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Gunman's relatives issue statement ... NYC police officer dies ... Obama on Letterman

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Relatives of one of two men who opened fire in Texas before being killed by a police officer say they're "struggling to understand" what happened. In a statement released through an attorney, the relatives of Elton Simpson say they were not aware of his plans. Authorities say Simpson and Nadir Soofi opened fire Sunday outside a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest, shooting and wounding a security officer. The FBI had been investigating Simpson since 2006.

NEW YORK (AP) — New York prosecutors plan to charge a man with first-degree murder, now that the police officer he's accused of shooting has died. Officer Brian Moore died Monday, two days after being shot in the head by a man with an extensive criminal record, including an attempted murder conviction. Demetrius Blackwell is being held without bail.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is likely to become the eighth state to require background checks even when firearms are transferred between private, unrelated owners. The state Legislature has passed a bill to expand screening for nearly all gun sales, and Democratic Gov. Kate Brown has indicated her support. Supporters have tried twice before to expand background checks in Oregon.

SYDNEY (AP) — A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific island nation of Papua New Guinea Tuesday, bringing down power lines and cracking walls, but causing no widespread damage. The quake also generated a small tsunami near the epicenter. A tsunami warning has been lifted.

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama says too many minority communities don't have a trusting relationship with police. Obama discussed the Baltimore riots with "Late Show" host David Letterman Monday night. Letterman asked if racism is a factor. Obama says it's a residual one after a history of slavery, Jim Crow laws and discrimination. But Obama also says society has made great strides. He says, "I'm a testament to that."

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