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AP Top News at 9:02 p.m. EDT

Fears rise for missing in SKorea ferry sinking
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - Fears rose Thursday for the fate of 289 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea. A coast guard official said the death toll was now confirmed at seven, but that is expected to rise sharply because the missing have now spent more than a day either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater.


Pro-Russian gunmen make inroads in eastern Ukraine
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) - The well-armed, Moscow-backed insurgency sowing chaos in eastern Ukraine scored a new victory Wednesday, seizing armored vehicles and weapons from underequipped government forces, then rolling through two cities to a hero's welcome. Responding to what it sees as Russia's aggression, NATO announced it was increasing its military presence along its eastern border, closest to Russia and Ukraine. And the Obama administration moved to ratchet up its response, preparing new sanctions on Russia and boosted assistance for the struggling Ukrainian military.


10 Things to Know for Thursday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday: 1. ORDERS BY SHIP'S CREW DRAW SCRUTINY


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Robot sub makes first complete search for plane
PERTH, Australia (AP) - A robotic submarine has completed its first full 16-hour mission scanning the floor of the Indian Ocean for wreckage of the missing Malaysian airliner after two previous missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water, authorities said on Thursday. The Bluefin 21 had covered 90 square kilometers (35 square miles) of the silt-covered sea bed off the west Australian coast in its first three missions, the search coordination center said on Thursday. While data collected by the sub from its latest mission, which ended overnight, was still being analyzed, nothing of note had yet been discovered, the center said.


Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race
BOSTON (AP) - The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week. The actions of the man, whose mother said he had a mental disorder, rattled nerves as Boston prepared for the annual race, but authorities said they did not consider it a security breach. Officials also expressed confidence in heightened security measures for Monday's event while acknowledging the challenge of protecting an estimated 1 million spectators and 36,000 runners across 26.2 miles and eight Massachusetts communities.


Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say
WASHINGTON (AP) - The outlook for the president's health care overhaul suddenly appears brighter, and some Democrats are saying it's time for the party to openly embrace the law that Republicans consider their best campaign weapon. Activists in one Senate race are doing just that. Other Democratic candidates, however, remain wary, unsure that a modest dose of good news will be enough to offset countless TV ads denouncing "Obamacare."


Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling
NEW YORK (AP) - In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting. Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.


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.


uFly fires flight instructor who appeared on CNN
TORONTO (AP) - A Canadian flight simulator business fired an instructor who figured prominently in CNN's coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, saying he showed up late to his regular job and "shamed Canadians" by dressing like a teenager. uFly company owner Claudio Teixeira said he fired Mitchell Casado on Wednesday in part for refusing to dress professionally and making Canadians "look very bad all over the world."


Hopes high Negro League stadium will make comeback
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium. Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro League teams is getting another chance at bat as baseball's first National Historic Landmark.

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