Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions _ for now GENEVA (AP) - In a surprise accord, Ukraine and Russia agreed Thursday on tentative steps to halt violence and calm tensions along their shared border after more than a month of Cold War-style military posturing triggered by Moscow's annexation of Crimea. Russia's pledge to refrain from further provocative actions drew support but also a measure of skepticism from President Barack Obama, who said at a news conference at the White House that the United States and its allies were prepared to ratchet up sanctions if Moscow doesn't fulfill its commitments.
Avalanche sweeps Everest; 6 killed, 9 missing KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest on Friday along a route used to ascend the world's highest peak, killing at least six Nepalese guides and leaving nine more missing, officials said. The Sherpa guides had gone early in the morning to fix the ropes for hundreds of climbers when the avalanche hit them just below Camp 2 around 6:30 a.m., said Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal, speaking from the base camp and monitoring the rescue efforts.
Transcript shows ferry captain delayed evacuation MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Fresh questions arose about whether quicker action by the captain of a doomed ferry could have saved lives, even as rescuers scrambled to find hundreds of passengers still missing Friday and feared dead. Officials also offered a rare look at their investigations, saying they were looking into whether a crewman's order to abruptly turn the ship contributed to the 6,852-ton Sewol ferry tilting severely to the side and filling with water Wednesday.
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Sub scours ocean for missing Malaysian jet PERTH, Australia (AP) - A robotic submarine headed back down into the depths of the Indian Ocean on Friday to scour the seafloor for any trace of the missing Malaysian jet one month after the search began off Australia's west coast, as data from the sub's previous missions turned up no evidence of the plane. It was the fifth attempt by the Bluefin-21 unmanned sub to find wreckage or the black boxes from Flight 370 in a distant patch of seabed. The sub, which can create sonar maps of the ocean bottom, has now covered 110 square kilometers (42 square miles) of the silt-covered seabed, but has thus far found nothing, the search coordination center said. The sub's last mission hit a record depth beyond its recommended diving parameters, which can potentially cause risk to the equipment, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a statement. However, it is being closely monitored.
Obama: 8 million signed up for health care WASHINGTON (AP) - Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and offered new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the midterm elections. An impromptu appearance in the White House briefing room offered the president an opportunity to trumpet the new figures, which beat initial projections by 1 million. With an eye toward November, Obama castigated Republicans for continuing to seek out every opportunity to thwart the Affordable Care Act.
Grief in town of students missing in ferry sinking ANSAN, South Korea (AP) - The most poignant reminders of what's been lost here are the most ordinary. Desks in the classrooms of Danwon High School in Ansan, where dozens of students were missing and feared dead Thursday after a ferry disaster, are cluttered with textbooks, gym clothes, empty water bottles - small bits of ordinary school life now infused with heartbreak.
Jury convicts husband in Iraqi woman's death EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) - An Iraqi immigrant was convicted Thursday of bludgeoning his wife to death in a case that initially was considered a hate crime because a note found next to her body said: "This is my country, go back to yours, you terrorist." Kassim Alhimidi, 49, shook his head from side to side and wagged a finger as jurors were polled, then chaos erupted in the courtroom when his oldest son stood and shouted obscenities. The son proclaimed his father's innocence before several deputies wrestled him out of the courtroom.
Remembering an officer slain after bombs went off BOSTON (AP) - Like many other youngsters, Sean Collier wanted to be a police officer. Unlike most, he brought that dream to life - and then died doing it, becoming a central character in one of the most gripping manhunts the nation has ever seen. The three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing, along with the many others who lost limbs, have gotten the lion's share of the attention in the year since the bombing. The loved ones of Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer who investigators say was shot by the bombing suspects, are this week remembering a brother and doting uncle who seemed destined to enter law enforcement.
Chelsea Clinton expecting first child this fall WASHINGTON (AP) - For the Clintons, 2014 is the year of the baby. Chelsea Clinton, the 34-year-old daughter of former President Bill Clinton and ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced Thursday that she and her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, are expecting their first child this fall.
Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Blues went the distance, and then some, to get the jump on the defending Stanley Cup champions. Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to cap the longest playoff game in franchise history and give the Blues a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.