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AP Top News at 2:27 p.m. EDT

Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Marking Christianity's most hopeful day, Pope Francis made an Easter Sunday plea for peace and dialogue in Ukraine and Syria, for an end to terrorist attacks against Christians in Nigeria and for more attention to the hungry and neediest close to home. Well over 150,000 tourists - Romans and pilgrims, young and old - turned out for the Mass that Francis celebrated at an altar set up under a canopy on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica.


Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation
JINDO, South Korea (AP) - The South Korean ferry that sank was crippled by confusion and indecision well after it began listing, a radio transcript released Sunday showed, suggesting the chaotic situation may have added to a death toll that could eventually exceed 300. About 30 minutes after the Sewol began tilting, a crew member asked a marine traffic controller whether passengers would be rescued if they abandoned ship off South Korea's southern coast. The crew member posed the question three times in succession.


In West Bank, teen offenders face different fates
BEIT UMAR, West Bank (AP) - The boys were both 15, with the crackly voices and awkward peach fuzz of adolescence. They lived just a few minutes away from one another in the West Bank. And both were accused of throwing stones at vehicles, one day after the other. But there was a crucial difference that helped to shape each boy's fate: One was Israeli, and the other Palestinian.


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Probe could complicate Rick Perry's prospects
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent a record 14 years in office vanquishing nearly all who dared confront him: political rivals, moms against mandatory vaccines for sixth graders, a coyote in the wrong place at the wrong time. But with eight months left on the job and a decision to make about the 2016 presidential race, the long-serving governor known for his Texas swagger is now the focus of a grand jury investigation that could cause more difficulty than any adversary has.


Boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter dies at 76
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76. He had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native's adopted home. John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, told The Canadian Press that Carter died in his sleep.


Navy OKs changes for submariners' sleep schedules
GROTON, Conn. (AP) - With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors' working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean's surface. Research by a Navy laboratory in Groton is now leading to changes for the undersea fleet. Military scientists concluded submarine sailors, who traditionally begin a new workday every 18 hours, show less fatigue on a 24-hour schedule, and the Navy has endorsed the findings for any skippers who want to make the switch.


Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom
PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom. That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.


Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas
WASHINGTON (AP) - Biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term, a study shows, challenging the Obama administration's conclusions that they are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help combat climate change. A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline.


Easter morning delivery for space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via a Dragon, versus a bunny.


Miss America: Don't suspend teen over prom invite
YORK, Pa. (AP) - Miss America is asking a Pennsylvania school district to reconsider the punishment of a senior who asked her to prom during the question-and-answer portion of an assembly. The York Dispatch reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1iBazDw) that Nina Davuluri posted a statement on the Miss America Organization's Facebook page saying she contacted Central York High School to ask officials to rethink the three-day in-school suspension issued to 18-year-old Patrick Farves.

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