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  • Ukraine crisis: turning points

    Updated: 19 min ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — An agreement struck by the U.S., the European Union, Russia and Ukraine has raised hopes for defusing the Ukrainian crisis, which has strained East-West ties to a degree unseen since the Cold War. The deal Thursday in Geneva came after the four parties held talks together for the first time since Ukraine's turmoil began nearly five months ago. A look at how the Ukrainian crisis has evolved: ___ HOW IT ALL STARTED After years of preparation for a partnership agreement with the 28-nation EU, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych stepped back from the pact in late November in favor of pursuing closer ties with Russia.

  • 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    Updated: 20 min ago

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Another three guides remained missing, and searchers were working quickly to find them in case weather conditions deteriorated, said Maddhu Sunan Burlakoti, head of the Nepalese government's mountaineering department. But the painstaking effort involved testing the strength of newly fallen snow and using extra ropes, clamps and aluminum ladders to navigate the unstable field. The avalanche barreled down a narrow climbing pass known as the "popcorn field" for its

  • Sub search for missing jet to be finished in week

    Updated: 34 min ago

    PERTH, Australia (AP) — A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet is expected to finish searching a patch of the Indian Ocean seabed within a week after so far coming up empty, and the search area may be expanded after that, officials said Saturday. As the hunt for Flight 370 hit the six-week mark, the Bluefin 21 unmanned sub began its seventh trip into the depths off the coast of western Australia. Its search area forms a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) circle around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft's black boxes before their batteries died. The sonar scan of the seafloor in that area is expected to be completed in five to seven days, the search center said in

  • Russia promises support to ending Ukraine crisis

    Updated: 39 min ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign ministry on Saturday promised it would offer strong assistance to Ukraine to overcome its crisis, but emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for reducing tensions lies with Ukrainians rather than outsiders. The comments in a statement came two days after top diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union issued a statement calling for an array of actions including the disarming of militant groups and the freeing of public buildings taken over by insurgents. Those terms quickly became a heated issue as pro-Russian armed groups that have seized police stations and other government buildings in eastern Ukraine said they wouldn't vacate unless the country's acting go

  • Man arrested over murder of ex-IRA leader

    Updated: 46 min ago

    DUBLIN (AP) — Police in Northern Ireland have arrested a man for questioning about the killing of a senior Irish Republican Army hard-liner. Police said Saturday the 26-year-old man was being questioned about the shooting of Tommy Crossan. Local residents say that gunmen escorted the 43-year-old Crossan to a fuel depot on Friday and shot him in the head and body at close range. Residents say a Catholic priest was called to give him the last rites. No group has claimed responsibility, but police and politicians accused Crossan's former group, the Continuity IRA, of following through on 2011 death threats against him.

  • Al-Qaida chief blesses attacks on Egypt security

    Updated: 48 min ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri has given his blessing to attacks of Egyptian jihadis on the police and army, but said they should avoid harming civilians. In an audio interview with al-Qaida media arm as-Sahab posted early Saturday on a militant website, al-Zawahri advised jihadis that any armed confrontation should be popularly supported and that victory cannot be achieved without this support. Al-Zawahri said the jihadis should choose their targets very carefully and explain the aims of each operation to the people. He also harshly criticized Egypt's ultraconservative Islamist al-Nour Party, accusing it of deceit and deception by supporting the military backed interim government and secular constituti

  • Student fought bureaucrats for Holocaust justice

    Updated: 52 min ago

    AMSTERDAM (AP) — Charlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college student working part-time in Amsterdam's city archives when she and other interns came across a shocking find: letters from Jewish Holocaust survivors complaining that the city was forcing them to pay back taxes and late payment fines on property seized after they were deported to Nazi death camps. How, the survivors asked, could they be on the hook for taxes due while Hitler's regime was trying to exterminate them? A typical response was: "The base fees and the fines for late payment must be satisfied, regardless of whether a third party, legally empowered or not, has for some time held the title to the building.

  • Religion builds bridges in ethnically split Cyprus

    Updated: 57 min ago

    FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (AP) — An unexpected moment during the Good Friday service in a long-abandoned church in Cyprus' breakaway north illustrated how religion is helping to bring together Christian Greek Cypriots and Muslim Turkish Cypriots on this ethnically divided island. It came when Turkish Cypriot Umit Inatci handed the key of the church of Agios Georgios Exorinos in the medieval center of Famagusta to the city's Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Vasilios, saying: "This is not gift, it's something that is surrendered to its owner." Rapturous applause greeted the announcement by Inatci, who helped make possible the first Holy Week service at the 14th-century church in nearly 60 years.

  • Iran general urges Tehran to make new UN pick

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian military official has urged the foreign ministry to name a new envoy to the U.N. after the U.S. blocked its chosen ambassador over alleged ties to the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Semiofficial Fars news agency also quoted Gen. Mohammad Bagherzadeh as saying Saturday that Hamid Aboutalebi should remain close to his mother because the family lost two sons during the 1980-88 war with Iraq. President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday aimed at blocking Aboutalebi from entering the U.S. Tehran has refused to name a different envoy after Washington refused to grant him an entry visa. Iran says it is challenging the U.S. "through legal channels.

