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AP Top News at 2:30 p.m. EDT

World reacts to death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Reaction to death of writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez: ---


Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) - Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents who have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities said Friday they will not leave them until the country's interim government resigns. Denis Pushilin of the self-appointed Donetsk People's Republic told reporters the insurgents do not recognize the Ukrainian government as legitimate.


Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) - A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at about 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. EDT; 1430 GMT) was centered on a long-dormant faultline northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.


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Doomed ferry's sharp turn, slow evacuation probed
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) - The investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster focused on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and on the possibility that a quicker evacuation order by the captain could have saved lives, officials said Friday, as rescuers struggled to find some 270 people still missing and feared dead. Police said a high school vice principal who had been rescued from the ferry was found hanging Friday from a pine tree on Jindo, an island near the sunken ship where survivors have been housed. He was the leader of a group of 323 students traveling on the ship on a school excursion, and said in a suicide note that he felt guilty for being alive while more than 200 of his students were missing.


Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) - An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving four missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Several more were injured. The Sherpa guides had gone to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche struck an area known as the "popcorn field" for its bulging chunks of ice at about 6:30 a.m., Nepal Tourism Ministry official Krishna Lamsal said from the base camp, where he was monitoring rescue efforts.


Late sign-ups improve outlook for Obama health law
WASHINGTON (AP) - A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults. Nonetheless, Obama's announcement Thursday that 8 million have signed up for subsidized private insurance, and that 35 percent of them are younger than 35, is just a peek at what might be going on with the nation's newest social program.


57-nation OSCE plays key Ukraine monitoring role
VIENNA (AP) - A 57-nation organization with a history of mediation but no enforcing powers has been tasked with helping to translate diplomatic progress on easing Ukrainian tensions into reality on the ground. A special team of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe "should play a leading role" in immediately implementing "de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most," according to an agreement Thursday between Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union.


MIT honors officer slain after bombs went off
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (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 the gripping hunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. The three people killed by the twin explosions, along with the many others who lost limbs, have gotten the lion's share of the attention in the year since the bombings. The loved ones of 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.


AP PHOTOS: Stratocaster still a favorite at 60
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Jimi Hendrix made it shriek. Buddy Holly made it swing. Stevie Ray Vaughn made it snarl. Some of the most legendary guitarists in music history have elicited unforgettable sounds from the Fender Stratocaster, the distinctive double-cutaway guitar born in a small Fullerton, Calif., workshop 60 years ago this month.


Chinese relatives pray over lost Malaysian plane
PERTH, Australia (AP) - Six weeks into the extensive search for the lost Malaysia Airlines plane without so much as a piece of debris yet found, several Chinese relatives met Friday to pray for spouses who never came home, while begging for answers that could end their misery of not knowing. Candles burned on a table in the shape of a heart with the letters MH370 in the middle while about three dozen relatives held a prayer service at a hotel ballroom in Beijing where they have been meeting since the Boeing 777 mysteriously vanished. A banner behind them read in Chinese: "Husband, wife, come home soon."