinue group practices for the remainder of the season.