  • 4 French journalists held hostage in Syria freed

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    PARIS (AP) — France's presidential palace says four French journalists held hostage in Syria since June have been released. President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement he felt "immense relief" after learning Saturday of the release of Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres — all said to be in good health despite "very trying conditions" of their captivity. The Elysee Palace said the four would return to France in the coming hours, and it did not provide any details about the conditions of their release. The four went missing in two separate incidents in June. Press freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders has called Syria "the most dangerous country in the world" for journalis

  • EU official against cutting Russia gas ties

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    BERLIN (AP) — A senior European Union official says he opposes cutting back gas ties with Russia in the next few years but the bloc should work on diversifying supplies. Russia is a major European gas supplier, and mounting tensions over Ukraine have raised concerns about possible disruption. In an interview with Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger conceded there's a risk of Russia cutting supplies to Ukraine, an important transit country, over unpaid bills. However, Oettinger was quoted Saturday as saying: "We agree that the gas sector should not be a priority in possible economic sanctions — whether on the European or Russian side.

  • Car bomber kills 6 at Syrian government checkpoint

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Two rebel car bombs targeted two central Syrian areas controlled by government forces on Saturday, killing at least ten people as opposition forces fought fiercely to hold onto territory, officials and activists reported. Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one car bomb killed at least four people in the city of Homs, in an area dominated by Alawites — the same sect as President Bashar Assad. State-run television also reported the bombing but did not immediately have a death toll. The Observatory obtains its information from a network of activists on the ground.

  • Bombs kill 4 in shopping street of Iraqi capital

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi police say two bombs planted on a street full of shoppers in Baghdad have killed four people and wounded eight. They say the explosions took place in the capital's predominantly Sunni neighborhood of Dora on Saturday morning. Later, police said a roadside bomb killed two soldiers on patrol and wounded five people in Tarmiyah, 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Baghdad. Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters. No one immediately claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks, but Sunni insurgent groups have stepped up attacks across the country since last year in hopes of undermining the S

  • Putin: no blocks to boosting relations with West

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says he sees no obstacles to improving relations with the West, which are fraught with tension over the Ukraine crisis. In an interview on state television shown Saturday, Putin was asked whether relations with the West would improve by the end of the year. "This doesn't depend on us, or not only on us. It depends on our partners," Putin said, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. "I consider that there is nothing that would impede normalization and normal cooperation," he said. The United States and the European Union have accused Russia of encouraging recent unrest in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russia insurgents are occupying government buildings and police stat

  • Nebraska astronaut part of Astronomy Day at museum

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska astronaut Clayton Anderson will make two presentations during Astronomy Day at the University of Nebraska State Museum in Lincoln. The event is scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 26 in Morrill Hall. People will be able to interact with amateur astronomers, engineers and physicists to learn about planets, optics, telescopes, space travel, nanotechnology and more. Anderson will give 30-minute presentations at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., showing images from his flights aboard the space shuttle and expedition to the International Space Station. Go to http://www.spacelaser.com/ADay2014.html for more information.

  • Scenes from the never-dull Clinton White House

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Glimpses into behind-the-scenes workings of President Bill Clinton's White House, as revealed in newly released documents: For Clinton's last State of the Union speech in January 2000, aides considered a long list of guests who might be cited in the address and sit near first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Among those discussed: The parents of slain gay victim Matthew Shepard because, an aide wrote, "It gets a hate crime hit." Nelson Mandela, "since he is retiring." Irish-American author Frank McCourt, because "with peace in Ireland pending, he might be a good message." And "possibly someone" from the Columbine High School massacre.

  • Shedding light on Clinton's health overhaul flop

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Thousands of pages of documents from President Bill Clinton's White House affirm a longtime adage: The more things change, the more they stay the same. As Clinton prepared for an August 1994 news conference in which he hoped to build public support for his struggling — and ultimately unsuccessful — health care overhaul, he told his advisers: "A lot of them want to know they can keep their own plan if they like it." Later that fall, Clinton's Democrats were routed in midterm elections and lost control of Congress. Nearly two decades later, President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans about his own plan, which won approval in Congress in 2010, by telling them, "If you like your plan you can keep i

  • Drone in Yemen kills 9 suspected al-Qaida fighters

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemeni military official says an American drone strike has killed nine suspected al-Qaida militants and inadvertently killed and wounded some civilians. The official said the early Saturday raid targeted a car carrying the militants in the Sawmaa area in the al-Bayda province at the time another car was nearby carrying civilians. At least six civilians were killed and wounded, the official said on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations. The deputy governor of al-Bayda was assassinated Tuesday by suspected al-Qaida militants. Yemen's branch of al-Qaida, also known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered to be the most dangerous in the world. It overran much of t

  • Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms. Fat chance. The State Department is indefinitely extending the government's review of the contentious oil pipeline and citing ongoing litigation over its route across Nebraska. The project has taken on a life of its own as climate change activists battle with energy advocates from both parties. Republicans are jumping at the chance to paint Democrats as powerless to rein in their own party's president. Keystone opponents are split, with some praising the delay and others chiding President Barack Obam

  • Oklahoma City @ 125: It's time to Thunder Up

    William Crum | Updated: 4 hr ago

    In the late 2000s, the Thunder makes Oklahoma City its home, and voters agree their investments in the city’s renaissance are worth renewing.