AP Top News at 5:37 p.m. EDT

Ferry sinks off South Korea; 6 dead, 290 missing
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Koo Bon-hee could see the exit. For half an hour, as the doomed ferry filled with water and listed severely on its side, the crew told passengers to wait for rescuers. With their breathing room disappearing, the 36-year-old businessman and some of the other passengers floated to an exit and swam to a nearby fishing boat. But 290 of the 475 people aboard - many of them high school students on a class trip - were still missing after the ferry sank Wednesday off the southern coast of South Korea. Six were confirmed dead and 55 were injured.


Pro-Russian insurgents seize armored vehicles
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) - Pro-Russian insurgents commandeered six Ukrainian armored vehicles along with their crews and hoisted Russian flags over them Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian soldiers manning the vehicles offered no armed resistance, and masked pro-Russian militias in combat fatigues sat on top as they drove into the eastern city of Slovyansk, a hotbed of unrest against Ukraine's interim government.


Geneva talks on Ukraine face steep hurdles
MOSCOW (AP) - Thursday's high-level talks in Geneva on Ukraine come as the country's eastern regions are awash in turmoil and pro-Russian insurgents have seized police stations and government buildings in at least nine cities. But for all the anxiety about Ukraine's future - bolstered by Vladimir Putin's contention the country is on the verge of civil war - the top diplomats of Ukraine, Russia, the United States and the European Union may find their positions so far apart that no one can find a compromise.


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New SAT: What will those questions look like?
WASHINGTON (AP) - Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students. The College Board released the sample test questions on Wednesday, offering clues to how the revised college entrance exam, taken last year by 1.7 million students, will look when it rolls out in 2016.


NYC police rolling back some counterterror efforts
NEW YORK (AP) - The move by New York City's new police commissioner to disband a unit that spied on the everyday activities of Muslims could be just the first step in a dismantling of some of the huge post-9/11 intelligence-gathering machinery built by his predecessor. Among other anti-terror programs that are getting a hard look from Commissioner William Bratton is a unit that stations NYPD officers in foreign cities such as London, Paris, Tel Aviv and Amman, Jordan. Also under review are the protocols for when and how to conduct surveillance in the hunt for terrorists.


Man charged with marathon hoax is held on bail
BOSTON (AP) - The man arrested near the Boston Marathon finish line carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker was sent to a state psychiatric facility for an evaluation Wednesday after an initial court appearance. Kevin "Kayvon" Edson, 25, was sent to Bridgewater State Hospital and ordered held on $100,000 bail at an appearance in Boston Municipal Court on charges of threatening battery, possession of a hoax explosive device, threats to commit a crime, disturbing the peace, disturbing a public assembly and disorderly conduct. He's due back in court May 7.


Armed robber was never told to report to prison
ST. LOUIS (AP) - After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came. So Anderson didn't report. He spent the next 13 years turning his life around - getting married, raising three kids, learning a trade. He made no effort to conceal his identity or whereabouts. Anderson paid taxes and traffic tickets, renewed his driver's license and registered his businesses.


Sub makes 2nd dive to search for Malaysian plane
PERTH, Australia (AP) - As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person. The Bluefin 21 sub surfaced early for the second time in as many missions, this time after experiencing technical difficulties. It was sent back into the water after its data were downloaded but there's been no sign of the plane, according to the search coordinator.


NKorea complains over barber's Kim Jong Un poster
LONDON (AP) - North Korea has made a diplomatic appeal to the British government to get a London salon out of its hair. The country's diplomats have complained to the Foreign Office about a hairdressing salon that put up a poster poking fun at distinctively coiffed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Pistorius defense tries to rebuild case
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Oscar Pistorius' lawyers tried to roll back the prosecution's momentum at his murder trial Wednesday following the star athlete's shaky testimony, presenting a forensic expert who quickly found his own credentials and findings sharply questioned. With Pistorius now back watching the proceedings from a wooden bench, the double-amputee Olympian's defense team was attempting to bolster his account that he shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by mistake through a toilet door in his home, thinking she was a dangerous intruder about to attack him in the night. Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder in Steenkamp's death in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year.